Jun 162016

Don’t know much about it, but found the KidPoker documentary about Daniel Negreanu interesting.  This 3-video lesson for “advanced players” barely touches on the psychological aspect of the game – which is of course a huge component – but gives the layman some insight what strategy can look like.

It specifically focuses on “smallball,” which revolves-around being active in as many pots as possible (ie. you don’t immediately fold if your first 2 cards are garbage), but making consistently small or moderate bets to minimize risk while folding when necessary to avoid potentially fatal “trap” situations.  The boxing analogy is pretty interesting: throw lots of jabs but avoid killer hooks and uppercuts.  I was kind of expecting lots of math and card-counting-type stuff, but in this video he talks more about considering the current size of the pot and weighing risk-vs-reward and how it averages-out in the long run.

I also like Negreanu’s table-manner: he runs his mouth constantly, even when no one else is making a peep, and can’t help openly-speculating what other players are holding.  There’s almost certainly a tactical element to it, but it honestly feels like it’s more about his genuine love of the game, as if he’s hosting a clinic (or in boxing terms just sparring), even in a high-stakes tournament.  He’s also kind of a freak of nature when it comes to guessing other players’ hands.

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