Canadian Daniel Negreanu Elected to Poker Hall of Fame

By Ben Hamill - July 02 2015

Canadian Daniel Negreanu

Daniel Negreanu, native of Toronto and the pride of all poker-loving Canadians, has been elected to the Poker Hall of Fame in recognition of his great success at the poker tables and his enormous contributions to the game.

A Bit about Daniel Negreanu

Daniel Negreanu, known by poker fans around the world as Kid Poker, was born in Toronto on July 26, 1974. As a teenager, Daniel hung around the neighbourhood pool halls and dreamed of becoming a professional pool player.

Fortunately, he was wise enough to realize that he should have a backup plan for earning a living, just in case the pool-player thing didn’t work out. So, at the age of 15, Daniel Negreanu learned to play poker. And he soon learned that poker is a far more interesting game than pool.

Pool is a game of physics: the transfer of energies between rotating spheres. Poker, on the other hand, is a game of psychology: reading another person’s mind through subtle nonverbal cues. And psychology is where Daniel Negreanu’s extraordinary talents lay.

Getting Started in Las Vegas

After dropping out of high school, Negreanu continued his poker education playing small- and medium-stakes games at the Check N’ Raise and other poker locales in the Toronto area. Eventually, he built up a bankroll and took off for Las Vegas at the age of 21 to become a professional poker player.

Negreanu later recalled, “I remember everything about my first trip to Vegas; it was like I entered a fantasy land.” In fact, Negreanu’s first trip to Vegas was more like crash landing into reality land. He lost his bankroll and had to return to Toronto to start over.

The cycle repeated several times: trip to Vegas, lose the bankroll, return to Toronto to rebuild. All this time, however, Negreanu was gaining in poker wisdom and experience, and it would not be long before all this wisdom and experience started to pay off.

Success at the Poker Tables

In 1998, at the age of 23, Negreanu became the youngest person ever to win a World Series of Poker bracelet. A bracelet is awarded to the winner of major WSOP events, and Negreanu won his – along with a prize of $169,000 – by finishing in first place at the 1998 WSOP $2000 Pot Limit Hold’em event.

Since then, Daniel Negreanu’s poker career has been an incredible story of success piled on success. He is now the all-time career leader in poker earnings with a lifetime total of $31,181,618 in winnings. He has won six WSOP bracelets and two World Poker Tour championships. He was WSOP Player of the Year in 2004 and again in 2013 – the only player to win the award twice. He was named Poker’s Best Ambassador at the 2014 American Poker Awards and the Poker Player of the Decade by the Global Poker Index. And now he has been inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame.

Keeping Busy

Daniel Negreanu has other activities that keep him busy besides winning poker tournaments. He has his own website called Full Contact Poker that features Daniel’s blog, poker forums, poker news, and Daniel’s poker strategy tips. He has also contributed articles to Card Player Magazine and other publications.

And he writes books. In Hold’em Wisdom for All Players, Power Hold’em Strategy, and More Hold’em Wisdom for All Players, Daniel shares many of the strategies and tactics that can make better poker players of all of us, and he presents them in a clear, often witty, and down-to-earth style that is a pleasure to read.

The Poker Hall of Fame

There is no higher honor for a poker player than enshrinement in the Poker Hall of Fame.  To be eligible for election to the Hall, a player must have played poker for high stakes against acknowledged top competition over a substantial period of time and must have played consistently well, gaining the respect of peers.

An additional criterion is that the player must be at least 40 years old. In fact, Daniel Negreanu was only the second player in history to be elected in his first year of eligibility following his 40th birthday. And that is just one more indication of the high esteem held by Daniel Negreanu – the pride of Toronto – in the vast poker universe.