3 Min read
Daniel Negreanu isn’t just a poker player these days. With the US presidential election imminent, the PokerStars Team Pro who recently became an American citizen has been waiting patiently to cast his vote for Hillary Clinton. Kid Poker absolutely despises her opponent, Donald Trump, and has made no secret of that fact on his social media posts all this past year.
Given his interest in politics and poker skills, Esquire interviewed the poker pro this week to see if he could pick up on any tells that the two presidential candidates might give off. Negreanu has long been known for his player reading ability at the poker table. On many occasions during televised poker tournaments, he has called out his opponent’s exact hand.
So, who better to ask about Clinton and Trump’s tells than one of the best poker players of all-time? Esquire asked him to explain what he sees from the candidates on the campaign trail.
Calling Out Playing Styles
There are many different types of poker players. Some are tight, others are aggressive, and many are in between. What type of poker player would Trump be?
“Trump is clearly very loose and very aggressive. He’s a loose, aggressive wild man. He’s hard to prepare for because he’s a lunatic. When you’re playing poker with a guy like that you never know what he’s going to do next because he’s all over the place,” Negreanu told Esquire.
Negreanu made it clear that Trump’s unpredictability can be a good and bad thing at the poker table. But what about his Democratic opponent?
“Hillary is extremely tight and extremely conservative. She’s very robotic and very careful to not upset the apple cart,” he said.
According to Negreanu’s assessment of the candidates, Trump is the political equivalent of Jean-Robert Bellande. Clinton compares to Erik Seidel.
Is Clinton Too Easy to Read?
Negreanu said it’s more difficult to get a read on Hillary Clinton, because, in his view, she’s a more polished and experienced politician. But, as the poker pro suggests, when the former First Lady puts on a grin, it’s easy to decipher whether her smile is real or fake.
Trump, on the other hand, has more obvious physical tells, according to the six-time WSOP bracelet winner.
“Trump is a lot more loose and obvious with his facial expressions. You could watch Donald Trump in a debate and not hear any of the words and you’ll still get a sense for when he’s pleased, when he’s angry, and when he’s not,” Kid Poker said.
During the debates, Trump made some strong accusations about Clinton’s alleged corruption. The Democratic nominee, many times, would put on a smile and laugh off the comments. Negreanu claims to have picked up on that tell.
“When she gets a little bit nervous, she tends to giggle or cackle a little bit, and I would say that is her biggest tell. She’s masking weakness by pretending to laugh it off. Another is that she begins to choose her words more carefully,” the poker player suggests.
Negreanu, a Nevada resident, has cast his vote for Hillary Clinton already by early voting, a popular option in the Silver State. Election Day is November 8, so with only a week to go, the final hand is close at hand at last in what’s seemed like the longest heads-up game in American history.