Learn to Win at Texas Hold'em with Daniel Negreanu
is like sitting down with Daniel for private poker
lessons. The video is broken out into 3 pieces
- a short intro of the DVD with Daniel, the tips
section, and bonus materials. The video is produced
by MTV and is done very professionally. The DVD
was done as a companion to the video game "Stacked"
so "Stacked" logos are featured prominently
real meat of the DVD is in the Tips section. The
section is broken into Beginner, Intermediate
and Advanced play. Daniel picks out a player at
each level and gives them a private lesson in
how to improve their game.
Daniel picks out a beginning player named Danielle
from the poker room at the Wynn casino and gives
her some tips to improve her game. The tips include:
1. Which hands to play - Premium, Strong, and
2. The importance of position in selecting hands.
3. How much to bet pre-flop - Daniel uses a 5
times or 7 times based on the action in the hand
and a guide for when to push it all in.
4. Protecting your hand - making large enough
bets post flop to punish drawing players.
5. Play on the Turn - be cautious but aggressive.
6. When it's ok to draw - Open ended straight
draws and flush draws.
7. Avoiding Dominated Hands - ie when not to play
hands that can't really win on their own.
8. Bluffing - avoid bluffing pretty much altogether
except in certain circumstances.
Daniel teaches the beginner a "Fit or Fold"
strategy, play good cards and play them aggressively
to put pressure on the table pre-flop. He doesn't
want a beginning player to face any tough decisions
until they get some experience in the game.
The Intermediate Section
Daniel picks out an intermediate player named
Erica to give some private instruction. The section
goes into more advanced issues, such as playing
the player and setting up bluffs. The tips include:
Classifying your opponents styles - Rock, Maniac,
2. How to read an opponent - ie the guy who has
bluffed the last 6 hands is obviously a maniac.
3. Exploiting players based on your table image
- for example if you've been playing few hands,
maybe through in a bluff or two.
4. Whom to bluff - bluff the rocks and short stacks!
5. Whom not to bluff - don't bluff a maniac or
you become one!
6. Types of bluff - Semi-bluffs are the ones you
want to try (aka bluffing with outs).
7. Setting up a bluff - utilize your image and
past history to set up bluffs.
8. How to avoid going on Tilt - Have confidence
and faith in the system and stay stable!
9. Playing based on your stack size - you have
a lot more flexibility with a larger stack.
10. Basic Poker Math - Daniel gleans over some
basic odds and tells you to do some homework on
Daniel teaches Erica that poker is really about
playing the player and that their style and their
perception of you dictates how you should play.
The Advanced Section
Daniel selects Cole, a player who's ready
to take the next step in his poker education.
The advanced section stresses playing post flop
"small ball" poker. This is in direct
contrast to the beginner "Fit or Fold"
style stressed earlier. Tips include:
1. Playing "Small Ball" Poker - take
smaller risks to steal blinds and give yourself
a maniacal table image; this loose agressive image
will enable you to win some big pots later.
2. Blind Stealing - Daniel advocates making smallish
2.5 - 3 times the blind raises with a lot of marginal
hands in late position to steal the blinds and
get a loose table image.
3. Take stabs at pots post flop - if a flop is
checked to you, make a less than pot sized bet
to win a lot of pots cheaply.
4. The Math behind small ball - Daniel briefly
discusses Pot and Implied odds.
5. Avoiding Traps - you need discipline to fold
good but beaten hands.
6. Setting Traps - exploiting your loose image
to induce bad bets/calls from your opponents.
7. Phantom Poker - Calling with nothing to set
up a bet later.
8. Defending your blinds - You must defend your
blinds liberally to keep from being run over.
9. Tells - Daniel discusses some subconscious
and acting tells and what they probably mean.
Daniel teaches the small ball method and explains
why it's such an effective way to play poker.
He stresses that poker is hard work, takes discipline
and constant learning.
DVD includes some bonus materials which in all
honesty are pretty weak. I would have like to
seen a more in depth discussion of poker math
and maybe some more interesting hand examples.
The bonus material includes:
1. How to spot a sucker at the table - ie fumbles
his/her chips, or a player who doesn't protect
2. Headsup Play - the difference between headsup
strategy and ring game strategy.
3. Tourney vs Live play - the difference objectives
of the two.
4. Chip Shuffling - Daniel teaches you how to
shuffle chips so you look less like a donkey.
5. Poker Etiquette - a text based primer on being
a nice guy at the table.
6. Daniels Stats - a text based history of Daniel's
7. Video Preview of Stacked - a preview of the
video game Stacked, the game does look pretty
slick but I hate commercials on things I've paid
$20 to get.
Overall the DVD is done very professionally and
Daniel's delivery is very polished and natural.
The DVD is about and hour and a half but has too
much information packed into that amount of time.
The DVD would be better if it was broken into
one DVD for each level of play. Daniel really
doesn't get into too much detail on each subject
so the DVD seems a little rushed. Other minor
weaknesses include the bonus materials and the
cameos by Erick Lindgren; he basically just parrots
what Daniel is saying while the two observe the
students applying what they've been taught.
The information on the DVD is very good if you
are a beginning or intermediate player. I especially
liked the discussion on small ball poker which
is definitely more fun that sitting and waiting
for premium hands. I would definitely recommend
this video for beginning players or anyone interested
in learing how to play the small ball style of
DVD is produced by MTV Video and retails for $29.99.
It can be purchased at MTV.com
you can save $10 by calling Call 1-800-531-7929
and ordering over the phone.
this and other reviews in the Lizard Lounge.