Poker Tips By George: Negreanu Speaks

Poker pro Daniel Negreanu has long been one of my favorites. I admire his skills and personality. Also, as longtime readers of my columns know, while I enjoy no limit Texas Hold’em as well as video poker games on occasion, limit hold’em is my favorite poker variant. So, naturally, when a friend recently gave me a copy of Daniel’s report on his participation in the World Series of Poker, $10,000 No Limit Hold’em World Championship back in 2004 I enjoyed the read greatly and thought that I should share this message with my readers. But first, some words about our hero.

Daniel Negreanu

Daniel Negreanu

Canada’s gift to our poker world, Daniel Negreanu has earned worldwide acclaim and is one of the biggest live poker tournament winners of all time. Born in Toronto in July 1974, he took to poker at an early age, earning the nickname “Kid Poker.”

To date, he has won dozens poker titles and notched 350+ cashes.

As time of publication, he’s won 6 WSOP bracelets and recorded over $18.5 million in winnings there. He’s also got 2 WPT titles and over $6.8 million in winnings on that tour. Plus, he’s even won $1.7+ million on the European Poker Tour. Additional accolades Negreanu has amassed over the years include winning WSOP Player of the Year in 2004 and 2013, and WPT Player of the Year for 2004 – 2005. In 2014, Negreanu was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame, and was also recognized as the best poker player of the decade by Global Poker Index. Adding to his popularity, he has appeared in many poker films, videos, and on television.

Negreanu’s book, Power Hold’em Strategy, was published in May 2008. He is also featured in the 2006 poker video game, Stacked with Daniel Negreanu, offering tips on playing well. He has written over 100 magazine articles, countless blog posts, and contributed to Doyle Brunson’s revised book, Super System II. He’s got his own MasterClass and has produced numerous vlogs over the years. And, of course, his philanthropic contributions include countless appearances in charity events.

Negreanu’s 2004 WSOP $10K Limit Hold’em report is entitled “Being Realistic.”

He admits that when he first started playing tournament poker, his ultimate goal was to win the “big one” – the World Series of Poker $10,000 No Limit World Championship. “I always felt that if I worked hard enough, I would eventually achieve that goal.” As time passed, this goal no longer became a priority in his life. “It’s really no big deal… I’m just being realistic.”

But, as he entered the 2004 WSOP, he did have a goal: To win the Player of the Year Award. He played in every tournament he could, and was well in the running for the award. With just one event remaining, he was doing well. There were maybe two or three people that could catch him. “That would be my most precious achievement,” he wrote.

Negreanu acknowledged that he did not play well. “I knew full well that a patient strategy was the right way to go but, for some reason, I lacked the necessary patience. Instead of waiting for his opponents to make mistakes… I was the one who made the crucial mistakes by bluffing in spots where I knew better.” He takes full responsibility for getting knocked out. He promises to learn from this experience. “I will improve.” By making fewer mistakes, “then maybe, if I can get extremely lucky, I may one day have a chance to win the elusive World Championship of Poker.” Then he closes with a rhetorical touch of reality: “Of course, I won’t be holding my breath!”

His ultimate message: Be realistic, and be patient.

To that I would add: “But I can dream, can’t I?” And always have a goal.

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About George Epstein

After a long and productive career as a leader in the aerospace industry, upon his retirement in the 1990s, George Epstein chose poker as his “second career.”

George has been widely recognized for his many significant accomplishments and contributions to our society. These include pioneering and innovations in various materials, testing and manufacturing technologies for our defense and space programs; teaching specialized engineering courses at UCLA, other colleges, and at seven NASA centers; introducing advanced composites into Air Force space systems; and creating the Air Force Manufacturing Problem Prevention Program (has helped avoid costly failures and anomalies for space systems),

He has authored many engineering reports and books; and is listed in American Men of Science; Leaders in American Science; Who’s Who in the West; Dictionary of International Biography; and Personalities in the West and Midwest.

Since “joining” the poker world, George “The Engineer” Epstein has written three poker books – most recently, Hold’em or Fold’em?– An Algorithm for Making the Key Decision and The Art of Bluffing.

George has organized poker groups at two senior centers, at West L.A. College, and at the VA/West Los Angeles, including teaching poker classes.
He is a columnist for several poker and gaming publications.

George has been elected to the Seniors Poker Hall of Fame, and was named Man-of-the-Year by the Westside Optimists, primarily for his efforts in encouraging retirees to learn and enjoy the game of poker.

He firmly believes that playing poker will help to keep seniors/retirees mentally and physically healthy.

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