Each player will face the situation on multiple occasions in their poker tournament career but this Poker Hall of Famer has been there literally thousands of times. Down to 15 bigs, a double-up or an exit is on the cards for the six-time WSOP bracelet winner, the reigning Super High Roller Bowl VII champion and a bona fide poker legend – Daniel Negreanu.
It’s the same with our 15 Bigs – a total of 15 questions designed to put any player to the test. But which way with ‘Kid Poker’ go? All-in and at risk, can the Canadian survive? Let’s find out.
- You’re on a long-haul flight and can only choose one TV Show or Movie to watch on repeat. Which is your pick?
I’m gonna go with Rounders. It gets you in the mood and if I’m on a long flight, I’m probably going to play some poker. Hearing the music, listening to Worm saying ‘Let’s go play some f*cking cards’… it’s just a great film.
- If you were stranded on a desert island with one book for company, what would it be?
To try to stay sane, I’m going to say The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. Those four agreements are: 1. Be impeccable with your word to yourself and others. 2. Don’t take anything personal. 3. Don’t make any assumptions and 4. Do your best. You’re going to fail at those first three but as long as you do your best, you’re OK.
Imagine just the first one. If you always did the things that you said you would do. I remember a time at PokerStars, we’d have meetings between 30-40 Team Pros and we’d meet at 7pm. Isaac Haxton arrived at 7.06pm. I’d say, ‘Do you have anything to acknowledge?’ and he’d be like ‘Well it’s 7.06.’ It was crazy because after a couple of weeks, everyone was on time.
3. What’s the song you could listen to on repeat forever?
Redemption Song by Bob Marley.
4. What’s your favourite place to play poker and why?
Right now, it’s the PokerGO Studio at ARIA [in Las Vegas]. If you’d have told me in my Kid Poker days that it would have existed, I wouldn’t have believed you. A beautiful, perfect studio with cameras and right on the Strip with a bar. It’s the most pleasurable poker experience you could ever imagine.
5. If you were to be shot at dawn, what would be your last meal and drink?
I would eat a lot! I’d go with an Impossible™ Burger, French fries and a strawberry vegan milkshake. Even if I were to be shot dead, I’d stay vegan.
6. Where’s your favourite non-poker holiday destination?
I typically don’t take many non-poker vacations, but I’d give it a mix between two places that I’ve really enjoyed. One is San Diego, California and the other was my honeymoon in Santorini in Greece. It’s really beautiful there.
7. You can play poker every day for a year or play no poker for a whole 12 months – which do you choose?
Definitely no poker for a year. I’d be OK, I’ve gone many months before.
8. Who is the person you don’t have around anymore that you miss the most?
I’d have to go with my parents. I can’t pick one or the other because they were both very influential in my life for different reasons. Really, my parents shaped me in every way the person that I am I learned so many good things from them. There are times when you want to share something with somebody and you can’t.
I’ve thought about them a lot recently. In fact, I’ve just found out thanks to my wife, who’s an avid researcher, that my grandfather who I never met was at Bergen-Belsen in a concentration camp and he died in the holocaust.
My wife @RadioAmanda recently found documents of my grandfather who was killed in Bergen-Belson during the Holocaust. I had no idea.
Both creepy and surreal to see in light of all the recent antisemitic rhetoric denying the Holocaust even took place… pic.twitter.com/H6BwlEh7Lp
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) November 28, 2022
9. Which person would you most like to meet but never have?
It would have been Barack Obama, but I met him, so he doesn’t count! I met him when he was running and its funny, I walked up to the line – we were taking pictures – and he looked at me and said “I know you. You’re the poker guy! In fact, we played poker last night and I won $60. They’re not very good.” Apparently, when he was in briefings, he was reading my poker book.
OK, I got one; it’s Dave Chappelle. I think he’s funny and a deep thinker. He thinks about stuff in a unique way, and I’d love to meet him.
10. When was the last time life put you on tilt?
Probably in Rozvadov [for WSOP Europe]. I realised that you’re not allowed to smoke in there. There are signs everywhere, there’s a €500 fine… and everyone smokes. They’re standing next to a sign that says, ‘No Smoking’ and they don’t give a f*ck. They put their cigarettes out in the cupholders at Blackjack! I feel like if everyone has to follow the rules, everyone should.
11. If you couldn’t play the WSOP Main Event next year, which family member would you put into the action in your place?
Oh, boy. Who would I put in instead of me? I’d make my wife Amanda do it! She doesn’t play much.
(Ed: We feel like this should happen just for the Vegas WSOP video blog viewers. Let’s make it happen in 2023.)
12. What’s your best poker skill?
It’s a combination of several things. At the core perseverance, but really its adaptability, the humility to understand that you don’t know everything. The younger generation learns things that you don’t get, so its important to learn it. Incorporating that into your game, you become a better player.
I went down the road with game theory (GTO) and studied it very, very hard. I’ve gotten to the point in my life where I see all the flaws where human beings implement incorrect data. Because I understand game theory – which is impossible for a human to play – I see the holes in players implementing it. I’m a curious person!
13. And your biggest leak?
I don’t enjoy studying or playing 15 big blinds or less. It’s funny, because this is called 15 Bigs, but I don’t enjoy it. I don’t like all-in poker; I find it boring. I like to play post-flop.
14. If you could make one rule change to poker, what would it be?
This is one that would take a little bit of work, but I would implement a chess clock in every poker tournament. Every two hours, each player gets five minutes to use as they choose, however they want to. When their five minutes is up, they have 10 seconds to act on every decision for the remainder of that two-hour period. Then it resets.
It makes time a commodity. At the moment, everyone gets 30 seconds. A**holes burn 30 seconds with seven-deuce under the gun and stall. They don’t get penalised. With the chess clock, it would be like ‘OK go ahead, waste your time’. Currently, the shot clock system hurts the wrong people. I don’t waste time pre-flop but sometimes on the river I want two or three minutes.
- You have just ten seconds with the person of your dreams… what do you say?
One thing I would say is that in the moment, I don’t think you can prepare. I think if you speak from the heart, you don’t know what will come out. But I mean, really, its three words that matter most – ‘I love you’.
All-in, at risk, Kid Poker wears his heart on his sleeve and wins the flip for sure. With 15 bigs or more, the poker legend has seen off the challenge.