Posts Tagged ‘Daniel Negreanu’

Negreanu Goes Off about Chris Ferguson at 2016 WSOP

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

negreanu-chris-fergusonChris Ferguson is far from the most-popular guy at the 2016 WSOP. The former Full Tilt Poker board member was helping make decisions when the site failed to repay $444 million in player money after Black Friday. And Daniel Negreanu recently made his feelings clear that he has a major issue with Ferguson being at the 2016 WSOP.

“I am a very forgiving person, but usually you have to ask for forgiveness before you can get it,” Negreanu said. “Clearly he doesn’t give a shit, responding with ‘What are you talking about?’ when people said he owed the poker world an apology.”

Negreanu is referring to early attempts made by PokerNews to interview Ferguson on the Full Tilt fiasco. “Jesus” refused to give any comment, stating that he was “just here to play poker.”

Ferguson has continued to refuse interviews over the matter or even acknowledge any wrongdoing with the company. And this led Negreanu to say the following:

“Let me explain it to you Chris: You were part of a company, a very prominent part, asking people to trust you and the company. You made millions and millions of dollars off of this company, then you hid for five years when things got out of shape. Then you said nothing at all. Whether you’re guilty or not, you’ve said nothing, which makes you guilty. If you don’t feel like you’re guilty, say so. Say something. You asked for the players to trust in you, don’t you believe they’re owed some kind of apology? Any man with a shred of integrity or human decency would understand an apology is owed.”

What makes Negreanu even angrier is that Howard Lederer – another former Full Tilt exec who’s playing at the WSOP – did issue an apology.

“The fact is that [Lederer] humbled himself, and knew that it would be inappropriate for him to just come back without some sort of statement, and he did that. He went through the right channels,” said Negreanu. “This guy Chris, he just shows up and it’s like ‘Fuck you guys, I don’t even need to do nothing.’ Be a man and take responsibility. Even if it’s not all your fault, take responsibility for your part in it. You signed autographs, you took pictures, you were in ads promoting a company that ended up fucking a lot of people. Take ownership of that, at the very least.”

PokerNews reached out to Ferguson for a comment about what Negreanu said. But Jesus continues to avoid the issue, saying “no comment for now.”

Considering how it doesn’t look like Ferguson will issue an apology any time soon, Negreanu continues to wait for answers. And the 6-time WSOP champion said that he’ll even ask Ferguson for some answers himself if they end up at the same table.

Baazov, Negreanu, Stern to discuss PokerStars Changes

Saturday, December 12th, 2015

david-baazov-pokerstarsPoker player Dani Stern was instrumental in leading a 3-day strike against PokerStars after they made huge changes to their VIP program. And while it doesn’t look like the strike has convinced Stars to reverse the changes – many of which hurt high-volume regulars – it will at least facilitate a meeting.

According to Stern, he will meet with Daniel Negreanu and David Baazov (CEO of PokerStars’ parent company Amaya Gaming) to discuss the site from the pros’ perspectives. Here’s a look at what Stern tweeted:

Well one good thing to come of this: According to @RealKidPoker, we will be getting a meeting with Baazov. Details unknown right now.

As you can see here, some players are less than enthusiastic about Stern’s meeting with Baazov and other PokerStars executives. After all, no meeting is likely to change what the poker site has done, including slashing mid and high-stakes rewards and eliminating the Supernova Elite VIP level. But it at least opens up some line of communication between prominent players and PokerStars.

daniel-negreanu-pokerstarsDaniel Negreanu discussed this in his blog at FullContactPoker by writing:

I was also able to ensure that players would have the opportunity to meet with the higher ups from here on out to discuss important issues in regards to the relationship between the company and the players. That has always been something PokerStars has done effectively, and it will continue to happen. I spoke with Dani Stern and Isaac Haxton as well as many other top online pros about joining me and the upper management in regularly scheduled meetings. I think this is extremely important. Communication the last 12-18 months between the players and the company has not been good enough and I think this will go a long way towards improving it.

PokerStars originally made changes to their VIP program so that they could take rewards from high-volume players and disperse them to a wider range of players. This fits in with their growing tendency to favor recreational players above all else. But it’s also nice to hear that they’ll at least give some pros a chance to be heard before they make any massive changes in the future.

Negreanu: Vegas would be Hockey “Destination”

Friday, November 27th, 2015

Daniel NegreanuDaniel Negreanu hasn’t given up on his dream to bring an NHL team to Las Vegas. In fact, he’s more adamant than ever in trying to get hockey in the desert, as part of an ownership group that includes the Maloof family and William Foley. There are obstacles ahead, including Vegas being a casino town with lots of other entertainment options. But Kid Poker is rather confident in Sin City’s ability to land an NHL team because he thinks that it would actually be a ‘destination game’ for hockey lovers.

