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On Friday, I heard that Daniel Negreanu had started his own podcast. Normally, I don’t listen to a lot of podcasts as many either drag on for way too long. Those that I end up listening to I will often put on fast forward so that I can get through them a lot fast, slowing down if there is something actually worth disseminating.

Knowing Negreanu’s personality, I felt that this was going to be a good listen or it was going to be a bunch of glorified promotion material that I would never revisit. I’m happy to say that his initial offering proved to be a worthwhile listen and something that everyone should check out in their free time.

Interesting Approach is Something Negreanu Should Continue

Negreanu announced at the beginning of his podcast that he will be reaching out to powerful people in the poker industry as guests. Immediately, this put his show in a different category as the tone will be a bit more serious and professional.

For his first show, he called on poker superagent Brian Balsbaugh. If there is any one person that has watched the poker industry grow from the beginning of the boom until now, it is Balsbaugh.

During the podcast, Balsbaugh talked about his rise in the industry and for those that have never paid close attention to Balsbaugh and Poker Loyalty, this will be a great way to learn how he became the go-to agent in our industry.

He spoke on the early days of poker sponsorship and how that he made a living early on getting second-tier pros various sponsorship gigs. He told an interesting story how Phil Ivey turned down $2,500 to just show up for two hours to an event.

The most interesting part of the interview revolved around how poker sponsorship grew during the boom until Black Friday. He talked how PartyPoker paid Aaron Kanter $75,000 to wear a patch at the 2005 WSOP Main Event and how that launched a lot of the patch deals you saw afterwards.

It was interesting listening to how sponsorship evolved and how heated competition became between PokerStars and Full Tilt. Listening to his interview, I realized that I had dealt with one of his people in the past when I made a deep run in a WSOP event in 2006.

During the 2006 WSOP, I made a relatively deep run in the $1,500 Limit Hold’em Event. There was an outside chance that the final table was going to be filmed because David Chiu and a couple of other named pros were still in the field.

During one of the breaks, I was approached by a guy asking if I wanted to make some extra money if I made the final table. Naturally, I said yes and I was offered $3,000 to wear a Full Tilt patch at the final table regardless of whether the event was televised or just some snippets filmed for a clip show. Of course, I didn’t make the final table but I kept the patch. (No, I don’t still have it.)

Seldom do I listen to a podcast in its entirety without speeding up the audio to 2x the speed (sometimes more). This podcast held my interest nearly the entire time, and if it does that for me, it should be a fascinating listen to casual fans. Robbie Strazynski will probably add it to his eternal playlist.

I like this format and hope that Negreanu is successful in bringing in a steady stream of industry professionals. This is very akin to “Inside the Actors Studio” but for poker industry professionals.

Minor Improvements to Improve the Show

There are a couple of minor improvements that are needed to improve the show. First, the sound quality needs improvement. Since this was his first show, naturally there are going to be some hitches and that was the most noticeable. My guess is that he’s already working on improving this for next time.

Next, what’s up with the old school porno music? Yes, that is a bit nitpicky but the funky, almost Dolemite bumper music could probably use an upgrade. Watch, now that I have said this, the theme will go viral and will live forever.

Quality over Quantity is A-OK!!

Towards the end, Negreanu hinted that this podcast may not run on a normal schedule. Don’t expect “weekly” episodes from this offering. Frankly, I have no problem with this whatsoever and this is something that other podcasts should consider.

I would much rather have Negreanu crank out one solid podcast every month rather than throw out weekly content that is sometimes great but is usually ho-hum. All of you can think of examples of what I mean, so I will not name any shows.

Great Example of Value-Added Content that Fits His Style

One thing that Negreanu discussed with Balsbaugh is how that pros need to provide value-added content to the companies they represent. This podcast is a great example of value-added content that just happens to fit Negreanu’s style.

Negreanu is well connected in the poker industry and one personality that most would have no problem talking shop with. He’s also a personality that casual fans will go out of their way to listen to on a regular basis.

As such, this podcast is a brilliant example of value-added content by Negreanu. Jason Somerville flipped the script with his Twitch streaming and Negreanu may well be flipping the podcast script with his new venture.

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James Guill

James Guill began his poker career in 2006, spending two years traveling the US tournament circuit. Since 2008, he has covered the game extensively for some of the biggest names in the industry. When not writing about the latest poker news, he can be found hunting for antique treasures in Central Virginia.

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