Daniel Negreanu – What Do We Know About Him?

Johnny Moss, Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth, Erik Siedel, Phil Ivey – poker has its own legends, each of them having earned his reputation at the table. However, few are so well-known as Daniel Negreanu, who has left a distinct trace with his writing and social activity. His friendly mug is such a frequent sight during events that most poker fans have grown rather familiar with him. Love him or hate him, but Negreanu is deservedly considered one of the greatest. If you are interested in learning more about him, and how he climbed to the summit of the poker world, then take a look at our fact-file and find all about his net worth, love life, poker successes, movie roles and social messages.
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Daniel Negreanu Net Worth

Here’s the million-dollar question! Or several million, actually. Nobody knows just how much money Daniel Negreanu has acquired – that’s private information, and you shouldn’t believe anyone claiming the opposite. People have been trying to make an approximate estimate based on his winnings though, with quite mixed results. Some sites would claim that he has around $12 million on his bankroll, while others reach a figure closer to $50 million. The difference between these sums is not that big – if we conveniently ignore the large number of zeroes behind each figure.

‘From the age of four, I thought I’d be rich. I told my mom I’d build a house out of Popsicle sticks, and move to California.’ – Daniel Negreanu

The truth is, as always – somewhere in the middle. If you sit down and start calculating the net difference between Negreanu’s tournament wins and losses, then you will arrive to a sum closer to $12 million. However, there’s a slight problem with this line of thought – the crafty Canadian has a lot of additional sources of income. His quick wits have ensured him a huge popularity and turned him into one of the faces of the poker game, which is tied with a lot of sponsorship and appearances in TV shows, live streams and even movies! Negreanu has also proven to be quite a proliferate writer and claims to have been busy with investments in the last few years. Maybe his net worth hasn’t reached $50 million quite yet, but we suspect that this figure is a much more accurate representation of his success.

This is no small feat for a guy who started his life in Toronto as the smallest child in a family of Romanian immigrants. He doesn’t quite make our list of richest gamblers in the world, but the competition is rather heavy at the top. The truth is that there are players that excel more than Daniel in poker, while other gamblers outpace him with sports betting or stock investments. It is his unique persona and lifestyle that set him apart from the rest and allow him to leave a lasting legacy of his own.

Daniel Negreanu Got Broke

Daniel Negreanu Early Years

Yeah, that’s right. Before earning fame as ‘Kid Poker’ and winning the World Series of Poker (WSOP) in 1998, Negreanu lost his entire bankroll in Las Vegas.

The lad was born in Toronto during 1974; it seems he had grand ambitions since a very young age, for he claims in one of his many interviews that he unveiled a wild popsicle dream to his mother when he was only four years old. Being naturally good with maths and statistics, and greatly interested in gambling, he decided to follow his dreams and become a pro player when he was 21. He left high school, packed up, withdrew all his lifesavings, and set out for Las Vegas.

Where he failed. Miserably.

‘Even when I went broke, I woke up the next day ready to kick ass.’ – Daniel Negreanu

Anyone interested in becoming a professional gambler should be prepared for a lot of hardships on the way. Learning the trade can be hard, and those planning to make money entirely from gambling will face lean times at some points of their careers no matter how good they are. Even the infamous card-counting experts from the MIT Blackjack Team freely admit that there were many evenings when they would be playing at a loss.

The important thing for Negreanu was that he did not give up after his first unsuccessful attempt. He returned to Toronto and worked his ass off gathering a new bankroll and polishing his skills. It took him three years before he finally managed to make his big breakthrough, becoming the youngest man in history to win the WSOP – and ever since, the world has known him as ‘Kid Poker’.

List of Honours

To become a part of the Poker Hall of Fame, you need to swim with the big fish. As you could imagine, his CV doesn’t lack with tournaments. We won’t bother with listing all of his achievements, since this guy has probably been to more tournaments than he can remember. Here are his most famous wins at the World Series of Poker, the World Poker Tour and some other tournaments:

Daniel Negreanu – Most Famous Wins
Tournament Year Prize Money
WSOP $2,000 Pot Limit Hold’em 1998 $169,460
WSOP $2,000 S.H.O.E. 2003 $100,440
WSOP $2,000 Limit Hold’em 2004 $169,100
WPT $10,000 Borgata Poker Open 2004 $1,117,400
WPT $15,000 Five Diamond World Poker Classic 2004 $1,795,218
WSOP $2,000 Limit Hold’em 2008 $204,874
British Columbia Poker Championships 2008 C$371,910
WSOP A$10,000 No Limit Hold’em Main Event 2013 A$1,038,825
WPT €25,600 High Roller No Limit Hold’em 2013 € 725,000
SCOOP $5,200 PL Omaha 2013 $216,000
WSOP The Big One for One Drop (2nd Place) 2014 $8,288,001

His Love Life Also Makes the Headlines

It would seem that at the time Daniel Negreanu dedicated himself to poker – when he was 16 – he also decided that he liked women very much. This conviction seems to have carried over, because his love life has turned into quite the tale – being a big-shot poker star tends to help in this regard, even though Daniel has stated that he has dated women without unveiling that he is famous, at least until random strangers blow his cover when asking to take photos.

When he was 16, Negreanu started dating Evelyn Ng from Toronto – the name might be familiar to you, because she is one of the better-known Canadian poker pros, and Negreanu played a part in that. Even though they split up relatively early in their lives, they remained fast friends and he helped her hone her skills and win a landmark second place at the WPT in 2003. However, unlike another famous gambling duo, Phil Ivey and the ‘Queen of Sorts’, they have never gotten into advantage play such as edge sorting – or in the very least, they didn’t get caught!

