Becoming a Poker Pro is Easy Says Daniel Negreanu

January 25th, 2019 | by Kaycee James

Daniel Negreanu believes it’s easier than ever to become a professional poker player but the US Department of Justice (DOJ) would beg to differ.

Daniel Negreanu poker pro

Daniel Negreanu believes it’s easier to become a poker pro thanks to modern technology. (Image:

Talking to The Independent, Negreanu said that modern technology has given more people the opportunity to join poker’s elite. Asked by the newspaper how difficult it is to become a pro now compared to Kid Poker’s day, the Canadian said there are more routes to success nowadays.

“I think it’s easier than it’s ever been to become a professional poker player right now because there are so many learning tools, software, books and you can watch pros playing on Twitch like Lex Veldhuis,” Negreanu told the British newspaper.

Negreanu Bridges Old and New

As shown in the Netflix documentary on his life, the PokerStars pro came up in a time when internet poker didn’t exist. Learning his craft by, in his words, losing “his ass a few times,” Negreanu is a mix of old school and the new school of poker.

However, just 11 days before the January 25 article was published, a DOJ decision may have made it harder for US players to become pros. Following pressure from lobbyist groups such as the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Wire Act has become a threat.

After listening to requests from New York and Illinois regarding the scope of the 1961 federal law, the DOJ ruled that the ban on cross-state telecommunications only related to sports betting. The 2011 decision allowed the aforementioned states to expand their lotteries and gave rise to online poker legislation in the US.

Operating on the assumption that the Wire Act couldn’t prevent state regulated online gaming, poker went live in New Jersey in 2013 before Nevada and Delaware followed suit. Although other states have been slow to regulate, the 2011 decision essentially gave online poker a route back into the US.

Wire Act Could Strangle US Online Poker

All that could be set to change thanks to the January 14 announcement by the DOJ. Publishing details of a decision made back in November 2018, the federal agency said that it now believes the Wire Act covers all forms of gambling.

At this stage, the ramifications of that reinterpretation are still be processed by industry insiders and lawyers. However, for US poker players, a potential outcome is the end of interstate gaming.

Should that happen, the liquidity sharing pact between New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware would be unworkable. With all three states struggling to generate any significant revenue from online poker, the Wire Act could kill parts of the industry.

While Negreanu likely spoke to the newspaper before the DOJ decision was made public, his comments now carry a lot more weight.

After waxing lyrical on the positive impact of technology, the threat of having this taken away should provide food for thought not just for American poker players but everyone in the industry.


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