At some point, people may stop calling Daniel Negreanu "kid." Ten years ago, that may have been true. Back then, he was a young, brash upstart. Since then, the nickname "Kid Poker" has stuck tight. Kid or not, tonight Negreanu sits among the greats of poker with four World Series bracelets.
There were some people who might have said this time two days ago that Negreanu's victory in the $2,000 Limit Hold'em contest was a foregone conclusion. He had bullied the field into submission through Day 1 and most of Day 2. He entered the final table in third chip position. Slings and arrows as they are in limit hold'em, Negreanu's chances looked in jeopardy several times through the final table. Unrattled, he stuck to his game.
His game? Well, it is.
"The last time I won [a bracelet] was this event in 2004," he said after his victory. "i love the game."
Negreanu has likely logged more limit hold'em hands than any other game he's played. He knows that even when the literal chips are down, Kid Poker is not out.
"The key is stay composed and stay focused," he said.
That was exactly what he did. Aces cracked? He came back. Kings cracked? He came back. By the time play was three-handed, some people watching were alredy predicting Negreanu's bracelet. It was a good prediction. Once he reclaimed the lead, he never gave it up and finished off his opponents in short order.
Negreanu won $204,874 for his victory. For some folks, that's life changing money. For Negreanu (who was on the golf course this week betting for sums in excess of that), the money seems less important than the reality that no matter how old he gets, he will always be Kid Poker...and Kid Poker wins poker tournaments. Better yet, Kid Poker wins World Series bracelets.
As Nolan Dalla presented the bracelet tonight, Negreanu slipped it over his hand. With a grin, he said, "I might have to take a few links out. I have pretty skinny wrists."
Thanks for the show, Kid.