“People will go to games in Vegas as visitors as a destination game,” Negreanu told TSN. “Nobody says ‘let’s get the buddies together and we’ll go to Columbus and watch the Blue Jackets.’ No one’s going to do that. But if Calgary is playing Vegas in Vegas on a Sunday afternoon, people will take a weekend and make a trip out of it.”

Another big factor that Negreanu thinks could work in Vegas’ favor is the fact that they don’t have any other major professional sports franchises.

“It will be the first major sports team (in Las Vegas) and if you look historically, any city that’s had just one team, like San Jose for example, they do amazing,” Negreanu said. “There was no hockey culture in San Jose before the Sharks came and now it’s a Shark’s town.”

One more thing that Kid Poker points out is that Vegas has a solid population, money and thousands of people who want season tickets.

“We have the 2.2 million residents, we have a great arena built, we have the money to back it, we’ve already got commitments from over 13,000 people with season ticket deposits having been put down.”

A long-time fan of his hometown team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, Negreanu thinks that the one thing a potential Vegas franchise should avoid is following the Leafs’ rebuilding plans.

“(The Leafs) have always made the same mistake of bailing on the rebuild too quickly,” he said. “Mediocrity means you just stay mediocre forever,” said Negreanu. “If you look at the great teams today, Chicago, the Kings, they were awful and then they got four or five key draft picks, just like Pittsburgh did before, and they built a team around that.”

Obviously Negreanu’s hockey passion runs deep. So hopefully we’ll get to see him in the owner’s box with a Vegas hockey team in the near future.

Daniel Negreanu battles Bertrand Grospellier in Hearthstone

Saturday, November 7th, 2015

negreanu-vs-grospellierThose who attended BlizzCon 2015 were treated to an interesting sight: Daniel Negreanu and Bertrand Grospellier battling each other in Hearthstone. The Blizzard Entertainment-created card game has been catching on with poker pros in recent months. And, Negreanu and Grospellier are admittedly “addicted” to playing Hearthstone when they’re away from the felt.

“Some poker players at the table were talking about [Hearthstone] and they were talking about the complexity of it and how it’s similar to poker,” said Negreanu, who took the game up in May. “So I just downloaded it. The first time I downloaded it, I spent the next 11 hours straight playing it.”

For Grospellier, a former professional StarCraft player, the transition to Hearthstone was pretty seamless. The French poker player now streams his Hearthstone sessions via Twitch along with online poker sessions. But despite his love for this collectible card game, you won’t see Grospellier leaving the poker tables any time soon.

hearthstone-poker“I hope I could compete [for the world championship],” he told Forbes. “I’m not sure about the time commitment though.”

Negreanu agrees with this thought, adding that Hearthstone just isn’t as lucrative as poker right now – especially because of the time commitment to play in the big tournaments.

“I certainly don’t think any professional poker players will leave their income to just play hearthstone,” Negreanu explained. “But in addition to their already extensive poker play, it’s just a fun alternative thing to do. I don’t think they would look to do it as a career move, financially.”

Hearthstone is definitely a rising game, attracting over 30 million players in just a year and a half. Compare this to poker, which has been around much longer and has around 100 million players worldwide. But it appears that the main things holding people like Negreanu and Grospellier back from becoming Hearthstone pros are time commitment and finances.

Joe McKeehen: Risk Champ looks to become 2015 WSOP ME Champ

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

joe-mckeehen-main-eventJoe McKeehen isn’t the type of poker player who’s going to bring attention himself through wild antics or excessive table banter. In fact, he prefers to keep a low profile and just play the game. But given that McKeehen is now the chip leader of the 2015 November Nine, he’s going to be getting a lot of attention in the coming weeks.

The Pennsylvania native first made his mark at the WSOP last year after taking second in the 2014 Monster Stack event ($820,863). But given that McKeehen has more than double the amount of chips (63,100,000) as second-place Zvi Stern (29,800,000) right now, he has an opportunity to do something much bigger.

The first-place prize for the 2015 WSOP Main Event is $7.68 million and McKeehen is definitely in the driver’s seat to win it. Nobody since Jamie Gold in 2006 has held this large of a lead, and Gold essentially dominated the final table en route to $12 million.

All of this bodes well for the 24-year-old, who has some championship experience already in the game of Risk. McKeehen proved his superior skills in the global domination board game by taking down the 2010 Annual Risk Classic. Of course, Risk isn’t quite at the magnitude of what McKeehen is poised to do if he wins the 2015 Main Event along with millions of dollars.

For now, though, he doesn’t really seem overly focused on the money or winning. “It’s pretty fun. I’m just trying to enjoy the ride and play my best,” McKeehen said of his Main Event run. “That’s pretty much all there is to it. I’m trying to not let the moment overtake me.”

