As the World Poker Tour World Championship played into Day 3 on Friday, a familiar name played at the feature table and continued a deep run in the tournament. Two-time WPT champion Daniel Negreanu was among those in the money and hoping to go even deeper.
Negreanu has played on the tour since the first season, accruing more than $6.4 million and two tour titles. He sits second on the WPT all-time money winning list, despite not cashing on the tour since 2019.
As the action played out Friday afternoon, Negreanu spoke a bit about being back running deep in a major WPT tournament. He said the atmosphere at the Wynn was similar to what he felt in the poker boom of the early 2000s, when players drew major media attention usually reserved for Hollywood actors and major celebrities.
“I think they did a really good job,” he said of WPT efforts at the Wynn. “I didn’t play the series, I only played the main. But it’s pretty remarkable. I mean, they did a really, really nice deal. You can see it in the players’ lounge and it reminds me of the WPT of old, like way back when I started.
“It was like rockstar stuff, and they were all big and huge. And they were all $10Ks and stuff like that. So this is kind of a throwback to that.”
Seeing some movement in online poker
More than 60 online qualifiers made their way to the WPT World Championship, from ClubWPT in the US and WPTGlobal internationally. As a GGPoker ambassador, online poker’s future is important to Negreanu.
The six-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner is pleased to see some movement toward expansion.
“That’s a good sign,” he said. “Seems like it’s a slow movement, but it’s movement, movement in the right direction.”
GG has grown greatly over the last few years. Players like software as well as the ability to win WSOP bracelets and circuit rings. The site also offers numerous qualifiers for the live series each summer.
The company has even made some inroads in the US market with ClubGG, a subscription-based poker service. In February 2021, GG also was approved in Pennsylvania as a manufacturer, meaning the company could offer its services to a partner in the states.
“I think ideally, at GGPoker, we want to be everywhere,” he said. “Everywhere that makes financial sense. So, obviously you’ve got to get licensed and GG is trying to get as many licenses in as many places as they can.”
The site also recently completed the Flip & Go Millionaire, which featured a $1 million guarantee for only an $11 buy-in. Negreanu says the site’s team continues striving to keep the site entertaining and offer more bang for the buck for average players.
“They’re innovative, and they come up with cool ideas that are actually just fun-focused,” he said. “So poker is a skill game. We know that. But it’s also fun, right? And so you can combine the two.
“They have a good team of people who are really, really smart, and come up with really new, fun game formats and stuff like that.”
Looking forward to the main event Monday 11am.
Bringing a whole bag of new tricks to this one.
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) December 10, 2022
Making a run at another WPT title
As he returned to play in the afternoon, Negreanu had around 400,000 chips. He was pleased with his play through the first few days of action.
His last WPT title came in 2004 when he took down the Borgata Poker Open for $1.1 million. He followed that up just a few months later at the Five Diamond World Poker Classic for $1.8 million.
In total, Negreanu also has nine final table appearances including runner-up, three third-place finishes, and a fourth. Finding an even deeper run could bring back some of those WPT rockstar vibes and Negreanu feels good about how he’s playing.
“I feel like I’m supposed to win this one,” he added, “so I think I’m going to do that.”