Daniel Negreanu’s $8.7million Rollercoaster

3 years ago
Daniel Negreanu’s $8.7million Rollercoaster
31 Dec

Winning $2,792,104 in a single year must surely make even a high roller a tidy profit you would think, but Daniel Negreanu has just released some amazing figures for his own 12 months of grinding the biggest events – and it makes for amazing reading, the Canadian poker star stating:

“…the truth is, if a player plays the full high roller schedule and cashes for $2 million, they are all but certain to have had a losing year, and that’s before expenses.”

It’s a question which has beguiled fans of the game for a long time – just how much are the best pros actually walking away with, given their often huge buy-ins to events such as the Super High Roller Bowl ($300,000) and for example next year’s $1million entry One Drop at the WSOP?

Negreanu’s numbers reveal all – his 5 year total profit amounting to a massive $8.7million or so, but when broken down revealing just how tough the nosebleed live tournament circuit is.

Losing it in 2017

“I felt like I had a decent year in terms of results”, says the face of PokerStars, “but when you break down the numbers into an actual profit vs loss, I essentially broke even!”
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Although he readily admits that most pros won’t have all their own action, Daniel says that doesn’t change the fact that being a profitable player is a harder task than most might imagine, his predictions for next year coming to a mind-blowing $5million in buy-ins alone

“With the $1 million buy in One Drop coming back this year, and the Super High Roller Bowl, and countless high rollers held here in Vegas and across the globe, it won’t be much of a stretch to see players spending upwards of $5 million in buy ins. $5 million dollars. Just in buy ins,” says Negreanu.

Last summer saw Negreanu forking out $1million or so for his much-hyped WSOP schedule

…although he ended up losing about $300k on the trip, despite a lot of cashes.

Selling it in 2018

Although he claims “I do stake myself in these events” and has sponsorship deals (most notably with PokerStars) which one would think takes care of the jet-setting lifestyle of the games ‘winningest’ tournament pro, even Negreanu will be looking to offset some of that $1million One Drop entry fee next summer.

As he states on his Full Contact Poker blog:

“…I will likely be selling action into the One Drop as it just seems like a bit of a crazy amount of money to risk in one tournament. I’ll likely sell about 50% of the action and I don’t charge mark up.”

With lifetime tournament earnings of $35,319,814 since his first recorded cash back in 1997 (a $1050 payday!) there’s no denying that Negreanu has made an absolute mint at the game, but his revelations are incredibly interesting because a glance at Hendon Mob earnings don’t tell us the whole story – far from it in fact – as we can’t see how much players bought in for when they didn’t cash, and that amounts to a lot of money!

Crushing it in 2013 and 2014

For example, Negreanu only started keeping detailed records in 2013, so let’s look at how he performed…

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Avg Buy In
Hourly Rate

That’s 53 events without a cash – by his own average about $1million in buy-ins with no reward, unsustainable if he didn’t hit it big from time to time, such as in the following year as he pointed out on Twitter…

That second spot behind Daniel Colman for $8,288,001 accounts for a massive chunk of his 5-year profit – it’s a long-run game indeed, although without it a $300K year poker job sounds pretty decent too!

Negreanu has come in for a lot of stick because of his PokerStars work over the last few years, but there were many Twitter users ready to forgive some of that, not least because few if any poker pros would be quite as forthcoming when it comes to the financial side of being a pro – and as a world-famous, indeed legend, of the game…

So, as Negreanu says at the outset:

“In the old days, before super high rollers, you could all but guarantee that cashing for $2 million would mean the player had a winning year. Well, the truth is, if a player plays the full high roller schedule and cashes for $2 million, they are all but certain to have had a losing year, and that’s before expenses.”

Although one question which might be interesting to have an answer to popped up…

Anyway, remember the next time you gasp in awe at the $million stars of the game – be careful what you wish for!

Negreanu’s 5-year total

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Avg Buy In
Hourly Rate (2565hrs)

Articles 2093

Andrew from Edinburgh, Scotland, is a professional journalist, international-titled chess master, and avid poker player.Read more


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