Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Poker Mind In Depth Part VI: Daniel Negreanu

[Content Disclosure: Poker Mind In Depth series]

This post comes from a walking interview with Daniel Negreanu after the dinner break of Event #14. During dinner the event had been moved from a secondary room to the main tournament area, so we walked over to the new site and talked about Daniel's first nine events. Of the first thirteen open events (pros did not play Event #1 the casino employees event) Daniel had entered nine. Playing that many events in just over a week meant that Daniel had done some double-dipping. After busting on day one of his first four events, he then went on a run making four day twos in his next five events, which several times meant starting a new tournament while still in a day two of another.  

So the first, question was: "How are you holding up?"

Daniel: "Well this has actually been a great stretch. This could be my sixth day playing until three in the morning, which means I am going deep in each event. Usually I like to have some kind of a break, but the schedule has worked out that I am playing until 3 AM most nights. I know I have gotten a little loopy late on some of these nights."

Shrink: "You actually have twittered that late in the day you felt like you were on crack and heroin."

Daniel: "The late night's can get really long. But I am feeling very good again today, the passion is there and I am ready to play when the cards are in the air. After this I will take a break."

Shrink: "But you are holding up?"

Daniel: "You know I could never have done this last year. I would never have pushed myself like this from tournament to tournament to tournament. The preparation, especially the working out with the trainer, has made all the difference. I am not just feeling better but I am able to recover overnight. I am fine today, no matter how tired I was last night or early this morning when we finished day one of this event. I have won a lot of these limit hold'em events, so I am ready for this one." 

Shrink: "This is your ninth event out of the thirteen open tournaments so far."

Daniel: "Well I barely played in one, because of the deep run in the pot limit."

Shrink: "Right, so you have played eight and a half."

Daniel: (laughing) "But a break is coming."

Well actually, a break was not coming. Daniel made it to day three of the short-handed limit hold'em tournament (event #14) he was playing during this interview. Eleven players returned on day three and played for over eight hours down to heads up, where Daniel finished second, just short of his fifth bracelet. Did he rest on that long run or take a mental health break. No! He had already registered for event #18 the $10,000 Omaha 8 or better championship. So he jumped right into that tournament just minutes after losing the heads up battle for the bracelet. That would make it seven nights in a row of 3 AM play. He made day two of the Omaha8 event, even though he started play nearly five hours late. And! He played through yesterday's day two, his eighth 3 AM in a row.

In my next session with Daniel, we will talk about the near-bracelet and the consecutive long nights but first I am heading to the Amazon room now, where 17 players remain for the Omaha8 bracelet and Daniel still has a chair. Nearly half of the remaining field are short-stacked including Daniel, but in a split pot game anything can happen.
Previous posts in this Series:

Poker Mind In Depth Part V:  Phil Hellmuth
Poker Mind In Depth Part IV: Daniel Negreanu
Poker Mind In Depth Part III: Daniel Negreanu
Poker Mind In Depth Part II:  Phil Hellmuth
Poker Mind In Depth Part I:   Mike Matusow

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