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.

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

Topics include: Have a Plan • Be Consistent and Always Play to Win • Have a Balanced Life • Be an All-Around Player • Be Adaptable • Think of Poker as Running a Business • Always Look for Leaks in Your Game • Don’t Play the Victim • Be Emotionally Stable


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...

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.”

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Daniel Negreanu

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

Explore the Class
Sign Up