Daniel Negreanu Signs Deal as GGPoker Ambassador

There is only one person who qualifies as the best Canadian poker player of all time, and his name is Daniel Negreanu.

Earlier this year, the man that got his start with the nickname Kid Poker left a lucrative and 12-year sponsorship with PokerStars to venture out on his own. But last week, he announced a new partnership.

Negreanu is now the face of and ambassador for GGPoker.

From Canada to Las Vegas

Daniel was born in 1974 in Toronto, Ontario. His parents had established a home in Canada after fleeing Romania for a better life.

As a young entrepreneur with an affinity for various games that were supposed to be forbidden to a young boy, Negreanu frequented pool halls and learned how to play snooker and place sports bets. He also loved card games and learned how to play poker at the age of 15.

Poker provided a way to make a living, as he earned more in local card rooms and underground games than in any typical job a teenager might secure. He eventually moved from Toronto to Las Vegas, Nevada, not long after he turned 21 years old to pursue his poker dreams. However, he did go broke and moved home to rebuild and try again.

He did just that. Negreanu learned from his mistakes, headed back to Las Vegas, and officially launched his professional poker career.

Decades of Accolades

On the official record for live tournament poker, which happens to be the Hendon Mob poker database, Negreanu’s first recorded cashes and wins came in 1997.

His first win was a $200 buy-in tournament at the Heavenly Hold’em series in Los Angeles, which he won for $18,800 in August 1997. He ended that year by winning two events at the World Poker Finals at Foxwoods in Connecticut for a total of $52,400.

Negreanu quickly caught the eye of poker legends like Doyle Brunson, Mike Sexton, and Chip Reese. They couldn’t ignore Kid Poker when he won his first World Series of Poker title in 1998 in a $2K Pot Limit Hold’em event for more than $169K. They couldn’t ignore his wins at the California State Poker Championship, LA Poker Classic, Legends of Poker, US Poker Championship, and World Poker Challenge. He was winning from Los Angeles to Atlantic City with Las Vegas as home base.

He was also diversifying, showing his skills in Omaha and Razz, far beyond the basics of Hold’em.

In 2003, he won his second WSOP bracelet in a $2K SHOE mixed-game event and then his third in 2004 in a Limit Hold’em tournament. He won the 2006 WSOP Championship Circuit event for more than $755K, a WSOP bracelet in Las Vegas in 2008 for Limit Hold’em, and the WSOP Asia-Pacific Main Event in Australia in 2013 for more than $1 million. He won the WSOP Europe High Roller event that same year for nearly $980K.

Meanwhile, Negreanu became a World Poker Tour champion. He won the 2004 Borgata Poker Open with the WPT for more than $1 million and then the WPT Championship at the Five Diamond World Poker Classic in Las Vegas in 2004 for more than $1.7 million. He captured the WPT Player of the Year title for that WPT season as well.

Negreanu won numerous televised poker tournaments, several significant online poker tournaments, and played frequently on televised shows like High Stakes Poker. He has also competed in cash games in Las Vegas at the highest stakes.

From PokerStars to GGPoker

At the height of the poker boom, PokerStars signed Negreanu to a sponsorship, one that made him a part of Team PokerStars alongside players like Chris Moneymaker.

Fairly quickly, Negreanu rose to the top of the ranks of the team. His popularity with poker fans and his accomplishments in the game kept him in position to be the most ideal spokesperson for many PokerStars tournaments and promotions.

Even after Black Friday saw companies like PokerStars exit the United States market, Negreanu went to great lengths to travel to his hometown of Toronto often to play online poker.

It is unclear what changed. But in May 2019, Negreanu announced in a social media video that he and PokerStars were parting ways after 12 years.

PokerStars then posted a tribute to Negreanu to mark the end of the partnership.

Six months later, Daniel Negreanu announced that he signed on to be the new ambassador of GGPoker.

Many in America had not heard much about the site or the GGNetwork, but some in Canada had already become familiar. The company has a Toronto office and offers services via GGPoker to Canadian online poker players.

Negreanu spoke a bit about GGPoker in this announcement video. He also noted that the site is offering a promotion to welcome the pro to the team.


Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell has been writing about poker and gambling since 2004. From her days in the WPT offices to covering summers of WSOP tournament action, she also followed gambling legislation to Washington D.C. and women-only poker to the Bahamas. Meanwhile, she lived in Los Angeles and Las Vegas for many years before moving back to her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. Now, Jen travels less, writing about poker and online gambling from her home with her two dogs watching her every move. In her spare time, she follows politics, works on her never-finished novels, and learns Italian in the hopes of retiring to Italy someday.

If you want to know more, you can follow Jen on Twitter @WriterJen


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