“Casino Inside” magazine puts forward an exclusive interview with Daniel Negreanu, the Romanian pro poker player, who was invited to a poker tournament in Romania for the first time. This event was a unique occasion for the participants to play next to one of the best players in the world. On November 2nd, Regent Casino was overcrowded for the curious participants who wanted to see the well known player in action. Everybody, pro players or Hold’ em Texas amateurs gathered around number two on the top of the best winnings in pro poker.
The event tournament had a 2000 lei buy in. Eduard Norel took the first pace, followed by Lucian Alexoi and Iulian Ruxandrescu.
Why do you like poker?
Since I was a little kid I has this competitive spirit, I loved being on race all the time. Back then, I wanted to play hockey or basketball, but stature made this impossible. Poker offered me this satisfaction- to compete, regardless the height. Since poker is the mind sport, I wanted to test my intelligence and win. I chose to play poker because it satisfies my competitive spirit.
What’s the position of poker in your life?
Poker is very important to me, it became a job. All my friends, including my girl friend, are playing poker. I could even say poker is the most important, it is practically my life. Yet, if the mind game is on the first position, this doesn’t exclude the other priorities in my personal life, as golf or my friends. The relaxation, physical or not, the complete detachment from the poker environment are essential for a prop poker player. We have to recharge from time to time, just like everybody else. Ten or fifteen years ago I used to play 10 hours a day. All I could do is sleep, eat and play poker. Now, I am not playing as much, I think I have enough knowledge on poker, back then I used to spend half a day playing poker because I wanted to learn the rules. Now I have more time for myself and I’ m really enjoying my life.
What are your goals for the next years?
I want to be the first in everything I do. I am not playing for money; I want to stay on top of the pro poker history. Phill Ivery has a higher position, but I must win one more tournament and get even higher. I attend the World Series of poker to win the bracelets, this is my motivation now.
In all these years, since you have started playing poker, do you remember a memorable moment?
In 2001, within World Series of Poker at Main Event, I lost because of my opponent. I have started one of my hands with an ace and a king, cards that normally would announce a very good hand. The other player, a German, had a pair of six…he took a strange playing tactic (he laughs),, that determined me losing the pot. I remember this hand because back then there were over 8000 players and I don’t know if I will meet this chance again in my life.
Describe yourself in few words
When I’m not playing on the highest level, I am not as good as I can be. This could be considered my weakness. If there is not a large amount I don’t play well and I cannot concentrate. But this attitude doesn’t disappoint me, I stick with the situation. On the other hand, I think I am very good at analyzing the player’s psychology. I know exactly when they lie.
How was the European Poker Tour Vienna?
I was lucky at the beginning, but then I had this hand where I lost a lot of chips and I think that’s when my bad luck started at European Poker Tour Vienne.
How do you find the atmosphere at Regent Casino?
I was impressed. I had no idea this casino is so roomy and nice. It is clear, Sorin Constantinescu goes to Vegas every year, the casino has that particular influence… I have seen even electronic machines just like in Vegas. I didn’t expect this place to be so nice…
What does a pro poker player need to become champion?
A pro poker player needs three main qualities. The first- the ability to understand math, but this doesn’t require a big effort, you can learn it from a book. The second, very important quality is discipline. Today, if you lose, you must be calm, because if you cannot have control you cannot continue. It is important to know how to lose and to watch the game of the good opponents when they lose. This is the moment when you can see the real character of your opponents. You cannot describe the game tactic if you don’t see the opponent losing. The third element of the player is natural talent. At the same time, it is essential for the player to be able to decode the psychology of his opponents. This is the only way to know the decision they are about to take. If math and discipline can be assimilated, talent cannot be learnt.
Daniel “KidPoker”Negreanu is a legend of the international poker and member of Team Poker Stars Pro. He is number two on the top of the largest poker winnings of all times. Extremely popular, Daniel Negreanu is a real force of the poker environment. Thus, Negreanu doesn’t want to stop here, he wants to remain in history as the most longevive poker player placed on the first position of the top largest winnings of all time. This goal is determined by his competitive spirit, and not by financial criteria. He wants to be ”the number one”.