Daniel Negreanu is hardly a shrinking violet when it comes to giving his opinion on anything or anyone, but even so, some of his thoughts, views and outbursts have shocked the poker community. Here are his top 5 incredible moments away on and off the table!
5. Annie Duke is a …!
Words that are everyday adjectives in my homeland of Scotland, but considered brutally explicit in most other countries. For Negreanu, it apparently perfectly described one of the most hated characters in the game, Annie Duke.
Negreanu has never liked the sister of Howard ‘The Professor’ Lederer, and it all goes back to his early days trying to make it in Vegas.
“From the day I met her, when I was 22 years of age playing at the 4 Queens, she went OUT OF HER WAY to ridicule me and embarrass me,” Negreanu wrote back in the day. He added: “Calling me ‘cupboy’, criticizing my play, and overall making me, and all others not in the ‘clique,’ feel unwelcome. Of course when I’d won some tournaments, her attitude changed towards me… BZZZZT, too late.”
This was in an open exchange with Lederer, and more was to come. In an interview with Bluff magazine, DNegs said of Duke’s opposition to women-only events, while describing herself as the ‘The best female poker player in the world’…
“How offensive are you, you f♣♦king c♦♠t? You say you’re speaking for women, yet you claim superiority over all of them.”
4. Did he or didn’t he?
One of the most infamous incidents in Negreanu’s poker career came when he uttered the immortal words “More rake is better!”
Or did he? Doug Polk latched on to the fact that Daniel explained in a 2016 interview how he thought higher rake might keep better players away, thus making the game better for recs.
“There’s a lot of games where that’s true. Where the rake is really high and it keeps pros away because they’re like ‘well we can’t beat this,’ but overall for the game, it’s actually better because the pros aren’t playing.”
“More rake is better” was born, and Polk pushed it at every opportunity to dig at his sworn enemy: a billboard en route to the Rio during the WSOP; a slogan on a t-shirt during the Super High Roller Bowl; numerous videos and comments on the controversy.
We’ll see soon enough how that ended…
Once considered the weedy-looking guy next door of the poker world, Daniel has gone through a makeover most would be proud of, from bulging muscles, to bulging…well…see for yourself!
Of course poker players from Jennifer Tilly to Gus Hansen, and many in between, have wowed with flashes and glimpses of goods only usually seen in the most, or perhaps least, salubrious of cardrooms.
For Daniel, however, it was just another day in the life of someone who can pretty much do whatever he pleases, as long as it makes for a good talking point…
2. Meltdowns galore
The year 2020 had everyone screaming at their screens for some reason or another, and among the poker community it was Daniel Negreanu’s WSOP meltdown that topped the list.
Playing the online WSOP $600 Monster Stack, some connection issues had DNegs pulling his hair out.
“It’s on me? What the fuck man, motherfucking shit….Come on. Fuck. It says it’s on me over here but I’ve got no fucking cards…I’ve got a fucking big stupid thing…come on dude, what is up with this software?”
As usual, someone was on hand to share the worst (or best) of it on Twitter…
…but things went a step further when Negreanu took issue with a troll’s comments about his wife, Amanda Leatherman.
“I will break your fucking teeth if you come step to me, and I will feed you them anally!” was part of his response, and it got him temp banned from TwitchTV.
Doug Polk had a video montage made of Daniel’s biggest meltdowns…which eventually led to their recent epic Grudge Match.
1. The Grudge Match
We haven’t even mentioned Negreanu’s attack on the award-winning Chip Race podcast, or his expletive-laden outburst against WSOP commentator Norman Chad. Instead, number one has to be the culmination of years of feuding with his arch-enemy Doug Polk.
We have already covered how the Upswing Poker boss used the More Rake is Better meme to beat Daniel about the head, and followed with video montages as body-blows.
He added the ‘Negreanu blackface’ routine and DNegs taking up disabled parking spots as further hits, until eventually the Canadian couldn’t take it any longer.
Of course, there was plenty of will they, won’t they before it actually happened, Bill Perkins almost causing a massive ‘misclick’ before Phil Galfond stepped in to save the day!
What happened next shocked the poker community. The duo played week after week of their Grudge Match with barely a cross word said to each other.
Negreanu may have cursed his luck plenty, and Polk may have felt like taking the occasional swing, but in general it was all incredibly well-behaved from two of poker’s most outspoken players.
Polk took Negreanu for $1.2million, but by the end he was singing Negreanu’s praises for having provided serious opposition. As for Negreanu, he was soon looking for another opponent to try out his newfound skills, and some new words, on!
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