Daniel Negreanu’s latest WSOP vlog had an unusual guest appearance. In a section titled “Voicemail,” Negreanu shares with his viewers the audio of a call he received. In this call, an anonymous man claims Negreanu abandoned a secret family on Huntington Drive, Lake Havasu, AZ.
Negreanu is adamant that no such family exists.
On the vlog, Negreanu played the full audio of the blackmailer’s fourth and last voicemail.
It’s clear in the vlog that Negreanu is trying to keep things light, but even his six-time WSOP-bracelet-winning poker face shows signs of being a bit rattled. Amanda, Negreanu’s wife, who joins him on the vlog briefly seems openly concerned about their safety.
A stranger calls
The voicemail begins: “I really am calling you because I want you to know what happened after you left Lake Havasu. You have a right to know.
“I am a little upset about it but thanks to my team and dream cell phone… When you left, I had to watch Andrew, Cassie, baby boy, and the other kid all be evicted from across the street.”
The blackmailer adds: “You know the guy was horrible… across the street from me. He had to take them in when they were evicted from your house on Huntington Drive. I’m not sure you did the right thing man. But to watch them cry for you, watch them be evicted out of the house. You know, when Randy was kind enough to take them in.”
It’s hard to tell if this story is a pure bluff or if — through either madness or misinformation — the blackmailer really believes his accusations.
Eventually, the blackmailer comes to the point, making his shake-down clear and even throwing Phil Hellmuth into the mix to give the story some zhuzh.
“I just thought you would want to know what happened to the other family that you abandoned. I got all kinds of people trying to hit me up, to make this go public. But I’m giving you a chance to make this right. You know what I mean.
“Hellmuth really wants it, they want to use it against you, they really want to pay me. […] I can make it go away.”
Negreanu has now gone to the authorities and says that the FBI is involved.
In general, when someone attempts to blackmail you, it’s SOP to contact local law enforcement first thing. Don’t do anything until you’ve spoken with the police. Don’t contact the perp and don’t share the evidence with the public.
That said, it’s hard to deny that blackmail makes for compelling content — but here’s hoping that the rest of the Negreanus’ World Series of Poker is a lot less compelling.
Featured image source: Haley Hintze