Daniel Negreanu: Poker Mind In Depth Part XV

[Content Disclosure: Poker Mind In Depth series]

I spoke with Daniel Negreanu just before he began his main event play on Sunday (Day 1C). Just as we ended our session in one of the back staging areas of the Rio, he received a text message that he had been moved to the ESPN feature table as we both expected he would be. 

Shrink: "So 34 events in the last five or so weeks, you seemed a little frustrated there near the end?"

Daniel: "That's just the way the World Series goes, it's bound to happen at some point. At some time, if you play every day, you just hit a wall. You can get really frustrated, if you just let it all build up. And I hit it a couple of times during the Series. It just comes from grinding and grinding every day."

"Luckily, I always chose the third day one. I get a break away from the Rio and really stay away. That way I can leave any frustration behind and get a clear mind to play the main event."

Shrink: "and you are ready today?"

Daniel: "I think I am, I picked up a touch of a cold, so I am taking some tylenol cold medication but I should be good."

Shrink: "Overall this year, eight cashed, top of that list for the '09 Series."

Daniel: "Yeah, that's more than I ever had before, I had six in 2004. This year I played well, gave myself chances to win. I was a little unlucky in the key stages of a couple of events, but a lot of it had to do with fatigue too. I made mistakes this year, I made a lot of them. I'd look back and think: Wow, what did I do there? Some of that had to do with playing a lot of events. It's like multi-tabling online, you might make more money with a lot of tables open. But you play much better poker, one at a time. I kind of fried my brain a bit at times and when that happened I made some silly mistakes."

"I mean if you ask me how to play some of those hands I would say: Man, never play it that way! But that is exactly how I played it. Oh well. I misread my hand a couple of times and I just never do that. At the Omaha 8 final table, I thought I was playing with a pair of jacks and a live 2-7 low. I got checked into and bet out, I made a value bet when I didn't have a live deuce at all. I was playing only a seven and a pair of jacks, neither of those were going to win. Not the type of mistake I usually make."

"Ah, text message, I am playing the feature table. Not something I really like."

Shrink: "Why not?"

Daniel: "Well it's slower, not just the TV stuff but players slow down to get their share of camera time. But when I am trying to focus and just grind it out, what I want is a nice, quiet and private table to just get to work and not a lot of cameras and fans and commotion. But it's off to table one!"

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Late afternoon update: Daniel was actively working at the feature table but just not finding a rhythm or many good flops. He busted out of the 2009 main event before the dinner break, ending his World Series for this year.

Daniel's final 2009 WSOP comment via twitter:

"Nose dripping like a water faucet, head pounding. So bizarre. Must have caught something. I played uber bad at the wsop. Had no chance."