Phil Ivey vs. Daniel Negreanu – Who Is a Bigger Name in Poker?

By Marcus Harmon
June 04, 2021

Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu are both amazing poker players. They are two of the best poker players of all time – there is no doubt about that – and among the most successful: both of them won big money and many titles.

But which of them is better? And what do they think about this question? Let’s take a look.

Phil Ivey Daniel Negreanu

Daniel Negreanu

The Canadian Daniel Negreanu is definitely one of the best poker players ever. He has won six WSOP bracelets and two World Poker Tour titles. And in 2014, Global Poker Index recognized him as the best player of the decade.

He is well known for not focusing solely on the WSOP events but also for playing and winning a lot of other big poker tournaments. As of 2019, he is the third-biggest live tournament poker winner of all time, winning over $42,000,000 in prize money!

He is the only player who was twice named the WSOP Player of the Year, in 2004 and 2013. Negreanu was also the 2004-2005 WPT player of the year and was inducted to the Poker Hall of Fame in 2014.

With all of these accomplishments, it’s no wonder why many consider Daniel Negreanu to be the best poker player of all time. But, there is one important man who disagrees: Daniel Negreanu (seriously!).

But, if not him, who does deserve this title according to Negreanu? Last year, NBC Sports Chicago asked him this question, and this is what Daniel had to say:

“So for me, it’s always going to be Phil Ivey until otherwise stated,” Negreanu said. “When you say ‘poker’, I think of all poker games. I think of Stud, Omaha, Triple Draw, Short Deck, everything… and Phil Ivey plays them all. There are certainly going to be some players who play just No-Limit Hold’em, the most famous game, better than Phil Ivey right now because people have worked really hard on it. But as far as I’m concerned, Phil Ivey is the goat.”

WATCH: Interview with Daniel Negreanu

Phil Ivey

Phil Ivey started playing poker with his grandfather when he was a kid. In an attempt to discourage young Phil from gambling, granddad openly cheated while playing – needless to say, it didn’t work.

By the age of seventeen, Ivey was already a frequent and well-known guest at Atlantic City casinos. When he was of the right age, he started moving in the direction of being a professional. And he moved fast. Until today, Ivey has won 10 WSOP bracelets and one World Poker Tour title. He is considered by many to be the best poker player in the world, and in 2017, he was inducted to the Poker Hall of Fame.

READ: Interview with Phil Ivey

He openly stated that his goal is beating every form of poker at every limit and making the most money. Not only that, Ivey sometimes passes on tournaments (even mid-tournament!) to go play cash games with stakes of $4,000/$8,000 or even higher. Why? Because the money he could win exceeds even first prize in the tournaments.

His lifetime winnings exceed $31,300,000, and he is currently ranked 9th on the all-time money list.

Ivey also indulges in other gambling games, like baccarat. In 2014, The Borgata sued him and claimed he was cheating at baccarat. Apparently, they thought he was taking advantage of a defect in the manufacturing of the playing cards. The casino sued him for $10 million in winnings, plus $5.4 million that the casino claimed they would have beaten Ivey for if he had been playing without the alleged edge sorting.

Unfortunately for Ivey, the casino won the case.

Why to Play Other Casino Games?

As we can see, some of the best poker players like Ivey also indulge in other games, whether it’s blackjack, baccarat, or other popular online card games like Hearthstone, or Gwent. When it comes to Ivey, when he isn’t playing poker, he prefers baccarat. On the other hand, Daniel Negreanu enjoys playing chess and even likes Hearthstone.

This is not unusual at all, since playing other games for many professionals is a way to rest from poker for a bit – but also, at the same time, to practice various skills that they can use in further poker play.

Many of them choose the online option for this and play live blackjack or live baccarat on different websites such as SuperSeven Casino. This is a way to chill and just play some cards, but also learn a lot and utilize it when developing a poker strategy. It’s also a way to relax and stay sharp at the same time.

It’s Hard to Decide

As we said, when comparing Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu it’s important to state that they are both definitely among the best players of all time. When deciding which one is the GOAT, it’s hard to disagree with Negreanu, and not give Ivey the advantage. On the other hand, Daniel Negreanu is definitely the most recognizable name in the game.

But, which of them is bigger in poker? That’s a much more subjective question, and you will ultimately have to decide for yourself.



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Marcus Harmon poker author
Written By.

Marcus Harmon

Marcus Harmon is a poker writer and editor of Sunshine Poker Rooms, a poker news and information source. With a decade of experience in the online gaming industry, Marcus has been lucky enough to have met and indeed been beaten by some of the great players. His other passions are soccer and travel.

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