On Monday, Team PokerStars Pro member Daniel Negreanu posted a blog entry on Full Contact Poker entitled “Mommy is Gone.” The funeral is scheduled for Thursday at 11:00am at the Jerett Funeral Home in Toronto.
Negreanu revealed that his mother passed away in her sleep around 3:30am early Monday morning in a hospital, where she had been since February. The four-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner explained, “10 months of the most brutal torture. Just no way to live, and there is a sense of relief that she doesn’t have to suffer anymore.” Earlier this year, Negreanu’s mother suffered a stroke and mild heart attack, leading to her hospitalization. She had surgery to clean out a corroded artery and then had open heart surgery shortly thereafter. Negreanu vividly painted the picture of the scene at the hospital in a mid-February entry: “She’s on life support, hooked up to a machine with a tube in her throat. She’s getting blood also, and there are just all kinds of random tubes all over the place. I don’t know what they all do.”
Negreanu recapped that he flew in from London with the intention of seeing his mother, but was too late. His brother, who had been a frequent guest at the hospital, was not present at the time of her passing either, as he had traveled to New Jersey for a football game. Negreanu lamented, “She was literally the most unselfish person I’d ever met. She got so much joy out of simply feeding people. I mean that. She loved nothing more than to cook and care for people. This Christmas will be a different one for sure. She usually cooks up a massive feast that all of my friends look forward to.”
Many of Negreanu’s posts relating to his mother occurred in February. However, two months later, Negreanu noted that the situation was still grim, but he was continuing to focus on his burgeoning poker career: “I can’t control what’s going on with my mother, but I can control how focused I am at the poker table.” Negreanu finished in the money eight times during the 2009 WSOP in Las Vegas and added a runner-up showing in the £10,000 buy-in Main Event of WSOP Europe, a tournament that he finished fifth in last year. All told, Negreanu has over $3.3 million in WSOP and Circuit cashes to his name.
An image in Negreanu’s blog entry shows his mother planting a big kiss on his cheek after he took down the Borgata Poker Open, a stop on the World Poker Tour (WPT), in 2004. On his mother’s support of his poker career, Negreanu revealed, “You know how some people never feel like their parents are proud of them? That was never in question with my mother. She always told me and showed me how proud she was of me without fail. I always felt loved by her and that’s an irreplaceable bond and feeling. She told me she loved me… every day. I mean every… single… day.” The Borgata Poker Open saw Negreanu best one of the most talented final tables in WPT history, featuring David Williams, Josh Arieh, and Phil Ivey.
Negreanu remarked, “She loved to dance and laugh. Some of my best memories as a kid were at dinner parties she’d throw at the house. As always, a monster feast, music, lots of wine and drinks… my dad telling jokes that had everyone laughing, then dancing in the living room.” In May, Negeranu headed to Toronto to visit his mother. He noted that visitors donned gloves and a gown to avoid spreading germs and, although his mother could not speak, she was able to nod and shake her head. Prior to her hospitalization, Negreanu would read her the last names of fellow poker players and have her guess their origins. In the hospital in May, Negreanu tested his parent with “Kravchenko.”
Viewing is scheduled for Wednesday from 2:00pm to 8:00pm at the Jerett Funeral Home in Toronto, with the funeral set to take place on Thursday at 11:00am. We’d like to express our deepest condolences to the Negreanu family.