Daniel Negreanu was the first guest for the Heads-Up with Remko Podcast and during the hour-long conversation he segued into many directions. He opened up discussing how that even he has problems getting into game sometimes.
“I don’t even try I don’t play the political game to get in a game,” he said. “The sad part of what I’ve seen happen in casinos is that people will start a full game and they’ll fill up the list. So if you’re a pro you’ll never get in the game. But they’re doing it in a casino where you’re not really allowed to have a private game.”
“Now, that’s fine and dandy if they choose to do that, but if a seat opens up the should let the players have a say,” Negreanu continued. “If you have a game at your house, invite who you want, that’s fine. But in a casino they should open it up.”
But the fact that the most recognizable poker player in the world is shut out of some the big games in Las Vegas doesn’t bother Negreanu all too much. “I don’t even try to schmooze JRB (Jean-Robert Bellande) or anything like that,” he said.
“I don’t actively seek out these games. I think its worthwhile for pros to try to get in these games, but I’m not the guy that’s gonna do that,” said Negreanu. “I don’t like ever being schwarmy or kissing up to people. I like the relationships that I have, interactions that are authentic and genuine. I would rather get along with somebody cool and hang out. I don’t want to be their buddy to let me in their game. It makes me feel dirty thinking about it.”
“Then there’s the Dan Bilzerian and that crew who plays much higher stakes, playing on private yachts and things like that,” Negreanu said. “I’m not part of that world, I’m a professional poker player that lives a very boring, mainstream life now compared to that stuff.”
“I’m not opposed to having drinks on a yacht, it’s always fun to have drinks and hang out with everybody in bikinis and stuff. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s not something I would say I’m naturally drawn to,” said Negreanu. “It makes me feel inauthentic because it’s not truly who I am. I’m not that guy. I’m not the party animal, I don’t do any drugs, I don’t – I like to have intellectual conversations over dinners with people and it’s a lot more interesting to me than that kind of lifestyle.
“The biggest part of that equation is I don’t schmooze very well. I’m fun and friendly, but I don’t like kissing ass and I learned this when I did the Choice Center course a while ago,” Negreanu added. “One of the things I learned was because I’m so worried about celebrities thinking I want something from them. I show up as standoffish. But really I just don’t want to bother them because I assume I get bothered sometimes and it’s got to be a thousand times worse. So I never want them to think I’m just talking to them because I want something from them.”
“One of my coaches said ‘Did you ever think that maybe they want to talk to you?’ Then I realized at the core of that was truly a question about self-worth. Right? So really, what I’m saying is that I don’t feel like I’m worth their time to even speak to them,” said Negreanu.
“So that’s probably not true. I’ve taken that to heart and I’m much more engaging when I see them (celebrities) and don’t avoid them like I used to,” he said. “Where Phil (Hellmuth) leaches onto them like ‘You’re my new best friend.’ Where I’m like ‘Yeah, I’ll see you around’ and don’t get their phone number. I’ve sort of realized that ‘Why shouldn’t I?’ These are exceptional people that strive to do amazing things and so have I in my career.”
Listen to the entire episode of the podcast right here.