McKeehen will get an opportunity to continue the fun on Nov. 8th, when the November Nine meets again to play for a vast fortune.

Zombies invade WSOP (New Comic Book)

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

wsop-zombies-comicIt seems that you can’t watch TV for two hours these days without something zombie-related popping up. Hell, Walking Dead is so big that they even made a show just to talk about a show. So it doesn’t surprise me that the World Series of Poker has caught zombie fever too.

Specifically, PokerNews editor and gold bracelet winner Chad Holloway has created a comic book dubbed World Series of Zombies (WSOZ), where Daniel Negreanu, Antonio Esfandiari, Phil Laak, Vanessa Selbst and Phil Hellmuth are the stars (we can only hope that Hellmuth is the first one eaten).

“Bringing WSOZ to life has been a goal of mine for a long time, and I can’t wait to debut it at the 2015 WSOP,” Holloway told PokerNews. “I hope both poker players and zombie fans will enjoy what was designed to be a fun and light-hearted take on poker’s premier event.”

As you can see to the right, there were some pretty sweet covers created for WSOZ, with Chicago-based comic book artist Terry Huddleston doing the one on the left (as well as artwork for the entire book), and two-time Survivor contestant and comic book artist Erik Reichenbach drawing the cover on the right. Reichenbach explains his special variant cover by saying:

“When I first started coming up with sketches for the cover, I kept coming back to a horde of zombies behind Negreanu and what I could do to make them distinct. The idea of zombie showgirls made the most sense for a zombie apocalypse in Las Vegas. The juxtaposition of terrifying showgirls coming after the patrons just felt like the right way to put zombies into the world of poker.”

Assuming you’re interested in this comic book, it’ll be available in the Rio this summer. So if you’ll be playing in the 2015 WSOP, be sure to check out WSOZ.

Daniel Negreanu addresses PLO Rake Complaints with PokerStars

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

daniel-negreanu-plo-rakeAs perhaps the most-recognizable face at PokerStars, Daniel Negreanu hears many questions and complaints from those who play there. And the latest issue to arise involves PLO rake at PokerStars, which many players think has become far too high.

It’s tough to argue this point when considering that low-stakes PLO features rake that’s over 100% higher than NLHE games. Negreanu has been well aware of the problem since March, when he discussed the matter on Joe “ChicagoJoey” Ingram’s podcast. More recently, he answered disgruntled posters on TwoPlusTwo, which is usually a losing battle no matter how you slice it. Here’s one post from Kid Poker:

Totally on board and have been for some time on this issue. Coincidentally I have a meeting later today and was already planning on bringing this issue up again. Obviously I can’t make any promises since I don’t have the power to make these decisions, but I can promise you that I will do my best to make a case for an adjustment here. Thanks for the additional summary showing the rake differences between NLHE. I will log that and bring it to the meeting.

If you’re thinking that this made Negreanu some quick buddies, well, you’d be wrong and right. Some applauded the 6-time WSOP champion for stepping in and actually interacting with players. Others brought up old comments that Negreanu made about how winning players are hurting the game, and that he believes it’s perfectly within Amaya Gaming’s right to raise rake at PokerStars.

Whatever may have been said in the past, it’s clear that Kid Poker is at least willing to voice players concerns with Stars. Furthermore, he actually responds to players via social media and forums, something that other famous pros in their ivory towers (or Panorama Towers in Vegas) could take notes on.

Back to the original point, will Negreanu’s talk with Amaya yield any results? He said himself in the forum post that there are no guarantees, and it appears that he has about as much pull as a 5-year-old in tug-o-war. Still, it would be nice if he could have some small effect on influencing Amaya in this PLO rake matter.

Daniel Negreanu rips Jordan Cristos for Tanking

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

negreanu-jordan-cristosDaniel Negreanu is on the warpath again, this time ripping poker pro Jordan Cristos for excessive tanking, or the act of taking a lengthy amount of time to make a decision.

After seeing multiple tweets from Cristos on the subject, most of which send the message ‘I realize people hate me for tanking, but I’m allowed to,’ Negreanu hopped on his blog at FullContactPoker and picked apart each of the tweets. Here’s one excerpt that best explains Negreanu’s main point:

From Cristos: @RealKidPoker @DarryllFish @SavagePoker so much hate for thinking thru decisions like everyone does when it’s crucial. I don’t get it.

Negreanu: Let me try and explain it for you. No one is saying that it’s inappropriate to take your time when decisions are crucial. However, when you are under the gun, first to act, and go into the tank, most everyone agrees that this is crossing a line! When someone 4-bets you before the flop and you take more than 2 minutes to respond, most everyone agrees that this is excessive tanking.

