Sometimes you have to teach a fish a couple of new tricks to avoid getting gobbled up by sharks. Poker can be lots of fun when you first catch the bug, but it can also be intimidating with a redonkulous amount of information out there. That's why PokerStars School came into existence... to help teach beginners how to play better poker. In short, it's a great way for noobs to no longer be noobs.
PokerStars School revamped their website and included an exclusive interview with PokerStars Team Pro Daniel Negreanu. They recently posted the second installment of their chat with Kid Poker. In the first batch of questions, Negreanu gives specific advice on preparation for next year's PokerStars Players No Limit Hold'em Championship (PSPC) in the Bahamas. Since a lot of inexperienced players will be winning seats via satellites and Platinum Passes, Negreanu suggested a conservative approach early on since they will get significantly more chips to play in the PSPC. He tosses out the old, yet appropriate adage, "You can't win the tournament in level one, you can only lose it."
Negreanu said sleep was extremely important for his usual tournament routine. "The key I would always say is sleep. I'm a great sleeper. I sleep eight hours a night without fail. In terms of preparation, have a good breakfast, healthy greens and a power shake – something along those lines."
Negreanu also discusses what it's like playing in Super High Roller events. He said that a handful of recreational players are in the mix, but even those recs with deep pockets are strong players.
No mas 6-bet, bruh? Negreanu also explained that we might have surpassed the era of hyper-aggro preflop play, which is why we don't see as many 5-bet and 6-bet raises preflop. "It's playing the game optimally. In the era of 5 and 6-bets there were a few players that played like that and now they're either serving French fries or they've learned to adapt."
Over the weekend, PokerStars School released the second part of their interview with Negreanu. If you ever wanted to know what it was like playing in a Super High Roller affair, then Kid Poker gives a little insight on facing young players in their prime. Kid Poker explained that he was late to the GTO trend, but he's finally gotten a grasp of it and how the Germans have nearly perfected it. Negreanu explained why shot clocks are a good thing and how it helps expand a poker audience because rec players don't want to see a 25-minute hand play out.
If Black Friday didn't happen I think you would see more young Americans doing well, and we don't really see any right now.
In the second interview, Kid Poker expands upon his thoughts about the PSPC along with Platinum Pass qualifiers. In one of the most interesting parts of the interview, Negreanu talked about the wake of Black Friday in April 2011 when the U.S. Government shut down online poker. In essence, Black Friday cut off a conduit of young American pros... which is why you don't see American pros in their 20s crushing the game like you saw in Europe with Fedor Holz and Adrien Mateos.
Negreanu explained, "If Black Friday didn't happen I think you would see more young Americans doing well, and we don't really see any right now. The young players today are Adrian Mateos from Spain, Fedor Holz from Germany and the other young Germans but there are no Americans right now in that age bracket. The way to improve your game at that age is to get online experience but that's just not available."