Wants re-entry events gone

Re-buy events – or re-entry events as they have come to be called, for whatever reason – are the subject of great controversy in the poker world. They are a tournament format that naturally appeals to the deepest pocket players, but Daniel Negreanu, whose pockets reach the Earth’s core, has railed against them for years. On Monday, Negrenau announced that he might treat the upcoming WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic as a freezeout tournament series.

Posting on Twitter, Negreanu wrote, “WPT Bellagio main event next week. Unlimited reentry. I understand why they do it, but I wish that reentry wasn’t a thing for prestigious main events. I’m considering just playing one bullet, starting on time.”

He punctuated the tweet with “#OldSchool.”

He followed that up with another tweet in which he said he might not pay for any re-entries at all during 2020 (holy shit, it’s almost 2020 – it’s like the future is here). He acknowledged that it means he won’t achieve as many cashes and won’t make as many final tables, but, “at least I won’t be taking part in something I don’t thing should exist, or at least be the norm.”

Negreanu has a history with re-buys

It is interesting that Daniel Negreanu, of all people, would think about taking this course of action. He is known in the poker world to be hyper-focused on trying to win Player of the Year awards, particularly the World Series of Poker POY. A big part of that chase is volume. And temporarily won WSOP POY for the third time this year, only to have the title stripped when a data entry error was discovered that gave him more POY points than he had earned. Robert Campbell ended up being the winner, and rightfully so.

“When I would use the rules to my advantage, and play crazy in the early levels of a rebuy event, I could see how it often hurt the amateurs experience. Sometimes they even told me,” he added.

“I wasn’t doing anything wrong, but it started to feel that way.”

I was present for one of the most infamous moments in live tournament history and that moment happened to involve Negreanu. As he said, he has used the rules to his advantage and in 2006, he did so to an embarrassing degree. In WSOP Event #34: $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em with Re-buys, Negreanu fired an insane 46 bullets, plus bought the two allowable add-ons. He didn’t even cash.

I remember how chaotic the poker room felt that day. We knew we were in for a spectacle, but just watching everyone go all-in all the time and hearing the seemingly constant yells of “re-buy” was simultaneously fascinating, hilarious, and disappointing. It didn’t feel good. It didn’t feel like a real poker tournament.

Negreanu has actually been advocating for the elimination of re-entry tournaments for quite some time. As recently as October, he tweeted about the possibility of starting his own tournament series in which no re-entries were allowed. Additionally, there would only be one event starting per day (with at most two overlapping), no late registration permitted, and guarantees in all events. There would be a No-Limit Hold’em Main Event and an 8-Game Main Event. Buy-ins would escalate as the series went on.

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