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Sports & Gaming

Life as a Poker Player

Daniel Negreanu

Lesson time 14:20 min

Daniel believes that being a poker player is akin to running a business. Learn how to ensure that your “business” thrives through critical thinking, emotional stability, and adaptability.

Daniel Negreanu
Teaches Poker
Join Daniel at the poker table. Learn his strategies to advance your cash, tournament, and online play.
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I don't want to sugarcoat anything here. If you want to be a high-end poker pro or pretty much anything in life, it takes a lot of hard work. So if I were you right now, I'd ask myself, what do you want to use this MasterClass for specifically? Is it because you just want to beat your buddies in the home game or do you have aspirations of winning millions of dollars playing this game as I have over the years? Well, if it's the latter, understand it's going to take a lot of extremely hard work. And one of the most important parts of deciding how you're going to map that out is allocating the time. I have a lot of friends, who are professional poker players. And they say, listen, I want to make $100,000 a year playing poker. And I say, OK, well how much money are you spending a month on your monthly -- whether it's bills, whether it's food, or whatnot? And they'll give me the number. And I'll tell them, OK, you want to make more money playing poker? Spend less on groceries. So it's really, really important to know that with poker it's not a game, where you get a paycheck every week that looks exactly the same. You have to prepare with your bankroll for the natural ebbs and flows. You get a hand like pocket aces, you win. No, no, no, no, that's not how it works in poker. Sometimes pocket aces is going to lose to deuce-seven or some random play that this guy makes that takes you off your hand and takes your money away. So preparing for what you want to accomplish is super important before you even get to what life as a poker player is like. Because without a plan, this can be an extremely stressful job. The more planned out you have it in terms of time allocation-- and I would say typically, especially if you're at the early stages, you want to spend 80-20. So that's at least 20% of your time studying the game, 80%-- playing. So when I started out, typically, what I would do is I would play a session. I'd jot down a few hands in my-- on paper. We didn't have iPhones back then. And then I'd go over the hands later, sometimes with friends. And I'd spend another couple of hours after an eight-hour session, studying what I just did. So that I don't make the same mistakes the next day and so forth. So really, the most important thing to understand about this lifestyle, it's very volatile. If you want to do this recreational, you want to beat up on your buddies, if you have higher aspirations, just get on board with me here. It's not easy. We're going to have to work really hard. So if you're going be a poker player, it's not good enough to bring your A game sometimes. It's not good enough just decide that you're going to apply principles correctly, when you see fit. It's really important that if you're going to play a session-- before you sit down, I typically like to decide for myself, well, how long am I going to play? So if I say, I'm going to play for six hours, I'll play the six hours. Now at the end of that six ho...

Unlock winning strategies

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.”


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

Daniel, if you're reading this mate, good stuff. In practicing patience for poker I accidentally learned how to handle variance in life itself, and that's all because you had a smarmy grin in the thumbnail of the first thumbnail. This has been my first, but not last, experience of poker. I love it.

very nice explanation about the possibiliies.

Oh my God! That's all I can tell, the best investment of time and money....the game of Poker, NO, the LIFE of Poker has changed for me forever, its priceless. Thank you Masterclass, Thank you Daniel!

I finally work with a segregated bankroll, keep track on my P/L and ROI, better use the position and aggressiveness when playing. I have also a better understanding of the demands and poker overall.



Does anyone know if online poker is filled with bots these days? Do people still make money playing online?


Yeah, in CO I can't play online anywhere. At least that I know of. Anyone know about online sites?

Virgil H.

The advice for playing online doesn't really apply to most US players. All the very few places we can play online have anonymous tables now so you never know who you are playing. Back in the pre-Black Friday days, we knew who our opponents were and could track their histories, when you were at a table with them, you already knew them to some degree, etc. That seems to all be gone. These days, I just don't play online for much money, I do it to improve my game through practice, but I just haven't invested any real money into it since we got shutdown.

Jessica E.

A lot of poker players I know have a side job. It helps them psychologically as well as financially.