Daniel Negreanu might not be the world’s best poker player, but he is certainly one of the most popular. When Negreanu started playing the poker circuits, he became one of the game’s youngest celebrity professionals. He claims to have become a profitable, full-time poker player by age 17. Playing profitable poker involves mastery of countless different skills, but none is more exciting than the stone cold read. Also known as Negreanu’s specialty.
Negreanu made a name for himself with his reads, and not to mention millions of dollars at the same time. There are literally thousands of videos on the web of him reading his opponents, with what seems like little to no information.
Here, Negreanu nails a read on his opponent. Thanks to this read, he saves himself a whole bunch of tournament chips, in a type of hand which frequently busts the novice player. It’s reads like this that differentiate between a losing and winning tournament player.
However, he’s not always saving himself money. Negreanu can make a great read, but sometimes doesn’t trust it enough, and pays off his opponent:
But when we get down to it…it is very clear what an incredible edge Negreanu can have over his opponents. This is easily the most popular video on Negreanu’s reads, but well worth watching again:
These reads are impressive, and we can watch all day long Negreanu saving himself some money by making the right folds. But the real money is made in the long run of a table because his opponents fear him. Negreanu calls out an opponent’s hand, who for the rest of session, will fold faster to Negreanu than any other opponent. That, players, is how you make easy money.
Even though he makes sick reads, Negreanu can sometimes still call and lose chips. But! This isn’t a mistake. What chips he loses in the short run, he gains back exponentially by forcing his opponent to turn over his hand and prove his read. The fear and respect he gains from this, he can exploit without end, reaping in the chips.
If you type in “Daniel Negreanu” in YouTube, the first auto-complete option is to “Daniel Negreanu amazing reads”. (Which, by the way, I recommend you do. It is just pure entertainment and endlessly enjoyable to watch videos of Negreanu putting his opponents instantly on tilt with his reads.)
But when you get to the tables yourself, and find yourself making a read, remember that the advantage of a read isn’t just one hand. Call out your read. Let your opponents know that you have them psychologically dominated. And press that edge for the rest of your session to win big. Fear and respect can sometimes earn you more money than good cards ever could.