Outspoken poker pro Daniel Negreanu has been grinding heavily this summer at the World Series. He made a final table in early June and followed it up with two more cashes.
He has been disappointed so far with his Series, but the Main Event began Saturday and that could turn everything around. Negreanu ended his day 1 with more than 140,000 — good for one of the larger stacks in the room. He’s currently in action on Tuesday afternoon for day 2AB.
Card Player caught up with him during a break in play last week to get his take on a few hot topics in the poker world.
Brian Pempus: What did you make of the talk about it being important that a poker player wins ‘One Drop’ so the money stays in the poker community? As opposed to a businessman winning and taking it out of the poker economy.
Daniel Negreanu: Overall, it was irrelevant. The Full Tilt [Poker] money is a lot more pressing in terms of affecting more people. It was a very small percentage of the poker community that invested in [One Drop], people who aren’t necessarily trickling it down.
BP: What do you make of Ray Bitar being apprehended recently?
DN: It was about time. It seems as though he is the fall guy right now, and Howard [Lederer] and Chris [Ferguson] are off the hook right now, but I don’t think that they should be. I think they were all very well aware, based on the documentation that came out. They were aware that the company was accepting deposits after Black Friday, which is a Ponzi scheme. They didn’t want to call it that, but what do you exactly call it? You’re telling people it’s safe to play here and you have money, but you don’t. That’s a Ponzi scheme.
BP: What do you make of Bitar facing additional charges and potentially a lot more time in jail?
DN: It’s probably in Ray’s best interest to change to his name to ‘Raylina’ and get some lipstick, get his nails done and find a bed buddy that will take care of him in prison, because he might be there for a bit.
BP: Is him going to prison one of the ways that people will put Black Friday behind them?
DN: The bottom line is that if you have $8,500 on there, you don’t give a crap if he goes to jail. You want your money back. No matter happens, whether people get their money back or not, it’s not going to because of the good work of Howard, Ray or Chris. They have completely screwed this up. This is an issue that could have been resolved in May or June, but they destroyed it. They took everyone’s money and ran the company into the ground. So, they should never be forgiven. They should never be welcome in these halls [at the WSOP].
BP: Do you think they would come back into the tournament poker world?
DN: Well, if you look at how stupid and sociopathic Annie Puke is; she walks these halls and thinks it’s OK for her to do so. They are so retarded, arrogant, conceited, stupid and foolish, that I wouldn’t be shocked to see them come back in here if everyone [from Full Tilt] got paid, and be like, ‘Everything is good guys!’
BP: Can you talk about the rumors of the potential PokerStars deal?
DN:Based on what has been written, it seems as though there were negotiations. Whether or not anything happens, you have to ask the question: What’s in it for PokerStars at this point? Why would they do it? Full Tilt is already a dead brand. It would basically just to be the savior of the poker world, which they have really done. For example, by signing [Rafael] Nadal, that sort of legitimizes an industry that has been having a black mark. PokerStars, whether people want to believe it or not, actually cares about the poker industry. They realize that the better off and healthier we are, the better they do.
BP: Have you coached Nadal at all or offered him any strategy tips?
DN: Not yet. He just signed on, but there is that promotion where you can send him tips.
BP: Do you envision him jumping into really big cash games — live or online?
DN: I don’t think so. He’s a smart guy. He’s not going to jump into playing super sick high limits. He’ll most likely start small and grind his way up.
BP: Any chance we will see him at the WSOP?
DN: Yeah, I think you’ll probably see him next year, unless he has a tennis match.
by Brian Pempus; Cardplayer.com
*photo via SantaBanta.com