Online poker has seen a meteoritic few months with so many poker players staying home during the pandemic. With the annual World Series of Poker postponed until fall, organizers announced a new agreement for 85 gold bracelet events.
The events will allow WSOP.com players the opportunity to win a bracelet beginning July 1. GGPoker will also allow international players the chance to win a bracelet beginning July 19.
Daniel Negreanu is one of the biggest names in poker and now serves as a GG brand ambassador. With so much on the line when bracelet events get underway, Negreanu spoke to PlayUSA about how players can improve their poker games and his own plans to add to his own bracelet collection this summer.
Playing for WSOP bracelets online
Negreanu may be as synonymous with poker as anyone including the WSOP. His poker resumé boasts $42 million in live tournament winnings, six WSOP bracelets, and two World Poker Tour titles.
The new online WSOP series has stoked plenty of debate among poker players. Opinions range from pleased to see online poker’s expansion to lamenting so many online events awarding gold.
Negreanu prefers a pragmatic outlook on the subject.
“I believe an online WSOP is better than no WSOP,” he says. “I’m obviously a mixed game aficionado so not seeing that on the schedule is unfortunate, but as I said, I’m just happy to be able to play something.”
The series includes 31 events beginning at WSOP.com. GGPoker will also begin offering a slate of 54 bracelet events as well as other tournaments beginning July 17.
WSOP.com has seen massive fields since the pandemic began with many big name pros jumping in the action. This has been a boon for the US and international online poker industry.
The two platforms already teamed up in May for the WSOP Super OnlineCircuit Series. That series smashed the $100 million guarantee and paid out $134 milion.
The WSOP Online series offers the first time players outside the US have a chance to win a bracelet online. Many are already working on travel plans for both series — including Negreanu.
“My plan is to grind both fully,” he says. “All of July at home on the WSOP.com platform and then immediately flying to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, where I’ve rented a house to play all the GGPoker.com portion.”
Online poker advice from Daniel Negreanu
Originally from Toronto, Canada, and now living in Las Vegas, Negreanu is no stranger to online poker. He represented PokerStars for years and then jumped on board at GG in November.
Negreanu has been a big fan of the site and believes it has the best software in the industry. The bracelet events should attract monster fields and he offered some advice on transitioning from live poker to online.
“Online poker is a better way to improve your skills than live poker by a wide margin,” he says. “Online is all about focusing on the fundamentals and it’s easier to analyze hands you may have played using the hand history feature.”
Those new to playing online should start small, he says. This gives a player some time to adjust to a faster pace and the actual online gameplay.
“Get accustomed to the software and all the bells and whistles available before you jump in for big money,” Negreanu notes.
And while obviously players can’t see opponents online, Negreanu says observation is still important. Player tells can even be picked up on at the virtual poker tables.
“There are lots of tells available in terms of timing, but mainly you are going to focus on betting patterns and tendencies that you should log using the notes feature,” he says. “Anytime your opponent does something outside the norm, it would be a good idea to log that so next time you face them you have some insight into what they are capable of.”
Document those online poker sessions and opponents
Negreanu stresses taking notes and tracking opponents. GGPoker and other sites offer this as well as using the color-coded labeling feature.
“These will help you make better reads during crunch time,” he says.
There’s one aspect of the game he won’t offer much advice on — bankroll management and what percentage of it to risk.
“That’s a personal choice depending on the person and how comfortable you are with risk,” Negreanu says. “Whether live or online, how much gamble a person has is individual to their situation.”
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Looking ahead at WSOP
Negreanu has won on every major poker stage imaginable. In 2015, he even came within a whisker of making the final table of the WSOP Main Event. He finished 11th for $526,778 – all playing out live on ESPN.
Negreanu now has an opportunity to add something new to his poker record — an online bracelet. He thinks those who head outside the country to play will enjoy the GG product and experience.
“The bells and whistles on GGPoker are designed to be the most fun playing experience you will find playing online,” he says. “It is far and away the best software on the market, specifically when it comes to playing on a mobile device.”
A self-confessed poker superfan, Negreanu will be a tough customer at the online tables when bracelet events crank up. He’s hungry for a bracelet – whether online or live at the WSOP’s longtime home — the Rio hotel in Las Vegas.
“A bracelet is a bracelet as far as I’m concerned, and winning an online bracelet is tough due to field size and strength of opponents,” he says. “I’d be proud of any bracelet I won.”