WSOP 2015: Don't count Kid Poker out yet
I was prepared to let Daniel Negreanu go to his trailer and steam during the last break. We had scheduled this interview last night, but by the time the first full break happened today, Negreanu's stack had dwindled down below the six million mark, far below the 40 million he hoped to end the day with.
So, I was going to let him go off and do his thing, but he motioned for me to follow. He was probably the most excited I'd seen him all day. He flew down the back hallway of the Rio with reporter Remko Rinkema struggling to keep pace.
"I'm the most awake I've been since the Main Event started," he said to Rinkema. "I'm ready to use all the moves that I got stored up."
Honestly, I wasn't sure if I believed him, so when Rinkema peeled off, I wondered if Negreanu might send me on my way.
"Walk and talk?" he said.
We bolted out of a locked door into the sunshine where Negreanu opened up his trailer and stepped into the air conditioning. The news was on the TV, but Negreanu paid it no mind. He was actually excited to talk about the day he'd had so far. His state of mind was far different than I expected.
"I feel pumped up. Every pot right now is so meaningful," he said. "I'm not in chill/relax mode. Every one matters. It gets your blood flowing a little more."
Negreanu washed his hands and pulled out some tofu and vegetable kabobs. He chewed while he talked. His day so far had not been the best. He'd played and lost a pot worth more than seven million with pocket eights versus pocket aces. Though it was a tough spot, he continued to hold on.
"I'm really just mapping out the table and figuring out which spots I can exploit in different ways," he said.
He didn't want to elaborate on that, because he knows his opponents are reading. He doesn't plan to give anything away.
We talked about more--his plans for the rest of the summer, his health, his "old school" style play, and Justin "stealthmunk" Schwartz--but those stories will have to wait for now. Negreanu is back at his table and trying to turn five million chips into 40 million and a November Nine berth, and we want to see what he does next.
Brad Willis is the PokerStars Head of Blogging. Photography by PokerPhotoArchive.com