Professional Poker Players’ Review of Daniel Negreanu’s Masterclass3 weeks ago
Daniel Negreanu’s Masterclass is one of the most eagerly anticipated poker products to ever hit the market. In 2018, the launch saw a rush of people signing up to see what one of the most successful players of all time had to say about how the game should be played.
With more than $42 million in live tournament winnings on his record, surely there would be plenty in the class worth listening to.
Negreanu takes his students through what is a comprehensive course, covering everything a player needs to know to compete in the modern game. Through 38 video lessons an absolute beginner has everything they need to learn and move up the ladder.
Let’s take a look through the wide array of topics found in the course.
BasicsAs you’d expect, the first few chapters are geared around players who know little more than the rules. After a short introduction, concepts such as position and hand ranges are explained in a way that is easy to understand.
The class quickly moves onto the more difficult subject matter of how these ranges interact with varying board textures. This is obviously a topic that is never mastered by anyone, and is usually a work-in-progress for the duration of any player’s career.
To cap off the few fundamentals chapters Negreanu gives a primer on the numbers side of the game, including game theory optimal play.
It would have been easy to skim over this starter material but Negreanu does a great job with his explanations, backed up by video examples from various events.
BettingThe class continues into eight chapters all devoted to betting, in one form or another.
Continuation betting is the starting point, where Negreanu goes through everything a player needs to be considering when deciding whether or not to be putting money into the pot. Then it’s onto check-raising and three-betting, where things really start to get testing.
We can comfortably say that the class is now firmly past the fundamentals stage and even players who win money at the small stakes will learn plenty from hereon in.
Detecting and Executing the Bluff is the next chapter, and the first where we really get to see Negreanu in his element as a top player. Hand reading has always been Negreanu’s main strength as a player and his explanations here are well worth listening to.
Bet Sizing and Overbetting are next up: more difficult subject matter. These topics are yet more of something that is easy to understand and yet impossible to master.
Mixing it UpThe next few chapters are a cluster of essential topics for players who are looking to move beyond the smallest stakes. Multi-way Dynamics and Pre and Post Flop Mistakes fill in a lot of the gaps in a player’s knowledge.
Multi-way poker is incredibly complex and Negreanu does a good job explaining what factors are at play during the decision-making process. It is a hard task for any coach to teach students all the ins and outs of this in such a short space of time. Learning about typical mistakes is essential when moving up to bigger money games, and Negreanu gives a full overview in plenty of detail.
The subject of mixed strategy will have been an interesting addition for live players. With Masterclass being predominantly US-facing, there will have been many players signing up for the class who have not played online in recent years. The idea of mixing actions in the same spot wasn’t such a big deal before Black Friday but it is crucial to implement in your game these days.
Tourneys or Cash?The age old poker player’s argument: which is better; tournaments or cash games? The answer, of course, is whatever you prefer. Over the next few chapters students hear an examination of strategies for both formats of the game.
The tournament chapters provide a solid grounding for inexperienced players—from total beginners to intermediate level. The class detail isn’t what you would see on a site such as Run it Once or similar, but solid nonetheless, covering all of the stages, including bubble play.
Table BehaviourAs you might expect, Negreanu makes use of all of his years of experience as a top live professional. From reading players to avoiding having players read you, it’s all in there. Table talk, table image, and how not to go on tilt are welcome additions for any players looking to move into the live arena from the online world.
The metagame section is something that many experienced players will have been interested in hearing from Negreanu. This kind of advice can be worth its weight in gold over the course of years playing.
Making it as a ProThe final chapters are all about how to succeed as a professional poker player. Proper bankroll management is mandatory for anyone wishing to have long-term success. Negreanu also delves into game selection, explaining how to choose where to play and which tables to avoid, and how to train effectively.
Our VerdictDaniel Negreanu’s Masterclass is a highly polished product that can be of use to the vast majority of poker players. It isn’t as detailed as some of the training sites, where top pros make video content aimed at players who are already extremely strong, but the class isn’t aimed at that market.
A lot of effort has gone into making the class as suitable as possible for a wide range of abilities. Some might say that they’ve tried to please too many people, but we think they’ve pretty much nailed it. In our opinion it was a good decision to make the material inclusive of beginners as well as those quite a way up the ladder. We definitely recommend new to intermediate players give this course a try.
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