Daniel Negreanu questions Tom Dwan’s Poker Abilities

by Jeremy Olson on July 25, 2013

In the late 2000′s, Tom Dwan helped spark an online poker enlightenment period through his unique playing style, hard work and critical thinking style. But these days, his poker profits have slowed and some people have begun questioning if he’s still one of the best.

Daniel Negreanu falls into this category since he recently questioned Dwan’s place in the game. During an interview with, Negreanu said that Dwan was just around for the perfect opportunity in online poker. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

‘I don’t think Tom is one of the best [in the world] – I don’t know if he ever was. He got elevated after his appearances on High Stakes Poker because he ran well and played well, but realistically he doesn’t put in the time or practise playing now [to be one of the best in the world].’ Furthermore, Negreanu thinks the other top players ‘all lick their lips when they think about playing Dwan heads-up’.

It’s difficult in online poker to tell who really is the best player and who is just the best at putting themselves in good situations, as Negreanu explains. ‘A lot of the guys like Dwan, Phil Galfond and the Dang brothers didn’t grind their way to the very top – they just had enough money for the perfect storm when [Cirque Du Soleil owner] Guy Laliberté lost $17m and they all got a piece of that. Any grinders who were able to play in those games would have won that money.’

These are certainly strong words from Negreanu since he struggled mightily in high stakes cash games at one point in his life. However, Dwan’s online earnings suggest that KidPoker is onto something. The 26-year-old was up around $7 million in profits towards the end of 2010. However, his profits are now down around the $2.5 million range today.

Of course, variance is a huge part of poker. But a $4.5 million drop that coincides with Laliberté’s decreased playing volume definitely makes one think about Negeanu’s words.