My review of Negreanu''s "Masterclass"

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My review of Negreanu''s "Masterclass"

I bought Negreanu's Masterclass for $90, because the price was right and I liked his material from VT Poker and in the real dark ages Poker School. I was happy with what I got. It has been presented on some sites as for novices, which is an exageration. It is designed to be understandable by novices. For another $90 you can upggrade and get KAsparov on chess, Wolfgang Puck on cooking, Scarcese on film making and so on. I liked the fact that it was prepared rehearsed material, unlike what is on most subscription sites, where people get paid by the video. It was also useful having fundamentals explained clearly by a strong high stakes player.

It was different from his VT Poker material in that he changed his approach and deals with various more recent theory. The material on tells and bluffs is very good. There were nice examples from his plays when he used tells or player tendencies to bluff or make loose call downs. He indicated that he no longer uses "small ball" in super high roller tournaments. He said it was an approach of waiting for people to make mistakes. In the highest stakes tournaments now, he indicated that has to force mistakes. He didn't go into detail on how he forces mistakes. He is probably much trickier than some young players trying to play like a computer, GTO or whatever, and that is probably a big advantage.

He did explain simply certain recent approach like in what situations you would overbet for value and as a bluff. His discussion of blockers was not that high level or good.

In my main expertise, late tournament play, I was not impressed. His section on the bubble was highly questionable. He suggests it may be right to open fold AQ with 7xBB and shorter stacks on the bubble. That depends somewhat on the value of your stack versus the value of mincashing. He sort of indicates that big stacks should be allowed to exploit the bubble. This may be true in a tournament playing 5 places or something, but the cash bubble is not all that important in larger tournaments. Also, he indicates that a 15xBB reshove on a big stack raise on the bubble is usually strong but doesn't suggest that it can be a good spot to resteal fairly light. Also, not all largish online tournaments have so many people limping into the bubble the way he describes. I hate to accuse someone else of not understanding ICM, but he does not discuss much ITM situations when playing tight to move up in places is more important than on the cash bubble.

It should be useful for many professional and winning players, but I wouldn't recommend it to successful high stakes players. I play midstakes. I get the elite mixed games and PLO8 videos here, but am a little confused by the high stakes NLHE ones with all the talk of blockers and ranges. tototally different from 5 years ago, which was totally different froom 5 years before that. Negreanu is a strong high stakes cash player in mixed games, and probably still at least live in NLHE and PLO.His strength is mostly in tricky play and playing the player. There are some old school nerd players, such as Huck Seed and the two guys who got in trouble with FTP. They said Ungar's strength was combining the math skills of a nerd player with the reads of a road gambler. Negreanu is more of a road gambler than most people putting out videos now.

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