Daniel Negreanu to U.S. poker players: Move out now

Daniel Negreanu’s advice to professional poker players living in the United States: Move out.

“I think people don’t have a choice; they have to move out of this country,” Negreanu told Covers.com. “The U.S. government has just basically said this is no longer a free country when it comes to poker, so they have that option."

The 36-year-old Toronto native is respected by fellow pros for a body of work that includes more than $14 million in tournament winnings, four World Series of Poker bracelets and two World Poker Tour titles.

Negreanu also is noted for having one of the sharpest minds in the business, and he has no shortage of opinions – nor a lack of willingness to share them -- when it comes to issues that affect his chosen field.

We caught up with Negreanu last weekend at the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino in Reno during the Nevada State Poker Championship. The poker pro shared his views on the potential impact of Black Friday – the April 15 arrests of online poker executives and shutdown of their services to American players – on the future of poker, as well as his take on the upcoming World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.    

Q: What do you think the short- and long-term impacts Black Friday will have on poker? 


A: Well you know, the truth is, there are still a lot of free countries across the world like Iran (laughs), all over Europe and Canada, where Internet poker still will thrive. I think a lot of people will move, leave this country and pay taxes in another country.

I think a lot of money is still tied up online, and I think you’re going to see a whole bunch of young, 20-something guys who are really geniuses entering a job market that is already crowded and taking jobs from other people.
 
So this isn’t just going to affect poker players, it’s going to affect other people who are going to be less qualified than some of these really intelligent guys.
 
We’ve really screwed up in a monstrous way; it’s not just the 100,000 people out of jobs in this country, it’s all the other people who are going to be shut out of jobs.

Q: How viable of an option is it for players to move out of the country to play online poker legally? Are a lot of players seriously considering this option?

A: I think for a lot of the young guys, if you don’t have a family, you’re not tied down, make an experience out of it. I recommend people moving.

I am actually going to get a place in Toronto in downtown so I can play online, because to stay current and stay ahead of the curve, playing online poker is really a great place to practice.

Q: Would it behoove some players to just take a wait-and-see approach regarding the potential legalization of online poker in the U.S.?

A: I don’t know how long it’s going to take for poker to get regulated (in the U.S.), but it would seem like a real no-brainer for it to happen eventually. But I have no idea on a timetable as to when.
 
Q: Were you surprised at the timing of Black Friday, or that it happened at all?

A: Actually, a lot of people heard rumors that it was going to happen a year ago, but nothing did. But it seems as though the Department of Justice was working on this case for over a year and finally sprung it on everyone.

The timing is really interesting because there was so much positive talk about poker being legalized. The Wynn made an affiliation with PokerStars, Nevada has legislation for it and Washington said it would be legal.
 
So it’s really shocking that it happened at this time, and raised a lot of questions about why it’s happening now and things like that. People are suspicious.

Q: What percentage of your poker career was devoted to playing online, and how much of your income did it account for?

A: Well, it took me a while to get good at it; in the beginning I was a losing player online. I had to make the adjustment. Part of the way I played poker was the ability of looking at people in the face, and losing that ability caused me to learn to play the game in a completely new way.

Only in the last year did I really start to get good at it. But it really wasn’t a big part of my income; it was just a big part of me staying current.
 
Q: Will attendance at the upcoming World Series of Poker provide an accurate barometer as to the overall impact of Black Friday on poker?
 
A: I really think the numbers will be down at WSOP across the board. If you can’t have online satellites … that’s what made that event so big.

Because you don’t have 7,000 or 8,000 people willing to put up $10,000 to play in that event. So you have guys who were putting in $40 or $200, and they can’t do that anymore.

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Posted by monopoly
3 years ago

Please move to Iran, kid annoying poker
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Posted by highoctane3
3 years ago

daniel is a great poker player no doubt. but i wish he would come out and tell the truth about online poker how corrupt and crooked these sites really are. and i am not just talking about one site
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Posted by indigentbum
3 years ago

Who cares about weasel boy and his loss of endorsement money, and murdering your prostate for hours or days at a time with the goal of grinding out 73$. The more important issue is that sports wagering outside Nevada will NEVER EVER, thats once again in eeeever johnny, be a fully legitimate industry in the good oool land of the free. What you clueless rampaging freedom fighters need to understand is that no one who has any influence over these matters gives two shakes of a shit stick about poker or sports wagering or any other online gambling enterprises, neither does the average American redneck of puritan lineage. Now get your degenerate monkey asses back to your bar room bookie and get down on the team your covers "expert" told you to play...he will be charging -115 these days the mortgage robo lender is foreclosing on his home.
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Posted by TimEliteBettor
3 years ago

Half these comments are true and the other half just plain bullshit. Dan is not much different that a lot of known players, He had a hot run and used his mouth to stay in the limelight. That seems to be what got him his Pokerstars deal which has been said to be around 4 million a year! So yes, his poker winners are not what pays his bills. So, what actually constitutes a professional poker player? I always knew a pro as someone that made his living (majority of income) at it or in the real old days, as someone that accepted money for their play. A golf amateur in the US Open finished in the money but could not except it or he/she would lose their amateur standing. With that all said, I would guess the word “PRO” is way over used and misunderstood. There are 1,000’s of players grinding out a grand or so a week which is their only income. Matter of fact, Dan has mentioned on several occasions that is around the stakes he started and went broke on many occasions and had to gather up a new bankroll to restart his “job”.
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Posted by Mike41082
3 years ago

