Name: Daniel NegreanuWinnings to Date: $16,494,072
At the age of 15, Negreanu learned to play poker. By 16, he was already hustling in pool halls, sports betting and, of course playing cards. From there, the legend was born.
At the age of 18, Negreanu dropped out of high school in order to pursue poker full time. He played in both illegal games around town and in charity casinos, all while occasionally having a real job such as telemarketing. Once he hit 21, he made it out to Las Vegas to compete with the professionals. Within seven months he returned home after losing all of his money. Back in Toronto, he built up his bankroll and moved back out to Vegas one more time.
He focused on becoming a truly great player while there. In 1997, Negreanu started to see his first substantial wins, two from the World Poker Finals at Foxwoods where he was named the tournament’s best all-around player. The next year, Negreanu entered the World Series of Poker where he won the $2,000 Pot-Limit Hold’em event, the first one he entered. He became the youngest bracelet winner and was nicknamed Kid Poker.
After a few chaotic years, he turned his game around again in 2001 when he played successfully in dozens of tournaments and finished 11th in the WSOP Main Event. In 2004, Negreanu took home a gold bracelet in the WSOP in the Limit Hold’em event and gained money in five other events. These wins earned him the ESPN Toyota Player of the Year award. Later that year he won the Borgata Poker Open, which came with a prize of $1,117,400, and the Five Diamond World Poker Classic, worth $1,770,218.
Negreanu still plays in the WPT circuit and is one of the all-time money leaders. In 2005 he was recruited by the Wynn Las Vegas to be their “Poker Ambassador,” which meant he would play in their poker room. The following year he was awarded the title “Favorite Poker Player” and was featured in the video game “Stacked with Daniel Negreanu.” Later that year, Negreanu was welcomed onto the Player Advisory Board with the WSOP. He introduce the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event and helped with significant scheduling changes. He also contributed to Doyle Brunson’s successful book Super System 2, which was the sequel to the must read Super System. In 2007, Negreanu released his own book, Hold’em Wisdom for All Players. He continues to give personal lessons to celebrities and write regular blogs and articles for online and print publications.
Aside from poker, he continuously supports charities such as the Make a Wish Foundation.
Sponsorship Site: Pokerstars.eu