--- Daniel Negreanu on Day 1-D of play in the 2006 WSOP Main Event
A little over a week ago, Negreanu put a notice on his blog that shared his opinions on the suit --- essentially, that the suit was frivolous and should be dropped. Negreanu even offered up a point mentioned here in our take on the matter, that the show was the WPT's private property, and the players in questio were free to participate --- or not --- as they chose.
It didn't sit well with Greg Raymer, one of the seven litigants in the suit. While playing on Stars, Raymer was quoted as saying that he was "glad that Negreanu was out of the World Series of Poker," and that Negreanu was "either stupid or a sockpuppet for the World Poker Tour."
Negreanu's reply? About as sharp-tongued as you'd imagine from Kid Poker: "Raymer should be in Africa breastfeeding some starving children." Ouch.
In kind, Raymer fired back to the extent that he was the practicing attorney, not Negreanu, and that he (Raymer) wasn't aware that Negreanu's opinion was the expert source on the topic. Negreanu's response, in turn, avowed that he (Negreanu) indeed wasn't a lawyer, but he had talked to several and believed what they had to say on the matter, which was, in essence, that the suit was groundless.
It's rested there, for a couple of days, though the two likely won't be huggy-kissy any time soon.
This blogger's wholly-tongue-in-cheek thanks go out to both of these leading lights of the poker world for attacking the messenger instead of the message, with the result that you see.
But what of it? It's way too soon to know what the results of the litigation will turn out to be, but there's an undercurrent of something else here that's cropped to the fore as well --- and it's where Negreanu, for all his popularity, may well have crossed the line. Several of the recent WSOP Main Event winners (Varkonyi, Moneymaker, Raymer), have also been poster children for cheap shots from the established poker elite, in-kind payback for their newfound fortune and fame. One of the arguments served up in Negreanu's defense is that Raymer still isn't that good of a player, especially conpared to the elite crew in the big game at the Bellagio; one imagines that sentences containing both "Jamie Gold" and "lucky donkey" are likely to be uttered with great frequency inside the Fishbowl in the weeks and months ahead.
--- Greg Raymer signs for a fan inside the 2006 WSOP Lifestyle Show
Jealously does those elite pros no good, nor can they rewrite history. It doesn't matter how good Raymer is; he's a marketable commodity, just like Negreanu, Matusow, Greenstein, and all the others who've fired cheap shots over Raymer's admittedly sizeable bow. That marketability is one of the bases driving the suit, and it's part of why Raymer is party to the suit in the first place, whether that sits well with poker's entrenched elite or not.