Few poker players, if any, have had the staying power of Daniel Negreanu. He won his first World Series of Poker bracelet in 1998, and some 25 years later he’s still playing at an incredibly high level.
Fresh off a pair of strong results late in 2022 – a deep run in the record-setting WPT World Championship, and a fourth place finish in the WSOP Europe €25,000 High Roller – Negreanu made his first final table appearance of the year on Thursday. Event 7 of the PokerGO Cup, a $25,000 tournament, brought back five players vying for the title. And while Negreanu ultimately fell short of the title, in third place, he achieved a career milestone that only two other poker players have ever accomplished.
With the $124,000 cash, Negreanu passed $50 million in lifetime tournament cashes according to The Hendon Mob.
At 48 years old, he’s playing some of the best poker in his life and lending truth to an idea that makes a lot of sense – with fields like the ones the PokerGO Cup draws, iron sharpens iron.
“I’ve always had a deep admiration for what the young guys learn, you know, when they’re on their way up and trying to win money,” said Negreanu. “And I’ve never ever thought like, ‘Oh, my God, I’m so much better.’ But I felt like it’s always important to learn what they do. And now I just have extreme confidence that I can combine a knowledge of theory with all the years of experience I have, and I can succeed in any field.”
Negreanu’s self belief and confidence seem well-earned. He’s consistently challenged himself against the best of the best and the biggest fields throughout his career, and puts his money where his mouth is.
Before the start of the PokerGO Cup, Negreanu laid down the gauntlet with a yearlong challenge pitting himself against any other player participating in PokerGO Tour events throughout the year.
In what seems to be a clear message, the number of players ready to take up the challenge was sparse.
“I only have two bets,” Negreanu said. “And they’re both doing amazing. One is against Cary Katz, and one is against Alex Foxen. It’s a long year, but those are the only people who bet.”
It’s also fair to say few players are likely to put in the kind of volume Negreanu will at the PokerGO Studios over the next 11+ months. The combination of all the factors in play simply make these tournaments too good for this Hall of Famer to miss – especially when he’s playing as well as he is.
“I love it, because for me, I’m somebody who doesn’t want to travel,” Negreanu said. “You know, I did that when my early 20s, and I’m just happy to be home. And now there’s like a full schedule of events that I can play here at the studio. It’s the nicest place in the entire world to play. It’s a cool ass environment. And I get to play high stakes poker in pretty fast paced events. I love leaderboards and series stuff. There’s so many of them in play, and I’m gonna be vying for all of them in 2023.”