It really isn't truly the World Series of Poker until Daniel Negreanu turns up, but arguably the most popular player in the history of the game had some personal and professional obligations that kept him away from the the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino until Sunday afternoon.
"First off I was in Sacramento talking to politicians about getting online poker back in California," he told PokerNews. "Then I was shooting a TV series. I have a role in a brand new TV series that's coming out. It's going to be like an Entourage meets Swingers meets poker kind of thing, with a very cool cast.
"Then I was the best man at a wedding, so I had to miss the first few events and this is my very first one."
The games began for Negreanu just after 4 p.m. local time with the start of the $10,000 Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball Championship, and he couldn't be more excited to be back on the WSOP felt.
"I'm so antsy to play," he said. "I'm so glad that's all over. Normally I come late for the events. This time I was here right on time because I just wanted to play."
Limit 2-7 Triple Draw Lowball also happens to be one of the Team PokerStars Pro's favorite poker variants.
"This is one of my best games," he said. "I wrote the chapter in Doyle's book (Super System 2) on the game and I came second to Eli [Elezra] in it two years ago. I love this game."
The always affable Negreanu is expected to be a fixture at the Amazon Room tables from here on out, with plans to play his usually jam-packed WSOP schedule.
"I'm going to play what I always do," he said. "I'm not going to play the $1,500s or less that are not mixed games. I don't play those big no-limit hold'em fields, I skip those. I'm going to be pretty much playing the 4 p.m. schedule, which is usually a mixed-game bigger event.
"Outside of that I'm still going to play soccer, go the gym and live a healthy lifestyle. I know what the grind is like, so it's important to have some other stuff going on."
Missing the first few events on the schedule certainly won't have an impact on the only two-time WSOP Player of the Year's plans to make a big impact on the 2015 WSOP.
"Historically I've been a slow starter. I usually start off like zero for ten or something like that," he said. "So I don't know if it's that important (to get off to a good start at the WSOP). It's just important to make the most of every opportunity you get, it doesn't matter when they come."
Considering his new partnership with the 24/7 poker TV channel Poker Central, Negreanu is obliged to play a couple of the events on the Aria's Super High Roller Bowl schedule at the end of June and Beginning of July, but he didn't sound too happy about having to take time away from the WSOP, despite the opportunity to play in a $500,000 buy-in tournament.
"It really pisses me off," he said "It's right up against the $10k H.O.R.S.E. and then the $10k Dealer's Choice, so I don't want to play it, but I'm part of the network, Poker Central, so it might mean that I'm going to have to skip a couple of events."
For Negreanu, it's really not about the money. The six-time WSOP bracelet winner plays for the glory and the love of the game and there's no place he'd rather be than here at the World Series of Poker.
"It's got nothing to do with money," he said. "I've got money, so I'm good. I'm just here because I love the World Series. I love the fact it's the only time of year we really get to play all the games other than hold'em. So that's what I'm excited about."