When I play with players who consistently act within a reasonable amount of time, I don’t call the clock on them when they occasionally take a few minutes to make a decision. If there is a habitual tanker like yourself, then you have lost that privilege and courtesy.

Kid Poker goes on to express his opinion that if everybody tanked as much as Cristos, then tournaments would slow to a crawl and amatuers would be totally turned off. He adds, “Jordan talks a lot about respecting the game and respecting the players, but his actions show absolutely no respect for other players time or what is best for the game or the community.”

You can see the entire post here, and note that this exchange sends us back to a long-running debate about whether poker tournaments need a shot clock. There are arguments on both sides because no shot clock does give players enough time to accurately think through tough situations – although players can call time on each in many events. But the flip side is Negreanu’s point in that pros like Cristos can turn amateurs off by tanking every time they’re facing a preflop decision.

Daniel Negreanu determines who should be banned from WSOP

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

daniel-negreanu-millionaire-matchmakerLike it or not, as long as somebody has the buy-in money, they’re eligible to play in the WSOP. So no matter how douchey, annoying or scammerish they are, anybody can step into the Rio and compete for bracelets.

But is it time for a change in regard to banning certain players? Daniel Negreanu recently pondered this since he’s heard rumors that some villainous and unloved poker figures could be playing in the 2015 WSOP.

Through a CardPlayer post, Negreanu discussed a variety of cheaters, bad businessmen and those whom he’s loathed for years. Interestingly enough, Annie Duke, who’s drawn the ire of KidPoker since they first crossed paths in Vegas, was cleared to play, despite the guaranteed $1 million freeroll fiasco during her reign as Epic Poker League Commissioner.

Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson are also okay to play in Negreanu’s eyes. This is an interesting notion because, unlike Duke, where there’s probably no chance in hell that she’ll play the 2015 WSOP, there are actually rumors that Lederer and Ferguson might show up. And it’s hard to understand Negreanu’s logic on why Ferguson specifically should be allowed in, given that he “completely disappeared” following Black Friday. Like avoiding the mess that you directly helped create, and encouraging players to keep depositing on your corrupt poker site, is somehow less-morally reprehensible than cheating in poker.

This leads me to the next point, in that known cheaters Russ Hamilton and Mansour Matloubi are the only players whom Negreanu thinks should be banned from the 2015 WSOP. They both used God mode poker accounts, giving them the ability to see other players’ hole cards, which is pretty much the lowest of the low in poker. So if you’re going to ban anybody, yes, these two deserve it first.

Also, it is easy to see a distinction between what Hamilton/Matloubi and Ferguson/Lederer did since the latter two are mainly guilty of gross negligence regarding the management of Full Tilt. Furthermore, they also aren’t candidates to cheat in poker, unlike Matloubi and Hamilton (rumored to cheat live too). But on the same token, if you’re going to issue WSOP bans for morally corrupt poker figures, there should be some non-cheater exceptions for guys like Ferguson and Lederer.

Lex Veldhuis bashes Antonio Esfandiari

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

lex-veldhuis-pokerDutch poker pro Lex Veldhuis doesn’t like Antonio Esfandiari, and he’s not afraid to let everybody know. During an episode of ChicagoJoey’s Poker Life podcast, Veldhuis used the word “worthless” to describe Esfandiari. So what’s at the root of his very strong dislike for ‘The Magician?’

According to Veldhuis, it all began during his first live tournament trip to Vegas. He played next to Esfandiari during one tournament and initially befriended him. However, things went sour when Esfandiari invited Veldhuis to dinner, but told him that his four friends couldn’t come along because he wanted to keep it small. “I’m not going to ditch my friends because you think you’re fucking Antonio, (like) I should be grateful that you’re asking me to dinner,” Veldhuis said.

After several years had passed, another dinner-invitation incident like this came up. This time, Daniel Negreanu and Liv Boeree asked if Lex wanted to eat with them. He said sure, but was disappointed to hear that Esfandiari was doing the reservations. Veldhuis tried to give Esfandiari another chance, but was again met with resistance when he wanted to bring a couple friends that he’d previously made plans with. Antonio’s problem with this was that he wanted to “keep it exclusive.”

Another point that Veldhuis doesn’t like about Esfandiari is that “he has no empathy for the situation people are in if he wants attention.” One example he gives is when Antonio was making fun of Bertrand Grospellier (sitting to his left) and his pants to a player at another table.

It’s rare for poker pros to openly discuss their disdain for fellow players like this – or at least to this extent. So it’ll be interesting to see if Esfandiari has any kind of comeback upon hearing the podcast…assuming it’s not too beneath him of course. Check the rant out below, and it begins at about the 1-minute mark.