Hello once again Poker Junkie nation. With the 2010 WSOP just two weeks away, the buzz surrounding the upcoming WSOP is becoming deafening. I had the opportunity to speak with Daniel Negreanu about the upcoming WSOP including his thoughts on the $50,000 Player's Championship and his picks to do well during the series.
Compncards: What are your thoughts on the numerous $1,000 "donkament" events that are going on this year? You specifically mention that you will not play in any of those events. Is that due to your focus on other events or do you really feel the events are more "crapshoots" as they are sometimes referred to?
Daniel Negreanu: I don't think they are crapshoots at all really, in fact I think the structures for those events are probably a little bit too good. They weren't my idea, but I understand why they are so popular and why having them is a good idea. The economy hasn't fully recovered yet, and the $1000 events give the "little guy" a chance to be a part of the WSOP experience. I won't play in them, no, but that has more to do with me avoiding the big field no limit hold'em events and focusing on the other forms of poker where I feel my edge is bigger.
Compncards: Jeffrey Pollack resigned after the 2009 WSOP after successfully helping to grow the WSOP into one of the strongest poker brands in the world. Do you feel that the WSOP will miss his leadership, or are you happy with the current course the WSOP is headed down, and why?
Daniel Negreanu: I like Jeffrey, but I'm not concerned about his decision to resign, because the WSOP is still in great hands. Ty Stweart has also been instrumental in creating some of the most successful ideas related to the WSOP, and he is still there.
Compncards: Outside of the Main Event and the Players Championship, what would be the one bracelet event that you would want to take down and why?
Daniel Negreanu: Well, the toughest no limit hold'em event of the year will be the $25,000 NLH 6 max event and I've been practicing 6 max on PokerStars a lot recently with this event in mind.
Compncards: Most everyone that follows either your blog, or any of the major online poker news services, knows about your love of the new 8- game structure for the "Player's Championship." What is your thought on the comments made by some that a mixed structure such as 8-game should replace the Main Event?
Daniel Negreanu: Well the main event is only the main event in name. The buy in is smaller than probably 20 tournaments in the calendar year. I don't think the ME needs to change at all, but the idea that the winner of that one tournament is the "world champion of poker" has faded away with the likes of Jerry Yang and Jamie Gold winning it all.
Compncards: How much are you looking forward to this years Tournament of Champions? Based on your popularity, you would almost seem an automatic selection. If selected to participate, is this an event you would eagerly look forward to take down, or is this an event that's an "honor to participate in?"
Daniel Negreanu: Well, there is no bracelet on the line for that made for TV event, so it is not a priority for me at this point. I am thankful for the invite, but it takes a back seat to bracelet events for me.
Compncards: Besides yourself, who do you expect to have a monster year at the WSOP?
Daniel Negreanu: It's hard to say. I know that Erick Lindgren wants to bounce back from a tough year last year, and also Jennifer Harman is hungry to get her third bracelet.
Compncards: Who is someone that you look to break through and take down their first bracelet this year?
Daniel Negreanu: There are a few people that I think have a good shot at a bracelet. Jason Somerville is a name to watch in the NLH hold'em events for sure, but those are often big field events so they are tough to win. The other name everyone will be watching is obviously Annette Oberstad.
Compncards: Daniel, thank you for taking the time to talk to the poker junkie nation today. Hopefully the World Series of Poker 2010 turns out to be a multi-bracelet year for you.