Heads Up With Daniel Negreanu

Heads Up With Daniel Negreanu
Photo: Neil Stoddart
​By Storms Reback

Having won more than $32 million in his live tournament career, Daniel Negreanu currently sits in first place on the all-time money list. If he's not playing in the biggest games in the world, he's usually doing podcasts, making cameos in feature films, or preparing for his fantasy hockey draft. 

Storms: After watching the KidPoker documentary, a lot of people came away thinking that you used to look just like Andre Agassi. How many times have you heard that in your life?

I've heard that plenty, but when I told him that, he didn't see it. He lives, literally, like 10 minutes from my house, so I've seen him around town a lot. The second and third time was at a laser hair removal place. He was getting his back done. [He laughs.] I was doing the same.

You were instrumental in getting the NHL to bring an expansion team to Las Vegas. If you were the Golden Knights' general manager, what strategy would you use in the upcoming expansion draft?

This is going to sound crazy, but I would probably draft six goalies. Why get six goalies? Because they'll be the best bait to trade for future draft picks. The other teams can only protect one of their goalies. If you get the second-best goalies from six teams, there's likely to be more value there than there would be getting the ninth- or tenth-best forwards who are not in their rookie or second year. So my strategy would be to draft six goalies, flip four of them for future picks, and build through the draft.

How are you ever going to convince the notoriously media-shy Phil Ivey to get on your podcast? 

Oh, I have some dirt on him, so I'm going to blackmail him! [He laughs.] With Phil, I think people really misunderstand him, but I know him because he's my friend. I think a lot of people think he's all about the money, but I know how much he cares about the game and the World Series of Poker. I plan to ask him a lot of questions about that. 

We're seeing more and more shot clocks in tournament poker. Are you happy now?

Getting happier. It's just something that needed to happen, unfortunately. When I grew up playing, it wasn't a necessity because people didn't do what they do today. But there are now just so many kids who are so excessive and so disrespectful of other people's time. They're taking four or five minutes to make mundane decisions. Everywhere I've played a shot clock event, people unanimously love it. I think it's the wave of the future.
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