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No Hidden Agenda

‘Kid Poker’ Daniel Negreanu tells it like it is.

Walk us through your Caribbean adventure [EPT Caribbean Adventure]. What prevented you from reaching the final table?

Day two was a tough one for me. I wasn’t dealt any hands to play and when I got a hand to play someone else would have a better hand. I essentially anted off until I finally made a stand with Qc-Jc and a player behind me was dealt A-A.

On reflection, how would you rate 2007?

It was a sub-par year results wise, but my play was excellent, especially in the last few months of the year.

Are you looking forward to coming back to London for the WSOP again?

Not especially. I’m looking forward to travelling the EPT a little more so than the WSOPE.

What was attractive about becoming part of the Poker Stars team?

It was the perfect fit for me. I loved the software and the way that they do business. They were the biggest and the best site in the world so it was really a no-brainer for me.

What is the favourite of all the places you’ve played poker?

It’s not exactly exciting, but I love the Commerce Casino just outside Los Angeles.

Do you gamble on anything else, like sports, or do you just play poker?

I used to bet on hockey for years, but that’s like another full-time job. Now I gamble on golf, pool and Wii bowling!

How has poker changed since you first started playing?

There are a lot more players, mostly young players that play a more aggressive brand of poker. There are just more good players now than when I first started.

Are there any up-and-coming players that you’re expecting big things from?

There are lots of guys coming up from the online world. Frankly, there are too many to mention.

Who would you say is the toughest opponent on the poker circuit?

Phil Ivey.

Who do you find to be a consistently challenging opponent?

Again, Phil Ivey, and Patrick Antonius is difficult to play against.

How would you describe your style of play?

A small-ball approach that’s cautiously aggressive.

You are famous for being brilliant at reading your opponents. How did you develop this ability? What works so well for you?

I am a people watcher—have been since I was a young boy. That, coupled with hand reading skills, allows me to read opponents better.

What, if anything, can put you off your game?

Cigarette smoke for sure.

If there was one thing you could change about the way you play, what would it be?

I would take every hand seriously and make my D game look more like my A game.

Do you have any little rituals or superstitions when you’re playing?

No, it’s unlucky to be superstitious.

How’s your dietary regimen? What’s on a typical Negreanu menu?

I’m a vegan which means no dead animals and no dairy products at all. A typical meal might consist of a bean salad, a vegetable salad, and a brown rice tofu dish, maybe a soup too.

How do you like to prepare for a major tournament?

Sleep well. Eat well, avoid people or alcohol.

Away from poker, how do you relax?

I play golf, hang out with friends at my house and have a few drinks; play pool, video games, and, of course, golf at my house on my golf simulator.
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