Daniel Negreanu on How to Win at Poker, Phil Hellmuth, & Phil Ivey Cheating

Date IconLast Updated : Feb 7th, 2023
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Daniel Negreanu on How to Win at Poker, Phil Hellmuth, & Phil Ivey Cheating

This week’s Twittertainment sees another of poker’s greats, Daniel Negreanu, sit down with podcasting icon and AI-expert, Lex Fridman. 

One month after sitting down for Liv Boeree, Fridman has reiterated his passion for poker and its top pros by chatting with Negreanu for over two hours. The conversation went live on YouTube this week and, as expected, poker Twitter came out in force. 

Fridman tweeted about the podcast on Sept. 27 and comments from poker fans quickly flooded in. In just over 24 hours, the original tweet, and Negreanu’s retweet, had received over 1,600 likes and 167 comments.

Twitter Reacts to Daniel Negreanu on the Lex Fridman Podcast

So, what was all the fuss about? Well, aside from Negreanu having considerable sway within the poker community, Fridman hosts one of the most popular podcasts in the world. 

His recent talk with Liv Boeree has been heard by almost 1 million people on YouTube alone. 

The Negreanu podcast has notched up more than 150,000 YouTube views in its first 24 hours. 

Add to this thousands of listeners across podcast platforms such as Apple and Spotify, and the show will almost certainly expose the masses to poker. 

 In fact, judging by the hype on Twitter, it has reached the masses. The overwhelming response to Negreanu being on Lex Fridman’s podcast has been positive. 

From hardcore fans who have admired Kid Poker for year, to casual observers tuning in to see a “kind-hearted” guy give his views on cards, everyone has been listening.

Negreanu and Fridman Have a Wide-Ranging Discussion 

What fans got from the podcast certainly didn’t disappoint. Fridman demonstrated his appreciation for poker during his recent interview with Boeree and he took the latest opportunity to unpick more facets of the game.

The talk opened with a discussion about ranges (see clip below). Fridman wanted to know more about Negreanu’s uncanny knack for putting people on hands.  

What’s interesting about Negreanu’s answer is the way he’s transitioned from thinking about single hands to putting people on ranges. 

Hellmuth Feels Like He Deserves to Win

Perhaps the best moment of the podcast was Negreanu’s take on Phil Hellmuth (see clip below). 

Fridman had previously asked Boeree about Hellmuth’s claim to being the greatest ever (see clip below). She gave Hellmuth credit for being able to manipulate situations to suit his style. 

Negreanu was similarly complimentary. He did say that Hellmuth isn’t the best Hold’em player in the world. Negreanu also doesn’t believe Hellmuth could hang in the biggest mixed games. What he did say, however, is that Hellmuth has his own style that he’s 100% confident and comfortable with.

“He doesn’t ever lack belief that he can win, and he finds a way to do it in his way. Frankly, a lot of what he does is effective against specific types of players who are intimidated by him,” Negreanu said.

Negreanu went on to say that, even though Hellmuth’s game is “fundamentally flawed,” his ego forces him to try his best in all situations (see clip below). By not “phoning it in,” Hellmuth finds a way to win in spots he maybe shouldn’t. 

The problem, according to Negreanu, is that Hellmuth is too boastful. His desire to be known as the greatest opens him up to criticism that, in most cases, he can’t take. As Negreanu said, Hellmuth gets upset because he only hears the negatives and doesn’t acknowledge the positive things people say about him. 

Daniel Negreanu Talks Phil Ivey’s Edge

Fridman also asked Negreanu about Phil Ivey’s baccarat exploits and the infamous edge sorting scandal (see clip below). For context, Phil Ivey won over $20 million playing baccarat the Borgata in New Jersey and Crockfords in London, England. 

It later transpired that Ivey, along with Cheung Yin Sun, were using small imperfections on the cards to get an edge. Both casinos contested Ivey’s results and won. Ivey ended up out of pocket, which, according to Negreanu, was a “catastrophe.”

The GGPoker Ambassador said the rulings set a horrible precedent because Ivey played on the casinos’ terms and won. “(The Casinos) offered a game, (Ivey) accepted and beat (them), now (they) want to freeroll (him). That’s disgusting,” Negreanu told Fridman. 

The Secret to Winning Money in Poker

Negreanu also answered one of the most important questions in poker: how do you make money? Experienced poker players can guess what Negreanu’s answer was. However, his breakdown of the ups and downs in poker is a great lesson for novices (see clip below). 

Fridman has over two million subscribers on YouTube alone, which means more than a few won’t know anything about poker. That’s why Negreanu’s explanation has more reverence than it would if he was talking to a group of poker fans. 

The eternal effort to make poker a mainstream game certainly took another step forward thanks to Daniel Negreanu’s appearance on the Lex Fridman podcast. Will it cause another Moneymaker boom? Possibly not, but it will expose a few million people to Negreanu and poker.