Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Raymer and Negreanu Still Feuding

A few months ago, Danny Negreanu and Greg Raymer got into a little feud over the lawsuit against the World Poker Tour that Raymer and others have filed. Now that feud has kicked back up, thanks to a nasty little comment that Negreanu made about Raymer in a Las Vegas Sun article. Danny recently finished third to Joe Hachem, the 2005 World Series of Poker champion, in a major poker tournament. He told the paper:

Hachem’s performance drew praise from fellow professional Daniel Negreanu of Las Vegas, who finished third ($592,000) behind runner-up Jim Hanna of West Palm Beach, Fla. ($1.09 million).

“Actually the (recent) World Series of Poker winners in general, you look at them and you’re like, OK, (Chris) Moneymaker, (Greg) Raymer and (Jamie) Gold, you think, OK these guys can’t play, and the general consensus is that these guys got lucky,” Negreanu said.

“But, you know, with Joe, he actually plays like a pro. The other three don’t. The other three are kind of like flash-in-the-pan types for the most part. But (Hachem), he’s a real legit player.”

Now, I happen to agree with him about Moneymaker and Gold. Moneymaker has had 3 1/3 years to follow up his WSOP win and he’s done virtually nothing. And while Gold has had very little time to show whether he has the goods, I think it was clear from watching this year’s main event that he just got run over by the deck (that he’s also an obnoxious ass probably aids in that conclusion). But Raymer was a very good tournament player long before he won the WSOP in 2004 and he remains a very good player today.

He followed up his win in 2004 by finishing 19th in 2005, against a field of almost 6000. In fact, at one point there had been only 5 tournaments in history with more than 2000 players entered and Raymer had cashed in all 5 of them, winning one and finishing in the top 25 of another. That doesn’t happen by accident or luck; it takes serious skill. Greg Raymer is a very, very good poker player. Anyway, here’s how he responded to what Negreanu said, in a 2+2 thread:

“If I wanted to get catty, I’d say it’s better to beat 400-800 (which I have done consistently in mixed games) than to lose at 4000-8000.”

Ouch. Brutal. Also, apparently, false. Negreanu shot back on the forum at his site, Full Contact Poker:

“The Raymer makes some ridiculous post saying, ‘It’s better to win at 400-800 than lose at 4000-8000.’ I post my results on my website in all games. I’m wnner in all forms of poker outside of online poker and the High Stakes Poker cash games on television. I am winner in the 4000-8000 game.”

And if the figures he published are correct (and one would think they are, otherwise he could face serious IRS trouble), he is indeed a winner at 4000/8000. The 4000/8000 game is what is known as the Big Game, which is played at the Bellagio. This is the largest consistently played game in the world and it features a murderer’s row of the greatest players on the planet – Doyle Brunson, Chip Reese, Ted Forrest, Chau Giang, Jennifer Harmon, David Grey, and others.

And just to give you some idea of the wild swings that can happen in that game, even though it’s played as a limit game and not a no-limit game, here’s his results in the game for the last 2 years:

$4000-$8000 Limit Games:
Feb 21/05 8 -251,000
Feb 22/05 8 -190,000
Feb 26/05 5 +598,000
Mar 1/05 31 -114,000
Apr 16/05 6 +120,000
Oct 19/05 8 – 4,000
Oct 20/05 10.5 – 127,000
Dec 14/05 13 +148,000
Mar 19/06 8.5 +25,000
Mar 21/06 3.5 -310,000
Mar 29/06 5 +43,000
Apr 15/06 12 +591,000
Apr 17/06 2.5 -204,000
May 18/06 3 +134,500
May 25/06 6 – 64,000
May 26/06 9 +528,000
May 27/06 7 +252,000
May 29/06 21 -190,000
May 31/06 4.5 + 13,000
Jun 06/06 1.5 +210,000
Jul 21/06 8 +462,000
Jul 24/06 21 -1,279,000

Totals: 202 +$391,500
Hourly Rate: +$1938.12

I can’t imagine losing $1.3 million in a game of poker. Even less can I imagine losing $1.3 million and still coming out $400K ahead for the year.


  1. #1 Don
    January 6, 2007

    Well that does it! I’m raising the limit in my monthly game from max $1 bet to max $2 bet. I’ll be in the big money in no time!

  2. #2 George
    January 7, 2007

    so what> does anybody really care?

  3. #3 mess
    January 7, 2007

    I like Negreanu. I don’t know nearly as much this as Ed, but I watehed one of the events on ESPN (Before I had TIVO) and he seamed entertaining. I have no idea how good a player he was, nor if he even played well in the event I watched, but he was entertaining. BTW – I have only played poker once in my life. I like heart and bridge better.

  4. #4 Ed Brayton
    January 7, 2007

    Negreanu is a tremendous poker player, and very entertaining on television. It took him a few years to reach the Big Game level as a cash player, but he’s always been an excellent tournament player. He’s one of the few players who really is top notch at both cash games and tournaments.

  5. #5 tacitus
    January 7, 2007

    Sigh. Daniel is a nice guy and talented poker player, but having read his last blog entry, it seems that’s no protection from Lee Strobel’s snake oil:

    I was also pleasantly surprised to receive an e-mail from Lee Strobel, author of the book that helped change my life for the better. Apparently people had told him that I was a fan of the book.

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