Daniel Negreanu Girlfriend

After Negreanu burst onto the big scene as ‘Kid Poker’, all of his girlfriends have been under the spotlight – and these ladies make up quite the list. The guy actually got married in 2005 to Lori Lin Weber from Michigan, but they got divorced in 2007 citing his busy schedule as a reason. Since there were no scandals the media hardly got any whiff of that, as Negreanu announced it via a blog post. And while we’re mentioning Michigan, now it’s a good time to recommend you to check out one of our latest US gambling-related articles about the best Michigan online casinos.

After the end of his marriage, the poker star quickly hooked up with American Pie starlet Shannon Elizabeth Fadal, followed by PokerStars hostess Amanda Leatherman, she of the sunny smile. Things did not end sunny with Leatherman though, which meant that Negreanu sought solace in the embrace of Krisztina Polgar, also known as ‘Miss Earth Hungary’. By 2013 he was single once again and he took part in the sixth season of hit reality show Millionaire Matchmaker, supposedly looking for a girl with a personality ‘like Anna Faris’. Unfortunately for him, the Scary Movie starlet was not part of the cast, but he got matched with a blonde hottie named Lindsay Blalock. Their relationship would fizzle out rather quickly, even though the first dates were tracked on national TV.

‘Around 2011, I was in love with Amanda Leatherman, when she broke my heart. It was a very humbling experience. Coupled with the death of my mother I started to read Eckhart Tolle books, and speak to someone professionally.’ – Daniel Negreanu

What about Daniel Negreanu’s current girlfriend though? Is he single or taken?

Well, things have gotten a lot more mysterious since the TV crews stopped following him around, but our female readers shouldn’t be getting their hopes up. In 2014 Negreanu got together with hairstylist Marissa Rachelle Rodney after meeting her at a charity event, and things seemed to be going rather rosy. There has been a rather suspicious lack of updates on that front recently, which has led some sites to speculations – but with Daniel being on the wrong side of forty, perhaps he has genuinely… settled down?

Books, Media and Streaming

Even if you are not really fascinated by poker and it does not rank as your top gambling game, we are somehow sure that you saw Negreanu’s face at least once. After all, he is one of the most active and followed players. Let’s say that he is a superstar when it comes to poker and gamblers all over the world look up to him.

Daniel Negreanu in Media

In 2007, Daniel decided to write a book following the example of Edward Thorp – remember him, the guy that topped our list of the greatest casino cheats by using only his math skills? Thorp’s Beat the Dealer became one of the most sold gambling books ever and brought him significant profits. Most great players have been trying to emulate his success, and Negreanu is no exception.

He was rather prolific in his short writing stint, coming out with Hold’em Wisdom for all Players, Power Hold’em Strategy and More Hold’em Wisdom for all Players. His books have been a huge hit with poker players around the world. However, there hasn’t been anything new from him since 2008 – it would seem that he switched his attention to more modern platforms and prefers to deliver his messages directly to the fans. He is very active on Facebook, twitter and Instagram, and even runs a YouTube channel.

‘The majority of players are looking for reasons to fold. I am looking for reasons to play.’ – Daniel Negreanu

His increased popularity turned him into a frequent guest of poker-related TV shows both as a player and as a commentator. He’s also been much sought after by leading reality shows; putting his appearance in Millionaire Matchmaker aside, he also took the role of a mentor in Fox Reality’s Rob and Amber: Against the Odds. In 2015, a whole documentary was dedicated to him by Netflix. The title? Kid Poker of course!

In fact, as a child Daniel Negreanu wanted to be an actor when he grew up – presumably this stage came at some point after his popsicle house dream. This is another thing that the poker star achieved – he’s actually had cameos in several Hollywood blockbusters. If you pay attention to details, you can see him playing poker with Gambit in X-Men Origins: Wolverine – he even had the audacity to give Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine a glare when he tried to interrupt them!

Negreanu also appeared with several other poker pros in Lucky You, and in the weird improv comedy The Grand – both from 2007.

Hobbies, Lifestyle and Social Messages

Daniel Negreanu Hobbies

Considering all his public appearances, Negreanu has cultivated a rather strong image throughout the years. However, there is a subtle difference between the easygoing image that we see in poker-shows, and the real man behind. So, what do we know about Daniel Negreanu the person?

Well, one of the first things that spring to mind is the fact that he is vegan. Negreanu gave up meat in 2000 and went completely vegan six years later. He has been rather vocal about his lifestyle choice, and some people consider him a tad condescending in that regard.

If you happen to be following his posts, you would also know that Negreanu is also an avid Hearthstone fan. Considering the current eSports betting craze, he is probably making some money off it too. His skills seem to have transferred to the fantasy deck-builder, because he has achieved the much-coveted Legendary status.

Among his other passions are golf and pool – in fact, before turning to poker, he was seriously considering a professional pool player career. These match comments also seem to suggest that he is a Roger Federer fan, even though there has been little confirmation to that, and the main connection between the two stars thus far has been the question who earns more.

Even though he may come out as somewhat condescending, Daniel Negreanu seems to be a genuinely nice guy. His charity work is well-documented, and it seems that it is not just for show. Negreanu believes that helping others should give you a warm feeling to be cherished – ‘fuzzies’, as he tends to call it. He is part of many organizations like ‘Ante Up for Africa’, runs a charity golf event, and the message that he delivers to young people worldwide – no matter whether it comes from the heart or not – is a good one. Oh, and since we are sure that you are as fascinated by him as we are, you might be interested to know about Negreanu’s vlog about WSOPE 2019!

‘There is something about humanity and giving that I want to feel. Writing a check for $500 and not having any connection to it doesn’t have the same allure as seeing with my own eyes the change it could make. Anytime you do something for someone, you also feel good about it, so it’s not a selfless act.’ – Daniel Negreanu

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