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Daniel Negreanu Explains Withdrawal From NBC Heads-Up Championship

An obviously emotional Daniel Negreanu took to YouTube to explain that a “commitment to friends” was the reason behind his withdrawal from the $25,000 buy-in invite-only NBC Heads-Up Poker Championship (NHUPC).

In an eight-minute video, KidPoker assured his fans that he wholeheartedly supports the event. But Negreanu felt that friendship and keeping his word was more important than playing in a poker tournament.

“I promised some friends who need me, need my support, need me to be there for them this weekend,” Negreanu said, a bit choked up while speaking.

Negreanu explained that his friends in need gave him their blessing and would understand if he went ahead and played in the 64-player field NHUPC. But he further stated that in the past his priorities had always been poker over friends and family and that he didn’t want to continue going down that path when his friends truly needed him.

In the latter part of the video, Negreanu talked about his desire to be a husband and father someday. He went on about that while the single life has its advantages, he is a romantic at heart and is very desirous of finding the woman of his dreams. That was made evident by his recent appearance on the reality TV show “The Millionaire Matchmaker.”

Negreanu began 2013 with one of his famed video rants that was not really a rant at all. It showed a much kinder, gentler KidPoker than previous rants that typically came down hard on those who he felt deserved it, such as Howard Lederer. Negreanu talked then about being more available to those who need him in 2013 and to help those who are seemingly not on the right path in life. One of his aims for the New Year was to do everything he could to give the poker community a better name. His withdrawal from the NHUPC seems to keep in line with his goals and resolutions for 2013.

Negreanu will be replaced in the Heads-Up Championship by David “Doc” Sands, who was elated to be selected as the first alternative. “I am thrilled to have this opportunity,” Sands tweeted.




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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.