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Long Time No Chat!

by Daniel Negreanu |  Published: Dec 08, '11


The two month long trip to Europe absolutely drained me both mentally and physically. On the last leg of that trip, EPT San Remo, I played good for the first three hours or so, then just collapsed and had no interest/energy to continue. I was spent, and played terribly, hoping to either get lucky and double up, or catch the next flight home. I can't remember the last time I mailed in a tournament like that, but I just didn't have it.

I definitely needed a break from the game... so I took one. I started working on "Me." I got on a schedule where I was waking up at 8am and doing Bikram Yoga everyday, doing some reading, more specifically an Eckhart Tolle book that I'm rereading called "A New Earth." The book is really deep, and I'll probably read it at least once a year for the rest of my life as a reminder of what I've learned, and what I continue to learn.

I also started volunteering in the kitchen at, a great organization that feeds thousands of needy kids in Las Vegas. I plan to do a lot more in the coming year to help them, both with fund raising efforts as well as hands on work in the kitchen. This coming Thursday I'm doing Extreme 107.5 locally, and listeners will have the chance to have dinner with me, along with a poker tourney/lesson sometime in January. This is no joke, but for every $1 donated Three Square can provide three nutritious meals for kids in Vegas. The place is run like a well oiled machine. I'm super impressed with how well the program is run and I promise you, they do a lot of good. If you plan on donating, and hope to join me for the dinner/poker lesson, I promise you we will have a blast! We'll do Vegas up right.

My focus really isn't on poker at the moment, and that's not something I feel the need to apologize for. I've worked hard in this industry for many years, both at the tables and away from the felt, and I needed a little time for me, so I took it. I'm sure that fire and passion will resurface, I'm way too competitive of a person for that not to be the case, but it wasn't really there in the WPT event this week. I played OK, pretty good actually, but I'd rate my focus at about a D.

Tomorrow is a small field $100,000 buy in event at Bellagio. I never really felt very excited about playing, and I still don't really feel gung ho about entering, but I think I'm going to give it a go anyway. I played two $100k buy in events this year, finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively, my only two really good results in what was otherwise a bad year for me tournament wise. Those two cashes were worth $1,500,000 and that pretty much sums up all my highlights for the year, outside of a strong showing in the WCOOP where I had 15 cashes and placed 3rd in the race for player of the series.
In the last Bellagio 100k, I felt similarly to the way I do now. I wasn't going to play unless they got at least 27 players. The event started at noon, and at about 3:30pm they hit that number so I showed up at 4pm and ended up finishing 3rd. If they get 22 players for tomorrow I'll be there.

I often do things in a very extreme fashion and have all my life. As mentioned, I was "living right" doing Bikram Yoga everyday, etc. but this last week, while I've been having a blast, I've kind of been living in the fast lane. I invited my friend Maria Ho to go see the new Michael Jackson Cirque du Soleil show on Saturday, and somehow it ended up turning into a three night binge of "clubbing" with her and her friends. Haze, Marquee, and Bank, with dinners and drinks mixed in a long the way. I had a lot of fun, but that is definitely not the best way for me to prepare for a tournament! I have "rules" when it comes to playing tournaments, and I definitely broke them this week. I'm not disappointed in myself to be honest, I just felt like going out.. so I did.

Today I'm being a good boy vegging on the couch watching some NHL Hockey. I started betting again this November and have done pretty well so far. I rarely every lay a price on any game, and I've been hitting a lot of underdogs pretty consistently:

November: 11-8 +4.93 units
December: 5-2 +4.25 units
Total: 16-10 +9.18 units

There is no chance I can keep up that pace all season, but I do think I can pick in the 50% range, and since I'm always being laid odds as opposed to laying a price, that will be a good result by the end of the year. If you feel like gambling on some hockey, I tweet my picks before the games when I do bet @realkidpoker.

I finally made the switch from Blackberry to IPhone, but sadly, I'm with Sprint and it doesn't look like that company is capable yet of hosting the product. I'm dropping calls habitually, texts barely go through, and the 3G network connection fails me regularly here in Las Vegas. I think I'm going to be forced to switch providers, and after doing some research it looks like Verizon is going to win my business.

I'm going to be heading to Toronto for Christmas, and I'm likely going to take in a Leafs game on the 17th, 19th, and 22nd, while also playing in the Sunday Million on with a ridiculously big 10th anniversary guarantee. After that, the only thing I'm looking to plan is NYE this year, likely in Vegas again, and then it's off to the PCA, with hopefully, renewed focus and determination for a better 2012.

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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