Sunday, November 25, 2007

Daniel Negreanu the Not-Unhappy Divorcee

[An all-Cal Sunday commences...]

Daniel Negreanu spilled the beans about a major change in his life this week, though in normal Negreanu style, he did so with a bit of build-up for the fans.

Negreanu's postings at his Full Contact Poker blog have been less frequent than normal in recent weeks. Late in a post about the Las Vegas Comedy Festival, Daniel abruptly changed tacks and told his widespread readership that something more serious would soon follow in a separate post. Here's what Daniel wrote on Nov. 20th:

On a totally unrelated note, the next blog I write is going to be very different than anything I’ve ever written before. I considered writing it now, but I wanted to give it some time so I can really think about what it is I’m saying and what the best way to say it is. It’s kind of a good news/bad news blog in a sense, although I prefer to see it as a very good thing and a positive step in my life. I’d explain further but the only way to do that would be to just write the blog now and I’m not going to do that.

As for when the blog will be written? It’ll probably happen within the week.

As one would expect, the rumor mills kicked into high gear. The friendlier posts were on FCP, while the snipier stuff appeared on 2+2 and elsewhere. In no particular order, possibilities for Daniel's upcoming revelation were that:

  • Daniel was getting a divorce from his wife of two years, Lori Weber;

  • Daniel was busto, and this was why he was no longer played in the Big Game at the Bellagio;

  • Daniel was gay, and was going to out himself (feel free to roll your eyes...);

  • Daniel was relocating back to Canada or to Europe, being burned out on the Las Vegas / American scene;

  • Daniel was going off to serve a tour as a Christian missionary;

  • Daniel was resigned to doing a cheeseburger-eating prop bet, a la Howard Lederer.

    Yeah, we might have made up one or two of those, but it was getting pretty stupid in the forums. Yesterday, though, Daniel posted the news, and it actually turned out to be one of the most widely speculated things, that he was getting divorced from his wife, Lori. Here's part of what Daniel wrote in the latest post:

    So in my last blog I described the news as both good and bad and that’s exactly how I feel about it. It’s bad news, in that, something like this is never a good thing, but it’s good news, because it’s the right decision for me… and Lori....

    ... Having said that, for quite some time now we both have felt that there was something missing or not quite right. I know for certain that I’m to blame for much of it. I can be a pretty demanding person at times. What I regret most is trying to change Lori into something she wasn’t instead of just loving her for who she was.

    She is a great person, someone you could trust with your life and would never turn her back on you. She is a great listener and would do anything for a friend. I think we’ll be really good friends forever.

    The decision to split could not have gone any smoother. Seriously, one night we just started talking after a frustrating day for both of us. Not yelling, not blaming each other for anything at all, no crying, just talking like adults....

    And on from there. Daniel reported that the two came to a very amicable split, with no lawyers involved or anything of the sort, and that the two would likely remain good friends. They are splitting up the dogs, with Daniel getting Mushu and Lori getting Marley. Daniel and Lori just seemed to have separate lives, and while she was well known within the professional poker scene, she was rather anonymous to the casual poker fan. (If curious, you can see her hair-cutting skills in this Negreanu head-shaving video over at

    Divorces are never good news, in that sense, but it's refreshing to see a relationship in the poker world that, if ending, is at least ending in a responsible manner. There have been enough of the other stories in recent times, even without getting into the wretched non-relationship stuff like Mike Matusow's arranged blind date with Kathy Griffin or anything connected with Shawn Sheikhan. Emotional maturity is refreshing.

    Nor is Negreanu likely to lose any fans over something as well handled as this. It should, in the long run, make him even more valuable as a poker commodity/spokesperson.

    Bets of luck to Daniel, and Lori, as they move forward in their lives.
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