Is Daniel Negreanu the best Canadian poker player of all time?

the best Canadian poker player

In 2020, gambling is big business. Thanks to the advent of online casinos, its popularity has soared in the last decade, with the pastime now being more accessible, flexible, and widespread than ever before.

In Canada alone, the gambling sector has gross sales of over $31 billion a year. Around the globe, Statista.com says its value is expected to reach $92.9 billion by 2023. What this tells us is that the industry is thriving.   

This has thrust the most talented and successful gamblers into the global spotlight, with some games drawing more attention than others. Among the most renowned is poker, which is enjoyed by millions of people around the world each year.

One of the all-time best, Daniel Negreanu, is a Toronto local and an ambassador for the recreational site GGPoker. A six-time winner of the World Series, the 46-year-old was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2014, when he was simultaneously ranked as the best player of the decade.  

We take a look at the man who’s been flying the flag for Canada since 1998.

A history of excellence

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The national sport of Canada is undoubtedly hockey, but this is not the only arena where Canadian nationals have excelled. The same is true of the poker scene, where some of the best players of all time have hailed from our homeland.

Wayne Gretzky, Nancy, Green, Steve Nash, and Gilles Villeneuve – all are Canadians. Talented, charismatic, and successful, each has made their mark at the poker tables, but none has quite managed to rival the incredible feats pulled off by 46-year-old Negreanu.  

This shift toward poker began in the seventies, when two important events took place in Canada. Firstly, TV adverts featuring the World Series of Poker were widely broadcast as part of a promotional campaign, helping the pastime to capture the public imagination. Secondly, this came about at around the same time gambling and online casinos were coming to the fore in the Canadian entertainment industry.

The result was that more Canadians became involved that at any time throughout the country’s history – a trend that was exacerbated when online casinos burst onto the scene. Making it easier to play, these featured many bonuses and special promotions to make poker more affordable. Soon, there were so many of these that a slew of specialist directory sites, like Bonus.ca, sprang up, marketing the best offers to those with an interest in playing.

The most talented Canadian of all time

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Enter a fresh-faced Daniel Negreanu, who bounded onto the professional poker scene in 1998, when he became the youngest ever bracelet winner in the World Series. Walking home with $169,460 from his first tournament, he would go on to capture another five bracelets in the intervening years.

In addition to his six bracelets, Negreanu claimed a win on the WSOP Circuit in 2006. He added two World Poker Tour titles to these accolades, along with 36 WSOP final table appearances and 148 money finishes. At the last count, this had allowed him to amass total live earnings of over $42,000,000, according to TheHendonMob.com.    

Known as Kid Poker, this makes Negreanu one of the highest-earning and most successful poker players of all time, not just in Canada but across the globe. He is – beyond any doubt – a true sporting star, and one our country should be incredibly proud to claim as its own.

Other articles from mtltimes.ca – totimes.ca – otttimes.ca

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