Negreanu's intentions are clear; he's chip leader in the €25K HR at PokerStars Championship presented by Monte-Carlo Casino®
Daniel Negreanu doesn't do anything by halves. From his 100% vegan diet and his recent transformation into a gym body, to his podcast and YouTube channel, and his work ethic as one of poker's greatest ambassadors.
Notice I've left the game of poker itself off that list. That's because why should I tell you how much effort and preparation Kid Poker puts into his game when he can tell you himself?
In his latest vlog (which you can watch at the bottom of this article), Negreanu gives you a glimpse into what life is like as one of poker's biggest names and biggest players. He starts off in Vegas - the place he calls home - before flying over to Monte Carlo to begin his PokerStars Championship with a €100K.
"Normally I come in, like, a day before, and have one day off. Here I have two. So that should really help me for the Super High Roller."
We get an interesting look into what it takes for a seasoned player like Negreanu to get himself mentally and physically prepared for a tournament with such high stakes and even higher prestige.
For his first day in Monte Carlo, he opts to play some online poker from the comfort of his hotel room. This is not only a way for him to get over any jetlag that's still lurking, but the online session gets his mind sharp and ready to play.
"Yesterday I spent the entire day, which was like eight hours, laying in bed playing 400/800 eight-game mix on PokerStars. It was a lot of fun; I really enjoy playing the mixed games. It's a good way to unwind.
"I don't get a lot of chance to play on PokerStars, living in the United States, so whenever I do get a chance, I try to take it."
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On game day, he starts off with a hike (Monte Carlo is situated at the bottom of a cliff; everything here is a hike!) up to tennis superstar Novak Djokovic's plant-based vegan restaurant, Eqvita. Despite confessing he's eaten too much, that doesn't stop him from hitting the gym for a shoulder and abs session.
Negreanu also then takes the chance to arrive on time for the start of play; something he doesn't usually do.
"I'm inspired to play," he says. "I've been doing a lot of study, and feel really good about this one."
What's fascinating in this video is how Negreanu approaches tournaments before he's even sat down. If you've followed Daniel at all over the past few years, you'll know that every year before the World Series of Poker, he releases a list of his goals for the summer. This always includes things like "win three bracelets", "play this many events", and "cash for $X".
But you might not know that Negreanu takes this approach for every specific tournament he plays.
"My intention for today [in the €100K] is to have a top five stack by the end of Day 1, and that will exceed 500K in chips, which would end the day for me with 100 big blinds, which is plenty to play with, especially with my approach.
"My intention for this tournament is to of course, late on Friday night, have the trophy in front of me. I'm visualising it now!"
And wouldn't you know it? After busting his first bullet, Negreanu re-entered and ended that Day 1 second in chips, with 864,000. That goal was achieved.
Of course, looking back now we know that the €100K Super High Roller in question didn't quite go to plan (he busted with two tables left). But Negreanu even looks on his elimination as a victory on his intentions.
"It's very frustrating because I thought I played really well throughout. It was fun, because there's a lot of really tough competition. But I really like the way that I was approaching each decision. I was just unfortunate, y'know? And that's the thing about tournament poker.
"I'm looking back now and looking at what worked and didn't work. What worked was focus. I definitely was engaged, I was really paying attention, I was thinking on a high level, I was aware of my competition and what I needed to do to compete with them. So all of those things went really well.
"What didn't work? Well, I didn't win. But I think everything worked. So that's good; I had an intention, which was to win the tournament, and that didn't happen. But did I do everything I could in order to win the tournament in terms of my preparation and everything like that? Yes."
A new High Roller
Negreanu is currently sitting atop the chip counts for the €25,000 High Roller here on Day 2. He had a great Day 1 yesterday, at the end of which he finished with 150,800.
He's already up to 255,000 and the time of writing, having won a big pot from the young UK superstar Charlie Carrel. On a 5♥7♥2♣J♠ board, Kid Poker led out for 25,000 and Carrel called to see the K♣ river. Negreanu continued for 55,000, and Carrel snap-called with his K♥J♥ for top two pair. That was no good though. Negreanu had the 2♥2♠.
There are 100 players left of the 171 entries. Negreanu leads them all right now.
He's crushing here. And his intentions are clear.
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For live updates from the €25K High Roller, visit PokerNews.
Take a look at the official website of PokerStars LIVE, with tournament schedule, news, results and accommodation details for the PokerStars Championship presented by Monte-Carlo Casino® and all other Festival and Championship events.
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Jack Stanton is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog.