What do you get the person who has it all? How about something that doesn’t actually exist—at least not yet? That’s where professional poker player Daniel Negreanu has set his sights these days. After making a fortune on the felt, the Canadian poker pro wants to buy a share of the Las Vegas NHL hockey franchise from Bill Foley.

Daniel Negreanu wants piece of Las Vegas NHL Hockey FranchiseIronically, Las Vegas does not have an NHL team, but the billionaire/millionaire team of Foley and Negreanu is aiming to change that. Bill has been on a mission to bring professional hockey to Sin City for some time now, heading up the organization Hockey Vision Las Vegas, which launched its own website late last year.

Last month, the NHL announced that it had received applications for expansions teams from 16 groups/individuals, but that it was seriously considering only two of them; “one from Bill Foley for a franchise in Las Vegas, Nevada, and one from Quebecor for a franchise in Quebec City, Quebec.”

Negreanu says the odds of Las Vegas being awarded an NHL hockey team are extremely high. “I just don’t see it not happening,” he said in an interview with Toronto Sun’s Mike Strobel. “We have a solid owner, an arena (nearing completion on the Strip with 17,500 seats for hockey) and we sold 13,000 season tickets,” said Daniel.

“Vegas has 2.2 million people. It’s a sports town,” he continued. “We’ve been starving for a professional franchise of any kind for many years.”

The highest winning tournament poker player in the world with over $30 million in cashes (plus 6 WSOP bracelets and 2 WPT titles), Negreanu made his fortune by correctly gauging the odds, and he puts the odds of Vegas receiving an NHL team at “99.9%”

What name does Daniel foresee the new team embracing? The Las Vegas Rat Pack, as in Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, and the rest of the crew. Of course, that’s only his vision. The usual naming contest would be held.

Daniel pledged to be at every game cheering on the team, and said he might even launch his own hockey talk show. But for now, “the focus is on getting the team”.

Does Las Vegas have a Slap-Shot at an NHL Hockey Team?

When the NHL began accepting applications for expansion teams, there were specific guidelines set forth. In order to even be considered, the applicant must be capable of substantial ownership, which Las Vegas has in billionaire insurance tycoon Bill Foley. An adequate arena must available, or at least plausible, which Sin City already has in The Las Vegas Arena.

Lastly, there must be an interested audience, and Foley has already obtained that as well. As Daniel pointed out, Foley’s campaign to harvest hockey fans was a huge success, having already secured over 13,200 season ticket holders, including 11,500 deposits, 1,000 commercial commitments and 735 suite seats.

If Las Vegas is granted an NHL hockey team, it would be at least two years before the franchise was up and running. Foley previously aimed to have the team dropping the puck by the 2016-17 season, but now says that goal simply isn’t feasible. “It’s got to be 17-18 right now.”

After six long, grueling days, the 2015 WSOP Main Event has delivered the fatal blow to 6,393 of the total 6,420 field of entrants. Of the mere 27 that remain, all eyes are on Daniel Negreanu. The 40 year old Canadian poker pro has accomplished many things in the poker world – far more than most can ever dream of – but the WSOP Main Event Championship has perpetually eluded him.

Daniel Negreanu in Final 27 at 2015 WSOP Main EventHe learned to play poker at 15 and by 22 he was packing his bags, leaving Toronto for the brilliant lights of Las Vegas to ‘live the dream’. Success wasn’t instant, but in 1997 the live tournament scene welcomed him with open arms. He cashed in 6 events, three being 1st place finishes, and collected over $75k that year. It was all uphill from there.

Daniel Negreanu has since become one of the most decorated poker pros in the world, earning the nickname ‘Kid Poker’. He’s captured a total of 6 WSOP bracelets and 2 WPT Titles. He has already been inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame, tying David ‘Chip’ Reese as the youngest inductee at age 40. He’s been named CardPlayer’s Player of the Year twice, and is ranked #1 on the Poker All Time Money List with $30,095,734 in live tournament cashes.

With so many accolades, it may surprisesome to learn that, despite a multitude of attempts, Daniel Negreanu has never even cashed in the WSOP Main Event. Twice he’s landed in the bubble of the WSOP Europe Main Event, finishing 43rd in 2012 and 25th in 2013, but the ultimate prize of all – the WSOP Main Event Championship – is now just 26 eliminations from his grasp.

Final 27 of 2015 WSOP Main Event, Daniel Negreanu in 9th

As the final 27 players wait to be seated at the last three tables just a few hours from now, Daniel Negreanu holds the 9th highest chip stack of 8,495,000. The leader going into Day 7 is Thomas Kearney (14,400,000), followed closely by Matt Guan (14,230,000) and Erasmus Morfe (12,085,000), all of American descent.

