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Daniel Negreanu Polls Twitter Followers Regarding VPN Usage

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Daniel “KidPoker” Negreanu has been one of the most identifiable faces of poker for years now and he has built quite the resume along the way. With six WSOP bracelets to his name, there is no denying the Negreanu knows his way around the felt table. In recent weeks, he took to Twitter to discuss the controversial topic of playing online poker in the United States via VPN and turned to his followers to discuss.

By the way of a simple tweeted poll, Negreanu asked the following:

Daniel Negreanu Twitter Poll About VPN

The question itself is fairly simple, but if you do not understand what a VPN is, such may not be the case. That is why we will briefly explain what VPNs are below.

What is a VPN and How Does it Work?

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VPNs, or virtual private networks, sound significantly more complex than they actually are. Like mobile phone companies that all offer a similar product under different brand names, VPNs are offered from a variety of different providers that can be paid for as-needed, monthly, annually, and so on.

Once you have signed up for a VPN, you will need to download the client and turn it on before browsing the web. Once you have done this, your IP address will be hidden and ultimately replaced by a temporary IP address. This temporary IP address will make it seem as though you are surfing the web from a different geographical location. For example, if you live in Texas and utilize a VPN, it could make it seem as though you are actually located in Europe, or Asia, or virtually anywhere else.

For many people, the use of a VPN is something that offers more security. Because your internet provider’s assigned IP address can show hackers, the government, or anyone else exactly where you are located, folks utilize VPNs because it can thwart anyone from tracking your internet activity.

While, in a lot of cases, people use VPNs for wholly legitimate reasons, there are plenty of examples of people using VPNs to cover illicit activity. This is where Negreanu’s question comes in. Thanks to many of the world’s largest poker sites banning players from the United States, we are increasingly seeing people in the US sign up for VPNs and utilize them to play online poker at sites where they would otherwise be unable to do so. Needless to say, this is against the terms of service at virtually every poker room.

Daniel Negreanu VPN Twitter Poll

Back to Negreanu’s Question

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Now that you understand a little more about VPNs, you will more than likely also better understand Negreanu’s poll question. At the end of the day, more than three-quarters of respondents indicated that they feel as though using a VPN in the U.S. to play online poker at the best online poker sites where U.S. players are prohibited is perfectly fine and not cheating. The poll did not leave any room for Negreanu’s followers to explain their selection, but few people were surprised at the results, and a lot of people took time to reply to the tweet to explain their choice.

Plenty of people elaborated on why they thought the use of VPNs was allowed, and most of their opinions boiled down to it being unfair that US players are restricted from some of the biggest online poker sites around. This attitude was expressed clearly in the following tweet:

Tweet Supporting Use of VPNs

At least one notable poker fan, however, made it clear that he disagreed. While he did not think it was “the most malicious form of cheating,” Shane “shaniac” Schleger concluded that using a VPN to obfuscate your location was cheating nonetheless. Schleger was a Team PokerStars pro in the past, just as Daniel Negreanu was, and he has more than $1.4 million in live MTT winnings.

Negreanu replied to him and questioned why Shane thought it was cheating, saying that a US player has no advantage over those who are playing from accepted geographic locations and wondering why the sites are so adamant about making users “cross an imaginary line.” Shane expounded on his views:

Shane Schleger Tweet on VPNs

Daniel Becoming More Outspoken?

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Though “KidPoker” has never been one to shy away from controversy, he appears to be kicking his mouth into overdrive now. He has recently expressed his views of presidential politics, the most respected tournament organizations around, and his experiences in underground Toronto poker clubs.

Daniel NegreanuDaniel “KidPoker” Negreanu

Perhaps a reason for Daniel's new volubility is his departure from Team PokerStars in May. There are just certain subjects – VPNs being one – about which it would have been inappropriate, as a spokesperson for 'Stars, for Daniel to express his true opinions. Now that he's not contractually obligated to PokerStars or any other poker site, he is free to express his feelings unhindered.

Should You Play Online Poker with a VPN?


After reading all of this, you might be wondering whether or not you should try playing online poker with a VPN. While the allure of playing on massive foreign sites might be large, the risks far outweigh the potential rewards.

For one, players who are using a VPN to play at sites that ban Americans run the risk of having any potential cashout requests denied by the site. If your account is caught, or even suspected of, using a VPN from a country whose residents are prohibited from playing, you can bet your bottom dollar that you will not see a single penny from that requested withdrawal. In fact, you will also likely see your account closed in short order.

There is no advantage to jumping through all the hoops required to play with a VPN when there are quite a few highly reputable online poker sites that already accept players from the United States. The number of sites that exists is likely larger than you are thinking, and most of them have been around for a decade or longer. What’s more, the player traffic at many of these U.S. online poker rooms is such that games and tournaments can be played at all hours of the day and night.

We go over the situation for Americans in our U.S.A. offshore poker informative guide and reviews page. Read it to learn about internet poker laws, the best sites to play at, historical events in the online poker world, and more.