Daniel Negranu isnt moving anywhere, hes full of shyt... hes hurting because he makes all his $$$ from being a poker stars representative... He got lucky playing a few tournaments early in his life and won millions, I guarantee that luck has turned around somewhat and his advertising/investment income far outweighs his poker income now-a-days. The real story is that he has to say what he is saying because the American Market being off limits to pokerstars is a huge blow to business... ... and I do play poker and sports gamble (im up 2.5% right now for the yr on both), I do believe their is skill in both and do believe I should be able to do anything with my own money that I please... but just like in all gambling, the determining factors are $ management and luck, wither its poker, craps, BJ, or the horses... so moving to another country because you cant play poker online anymore? come on, I seriously doubt it.
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Posted by RNSCrecords
3 years ago

If you think Daniel Negreanu is just a lucky guy, then you obviously don't follow poker too closely. He's one of the greatest players of our time.
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Posted by Syddigs
3 years ago

It might not behoove a player like yourself who pats himself on the back for being up 2.5% to change countries, but Negreanu is talking about the people who make a living out of playing online poker. It would make sense for them to move to another country and play online poker in a country where it is legal. Secondly, you don't know how Negreanu fairs in cash games outside of tournaments so you are merely guessing how and where he earns the bulk of his cash. I mean you couldn't even spell his name right, so how the fuck can you comment on how much cash he has and how he earns it. One thing guaranteed is that he has more moeny than you and I will ever hope to see.
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Posted by Mike41082
3 years ago

i didnt say he was JUST a lucky guy, read again
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Posted by Mike41082
3 years ago

I didnt "pat myself on the back" for being up 2.5%, I said thats what I was, just like Im sure there were yrs where I was down -500%+ and up 500%+, just havnt gone on a unbelievable tear like he did, yet... I dont know how much he makes from cash games no, I was more or less just using common sense that his day job of being a spokesman for a multi-billion dollar company pays pretty well... sorry
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Posted by picks77
3 years ago

I agree with him. I believe moving is the only reasonable option left. I am a sports gambler and not a poker player, I am fed up. I should be able to spend my money anyway I can, tax my winnings if u want but let me spend it the way I want. Why is it different for me to spend a 1k on dinner and drinks in one night vs. taking the Heat for 1k ? You the government shouldn't get to tell me. Costa Rica here I come.
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Posted by magicman1642
3 years ago

ya 14 million in winnings, your pretty brutal daniel. come on home to your free country, and when you get here dont worry about the price of gas, because A: you can afford it and B: people up north know how to drive bikes.
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Posted by magicman1642
3 years ago

you keep playing and enjoying all the other poker rooms that you are still aloud to play in your great country. very strange how you think its legit that someone can tell you what to do.
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Posted by alling
3 years ago

If playing online is good for practice why move to Canada with so many other poker rooms still open in the US? He's is just looking for an excuse to go back to Canada hoping his luck will change at the tables. Wont help Daniel. You suck.
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Posted by panteraa
3 years ago

i bet he makes more on his plugs for poker stars than he does playing on line. lets face it playing on line is the same as playing the slots, they pay out so much and thats it.
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Posted by Canucklehead33
3 years ago

1129ken... you're a douche. Well once we get that fancy internet service we've heard the world talk about installed in our igloos, watch out! Online poker we come! P.S. - I probably know more about American politics than you do. Funny thing in Canada... we learn about American, European, Asian & African histories... f*ckin, crazy isn't it? Not living in a bubble. P.S.S. - no offense to all my family & buddies in the US. Like all countries, the voice of an ignorant few too often drowns out the voice of the kind many.
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Posted by UnderandOver
3 years ago

It gets used far too often SJP... P.S... I always think that horse Sarah Jessica Parker everytime I read your posts. Thanks alot! :)
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Posted by voits67
3 years ago

Go Canucks....
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Posted by happyshine
3 years ago

welcome back home Daniel ^^ time to meet up with some old friends.
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Posted by Gabbo
3 years ago

Why not? There are plenty of online pros and now essentially, they're out of a job. What's the difference in relocating to Canada to restart your job? The future of poker and sports gambling is in huge trouble. This was a major step backwards for our freedoms. Everyone's going to return to the backrooms and bookies. Even when it eventually comes back, there will be tax involved. There will be no way for you to win money. You will have to overcome, juice, rake, and taxes.
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Posted by 1129ken
3 years ago

Why would anyone ask this guy about when poker will be legalized in the USA ? The only thing stupider than asking is his thinking he should say anything other than " How the hell would I know " ? So we should all abandon the USA because this Canadian says we should ? To go where ? Canada ? Yeah, there's an idea. Tell you what. I'll meet you there.
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Posted by SarahJPhilli
3 years ago

The irony of using the term "stupider" is awesome.
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Posted by Syddigs
3 years ago

It sounds like Daniel's Iran comment really got to you. Where did he suggest people moving to Canada? He mentioned he will be buying a place in Toronto and it makes sense as he is a Toronto native. I doubt Canada would let a dumb fuck like you in the country anyway. Secondly, why not ask a guy who has been involved in the poker industry for over a decade? Is 10+ years experience in the business too much for you to handle? Perhaps ask a friend to read the article and explain it for you. You are dumber than a Ken doll.
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Top Response

Posted by TimEliteBettor
3 years ago

"Half these comments are true and the other half just plain bullshit. Dan is not much different that a lot of known players, He had a hot run and used his mouth to stay in the limelight. That seems to be what got him his Pokerstars deal which has been..."