A big debate in poker circles is who the greatest poker player of all time is. Phil Ivey, Erik Seidel and Phil Hellmuth are all names that could be mentioned in such a debate, but Daniel Negreanu should be the one to hold such a title.
The Canadian poker star may not have as many World Series of Poker bracelets as the “Poker Brat” Phil Hellmuth, but Negreanu does have an incredible sense of being able to read the game and his opponents. It is quite incredible to watch him play and predict the exact hand his opponent has. Hellmuth is the most successful with 15 WSOP bracelets, while Negreanu is joint 9th with 6 bracelets. That shouldn’t take away from what he has achieved in the game and certainly shouldn’t stop people from considering him the best player we have ever witnessed.
His scary accuracy has helped him to build a reputation on the poker circuit as one of the most feared players, as opponents know that at the drop of a hat, he can work out what your hand is and know how to play from then on, whether it’s to fold, check, call or raise.
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Check out any of his compilation videos online and you can witness his incredible knack for working out what his opponent has in their hand. This is what sets him apart from the other greats of the game. Although Phil Hellmuth occasionally gets his opponents’ hand correct, the regularity and accuracy of Negreanu’s calls is impossible to explain.
Negreanu’s cool, calm and collected approach to each hand tends to unnerve his opponents and when he tells them what hand they have and then proceeds to raise, he often forces the player to fold as he’s convinced them that he has a better hand, otherwise he wouldn’t raise having worked out their hand.
If you watch any clash between Negreanu and Hellmuth, you’ll see that even an excellent player like Hellmuth can fall into Negreanu’s trap. Although Negreanu may not verbally guess what Hellmuth has, he plays the game to make Hellmuth believe that the Canadian star has a stronger hand than him and you will see Hellmuth instantly fold.
In 2014 Negreanu was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame and has written three books which help amateur players improve their poker game titled “Power Hold’em Strategy”, “Hold’em Wisdom for all Players” and “More Hold’em Wisdom for all Players”. The 44-year old is the most successful Canadian poker player and learned how to play poker at the age of 15.
Although his initial bankroll from his time in Toronto was obliterated after he tried his luck in Las Vegas when he was 22, he was not to be defeated. He moved back to Canada to rebuild his bankroll and has gone on to become one of the most decorated poker players. He may not have as many bracelets as Phil Hellmuth, but watch him in action and you’ll soon see why he should be considered the greatest ever poker player.