Negreanu “conquers” Poker Player with a smile

Posted by on Tuesday, February 13th, 2018

Daniel Negreanu has had an eventful time recently. There was the much publicised hacking of his email account which enabled the hacker to joyride Negreanu’s PokerStars account, donking off $61,000 in the process. Then there were the revelations in his recent blog that not only had he broken up with his girlfriend, who obviously still meant a lot to him, but that, in a separate private matter, he was “grossed out” trying to deal with the worst betrayal he had experienced in his life.

So the last thing Daniel needed at this time was a run-in with a journalist.

The cause of the kerfuffle was an interview Negreanu gave to Poker Player magazine’s editor, Alun Bowden. In the preamble to the interview you’ll have to struggle through some pretty ugly tabloidese, with “the diminutive poker legend” apparently thinking that poker is in trouble. Not just your common or garden kind of trouble either but, “… the game he loves is in trouble. Big trouble” which probably needs a Hollywood growly voice-over to do it justice. There’s even something for fans of Mills & Boon novellas, “… cracking jokes and being the Negreanu we all know and love, but there was something darker lurking deep down.” Unfortunately, having read the article we are still none the wiser as to what this deep down, lurking, darker thing was. Our guess is that Daniel was wearing black underpants.

Struggle through this nonsense to the interview part and you’ll find an interesting interview that is, by and large, unrelated to the headlines and introduction.

Daniel bets out

Unsurprisingly, Negreanu felt he had been misrepresented, especially by the aggressive headline, “What’s wrong with you?” and the cover which featured a photo of Negreanu accompanied by the text “How I conquered online poker.” Negreanu claimed not to have said either of these things and that the use of the word “I” implied that he’d said it. He tweeted, “Just read my article in Poker Player mag and it set a new record for the number of misquotes. Pretty impressive! They twisted everything.”

Their game then played out on twoplustwo poker forums:

Poker Player raises

PokerPlayer countered that the article was an accurate representation of what Negreanu had said and that they had the audio tape to back it up.

Fighting talk. How would Daniel react? How else?

Daniel min re-raises with a smile and a comment

“Not looking to make a big deal out of it, but maybe it’s a language thing. I never said conquer but it was written as conquer which is much stronger language than what I’d said. At least the way I read it, conquer is a powerful word and I didn’t choose it because I don’t believe it’s accurate in the least.

The next part: What the hell is wrong with poker players these days? I didn’t say that but it infers something I don’t think I was trying to get across in the least.

I don’t think the game is in “Big Trouble” and I’m certainly not worried about it as suggested at the top of the article.

I wasn’t even mad honestly! Just read it and kind of laughed and thought, “Well I definitely didn’t say that!”


Poker Player insta-folds

“I think this is about to fizzle out. I think this is just a bit of a misunderstanding on both our parts.

Daniel indeed didn’t say ‘what’s wrong with you’ That’s our headline and was not in quote marks. It’s a headline. Not a quote.

The other stuff is a matter of interpretation rather than accuracy.

Poker Player have been caught being disingeneous. A magazine cover with a person’s photo and the words “How I …” implies a quote whether specifically stated to be a quote or not. If you vigorously colour an article blue, readers will “interpret” that article as being blue.

The strange thing about this affair is why on earth did Poker Player magazine feel the need to put spin on this interview? Negreanu is an interviewer’s dream. He is never afraid to speak his mind, and when you read the actual interview you can see there is plenty there that is interesting, outspoken – even controversial. There was absolutely no need to invent controversy in the first place. Maybe it was just force of habit? To their credit they did allow Negreanu to publish a response in their magazine.

This whole episode should serve as a valuable lesson to budding poker players. It’s not always necessary to throw your chips around to get the job done. Sometimes a min-raise will do the job. The threat of further action is often enough.

Daniel Negreanu, well played, sir!

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