Daniel Negreanu leaves PokerStars as an ambassador

In his latest Tweets and YouTube video Daniel “KidPoker” Negreanu doesn’t just update us on his recent marriage to Amanda Leatherman (and his plans to become a father) and his upcoming WSOP, but he also drops the bomb about leaving industry giant PokerStars,

“…after 12 years of being an ambassador for PokerStars we had an amicable split and I will no longer be an ambassador for the company.”

The end of an era

12 years ago, Daniel Negreanu started promoting PokerStars loudly and proudly. It feels like there has never been a Daniel Negreanu without PokerStars and vice-versa.

But representing the world’s biggest poker company for such a long time did not go without some controversies. Most famously his statement of “More rake is better” in a poker podcast created an aversion towards KidPoker by the poker community and the once most popular poker player of all time had to dodge a lot of hate.

An even louder voice?

Not that he actually cares. He’s Daniel Negreanu! He made it clear in his YouTube announcement, however, that there was a wish to a more liberated voice, the chance to speak out for and about poker without it being taken as the PokerStars opinion.

He continues in the YouTube video, “And in a lot of ways it’s somewhat freeing and I’ll tell you why. Because for years when I make a statement about poker or anything like that people just say, ‘Oh, you’re just saying that, because you’re being paid to say that.’ which, I know is not true, I could pass a thousand lie detectors to prove that, but no-one’s ever gonna take me up on that. But what’s great about the situation now, is I can go back to essentially making comments and statements about the poker community that I guess would have more credibility because of that.”

Inside out

“I’ve had the luxury over the last 20 years of being on the inside when it comes to the business side of poker, the professional side of poker and I know what poker players are missing. I know what some of the people in business miss about what it’s like to be a professional poker player. But if I would have to say which side is more delusional, it’s the side that thinks that they have … like I saw this thing where a guy wrote a piece about “The Fundamental Rights of a Poker Player”. You don’t have any! It’s kinda cute and silly to think you have fundamental rights when it comes to using a service.”

“Point is, I’m really thankful for the time that I had there. I have nothing but good things to say. Obviously there were ups and downs and there’s decisions that I didn’t make and I would have liked to differently, but it’s not my company. I just simply was paid to represent the brand and now that I’m not I’ll still fairly discuss any issues, positive and negative, with them, with PartyPoker, with WSOP.”

“Often poker players are like “What’s your goal as a poker player, a professional?”. To maximise your EV. And that’s totally cool. You wanna sit in the best games, you wanna get the best rake back, you wanna pay the lowest rake. What do you think every company in the world’s motto is? Same freaking thing! So as a professional poker player you are your own company, and your job is to maximise your own profit. Every company’s job is to essentially do the same thing.”

“I guess, there’s a huge disconnect and I hope in the next year or two I can help, I wouldn’t say educate is the right word, but kind of dispel a lot of mistruths about what people think about first of all what it takes to run an organisation.”

The future of Negreanu

It is going to be very interesting what we will hear from Daniel, but despite the poker community hoping for his voice to fight for their side, a lot of what he is going to say will not please all the poker players. So much is safe to say.

On the plus side, we won’t have to wait too long to hear Daniel become even louder. He will serve us daily WSOP vlogs this year, play an insane amount of poker and it’s promising to be epic.

Article by Christin Maschmann