DANIEL NEGREANU LAUGHS. HE LAUGHS A LOT. AND WHY SHOULDN’T HE? THE MAN THEY CALL KID POKER HAS WON SIX WORLD SERIES OF POKER BRACELETS (AT PRESS TIME), IS THE ONLY TWO-TIME WSOP PLAYER OF THE YEAR AND HAS MORE POKER TOURNAMENT WINNINGS THAN ANY OTHER PERSON IN HISTORY. AS THE GAME’S MOST POPULAR PLAYER, AFFABLE NEGREANU HAS APPEARED ON REALITY TV SHOWS, HAD CAMEOS IN HOLLYWOOD BLOCKBUSTERS AND WAS RECENTLY FEATURED IN THE DOCUMENTARY KIDPOKER. SO IF YOU GET THE FEELING THAT NEGREANU IS EVERYWHERE AND HE’S WINNING EVERYTHING, THAT SEEMS ABOUT RIGHT. THE POKER SUPERSTAR RECENTLY SAT DOWN WITH HUSTLER AT HIS LAS VEGAS HOME, WHERE, OVER VEGAN DONUTS AND KALE SMOOTHIES, HE TOLD US HOW POKER IS CHANGING, WHY HE BECAME AN AMERICAN CITIZEN (LET’S JUST SAY IT WASN’T TO SUPPORT THE DONALD) AND WHO HE IMAGINES WILL WIN THIS YEAR’S WORLD SERIES OF POKER MAIN EVENT. (A CLUE? IT’S HIM.)
HUSTLER: Your interview intro will feature a photo of you dancing onto a stage in a shiny suit, surrounded by cheering fans and circus performers. So that’s Daniel Negreanu’s life?
DANIEL NEGREANU: That’s me entering the stage to play for 15 million dollars, the final table of the 2014 One Drop. Came in second place. I had to settle for 8.3 million [laughs].
Part of your $30 million in tournament earnings?
Thirty-two million, I think. Not that anyone’s counting.
With the World Series of Poker winding down, talk about the state of the game in 2017.