The World Series of Poker is right around the corner and Daniel Negreanu is absolutely locked in. The six-time WSOP bracelet winner is determined to make a run at number seven and, once again, he’s bringing his fan base along for the ride. Not only is Negreanu committed to recording his popular daily WSOP vlogs, giving people an inside look at his gold bracelet grind, but he’s also letting those fans in on the action by selling off pieces of nearly every tournament on his schedule.
Making it extra special this year is Negreanu is doing it right here, with zero markup, on PocketFives.
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) September 28, 2021
“First and foremost, I don’t need to sell pieces,” Negreanu said, just to set the record straight. “I’m not doing this as a business because, if it was, I could actually charge and make a profit from it. But I don’t. I give people a chance to take the ride.”
Negreanu says that the idea of selling pieces of his tournaments was first born out of wanting to give the watchers of his daily vlog a way to be even more engaged, and also a way for him to better connect with his followers and fans.
“I think, like anything when people have a vested interest it’s just more exciting,” he said. He goes on to make the analogy that even events, like an NFL game, with little or no interest or implications, can be a little more exciting when there’s a little something at stake. “I think that’s where the impetus for it was. Since we’ve started [offering shares] it’s been fun. It’s well-received. So I continue to do it.”
Not only has it been fun for fans, but for many that were able to purchase a piece of him when he first had the idea back in 2019 – it was also profitable. Negreanu’s pre-pandemic WSOP selling had him sell pieces in three different packages: a Low ($1,500 or less), Medium ($1,500 to $5,000) and High ($10,000 +). During that series, Negreanu cashed in 16 of the 58 events he played in. He emerged with an ROI of more than 168% and a profit of more than $2 million.
It’s true that the Low package didn’t turn a profit that year, but investors of the Medium and High packages reaped considerable returns.
“The last time we did it with three different packages, I was really trying to grind and make sure that all three were winners. The lower one is actually the hardest to win in, the way we had it set up,” he said. “Ultimately, I want all of us to win together, or…if I lose, we all lose together.”
The three-tiered system will be going away this year and buyers will be able to pick and choose which events they are interested in. On the PocketFives system, buying (and selling) will be more fluid allowing for people to have an opportunity to jump in throughout the entire series.
Winning and losing is something that Negreanu has always taken very seriously, especially when it comes to playing with other people’s money. He’s quick to mention that while allowing fans to invest is supposed to be fun, it adds responsibility and accountability on his part.
“It makes me play better,” he said. “With my own money, if I was feeling tired and I’m at the World Series, I could just dump off my chips and go home. I’d be like ‘All right, whatever, I’ll gamble it up.’ But knowing that I’m playing with other people’s money, knowing that I have to explain it to the Vlog makes it important that I give it my best shot each and every event.”
That said, responsibility goes both ways. Negreanu admits that it’s nice to think of the value he is able to bring to his followers, recalling how one fan even sent him a message saying that he planned on buying an engagement ring for his fiancé with potential winnings. That’s fun to think about, but Negreanu puts a fine point on investment versus entertainment and that fans should consider staking the latter.
“It’s one of the big reasons why we put a cap on things. Obviously, this is a +EV situation and I don’t want one really sharp guy, who may be wealthy to be like, ‘All right, I’ll buy it all!.’ That’s the last thing I want to see happen. I want people to buy with the intention of it’s going to be fun, it’s going to be entertainment, and not try and nickel and dime and be like ‘Oh, I’m going to take advantage of this investment to try and get free money here.’”
“Essentially that’s what it is, but obviously I’ll lose sometimes. Overall I’m a winning player, so I’m giving away free money and I want to make sure that everyone gets a chance to do that.”
But as soon as Negreanu finished that thought of +EV situations, he was quick to also offer a word of caution to those less experienced in staking and investing in poker players.
“Having said that…,” he continued. “I really want people to understand when they are investing there is no guarantee. They’re going to lose their full investment most of the time. If a tournament pays 15% of the field, and if you’re really good maybe you cash 25% of the time, that means that three or four out of five times you’re going to lose everything that you put in. So do that responsibly. Understand that there’s a lot of luck in poker and enjoy the ride.
“Again, think of it as a fun sweat.”
There’s little doubt that interest in purchasing a piece of Negreanu’s WSOP schedule will be more popular than ever. After playing in PokerGO’s ongoing Poker Masters series, Negreanu’s full attention will turn to the WSOP. And for those who are able to grab a piece, know that Kid Poker is more than ready to take on the competition.
“I’m super excited,” he said. “My mentality is to make sure that I’m as rested as can be to go ahead and do my best to bring home bracelets and embrace and enjoy, the grind. It’s my favorite time of year typically to play the World Series of Poker every day.”