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I've hit 10,000 hands at $100-$200 on PokerStars

by Daniel Negreanu |  Published: Jul 25, '10


As promised, after the WSOP I said I'd be playing more NLH online and working on improving. Over a small sample size I've been up, down, up, down, and back to even again. Most of the people who critique my play mostly say that you need to have at least a 50,000 hand sample size before being able to assert any meaning to it. So my goal is to get to 50,000 hands played by December 31st, 2010 and hopefully show some sort of profit.

Most people flatly say that I don't stand a chance at those stakes. Most everyone is convinced it cannot be done. I love a challenge! I'm not saying I will succeed, but there is something poetic about looking into the eye of the storm and tackling it head on to see what you are made of. I'm taking it pretty seriously and when I do that I always feel like I have a chance.

Poker is still my job and I want to be good at it. Not just good, I want to be the best I can be at it. It's been a learning curve, but I've made great strides both online and live with my 6max NLH game. I came 15th in the $2500 NLH 6 max at the WSOP and also came in 11th in the $25,000 NLH 6 max event. I had a shot in both of those.

I also fared well on The The Big Game show and I'm looking forward to the next taping this August. There are still three weeks of shows that have yet to air and I'll appear on two of the three.

My online play took a nose dive before the WSOP and then when I first started again I proceeded to donk off about $84,000. Since then it's been a hot streak and overall I'm up about $80,000 since my return.

For the year I've played 10,009 hands and I'm -$751.50. An important stat that gauges pure luck in All in situations actually shows that I rated to be +$10,693.20. I like that stat because it's a far more accurate barometer of skill then the actual result. Early on when I was winning, I was on the other side of the All in EV calculator. At one point I think I was +1$80,000 in actual money, but my all in EV was closer to +$80,000. Essentially what that means was that I was running far better than average in terms of luck when all in and no further decisions could be made.

So I'm just excited as can be and very proud of myself for putting in the work. I don't really "have to" in terms of financial security, but it's important to me. I wouldn't play this game if I didn't want to be a winner.

While the WSOP was a grind, I'm ready to go back to the grind both online, on The Big Game show, and then hitting the road to LA for the Bike followed by WSOP Europe and EPT London. I plan on immersing myself into poker both online and occasionally in Bobby's Room if there is a game.

Poker gives me "wings" if you will. I've been a bit blah/bored lately, but the grind makes me hungry and I plan on continuing.

While this hasn't been my best year results wise, I'm very proud of myself for "hanging in" there despite going through a lot over the past year. Tomorrow is my 36th birthday and it will be the first time I don't hear the words "I love you, happy birthday" from my mother. I miss her more now than I did when she passed away.

I've had my fair share of personal issues to deal on top of that, stuff I simply won't talk about in my blog, but even with all that I've been able to do the best I can at the tables and I'm very happy about that. 10 years ago there is just no chance I would have been able to handle it. I would have done what I always did when I was young and had problems: have a few drinks and spread my bankroll around the table for all to share!

Not anymore. I'm much stronger now in every way. I'm a better player, more mature, and am much more aware of the pitfalls stress can have on your poker game. I've truly done the best I could this year and I am satisfied with that. In the end, all that really matters is that I'm content, since I am my own worst critic. No poker forum can hold a candle to the kind of pressure I put on myself to succeed. In fact, that stuff just fuels the fire for me.


On a separate note:

Congrats to Eddy Sabat, you did it kid! His ugly mug made it's way onto the lobby of PokerStars this week for leading the TLB. He told me he was going to grind his butt off to try and accomplish that goal this week, and I just got the news that he's done it. Awesome man, good job.


As I mentioned previously, my birthday is tomorrow and I don't think I'll do anything different than I have been. Veg on the couch, do my P90X workout, and maybe play some more online poker. There is nothing really going on in Vegas at the moment and most of my friends are all out of town so I'll likely be hanging with Mushu. I've always hated birthdays anyway to be honest.

I had a bit of an epiphany that's been escaping me these last two weeks and it occurred to me late last night before I went to bed . Call it WSOP hangover, or what you will, but it just came to me that "I've done the best I could. I've given it my all and I have to be satisfied with that regardless of the results."

Not a bad way to live life in general. If you always do the best you possibly can- then that really is enough. I've done that, and it's important to come to terms with the fact that the results (in both life and in poker) are often out of your hands. If your best isn't good enough for some people, then so be it. You can't let that affect how you view yourself or you are doomed!

Daniel Negreanu is the 2004 CardPlayer Magazine and World Poker Tour Player of the Year. He presents his poker strategies in one-on-one virtual training at and writes a weekly syndicated newspaper column.
Read all of Daniel Negreanu's poker blog and poker articles at Full Contact Poker.

Any views or opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ownership or management of
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