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Poker News | People in Poker | Poker Superstars

Daniel Negreanu – Exclusive Interview - Part II

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*Part II of a two part interview - view part I*

One of the most talented, talkative, controversial, and opinionated players in the poker world, Daniel Negreanu tells all. He speaks his mind on everything from the UIGEA, to his plans for the World Series, to American Idol, to smack talking in the forums. Read on for part two of the interview.

KL: In general how do you approach the WSOP and prepare for it?

Daniel: Several ways, I try to have all my ducks in a row before hand such as outside business interests, poker writing that I do. I turn all that off during the World Series. Also, I try to get as physically fit as I can because it gets grueling after awhile. Also, getting on a really good eating pattern is important, which I eat well anyways. Avoiding alcohol, basically training similar to the way an athlete would. There are similar traits between athletes and poker players, it's not like we will need to slam dunk or anything, but the more physically fit you are the more oxygen your brain is getting and you will be able to make the right decisions at 2a.m. when everyone is falling asleep. This time I am really going to try to be more physically fit. It is a really long month and I want to play a lot.

KL: Do you notice things about your game that you want to change or do you change anything from World Series to World Series?

Daniel: I'm maybe a little too much of a perfectionist. I mean literally if I don't win every single bracelet I am disappointed. My biggest problem for my own game is complacency and staying motivated throughout the entire month. I will often start very well and then fade a little bit, or I will start kind of bad and then get into my groove but I feel like despite winning Player of the Year in 2004 I have yet to put together a World Series Poker where I didn't make any mistakes. Which is very difficult for anyone to do I think, but I always try to be better and I know that I have never played an entire WSOP as well as I am capable of.

KL: What do you do to combat that if you are actually noticing that? Do you make specific strategic changes?

Daniel: My goals are always to be in good physical shape, my goals are always to have my ducks in a row and those kind of things, I feel like if I do that completely and get everything finished completely that would be a great way, but I've never actually done that yet, I've always been a little behind with this and that. I am getting closer to where I want to be in that regard. I think it's just planning ahead. It doesn't start till June, but I am planning now in April so that hopefully by like May 1st I am ready to play. I am doing all the right things, living right if you will. Aside from that if things were really bad for me like in past years I have always thought that I could just not play the small ones. That helps because I get very complacent in some of the smaller ones, so I just stick to the $5000 and above just for a little bit to try and take them more seriously.

KL: Does your daily routine change a lot?

Daniel: I care more about the World Series. For example The Bellagio has tournaments that are similar buy-in's, I don't even play in them. If I did I would be the biggest idiot there, it doesn't have the history and prestige like the WSOP or even the World Poker Tour now. For me, one thing I do, which is different from playing a World Poker Tour event that is four or five days of focus, is I try to spend the entire month not socializing. That's very important to me. It sounds bad, but hanging out with people, spending time with others just drains me. It sucks too much energy out of me doing things like appearances or taking pictures and autographs, it is nothing that helps me. I do it because I don't want to be a jerk, but it doesn't help me win. My goal is to just focus on not having any fun necessarily and just focus on getting the work done. That sounds kind of counter productive, but it's fun to win so I guess the other fun is what I am willing to sacrifice for that month.

KL: What are your thoughts on the re-buy event?

Daniel: I actually think, despite the fact that I re-buy like a madman, I feel like there's absolutely no place for a re-buy in a World Series of Poker event. I don't think it's fair, I don't think it's right at all. When you are having a World Championship event, the playing field should be equal in that everyone should have the same opportunity to win a bracelet and not buy one if you will. You weren't necessarily the best player you might have been the one with the deepest pockets. Having said that, it is what it is. It's not going away any time soon.

KL: How do you handle the players that take the ‘oh well I guess I will go all in and at least I can say Daniel Negreanu knocked me out?'

Daniel: That's great! Those kinds of players are welcome because they are looking to make foolish errors and that's how I make money, by people trying to do stupid things. Sometimes they get lucky, but so what. It comes with the territory. Overall if people didn't do that it wouldn't be as juicy.

KL: Does that change your game or your hand selection at all?

Daniel: Yeah, of course. With players like that I basically look to antagonize them, if you will. I wait for them to make a stupid mistake against me. I don't make mistakes against them, I am going to play pretty straightforward against them for the most part and just wait for them to make their stupid bluff or basically wait for them to try to make their big courageous call when they think I am bluffing, which I won't be

KL: Do you have any specific players that you think will do well.

Daniel: That's a great question, me! I'd bet on myself doing well because I feel good about the World Series. Who else, it is hard to say. It really depends so much on how motivated people are to play the tournaments versus the cash games. For example, guys like Phil Ivey, Patrik Antonious, Gus Hansen, you never know what to think with them because they are usually just going to play the cash games so you might not pick them. I would say a lot of the younger players are going to be motivated and driven to do well. I could name several, but I think Grinder is overdue, Erick Lindgren is over due. You might see special things from them.

KL: What about the women?

Daniel: I think the one woman who the schedule change benefits most is Jennifer Harman because she is the only woman in the world with two bracelets already but she is the only woman in the world that plays high limit mixed games for a living. She plays against he best in the world on a daily basis, so the added games like stud hi lo and Omaha hi lo, that is just right in her wheel house and gives her a bigger advantage over every other woman so I would have to say that Jennifer. Then again she just had two children so that is going to cut into her playing time.

KL: Which do you like better, cash games or tournaments?

Daniel: If it was hold'em I would definitely say tournaments. I like playing cash games because I like playing other games. I like playing stud hi lo, Omaha hi lo, I like playing mixed games, playing more than one. Playing one game is boring to me so I would have to say playing in the cash games.

KL: Which is your best game?

Daniel: Stud 8 or better and Omaha 8 or better. I think I do much better in those games plus there are a lot fewer people that play them as well.

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