Daniel Negreanu leaves PokerStars; WSOP sale mess


Daniel Negreanu leaves PokerStars after 12 years of service, and his World Series of Poker package online sale springs a leak.

Image credit to WPT Flickr

I went to a posh restaurant the other day. Heaney’s in Cardiff; the type of place where vegans pay £8 for a couple of carrots served with a fancy jus. The waiter brought out bread and Marmite butter for something to do as we waited for our carrots to roast, and it was the nuts.

Talking about carrot crunching and Marmite, Daniel Negreanu recently announced the severing of his partnership with PokerStars. The pair have played the Adam and Eve roles for the past 12 years, where both have been a catalyst for bigger and better things.

I’m one of those people who veers more towards the ‘love’ end of the Daniel Negreanu Marmite spectrum. In our run-ins, he’s always treated me like an equal, given me as much time as he can muster and had the emotional intelligence and vulnerability to do his part to create something worthy of an audience.

Kid Poker’s relationship with PokerStars was unique, the likes of which you won’t see again. Something I admire about Negreanu (and PokerStars) is where, paradoxically, those veering towards the ‘hate’ end of the scale like to point a finger or two.

Negreanu is one to speak his mind, and his contractual obligations with Stars never prevent him from doing this. Stars trusted their senior spokesperson to do the right thing and 99.9% of the time he did.

His detractors want you to believe that Negreanu played the role of Pinocchio and Stars that of Gepeto, but I’ve never felt that. Negreanu’s defence of his employers circa the Supernova Elite debacle came from the heart and the head. He believed every word that came out of his mouth, and PokerStars scripted none of it.

With Negreanu a free agent, I suspect everyone will grow to learn this truth, as he continues to share his opinion on topics that most others would prefer to dodge for fear of the very recriminations they are quick to cast upon the man who has done more for this game than most.

During his time with PokerStars, Negreanu became the All-Time Live Tournament Money Earner, was honoured as The Global Poker Index Player of the Decade, and sworn into The Poker Hall of Fame.

In a brief video released on Twitter, Negreanu spoke of his fondness for PokerStars and some of the people he has worked with before referencing his recent marriage to Amanda Leatherman, and the art of baby making as the primaries reasons for his change of focus.

World Series of Poker Package: Good intentions go wrong

In the aftermath of the poker communities tit for tat over the addition of markup to World Series of Poker (WSOP) packages, Negreanu announced plans to sell three WSOP packages without markup, but his attempts at giving his loyal fans the ultimate sweat backfired.

The plan was for Negreanu to sell 10% of action aimed at the Canadian’s involvement in $1,500 buy-ins and below, 25% of buy-ins ranging between $1,500 and $10,000, and 50% of buy-ins greater than $10,000.

Negreanu’s team set up a website to control the influx, and at first glance, it seemed that all was rosy in his Las Vegas garden with all packages sold out within 30-minutes.

Then after people began tweeting for clarification on validity of bought and sold packages, Negreanu tweeted this bombshell.

You would have thought this would have lit the fuse on a glut of angry responses, but not so. Negreanu apologised for the mess, his tribe quickly forgave him, and the man is currently in the process of refunding those affected, and trying to figure out a way to provide them with some VIP treatment in the future. The only problem being a delay in that baby making stuff we spoke about earlier.