Was Daniel Negreanu’s 2013 performance the best of all time?

daniel negreanu2013 was quite a year for Daniel Negreanu. In addition to playing his usual role as poker ambassador, he absolutely dominated in some of the biggest events on the tournament calendar, and somewhat quietly put together one of the best years in the history of the game.

* World Series of Poker Player of the Year

* Cardplayer Magazine Player of the Year

* Bluff Magazine Player of the Year

* Finished 2013 #1 on the GPI Global Rankings

* Runner-up for the Global Poker Index Player of the Year

* 2 WSOP bracelets, including the WSOP APAC Main Event

* Final table appearances in the WPT Championship (7th place) and the EPT Grand Final (4th place)

* $3.2 million in tournament earnings ($2 million in profit)

Realize, those are not a list of Daniel Negreanu’s career achievements, those are his 2013 tournament achievements. Which leads me to ask the question: Was Daniel Negreanu’s 2013 the greatest in tournament poker history?

Other Contenders

Phil Ivey 2012

2012 was the year Ivey went on a final table bonanza at the WSOP, cashing seven times and reaching five final tables. Ivey also finished 12th at the Aussie Millions, won the $250k Challenge at the Aussie Millions, and final tabled the $250k tournament in Macau.

Phil Ivey 2002

Like 2012, in 2002 Phil Ivey cashed seven times, and made five final tables at the WSOP, but in 2002 he won three bracelets! Back in 2002 he was also a fixture in poker tournaments across the country, and won four other titles as well as finishing in 4th place in the 2002 WPT Foxwoods World Poker Finals.

Phil Hellmuth 2003

Hellmuth was on fire throughout 2003. At the WSOP he cashed six times, made four final tables, and won two WSOP bracelets –Hellmuth finished 27th in the Main Event in 2003 as well. He also cashed in three WPT tournaments, finishing in 20th, 10th, and 3rd place. And throw in a 3rd place finish at the USPC (one of the most prestigious tournaments at the time) for good measure.

Phil Hellmuth 1993

In 1993 Hellmuth cashed in four WSOP tournaments, he won three of them and finished as the runner-up in the fourth! Not enough volume to really challenge for this award, but it’s a pretty impressive feat none the less.

Johnny Chan 1987

Johnny Chan won three tournaments in 1987, most notably the WSOP Main Event, but he also won the 3rd annual Diamond Jim Brady tournament, and eight of his nine cashes for the year were 3rd place or better.

Sam Trickett 2011

Trickett is best known for his 2012 One Drop runner-up showing, but that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Trickett’s resume. In 2011 he won the $100k Challenge at the Aussie Millions, finished 2nd in the #250k Challenge at the Aussie Millions, and capped it off with a win at the Partouche Poker Tour Main Event.

Daniel Negreanu 2004

This is a late addition to the contenders, because I apparently blanked and forgot Daniel’s 2004, which is definitely a contender for the top spot.

Four WPT final tables, with two wins, and a 2nd and a 3rd place finish; six WSOP cashes, five final tables and one bracelet; Cardplayer, WSOP and WPT Player of the Year; and throw in a win in the $10k Poker at the Plaza Championship for good measure.

My Best Tournament Year Ever Curveball: An Tran 1992

It was a different era so we have to look at An Tran’s 1992 results with subjective glasses. Some may argue that the fields were much smaller and softer, but it was also the case that there were far fewer options when it came to tournaments.

Let’s start with his WSOP performance where he cashed six times and made five final tables. An Tran also won the Gold Coast Poker Open and the Hall of Fame Poker Classic in 1992, and of his 22 cashes all but one were final tables (obviously a byproduct of the smaller fields, but still a pretty impressive feat).

To help put the dollar figures in perspective; Tran was the 10th winningest player in 1992 according to the Hendon Mob.

My Rankings

If I had to rank the above years, my order would be:

* #9 – Phil Hellmuth 1993

* #8 – Johnny Chan 1987

* #7 – Phil Ivey 2012

* #6 – Sam Trickett 2011

* #5 – Daniel Negreanu 2013

* #4 – Phil Ivey 2002

* #3 – An Tran 1992

* #2 – Phil Hellmuth 2003

* #1 — Daniel Negreanu 2004

A special thanks to www.thehendonmob.com for their incredible tournament database.


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