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Daniel's big challenge creates some action

Daniel's big challenge creates some action 0001

Widely acknowledged as one of the top players in the game, Daniel Negreanu is putting his money where his mouth is.

Negreanu, as part of his new 'job' as a host at the new Wynn casino's poker room has issued a challenge. Daniel will play anyone, at almost any game...heads up for anywhere between $100,000-$500,000. This from Daniel's blog...

Its pretty simple really: I'll play anyone in the world a heads up freeze out for any amount from $100,000 to $500,000. As for the game of choice- I'll let you pick it from the following list. You can choose just one or any mix of games you want.
Limit Hold'em
Omaha H/L
Stud H/L
2-7 Triple Draw
A-5 Triple Draw
Pot Limit Omaha
Pot Limit Hold'em
No Limit Hold'em
I won't refuse anyone. The only stipulation I have is that if I lose a match to someone I have the right to take my lumps like a man and quit. If Phil Ivey comes down to the Wynn and plays me heads up for $500,000 for example, I won't back down. In my opinion, he is a better Stud player than me, but I'll play him anyway and hopefully learn a thing or two.

This new challenge has already gotten some takers, and inspired some "chippyness" (to use a Canadian phrase since Daniel is Canadian) among one high profile competitor of Daniel's. Barry Greenstein has accepted Daniel's challenge, and indeed some words have been flying on the message board of Daniel's site, Full Contact Poker. According to the forum at Two plus Two, Barry has agreed to play Daniel heads up, at possibly as many as ten different games for $500,000 each. Throughout the process of this challenge, and acceptance, some words have been exchanged on top poker forum message boards, like two plus two, and the board at Daniel's site, Samples of the exchanges are:

Barry Greenstein on two plus two:

I play in the "first tier" game and Daniel has in the last couple of years moved up to the second tier. There is some disdain that players in my game share about players who haven't proven themselves at the highest level.

Daniel's response via

Over the last six months I have three times more hours in $4000-$8000 than I do anything smaller.

Obviously, both players are very familiar with each other, having played the tournament circuit together for years. It will be interesting to see how these matches turn out.

In addition to Greenstein, another player that has taken Daniel up on his challenge (sort of) is David Sklansky. David posted the following response, also on the 2+2 boards.

I am willing to play the following headup game with Daniel if it is not used to publicize a non MGM hotel. Stud 8/B. $200 ante, $300 bring in. $500-$1000, $40,000 freezeout. He lays me 50,000 to 40,000. I have no reason to think he would take this deal but it is definite on my part. If he wants to double the stakes I expect I can sell half of myself. I offer this proposition only to set in stone a game that I would absolutely play. That doesn't mean I wouldn't entertain other propositions.

Sklansky has obviously done the math, and engineered his response to his maximum advantage, as a math, and a 'technical' player, as opposed to trying to outplay Daniel at more psychological games, like No Limit Hold Em.

The first set of matches seem to be slated for May 13th, at 7pm at Wynn. Daniel has basically said that is the first time he will be available to take on all comers. Whoever is first in line that night gets the first game. As crazy as this sounds, I think Daniel will have his hands full with challenges, especially at first while the publicity to be gained from playing these matches is significant.

We will have someone on site at the Wynn, and report back with the results of matches, assuming they do come to fruition.

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