The 7 golden rules of Daniel Negreanu for beginners

Daniel Negreanu offers his advice to beginners, to those who want to get high in poker but are starting. Enjoy with your 7 golden rules.

If you were to play your first big live tournament and could ask Daniel Negreanu for advice, what questions would you ask him?

Before starting the main event of the PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo 2017, the Canadian professional Negreanu, one of the best players in the world and probably the most charismatic in the world, sat at a table next to a group of recreational players.

This meeting was not scheduled or registered in the official tournament schedule, it was only a first contact and welcome before the tournament, with good atmosphere, even laughs, while enjoying the good Mediterranean climate of the Principality on the terrace of Salles des Etoiles on the roof of Monte Carlo Casino.

We were able to take a seat with all of them (recreational and Negreanu) to hear the questions and answers. We are not going to expose all of them, but we are going to focus on the key points that Daniel urged his listeners, in his own words.

1. Don’t show (the letters) if you don’t have to

There is no reason to show your cards, no matter if you had a good play or were just bluffing. People will analyze how much you have bet, how you have acted in doing so and collected all the details of the hand.

At some point they will use this to face you. Wait to show the letters to your rivals until you have more experience (then you’ll know when and how to do it).

I like my tablemates to know what I am capable of doing, but despite that, I would not use this kind of attitude with everyone, I would always do it or not depending on who is sitting at the table.

I also recommend not to play too much or force the situation (overplay) with some hands. AQ is a clear example since it is a very delicate hand.

Don’t make 4bet with her since if they put you an even stronger bet (or even all-in), your hand is dead. What do you think would force you with a 5bet or all-in your rival?

2. The reading of the rivals is based on small details

It all depends on realizing something and taking it into account (mentally writing it down) for the future, but you should know that it is not always the same for each player, they are always different details and aspects. It is not easy to be able to read the rivals and it takes a lot of time (and maybe also experience).

Be careful that they do not laugh at you, that they do not deceive you. I often do “reverse tells” (tells contrary to usual or what I want to show). Once, I went bluffing and put my hand on my face. This tournament was televised and my action was shown on television.

“What do you think your opponent has if he puts you?”

The opponent saw my bet and everyone saw that he had tried to bluff. For a year, whenever I had the nuts (the best possible play) I made that same gesture, with the rivals watching my bet again and again.

3. Don’t go bluffing

I don’t bet on bluffing, ever. Well, except that time with Isaac Haxton. One thing is to go semi bluff, with outs and options to take your hand if they see your bet and another go bluff, something you should not do as a beginner.

4. Don’t play loose too soon

If you think you should see a lot of flops when it’s cheap, you’re wrong, doing that is playing bad poker.

Do not devote yourself to clean when the blinds are low. With 25/50 blinds, there are only 75 points in the boat that you can take, that’s all.

“If you think you should see many boats when they are cheap, you are wrong.”

Later, when they come into play before, there is much more to gain when you see the flop, that is the time to open your hand when entering the boats (play loose).

5. Get them to recognize that you play tight

If you have not played a hand for quite some time, make sure your table mates realize it since only then will you get benefits for it.

If the rest of the cards on the table do not realize that you have not played a hand in a long time, you will not be able to get anything from that game strategy.

6. Have a goal and a reason

You must have a clear objective, but I also firmly believe that you should not only know what you want or where you want to reach, you also need to know how to get it and why you want to do it.

Think, for example, of a poker tournament. Why do you want to win it? For the money? Perfect, but … Why? What are you going to do with him?

Or do you simply want to feel fulfilled? Well, but why is it so important to you? If you don’t have a clear reason why you want to win the tournament (in this case), it will be more complicated to achieve your goal.

Negreanu Responds
“Always have a goal and a reason.”

I have seen billionaires who only talk about making more money, people who will never ruin or stop being rich who protest because a coffee costs them five dollars (or euros), why do they even care with so much money?

Those people believe the lie that more is always better. They think that if they have more money they will be happier, forgetting that this is not the case.

7. Failure

Failure is important, everyone does it. Yes, I have also failed.

More than once in Las Vegas I was making money, thinking that I had the game, as well as the table, totally dominated and only 24 hours later I was bankrupt, I had lost so much that I had to walk back to my hotel.

Those walks were very important to me. I still benefit and continue to learn from them.