I know this will largely be viewed as gossip and rumor about Daniel, but it is all based on verified facts (some of which you can verify for yourself) or first hand accounts.
I have extensive experience and knowledge with DN, members of his team and friends. I also find his televised play interesting and a substantial benefit to the continued expansion of the game as its most recognizable face and, if you believe Cardplayer which I do, its most famous player.
What I do not like is how, through his website, he sits on high and pretends to be the god of poker judging anyone who dares blaspheme against him. Also, he portrays an image of being better and smarter than a number of people in areas such as personal relationships, integrity and money management when, in fact, he has no right to judge people in those areas because of his poor performance in those facets of his own life. He perpetuates this through his blog by exaggerating those parts of his life that would make him look good and not posting those facets that make him look bad. As with all blogs, it is his perrogative to leave certain facets off-limits. The worst part though, is that he uses the blog to actively cover-up certain things. Here is the real story:
First, until recently collecting $1 million from backing Kirk Morrison's $2 million second place finish at the WPT Championship, DN was broke in that he was playing with other people's money. Although one of the greatest tournament earners of all-time, this makes sense given a number of factors: (1) approximately $1.5 to $2 million in net losses at the Big Game over the past year or two. (2) poker players are self-employed so they pay approximately 4% more taxes than employees who have employers to eat up half of Medicare and Social Security; (3) not all backing deals work out like Kirk Morrison or Gavin Smith (who I hear DN and E-Dog just broke even on after backing a horrible 2003 and 2004, before a successful 2005 for Gavin) and DN engages in a ton of backing deals; (4) Daniel likes to put on the big-shot image and spends a great deal of money on himself and those in his life (not judging here, but it is a monetary leak); (5) Playing the tournament circuit costs a lot of money; and (6) Daniel, like Doyle Brunson, rolled the dice and threw a ton of money at starting his own poker site (fullcontactpoker.com).
The last one is probably the biggest leak. Like Doyle, Daniel came late to the on-line poker craze and made a run at fullcontact by himself with his own funds. The UIGEA basically caused Doyle to fold up shop for interconnected financial and legal reasons. For whatever reasons, Daniel has not yet folded fullcontact even though it is a confirmed big drain each and every month. That site had major problems before the UIGEA in that Daniel tried to start it in association with what had previously been his fan site. This, along with being behind Full Tilt, Bodog, Stars and, at the time, Party, made the prospects of success slim. The UIGEA killed it. From what I understand, it is now only DN's ego and avoidance that is keeping the site afloat.
Another problem with running a site yourself is that it limits your endorsement opportunities. As DN admits in a recent blog, there are limited endorsement opportunities available to even the biggest poker names except for the opportunities provided by the big on-line sites. I know certain early members of Team Full Tilt purchased equity in Full Tilt for upfront investments in the millions(as Daniel has essentially done with full contact), but the Full Tilt members also receive tournament backing from the site and its additional technical and equity investors. This limits or eliminates the amount these players, and even the lesser Full Tilt pros, spend on buy-ins and travel. The bigger name Team Full Tilt members who are not equity investors even make a substantial income from their affiliation while the original members are seeing distributions from their affiliation with one of the initial, best marketed, best capitalized sites out there. You could say the same thing for the three premier members of Stars. Daniel receives none of this.
Listen, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with trying to be independent and start your own competitive business, but the manner in which DN structured fullcontact put it on life support to begin with and it should have been killed by the UIGEA. What is sad is that he refuses to fold the site and join up with another site due to ego and laziness. DN likes his work months to include 40 hours (at most of tournaments and another 40 hours of doing things so people will worship him). He evades appearances, shows up late and lacks the commitment to good decision making, professionalism and effort that are required by those given the opportunity to be the biggest name in one's sport/game.
At the end of the day, there shouldn't be anything shameful about what the guy does. My understanding is that his cut of Morrison's money paid everyone off and started a new bank roll. I just get sick of him acting all high and mighty and sitting in judgment of the poker world.