Professional poker player Daniel Negreanu claims that being a vegan makes him a better poker player. In an article about his food habits published in Munchies.vice.com, the six-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner says that he turned from a non-vegetarian to vegetarian before finally becoming a vegan.
Negreanu, a resident of Canada, is one of the most widely acclaimed professional poker players in the world. In addition to six WSOP bracelets, he has won two European Poker Tour (EPT) titles. He has also been inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame. Having started playing poker when he was 23 years old, Negreanu later became famous as “Kid Poker.”
When he started as a poker player, he used to eat as many burgers and drink as many beers as his poker companions. However, he turned vegan nine years back and is now working on a documentary to bust the “real men eat meat” myth with James Cameron.
Speaking about his eating habits as a child, he said that his parents tried teaching him proper food habits. They packed a lunch for him that he disliked at that time, but has grown to love now. He left school to play poker and moved to Toronto at the age of 21 to play poker as a professional. During those days, he mostly ate burgers, steak, mash, and French fries and drank a lot of vodka, beer, and wine and did not feel that good about it.
Since he did not wish to give up the alcohol, he decided to quit eating meat and became vegetarian in 2000. His poker buddies made fun of them because of the “real men eat meat” idea. Initially, he did not enjoy being a vegetarian as he did not know what to eat and vegetarians hardly had any choices those days, especially while playing poker.
In 2006, he turned vegan and began taking the issue of eating healthy foods very seriously. He began doing a lot of research and interacting with other poker players with similar interests. While it was easy to get hold of healthy food at home, things turned trickier while travelling as European restaurants weren’t vegan friendly.
Today, he takes almond milk, coconut water, chia seeds, and pink Himalayan salt. He makes his own food in his hotel room and takes packed food to poker tournaments. He says he does not even have any craving for French fries, burgers, or sweets.