Daniel Negreanu and how to keep improving your game [Editorial]

Daniel Negreanu and how to keep improving your game [Editorial]

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

I know I had a go at tournament money lists last week but to be fair, if Negreanu and Ivey want to keep competing for the top spots then it’s the fans and their wallets that will benefit from it as the two tournament legends keep trying to one-up the other with million dollar scores and deep runs.

Most of the poker world has some level of admiration for Daniel Negreanu – the affable PokerStars Pro is often in the public eye, but not in a Hellmuth way, and still puts up consistent results in the big tournaments he plays. Again, not like Hellmuth. However, the past year has been a great one for Negreanu and it’s really down to his work ethic.

I don’t want to make an example of anyone specific – except Hellmuth, apparently – but so many players who became famous in the early 2000s just didn’t have what it takes to keep up when the games got ridiculous. In Hold ‘em, especially, thousands of younger players approached the game in a new and revolutionary way. There really is no argument that the average NL player is much, much better at the game than players who won three or four pre-Moneymaker bracelets.

Negreanu, while still competing in the mixed games at the highest level, is one of the few that recognised how his Hold ‘em game had stagnated and gone down in comparison to the game that players such as Tom Dwan and Viktor Blom were bringing to the table. He drew attention to himself last year when he started playing the $100/$200 6-max NL games on PokerStars. The guys he played with, players like Randy Lew and Cole South, all stated after several months that Negreanu’s game had improved immeasurably.

He had the money to lose $20,000 at a time playing the best in the world and he had the work ethic to want to improve. I think that’s staggering, really. If I had a long and successful poker career, a sponsorship deal that basically set me up for life and millions of dollars in the bank, I’d probably be happy to play the relatively modest stakes of $100/$200 recreationally while making my big money through PR, high stakes mixed games and tournaments. Not Negreanu.

Clearly, this improvement in his game has worked wonders. He came very close to the final table of the $25,000 6-max NL event at the 2010 WSOP and took down a €1,100 side event at EPT Vilamoura. He cashed in the WSOPE heads-up High Roller event and final tabled two major PokerStars tournaments in a row; coming 4th at EPT Vienna and then 9th at the APPT Grand Final Sydney. This was topped off last month with a runner-up finish to Eugene Katchalov in the PCA Super High Roller $100,000 tournament for a cool million dollar score.

Again, not naming names, but pros who MOUTH off about the online NL players and dismiss the new, aggressive style of poker that you have to adjust to in order to be a winner will be left behind. At least their contracts won’t allow them to be humiliated on the upcoming High Stakes Poker season – which Negreanu could well book his first winning series in.

Tags: Poker News, Daniel, Negreanu, and, how, to, keep, improving, your, game, [Editorial]