Terminally Ill Tennessee Poker Fan Receives Dream Wish: Meeting Daniel Negreanu

Dreamer Stories | In the News | January 25, 2019

Poker fan Zachary Butler’s last wish is to meet his poker idol, Daniel Negreanu. And the Dream Foundation charity will make that happen for the terminally ill Tennessee man.

Butler will travel to Las Vegas on Monday and return home Thursday. His mother, Cynthia Mayberry, told CardsChat his family will stay at a casino on the Strip. He has some other plans besides meeting Kid Poker, including, of course, hitting the felt.

“He would love to get some pro autographs,” she said.

Las Vegas is certainly the place to be when it comes to seeking professional poker player autographs. Many big name pros such as Doyle Brunson, Eli Elezra, and Jean-Robert Bellande regularly play at Aria and Bellagio.

‘Trip of a Lifetime’
Butler was diagnosed with Friedrich’s Ataxia, a rare disease that impairs speech, causes difficulty walking, and a loss of feeling in the arms and legs. Only 1 in 40,000 people suffer from this genetic disorder, according to

There is no cure for the disease. He was given six months to live. But that isn’t going to stop Zachary from continuing to live his life to the fullest.

Ali Mason, a reporter for WBBJ 7, an ABC affiliate in West Tennessee, reported that Butler will have his wish fulfilled by the Dream Foundation, a charity that grants final wishes to terminally-ill adults.

Zachary wants to meet Daniel Negreanu, his favorite poker player, and will get that opportunity next week. His mother told Mason that Las Vegas will be a “trip of a lifetime.”

Negreanu confirmed Butler will visit his home and play a friendly game of poker against the PokerStars ambassador.