WSOP 2011: Dream catching with Daniel Negreanu
Maybe it was some bad tofu that made Daniel Negreanu toss and turn in the night. Certainly something had sparked off a weird dream that saw him in a bit of a WSOP pickle. Having negotiated Day 1 of the Main Event, he found out that Day 2 was not to be held here in Las Vegas, but in one of three other spots: Cairo in Egypt, a second random north African destination, and Cannes in France. It left the Team PokerStars Pro just 48 hours to make his travel arrangements, so he booked his flight to Cannes. Trouble is, the random draw then placed him in Africa instead.
"Was yelling on the phone at them telling them I already had a flight to Cannes for day 2," he Tweeted. "But I drew N. Africa and was peeved!"
At that point, getting anxious about being able to take his place in the next stage of the main event, Negreanu woke up. In Vegas, and in the right place to take his seat in today's Day 1C field.
Now, I'm no psychologist able to dissect and analyse the real reason people dream such things. My inclination, however, would usually be this all-round weirdness was the result of someone being anxious about an event to come. If it were me due to be playing the WSOP main event today, it's likely that panic would have sparked all manner of night-time terrors.
But that can't be said of Negreanu, can it? Of course not. This is a man who feels so comfortable on the big poker stage that he could, well, almost do it in his sleep. Heck, he's got $14.6 million in tournament winnings. Titles, wealth, fame; the game has given him them all.
My logical conclusion, therefore, points to another event some months away from now. The World Series Of Poker Europe is to be held for the first time in Cannes this October, and Mr Negreanu has presumably been chewing over whether he wants to go or not. That explains the WSOP and Cannes links in his dream. I admit it does nothing to shed any light on the Cairo or North Africa part - maybe he just likes pyramids and camels.
Anyway, it's my theory and I'm sticking with it.
Back in the real world, Negreanu made it to the Rio today with plenty of time to spare in order to take his Day 1C seat. The latest news is that he has 30,175, a tiny increase on his starting stack of 30,000, but an increase nonetheless. He is, he says, feeling rather good about his table, one that he shares with former PokerStars EPT Grand Final winner Glen Chorny. Big hands have been few and far between, although he did win a decent pot slow playing kings.
It's still very early, but right now there's nothing to indicate Negreanu won't sleep well tonight.
* * * *
RANDOM FACT OF THE HOUR FROM THE OFFICIAL MEDIA GUIDE
The first student to win the World Series of Poker main event was Phil Hellmuth in 1989. He is apparently about to make his grand entrance.
TWEET OF THE HOUR
@VictoriaCoren: The gist: it's day 1 of the world's biggest poker tournament. My goal is simple: to get to the end of the day with more than 30k in chips.
@VictoriaCoren: Or just get to the end of the day at all, really.