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The Calm Before the Storm

by Daniel Negreanu |  Published: Aug 12, '10


I've had a bit of time to myself since the WSOP. Outside of shooting the Million Dollar Challenge, the only work I've done has been playing online and that's gone incredibly well. I'm on a bit of a heater winning 8 straight sessions for $454.836.50 over just 1870 hands. Sick rush. That brings my year total in that game to an all-time high, after 11,107 hands I'm ahead $257,041.80 which equates to 11.57 big blinds per 100 hands which isn't a rate I could maintain. I've been lucky recently, as my All In EV shows that I should only be +$138,194.86. Either way I'm so pumped about it!

The problem I'm facing in terms of getting in 50,000 hands by the end of the year, is that while a few months ago we could get 3 $100-$200 games going with 20 people on the list, in my last few sessions I've been playing 3 or 4 handed and the games aren't filling up. What that means, is that I'm going to be in even tougher games than I was playing before, so it's going to be even harder for me to show a profit long term. Playing 3 handed with the likes of nutsinho and Fisheye1984 on PokerStars isn't exactly what I'd call a "good spot." Those guys are pretty darn good.

Either way, this process has helped me look at the game in a new way and I find it really fun. I've obviously not done well on High Stakes Poker, but I will be back this season if they'll have me, and I feel as confident as ever going into it. I'm looking forward to seeing how I match up against those guys after all the work I've put in.


Million Dollar Challenge is by far my favorite show to shoot and I think it just might be the most important poker show on television. To fully understand why, first you have to wrap your head around the fact that it is a GAME show and not a poker show. There are contestants playing a watered down form of poker with high blinds and fast action. The reason I think this show is so important is that it reaches a poker audience that is totally new to the game. The more new people we bring into the game, the better it is for poker. Besides, the show is fun and entertaining!

The celebrities in the first round add a lot to the show because people who are, say, fans of John Elway, will tune in to see what the heck he is doing, and then maybe they'll stick around and go, "Hmmm, what is this game, seems like fun!" The formula really does work, and as we saw in season one, these guys could literally walk away with a million dollars. It's totally real drama, and life changing. Very different from watching a pro who paid a $10,000 buy in win a million dollar event on TV. These contestants would never, ever have an opportunity to win that kind of money in a poker tournament so the emotion you see is REAL and it can be touching.


On the 15th-20th we'll be shooting more episodes of The Big Game and I'll be playing in 3 of the 6 weeks and the lineups look fun and entertaining. If you haven't watched the show yet (what rock have you been living under) then you can also watch the episodes on I love this show also and it is definitely more geared towards the serious player. The website has a stats page that I spend lots of time looking at. Interesting stuff, even though the sample size is small.


I haven't been going out much, nor have I been golfing really, but that's all going to change. I went out to dinner the other night, had some drinks, then we ended up doing karaoke. I think it's super fun. Some people are "too cool" for karaoke, but I don't hang with people like that. A few of my favorite to sing:

"Stan" by Eminem
"Only God Knows Why" by Kid Rock
"Mama" by Boys II Men
"Pimpers Paradise" by Bob Marley (most places don't have that)
"You are Not Alone" by Michael Jackson
"More Than Words" by Extreme

I just like all these songs, plus there is usually meaning behind them as well. I find the story of Stan to be kind of chilling, Only God Knows Why reminds me of the days I used to hang out with Layne Flack, Mama is just a beautiful song that you should sing to your mother, etc.


I'm either going to the Bike after The Big Game shoot, or going to Thailand for an actual vacation. Never been there, and heard good things. My assistant is half Thai and so is one of my best friends Sam.

In September things get a bit crazy and I haven't put my schedule together yet, but when I do I'll post it in my blog. I'm doing WSOPE for sure as well as EPT London. I may also do a couple EPT's before that if I have time. After EPT London I'll be in Toronto for a few days for my hockey draft. I'm ready to get back on the road and do my thing... in the meantime, I'm going to do a bit of golfing, hang with some friends, and get prepped for The Big Game.

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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