Sports & Gaming

Game Selection

Daniel Negreanu

Lesson time 13:04 min

Learn how to identify your ideal table—one where you can realistically win, maximize your earnings, and have a good time.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Be Honest With Yourself • Find the Best Value for Your Time • Follow the Fun • Make It Fun • Select Your Seat Strategically • Play Hours, Not Results • Quit When You Start Begging for Cards • Don’t Quit When You’re the Big Winner


So if you're a professional poker player, or you know one, you'll hear them talk about game selection. So what exactly does that mean really? Well, we'll dig deeper. Imagine you are the fifth best poker player in the world. Pretty awesome, right? Well, if you sit with the other four every single day, you are officially the sucker, right? You are the worst player in the game. So you become a losing player despite being the fifth best in the entire world. So if you are the fifth best in the world, and you're playing in that game, that's not very good game selection, considering that every other game in the house you do well in. So in order to be able to game select adequately, you first have to be self-aware enough to like, be honest with yourself and say like, where am I at? Am I really better than all these guys? Or you know, when I'm looking at a game where there's seven players, I'm like, OK, well, maybe those two guys are better than me. But I'm definitely better than these three. So then you're going to have to gauge, is it worth you playing in this game? So you're giving up an advantage to a couple of the players. But maybe there's enough players in that game that provide value for you where you could be in the middle of the road and still profit. Because, typically, if you're looking at a nine handed game, you know, a good make up for a game is you're going to have three four strong pros, maybe, some middle of the road, and hopefully have, you know, three weaker players that everyone sort of know profits from. So those players lose, you make a small profit, the best players make a good profit. Now, in terms of how to game select, again, you have to be really honest with yourself. And you always want to look for at least a couple of players that you think you're better than. There is an argument to be made about sometimes testing your skills against other really strong players as a learning tool. But understand it as not being-- it's more like study rather than it is like I'm going to work. So when you play poker for a living, you go to work when you go play poker. Sometimes, playing against other great players, that's actual study for your job, which you don't expect to make money, but maybe the small amount that you're losing to those guys can help you make more money against weaker players. Because every time you test yourself against the best, it brings out the best in you. So I've been a professional poker player for 20 odd years now. And you know, one of the things you do when you are professional, especially as your bankroll is building, is you go to the casino or you go over and you look around. You know what? I'm looking for different types of games. And I'm going to, you know, sometimes kind of like wait and see which game seems the most lively. Look who's in the games and choose accordingly. In the old days, you know, I'd be at Bellagio, and I would be, you know, in say, a 40 80 game. And I'd be peeping over a...

About the Instructor

Put yourself across the felt from Daniel Negreanu, the biggest live tournament poker winner of all time. The six-time World Series of Poker champion teaches poker strategy, advanced theory, and practice through hand-reviews of his winning games. Learn how to sharpen your mental game through demos on reading opponents and spotting tells. Join Daniel at the table to increase your win rate, grow your ROI, and get your game “in the money.”

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Daniel Negreanu

Join Daniel at the poker table. Learn his strategies to advance your cash, tournament, and online play.

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