In the history of poker, there has never been a better time than now for newcomers to learn the game. Some players, however, don't have time to sit through a three, four or five hundred page book to glean the information that they could learn to improve their game. Thus, poker DVDs are an excellent way to cram that massive amount of information into a shorter time span, such as the length of a movie. "Learn To Win At Texas Hold 'Em" from poker champion Daniel Negreanu is one of these such videos.
"Learn To Win At Texas Hold 'Em" (currently available on Amazon.com or at mtv.com) is the companion teaching DVD that Daniel released in tandem with his "Stacked" video game and it does provide some valuable tips for any level of poker player. Negreanu takes three different types of players (a beginner player, an intermediate player and an advanced player, naturally) and, over the course of the 90 minutes the DVD lasts, provides very interesting insight to each that any poker player can easily pick up on to advance their game. He's joined on the DVD by friend and fellow champion Erick Lindgen and, between the two, they offer the players some valuable advice.
Each section is very easily accessible on the DVD, so if you want to skip to the precise level you believe you are at, you can. I personally found it interesting to go through all three of the sections to get the full feel for what Daniel is teaching to each person. At a point in the DVD, Negreanu states, "If you quit trying to improve your game, others will pass you by." Thus, look over all the sections and you can perhaps plug some leaks that you might have while learning new skills that you can use.
The Beginner section does an excellent job of providing a strong basis to begin to learn the game and advance your play. It places a premium on position, limits the starting hand selection that can be employed (a much smaller set of hands than I have seen emphasized in many books), and employs a very easy to understand betting system that players can use. There is also excellent advice for learning not to chase and reading board texture that could come in useful for newcomers.
The Intermediate section was the only one where there was not much discussion about cards but was primarily a "psychological" section. In this area, Negreanu emphasizes how to classify and read your opponents and set up your own table image. This was perhaps the best part of the Intermediate section as it demonstrated how to use a particular style you are playing to your best advantage. There was also some math here, with discussion of outs and percentages that you might face which could have been a bit more extensive in my opinion, but was still information that most players don't pick up for quite some time.
My favorite section was definitely the Advanced segment. In this part of the DVD, Daniel demonstrates his "small ball" approach to the game of poker. Through the demonstration of his basic tournament strategy, people can learn to use his approach and put it to work for them in poker. It was pointed out by Daniel himself that this could give you the table image of a maniacal player but, in reality, through usage of the style you can maximize your potential when playing the game. It was interesting to learn these tactics and can definitely add to the arsenal that a player brings to the game.
While I still want to get a look at his current book, "Learn To Win At Texas Hold 'Em with Daniel Negreanu" is a perfect learning tool for those who don't have either time or attention span to be able to pore through a sizeable book. The information across the board was solid and, for most people, a first viewing will provide some tidbits of information that can advance their play. With additional viewings and some note-taking, "Learn To Win At Texas Hold 'Em with Daniel Negreanu" could be something that makes you a significantly better poker player.