As Day 6 came to a close, Daniel Negreanu told CardPlayer TV how he felt about his position in the 2015 WSOP Main Event, guaranteed to earn his first cash and, hope upon hope, a Championship bracelet.

“There is one event in the world that everybody pays attention to, even if they’re not into poker, and this is the one!” said Kid Poker. “So making a deep run here is extra special. Winning is like that feather in the cap that we all want before we die, and this is a great opportunity. I’m going to seize the moment.”

Notable Eliminations from Day 6 of the 2015 WSOP Main Event

Yesterday’s action saw some remarkable players heading for the rails.

Bracelet winner Justin Bonomo found his chip stack running dry in 64th, worth a $96,445 payday. 2x EPT titlist Toby Lewis ran aground in 53rd for $137,300, followed by 2010 WSOP Main Event  final tablist Matt Jarvis in 51st for the same $137,300 cash.

Brian Hastings, who’s already snagged two bracelets this year (3 in all), was ousted in 49th place for $137,300 as well. Bracelet holder Steve Gross fell in 47th, also for $137,300, trailed by online poker pro Mark “P0ker H0” Kroon in 43rd for $164,086.

One of the last to exit the arena last night was Kelly Minkin, who collected $211,811 for finishing 29th and earned the esteemed title of last woman standing in the 2015 WSOP Main Event.

Final 27 of 2015 WSOP Main Event

Rank Player Name Chip Count
1 Thomas Kearney 14,400,000
2 Matt Guan 14,230,000
3 Erasmus Morfe 12,085,000
4 Joe McKeehen 11,975,000
5 Mario Sequeira 11,685,000
6 David Stefanski 11,485,000
7 Alexander Turyansky 10,785,000
8 Zvi Stern 9,940,000
9 Daniel Negreanu 8,495,000
10 Justin Schwartz 7,510,000
11 Patrick Chan 7,400,000
12 Anton Morgenstern 6,955,000
13 Thomas Cannuli 6,220,000
14 John Allan Hinds 6,210,000
15 Pierre Neuville 6,000,000
16 Chad Power 5,300,000
17 Blake Bohn 5,000,000
18 Federico Butteroni 4,980,000
19 Fedor Holz 4,645,000
20 Neil Blumenfield 4,315,000
21 Christoph Brand 4,120,000
22 Joshua Beckley 3,745,000
23 James Magner 3,500,000
24 Max Steinberg 3,290,000
25 Kilian Kramer 3,175,000
26 George McDonald 2,875,000
27 David Peters 2,100,000


California iPoker Awareness with PokerStars Pros Daniel Neagreanu and Jason SomervilleThe great state of California has spent so many years debating online poker regulation without any real progress that I’ve found myself groaning each time another news story on the issue hits the presses. But this year, unlike all others, a bill has actually moved beyond the first phase of reading, and Team PokerStars Pros Daniel Negreanu and Jason Somerville are doing their part to ensure it continues to see progress.

PokerStars has lobbied hard for passage of an internet poker bill in the Golden State—preferably one that allows the world’s largest poker operator to participate—and who better to represent the campaign than two of the most popular and prolific poker pros of our time? Negreanu and Somerville have agreed to host an iPoker Awareness conference in Sacramento, California on Thursday, May 21, 2015.

The terrific twosome will kick off the event in the Compagno Room of the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento. Negreanu and Somerville will be on hand from 10am to 12 o’clock noon. All in attendance will be able to talk with the poker pros about online poker and the political side of the debate, as well as play a little online poker with them (for free-play, of course) if interested.

PokerStars chooses Crème of the Crop to Represent

PokerStars couldn’t have possibly picked a better team to represent their interests at tomorrow’s iPoker Awareness session. Anyone with any interest in live or online poker knows of Daniel Negreanu, and Jason Somerville became a more high-profile player right around the time that Nevada launched the first US-regulated online poker site in April of 2013.

Daniel Negreanu: Known for his outspoken attitude when it comes to the game of poker, Daniel “Kid Poker” Negreanu has 6 WSOP bracelets and 2 WPT titles. He’s considered the most affable player in the poker world, and also happens to be at the very top of the All Time Money List with $29,973,908 in live tournament cashes.

The Canadian born poker pro posted his intentions to appear at the California iPoker Awareness seminar via his Twitter feed on Tuesday. “Will be in Sacramento Thursday to talk politics and online poker on behalf of @PokerStars. Feels like the right time to get CA on board!”

