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Daniel Negreanu Doesn’t Care If Opponents Use a VPN
GGPoker ambassador Daniel Negreanu is not a man who holds back when he speaks his mind. The Canadian is never backwards coming forwards, but his recent comments on VPN use shocked the poker community.
Negreanu was a guest on the latest edition of The Orbit podcast. It is the brainchild of Cardplayer Lifestyle’s Robbie Strazynski. Former MPN managing director Alex Scott, Run It Once Poker’s Phil Galfond, and partypoker partner Rob Yong were the other guests.
The five experts discussed several topics during the episode, which was well-received by the community. Negreanu said everyone would play against each other, regardless of their home country, in an ideal world. There is nobody in the online poker world who would disagree with those comments. You can’t say that about Negreanu’s comments on using a VPN.
Negreanu “Don’t Give a Crap About” VPN Use
The six-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner reflected on his time as a PokerStars ambassador. He recalled how PokerStars spent vast sums of money detecting VPN users and banning them from the site.
“I’ve said this before. I personally don’t give a crap where you’re playing from as long as it’s you. It doesn’t bother me.”
“I don’t think it makes a lot of sense for the companies to police in these cases when the rule is stupid in the first place. It doesn’t make sense to spend resources to enforce that. If that’s an issue in your country, then you police it.”
“Do I think it makes sense personally to spend a lot of resources trying to catch these people? I don’t. I don’t have a problem with it.”
It is a shocking stance from Negreanu as he’s essentially stating he doesn’t care if players break online poker sites’ rules. It’s quite bamboozling considering he’s an ambassador for GGPoker and is a Poker Hall of Fame Member.
What Is a VPN?
VPN is the acronym for Virtual Private Network, a piece of commonly used software. The tool masks your internet protocol address, which gives you privacy and anonymity. Spoofing, that is faking, your location is another VPN feature.
For example, you may be physically located in New York but a VPN can make whatever website you are accessing think you are in the United Kingdom. This is an obvious issue for online poker sites who have rules about where customers can reside.
High Profile Cases
PokerStars issued a lifetime ban to Sorel Mizzi after they caught him using a VPN. Mizzi admitted accessing PokerStars from the United States so h could play in the 2015 WCOOP. Adding to the outrage was the fact Mizzi didn’t even use his own account while offending.
Mizzi’s comment at the time weren’t a million miles away from Negreanu’s stance.
“I was being sneaky and I got caught and it sucks. Do I feel terribly guilty about doing this? To be honest, no not really.”
An even higher-profile VPN use case occurred in 2018. Gordon Vayo, who rose to fame after a second-place finish in the 2016 WSOP Main Event, won $693,462 in a PokerStars SCOOP event.
Vayo won the massive prize while using a VPN. He claimed to be in Canada when he was actually in New Jersey. PokerStars withheld his near $700,000 in winnings, prompting Vayo to sue the company.
PokerStars launched an investigation and turned up some gold. Vayo allegedly hired someone to forge documents to prove he was in Canada. Someone tipped off PokerStars and they counter-sued Vayo for at least $280,000 in legal costs.
Always Adhere To a Site’s T&C
Using a VPN isn’t illegal by any means, but you cannot use one when playing online poker. Those of you reading this article from the United States should only play on poker sites listed on our site. Always fully read the terms and conditions before agreeing to them to avoid any unforeseen issues.