High stakes legend Daniel Negreanu has been speaking to Jaime Staples on the partypoker Weekly Showdown. The pair discuss a wide range of subjects ranging from how the game is played today to why it is vital that poker remains fun.
Negreanu on the Dream
The interview kicks off with Staples asking if the dream is still alive for new players coming into poker today. Negreanu’s reply left us in no doubt that he thinks it is.
“The dream is still alive. It’s just not a matter of logging on and playing tight, waiting for good hands. Back in the golden age anyone that was competent could make money playing poker. Now it requires a little bit of effort.”
One of the differences brought up about how the games played today is the number of tools available, and how people can actually lay down a hand.
Back in the day, Negreanu was famous for his “smallball” approach to poker where he would keep his bet/raise sizes small in order to play a lot of hands. The reason this worked so well for the GG Poker ambassador was because people didn’t fold when he hit his gin cards.
On the tools, the consensus was that if you’re not using them and somebody else is then they will be gaining an edge somewhere.
Keeping It All Fun
Why poker should always be a fun pursuit is a question that opened up a lot of interesting discussions. Both Negreanu and Staples were in agreement with all of the points brought up.
Negreanu explains nicely how a poker ecosystem really works and that the recreational players who deposit all of the money into the system are the most important factor.
These net-depositors now find themselves in a poker world where if they play high enough they won’t even be able to rack up a winning session. If these guys don’t have fun then they won’t return, and this is definitely bad for the game.
The new formats that have crept in over the last few years are an example of what poker rooms are doing to keep online poker fun for recreational players.
“So, creating bounty formats, knockout tournaments, Spin n Go’s, whatever you want to do, those are important to give the casual player some more incentive to come back.”
Professionals Do Have a Role to Play
Staples comes up with an interesting point. While it is now clear that professionals are the least important part of a poker ecosystem – with depositing players and the game hosts being 100% necessary – they still perform a certain role within the industry.
“The pro’s job is to supply the dream. Without the pros there is no more dream. And without the dream poker becomes a bit of a shell of what it used to be.”
This duel concept of giving new players a dream and making sure the road is fun for them is a great way to explain what poker needs. Negreanu hammers home the point of how important it is for new players to have fun and some successes.
This is one of the beautiful things about poker, everybody can have their day in the sun. And it is important to keep it that way. Winning players must understand that keeping it fun for the others will ensure that the games stay healthy for years to come.
Negreanu mentions during the interview that poker is now competing with eSports, making it much tougher than during the boom 15 years ago. We must make sure poker remains fun to keep the games alive – spread the news.
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