Jason Somerville: While this American poker pro may not be as decorated as his fellow iPoker Awareness speaker, having just one WSOP bracelet to his name thus far (with great emphasis on the term ‘thus far’), his popularity among the online poker masses is unquestionable.

Somerville has been actively producing poker videos on YouTube since 2011, and in 2014, started up a live-streaming poker series on Twitch known as Run It Up. After his former sponsor, Ultimate Poker, shut down in Nevada last year, Somerville signed on as a member of the Team PokerStars Pros, and is now in the third season of this immensely popular Run It Up broadcasts.

Jason Somerville also mentioned his upcoming appearance at the iPoker Awareness hearing on his Twitter feed, saying he’s “excited to be heading to Sacramento tmw with @RealKidPoker to talk online poker regulation on behalf of @PokerStars!”

Perfect Timing for CA iPoker Awareness Session

PokerStars couldn’t have timed out the iPoker Awareness conference any better. It takes place just one day after today’s scheduled Joint Hearing among the Assembly GO Committee in which legislators will discuss an “Overview of Gambling in California-Legality, Authorization and Regulation”.

You can listen to the hearing live today at 1:30 PST.

The subject of Assemblyman Adam Gray’s California online poker bill, AB 431, will be high on the agenda at the hearing. After its initial reading, the measure was referred to Committee, officially making it the first such bill in California to make it to the first stage of voting. The bill received unanimous votes in favor of referral on April 27, 2015.

Poker games have been highlighted on television since the 1970’s, but it wasn’t until the sport experienced its big boom in the early 2000’s that watching poker on TV became truly popular, especially in Europe and North American. Viewership declined around the turn of the decade, but the trend is reemerging, and a new channel, Poker Central, is set to take full advantage with Daniel Negreanu coming along for the ride.

Poker Central TV signs Daniel NegreanuPoker Central is a new TV channel that’s slated to take to the air sometime later this year. It will feature 24/7 broadcasts of poker events, recaps and other related news, like the great debate over online poker regulation – much like ESPN does for athletic sports. The 24/7 poker channel will deliver everything from in-depth bios of the world’s top professionals, to poker tutorials and strategic maneuvers used by the pros.

The developers of Poker Central are hoping to draw a global audience, and while poker is extremely popular in many regions of the world, it’s going to take more than international coverage of all things poker to attract the masses. With that in mind, producers sought out the most popular poker personality on EarthDaniel Negreanu.

The Canadian poker pro has everything viewers could possibly want in representative of the poker channel. Not only is Negreanu a 6x WSOP bracelet winner and 2x WPT titlist, he has the most affable personality of any known poker pro the world over. He’s thoughtful, comical, always willing to share his knowledge of the game, and he’s devoted much of his life and wealth to philanthropy. Suffice to say, it’s damn near impossible not to like Daniel Negreanu.

Daniel Negreanu joins Poker Central TVIt doesn’t hurt that the Canadian poker pro also happens to be the highest ranking member of poker’s all-time money list. At 40 years of age, his live tournament exploits have earned him $29,973,908, about $3.5 million more than the nearest competitor, Antonio Esfandiari. For his impressive efforts, Daniel was recognized by the Global Poker Index (GPI) as the best player of the last decade.

The team at Poker Central was thrilled to snag such a high-profile personality, as was evident by the comments of CEO Clint Stinchcomb. “We are excited to add Daniel to the Poker Central team. Daniel is a great ambassador of the game and will help take televised poker to new heights.”

Once Poker Central launches its channel, Stinchcomb said Negreanu will become a “key spokesperson” for the network. The 6x WSOP bracelet winner will be fully involved in the generation of original content for the poker channel, and will take on the role of studio analyst and commentator.

“I am thrilled to join the Poker Central team,” Negreanu said. “I can’t wait to help make 24/7 Poker a reality.”

Viewers will be delighted to know that Negreanu’s responsibilities will see him at the tables, as well. He’ll be promoting Poker Central at live events, and is already slated to partake in the $500k Super High Roller Bowl at the Aria Las Vegas in July.

With half a million on the line, Daniel will be competing alongside fellow esteemed pros, (most of which also hold a high ranking on the all-time poker money list), including Antonio Esfandiari (#2), Daniel Colman (#3), Phil Ivey (#4), Erik Seidel (#5), Sam Trickett (#6), Phil Hellmuth (#7), Scott Seiver (#8) and many more. Sponsored by Poker Central, you can view a complete list of all players registered for the $500k Super High Roller Bowl here.