In what was probably an expected decision, poker professional Daniel Negreanu has left his home in Las Vegas and returned to his hometown of Toronto to continue to be the face of his sponsor, PokerStars.
In a blog post on his site, Full Contact Poker, Daniel reported that he was back in Toronto on Wednesday and back in the swing of online poker almost immediately. “It took a couple days, but I successfully set up shop in Toronto so that I can play on PokerStars again,” Daniel excitedly stated.
Surprisingly, PokerStars didn’t advance Daniel any special treatment when it came to the relocation of his account. “I already had the Canadian passport,” Daniel wrote, “but just like everyone else, I needed to attain the necessary documents then wait for the call from PokerStars security to verify the phone number, and voila! I’m back in action!”
The excitement of being back in the online game may have been too much for Negreanu, as he dumped a buy in very quickly. “I jumped right into some $25-$50 PLO 6 max deep with ante games, and within 5 hands I lost my first buy in HAHA,” Daniel joked. “Had an open ended straight draw/flush draw versus top set and didn’t hit. Oh well, it didn’t hurt a bit, I was just glad to be playing again.”
While talking about being online again, Negreanu offered some words of advice to American online poker pros as to continuing their careers. Offering a little history lesson, Daniel began, “During the Cold War, the “Big, Bad, Communist, U.S.S.R.” was seen as an oppressive regime, while the U. S. represented freedom. Who would (have thought) that, to enjoy the freedom of playing poker online, you’d have to move away from Los Angeles and head to Moscow. That’s just bizarre.” (Writer’s note: Russia’s current gaming laws aren’t that lenient; the country closed all casinos a few years ago except for four “special” zones where poker is legal.)
“For those of you who can, I really suggest moving out of the United States to a country that will allow you the freedom to play poker in your underwear,” Daniel continued. “Canada is a great option, but you could go pretty much anywhere in the world that suits your fancy. It’s time to think about moving to a country that will allow you to do so. If things ever change in the U.S. you can always move back, but at this point, just like being relocated in a “normal” job, you’ve been relocated to any “office” you want outside of the United States.”
When it comes to his playing schedule for the remainder of the year, it appears as though Negreanu is going to be hitting the European Poker Tour circuit hard. “The plan now is to head to Barcelona on the 26th for the EPT Barcelona,” Daniel detailed. “I’ll be staying for the entire tourney no matter what, because at the end of that we’ll be shooting some new commercial spots for PokerStars.”
“From there, I’ll be on vacation/grinding WCOOP’s on PokerStars. First stop is Montenegro for a week, then we’ll head to Budapest,” Daniel continued. “We “might” make a short drive/trip to Romania, but that’s not set in stone yet.” Daniel didn’t designate who the “we” was in the statement, but he has recently been linked to 2008 Miss Earth Hungary, Krisztina Polgar.
“At the end of September, it’s off to London for the EPT event,” he stated, “then a three week trip to Cannes for WSOP Europe. At the end of that (there’s) a drive up the road to EPT San Remo, a super juicy tournament!”
It does sound as if Negreanu will not be in the United States for quite some time, meaning he will miss several World Poker Tour events. “I left Vegas on Aug 21st and won’t be back there until October 27th,” Daniel concluded. “In Nov/Dec, I may take in some Leaf games in Toronto, do the online grind, and spend Christmas with my brother and his wife until heading over to the PCA in January.” Ever the poker player, however, Daniel wrote, “I’m sure I’ll fit some tournaments in at some point as well.”
As a final word to American online pros – and perhaps to the general online poker public in the United States as well – Daniel had some ominous predictions. “Poker has changed dramatically over the last forty years, and in order to survive, you have to adapt to the newer forms of poker, as well as adapt to new locations,” he wrote. “These days, that just means stay away from the United States because poker is on life support…there are tons and tons of games across the globe to choose from.”