(Featured image: courtesy of WPT)
In poker cash game rooms and tourneys, it’s common to see people from all walks of life.
There are professional elites, celebrities, businessmen, wealthy heirs, and even simpletons who are there to have fun or to win a prize. Daniel Negreanu happens to fit in most of these categories.
Dan isn’t only a famous professional poker player, but he is also a MasterClass instructor, vlogger, celebrity, and producer, all in one. He has starred in several movies, either as himself or performed some other roles related to poker.
YES. Daniel Negreanu appeared in major films like X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Detention, The Grand, and the TV series Private Eyes and Tilt. He is also the executive producer of Skin. Negreanu even appeared in Katy Perry’s Waking Up In Vegas music video, and of course participated in televised poker shows.
Today, we’re going to talk about his career as a TV personality and producer. This part of his life may often go unnoticed because they’re overshadowed by his poker achievements.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Table of Contents
Daniel ‘Kid Poker’ Negreanu: Quick Background
Negreanu is a prominent figure in the poker industry.
Because he is so famous, you would hear about him almost on any topic related to the game. He was born in Toronto, on July 26, 1974. This Canadian player of Romanian descent managed to win 6 WSOP bracelets and two championship titles in WPT.
One of his greatest achievements was getting a WSOP Player of the Year award two times in 2004 and 2013. Plus, he also got a back-to-back award from WPT as Player of the Year, too! In 2014, he became part of the Poker Hall of Fame.
Right now, Daniel’s current total live earnings have reached almost $50 million according to The Hendon Mob. (Check out Kid Poker’s bio and net worth here.)
Negreanu in Movies, TV Appearances, and Shows
Despite being an iconic figure in the poker industry, Negreanu has several other ventures.
Some of you know that he is an online instructor on MasterClass. But did you know that he has appeared in movies and he produced a couple of films himself as well?
In fact, among all the famous poker players, Daniel has the most TV appearances so far. Let’s take a look at some of the films and TV series he appeared in.
Poker Kings (2004)
This is a documentary that features 5 well-known poker players: Phil Hellmuth, Carlo Citrone, Gary Bush, Simon Trumper, and Rob Varkonyi. It was shot for a year (12 months) to follow their journey to winning the World Series of Poker tournament.
Our guy Daniel appeared in this film as himself. The movie lasts for 52 minutes.
This is an American TV show by the writers of Rounders that aired in 2005.
It’s a fictional story that mainly depicts the life of players during the No-Limit Hold’em World Championship poker tournament in Vegas.
As you can guess the title was inspired by the poker lingo Tilt, which means the act of letting your emotions and frustrations get to you while playing the game.
The main plot revolves around a group of pro players who teamed up with the goal of defeating an iconic gambler named Don “The Matador” Everest.
They had every reason to want to take him down, but most especially because he was a cheat. The Matador worked his way up by cheating while conniving with other players just so he could advance in the tournament.
Lucky You (2007)
This one is a drama that was set up in Las Vegas and aired in 2007. It starred celebrities like Drew Barrymore, Eric Bana, and Robert Duvall.
Luck You is about an aspiring poker player who has an ill-fated relationship with his father who happens to be a two-time WSOP champion. The entire plot mainly revolves around card rooms so there are cameo appearances of real poker pros.
The Grand (2008)
This is a comedy movie, an improv skit, directed by Zak Penn.
The story is about a guy addicted to drugs on his way to recovery after several relapses. Tired of going back and forth to the rehab facility, he decided to move on for good.
After this decision, the main character joined The Grand, a poker tournament with a prize of $10M.
This tourney was spearheaded by his late grandfather back then. In the hopes of winning a big sum to pay off his serious debts, he stormed his way to the tournament.
Negreanu, alongside Phil Laak, Richard Brodie, Antonio Esfandiari, Phil Hellmuth, and others, had cameo appearances in this film as pro players.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
This is by far the biggest movie Daniel Negreanu ever appeared in.
It is a movie produced by Marvel Cinematic Universe which was a box-office hit. A lot of you might be wondering how did Daniel end up in this non-poker-themed movie.
Well, he had a quick appearance when Wolverine met Gambit. Daniel was playing with the anti-hero when the protagonist appeared. Although it was a very short cameo, many fans were happy about it.
All In: The Poker Movie (2009)
This movie showcases the real reason why poker has gained popularity again after so many years. Plus, it also lets you in on a story as to why a lot of people use this as a tool to achieve their lifelong dream of success.
This is a black comedy film produced in 2011.
It is about the mysterious killings targeting students from Grizzly Lake High. At the height of the killings, the principal grounded the school’s notorious misfits and put them in detention on the night of the prom. The administration was very sure that one of these kids was a serial killer.
In detention, the group discovered a time machine disguised as the school mascot. They discovered the mysterious body-swapping abilities of one of the characters who wished to stay in 1992 when the world was supposed to end according to her.
Daniel here had a brief appearance as a male news reporter.
Kid Poker (2015 Documentary)
PokerStars Original Films decided to release a documentary on his life.
In case you didn’t know, Daniel Negreanu was nicknamed “KidPoker” after he became the youngest player to ever win a bracelet from WSOP, hence the name.
