Daniel Negreanu Changes WSOP Player of the Year Strategy

Daniel Negreanu playing poker

Daniel Negreanu revealed a new strategy this week for winning World Series of Poker Player of the Year (POY). Negreanu claims his poker strategy in 2018 and before was fatally flawed, making it next to impossible to win the WSOP Player of the Year award.

Previously, KidPoker entered $10,000 buy-in events, which have smaller fields and big prize pools. Such events also boast a higher percentage of professional players, because the high entry fee discourages many casual players.

That strategy no longer is viable, if it ever was. In a recent DAT Poker Broadcast, the Poker Hall of Famer said, “It has become virtually impossible, and I would say pretty close to impossible, to win Player of the Year playing the schedule that I was playing.”

Instead, Negreanu plans to enter more lower buy-ins. According to the 44-year old native of Toronto, the point system for the WSOP Player of the Year award favors those who cash in tournaments with larger fields.

WSOP Player of the Year Strategy

For instance, when Negreanu finished 13th in a $10K Limit Hold’em event in 2017’s WSOP, he collected a decent number of POY points. But players collected comparable points from making a minimum cash in a bigger event. Cashing in the now-defunct Colossus events count as much as Top 20 finish in a $10k buy-in event.

With that in mind, the 6-time WSOP bracelet winner plans to focus on big events like the Big 50 $500 No-Limit Hold’em event (Event #3). The Big 50 replaces the Colossus event as the biggest field in the early weeks of the tournament. Cashing in the Big 50 event becomes key, because it is an early chance to rack up POY points.

Daniel Negreanu’s New POY Strategy

The change of strategy adds to the excitement in 2019, since the Big 50 $500 NLHE launches in the first few days of WSOP. If other top players take the strategy Daniel Negreanu does, it should lead to early POY fireworks.

KidPoker later tweeted his strategy to the poker world again. He posted, “[The] plan is to play ‘next tourney up’ all summer with a couple exceptions related to the $50k PPC. No days off. Daily VLOGS. May see me go from a $500 buy in at 11am to a $50k buy in at 3pm.”

Negreanu’s Poker Accomplishments

Daniel Negreanu knows what he’s talking about. He’s the only player to win the WSOP Player of the Year award twice (2004, 2013). The 2014 Hall of Fame inductee has failed to win over the past 5 years, though he’s come close.

After evaluating those near-misses, Negreanu decided his strategy is wrong. As the old saying goes, good strategy beats good tactics, so he’s changing strategies this year.

King’s Casino Europe

The fact of the matter is, the Player of the Year race uses a different point system than Negreanu’s last win. Sponsorship of the POY race passed to King’s Casino Europe in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, which devised a much different competition.

Many players complained about the new point system, but the smarter thing to do is adapt to it. If the POY race favors smaller buy-ins, the pragmatic thing to do is to play more small events.

Poker Experts’ WSOP Strategy

Not every top card player focuses on the Player of the Year race. Many prefer to match up against smaller fields of pros, or simply don’t like playing against amateurs. Entering a field of 120 players instead of 5,000 amateurs favors skill over luck.

Therefore, Daniel Negreanu’s 2019 Player of the Year strategy won’t be used by everyone. But it should add a nice twist to the POY race to see if KidPoker improves his chances at the 2019 WSOP.

Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller has been an online writer for more than a decade. He worked for Small World Marketing for years, where he covered topics like gaming, sports, movies, and how-to guides. He's covered US and international gambling news on BestOnlineCasinos.com, USPokerSites.com, and LegalUSPokerSites.com since 2014.

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