Lederer Apology More About Negreanu Growth than Howard Remorse
If you follow poker at all - or at least some of the major news in the poker world - you've likely heard about the "apology" issued by former Full Tilt Poker bigwig Howard Lederer.
If you haven't heard, head over to FullContactPoker.com and check out Daniel Negreanu's latest blog.
Negreanu chose to be the vehicle through which Lederer issued his apology for his poor oversight of Full Tilt's financial management, and when I first heard this from a third-party source I thought it was a troll by Negreanu.
As I read the post it became clear that it wasn't a troll and rather an attempt by Lederer to "set things right." I largely glossed over the apology as I am with those that believe that he is only doing this to try to worm his way back into poker.
However, what I would rather talk about how that it appears that Daniel Negreanu has done quite a bit of growing up over the last few years.
Never Biggest Fan of Daniel the Person
I've often been classified as a Daniel Negreanu hater in the past because I didn't drink from the same kool-aid that most did.
Many gave Negreanu a pass due to his "poker ambassadorship," even if some of his behavior was borderline abusive.
He even commented on one incident during his recent blog. A few years back, Negreanu recommended that Lederer be handled "Vegas style" over his involvement with Full Tilt.
Looking back, he said that he would have handled that differently and acted more mature about the situation.
If you had told me a few years back that Daniel was going to recant a past statement without being forced by PokerStars or another party, I would have laughed at you. Back then, I viewed him as Daniel NeDouche.
In recent years even I have noticed a change in Negreanu -- and for the better.
Just How Powerful is Choice Center?
Back in 2013 Daniel started talking about his experiences with a Las Vegas-based personal development company called Choice Center.
At the time, I was in the middle of a gig with Ivey Poker and heard a bit about the program through some of the management.
Since that time I have noticed a different Daniel Negreanu than I have seen over the years. He is still outspoken, outgoing and one of the best poker players in the world. That hasn't changed.
What has changed is that he now puts extra thought and consideration into what he says, how he says it and the things that he does. In essence he has become an older and perhaps wiser person than he was before, and his poker continues to improve as a result.
How much did the Choice Center have to do with this change? I really don't know. However, I notice patterns. It was around the time that he got involved with the Choice Center that I saw this noticeable change in Negreanu.
I'm a person that doesn't believe that people REALLY change that much unless something catastrophic happens or they make a conscious effort to do so.
In the case of Negreanu I believe he has made an effort to be a better person and to "think before he speaks." That's something I can respect and I will admit that I have newfound respect for Daniel in recent years.
Lederer Blog Shows How Far Daniel Has Come
In my opinion the Howard Lederer blog was less about his apology and more about how far Daniel has come in recent years.
He took responsibility for his previous statements, admitted he was wrong and found a way to let something go that many will be unable to.
I don't think the Daniel Negreanu of 1995, 2005 or maybe even 2012 would have been able to do that.
It shows how far he has come as a person and as a poker ambassador.
In the past, my take on Negreanu was "He is an amazing player...but..." Now, I'm beginning to drink the kool-aid that maybe he really is poker's premier ambassador.