In this film, you’ll have a peek at Dan’s early childhood life in Canada. You will know what his personal struggles were when he was younger and why he got hooked on poker.
They also featured the days when he started playing pool in Toronto which eventually led him to discover the exciting world he is now part of.
This film shows the rise and fall of Negreanu throughout his entire career as a professional player. His love for high-stakes poker is very much evident as well, so you’ll know how he rolls most of the time.
A lot of fans have been waiting for this so they can at least have an insight into what this sensational poker player has gone through to be where he is today (on a personal level), and how he influenced the game.
If you’re curious about Daniel and his life, you’ll definitely enjoy this documentary!
It’s available on on Netflix if you live in the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand. (Ironic that it isn’t on Netflix Canada considering that Negreanu is a Canadian himself.)
Private Eyes (2016)
Private Eyes is a TV series about solving crimes in Toronto. It falls under the comedy-drama genre which garnered a lot of attention, especially among Canadians.
This show had two seasons – one had 10 episodes, while the second season had 18 episodes divided into 2 batches (9 episodes per batch).
Just like before, Daniel had a cameo appearance in this series, yet this time he had lines of his own. They were just a few sentences, but this made a great impact on Dan’s career as a TV personality.
Poker Queens (2020 Documentary)
Women at the poker table is quite a rare sight, but there are some who prove they have what it takes to leave a memorable mark in the industry despite being part of the minority.
It will let you in on how these women overcame adversities on the felt by playing against well-known male players like Daniel Negreanu.
There are bits of interview pieces from these poker babes that can be found throughout the film.
Life as a Producer
Negreanu isn’t just your regular poker guy. Aside from appearing in several films and television series, he also produced a couple of films himself.
Let’s check them out!
It’s an American film about rappers, which was an entry for the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival and produced by none other than Eminem himself.
According to IMBD.com Daniel Negreanu was a co-executive producer.
Adam Merkin who portrays a progressive student of Berkeley, who is writing a thesis on the N-word. To make his research more factual and believable, he tries to experience it himself and watched a freestyle rap battle.
The main character sparks outrage when his interest in battle rap as a thesis subject becomes a competitive obsession.
After an unexpected successful showdown between Billy Pistolz (a white rapper) and Adam, Behn Grymm (a black pro-rapper) agreed to be interviewed by him.
Later, Merkin was found doing freestyle rap almost everywhere he went.
The Game Changers (2018)
This is a documentary film that talks about athletes who live on a plant-based diet only.
The executive producers of this show are big-time celebrities like Jackie Chan, Pamela Anderson, Brendan Brazier, James Cameron, and Rip Esselstyn. And Negreanu was an associate producer as well.
The movie shows actual interviews of experts in the field of science and medicine about athletes who adopted this kind of diet and lifestyle.
It also shows the success rate and the effectiveness of eating plant-based meals compared to being fed meat.
While the intention was good, this documentary sparked debates and received mixed reactions from the science, nutrition, and fitness industry.
Skin is an official entry to the 2018 Toronto International Film of which Daniel Negreanu is an executive producer.
It’s a story that was inspired by the life of Bryon Widner, an American neo-Nazi. The story starts when Bryon decides to quit the white supremacist movement. After this, he joins a group of illegal workers to do dirty jobs.
Because of this, he was targeted by the neo-Nazi movement. Their house was shot by a couple of group members but both he and his wife were not harmed. But when he went out to confront them, their dog was already hanging, which served as a threat.
To avoid the same encounter, he decided to work with the FBI to capture the members of the white supremacist group.
Other On-Screen Appearances
There are more on-screen appearances besides typical movies and TV shows.
You likely saw him in poker-related ones.
Televised Poker Tournaments
Whenever there’s a massive tournament going on, you’ll find Daniel there.
This could be World Series of Poker, Super High Roller Bowl, Triton Series, World Poker Tour, just to name a few. They are televised and you can watch them on PokerGo or YouTube.
This is fun to watch because you can see how they actually play, what’s their approach, how well they try to disguise their emotions, and how well they run on the felt.
Many aspiring players watch these shows because it’s one of the best ways to learn is watching how the pros play and behave. Not to mention that it’s entertaining.
Televised Cash Games
Throughout the years, Kid Poker has appeared in multiple cash games, as well.
- The Big Game
- High Stakes Poker
- Poker After Dark
- Poker Duel
Unlike other players, Daniel isn’t a regular on Live at the Bike and Hustler Casino livestreams, but he is quite a regular in PokerGo events.
YouTube Video Content
Negreanu consistently publishes poker vlogs and educational videos on his YouTube channel.
They are especially interesting to watch during the World Series of Poker, since he’s one of the fewest people who has the permission to record his WSOP tournament days.
Daniel Negreanu has made a name for himself, not only in the poker industry but in television as well.
Although most of his appearances are quick-passing, he made an impact in all those scenes. Poker fanatics couldn’t even miss out on his cameo roles.
Now, I’d like to hear from you:
- Did you watch any of the movies mentioned here?
- Or do you prefer watching Daniel participate in real poker shows on TV?
Share your thoughts in the comments section below!