Daniel Negreanu Slates Epic Poker LeagueAugust 12, 2011 6:54 am
The Epic Poker League’s inaugural event is currently underway at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas, with a host of qualification criteria in place to ensure that only the top players take part in the tournament series.
With 137 pros having participated in the $20,000 event to create a first place prize worth $1 million, the signs are already promising that the EPL will turn into poker’s equivalent of the PGA Tour.
Nevertheless, despite the impressive turnout certain high profile names were notably absent from the competition. These included Doyle Brunson, Mike Matusow, plus many FTP pros such as Phil Ivey, Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson, John Juanda and Erick Lindgren.
Perhaps the biggest name deciding not to add his support to the EPL was Canadian pro Daniel Negreanu, with some people suggesting Negreanu’s absence was due to his hostile relationship with EPL Commissioner Annie Duke.
On his blog written Thursday afternoon, however, Negreanu shed some light on his non-participation in the tournament series, and as he explains:
“I’m always careful about what I attach my name and likeness to, and after doing my due diligence on the ‘business plan’ I don’t think this league can succeed. Of course I could be wrong, but I’m not.”
“I don’t believe this product will resonate with the public…I don’t think it’s possible to bring in enough revenue to survive…everyone involved behind the scenes knows full well that the league is depending on creating a brand in the hopes of entering the U.S. market with an online poker site [in the event of legislation].
Citing not enough interesting players around to capture the public imagination and ensure success of the television broadcast aspect, Negreanu further elaborated:
“While the TwoPlusTwo crowd may love a featured table with online pros they adore, the mainstream public wants to see Sammy Farha bluff Phil Hellmuth and watch him go on a tirade!”
Daniel Negreanu then ended on the rather pessimistic note that many of the players were erroneous in thinking that their exposure on TV could land them with a lucrative endorsement deal. In Negreanu’s opinion that boat has already sailed in the U.S.