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You will learn: Phil Ivey’s poker strategy. His pre-flop and positional play. Ivey’s betting and overbetting strategy. When to bluff. Post-flop play. When to c-bet. How to know when to fold. How to bet to avoid check-back. Deep stack play. Implied and reverse odds. Mental game. Table talk and image. Bankroll management. Seven card stud, isolating.
Ivey will explain using his famous, televised hands how he’s utilized the above concepts in his past hands.
Length: 3 hr 30 min, 12 lessons
Recommendation: I recommend it to all kinds of players, except for total beginners. If you have some poker experience and want to see the thought process of the best poker player in the world, this course is for you.
Now that I have completed Phil Ivey’s Masterclass, I must admit that I expected something different.
No. Just different.
I thought this would be another classical poker course where the coach teaches you the fundamental strategy everyone should follow.
But Phil shows his unique approach to this complex game, making me understand why he is the GOAT of poker (greatest of all time).
It certainly changed the way I look at my poker strategy today.
Since you are here, I assume you already know who Phil Ivey is. But if you don’t, then here are a few highlights:
“If somebody finds something they love to do or…a career they love to do, I think they really need to put everything into it. I consider myself a very lucky person that I found what I love to do most in this world.” – Phil Ivey.
Phil started playing poker when he was eight. He convinced his grandfather to show him the rules of poker.
Ten years later, underage Phil played in the casinos of Atlantic City, New Jersey, using a fake ID (alias: Jerome Graham).
By the time Ivey was 21 and could play legally, he’d lost and recovered his whole bankroll multiple times.
Currently 46 and with more than 30 years of experience as a professional poker player. Phil has earned a World Poker Tour title, 10 World Series of Poker bracelets, and was selected to the Poker Hall of Fame.
Phil Ivey’s Masterclass is 3 hours and 30 minutes long. It includes 12 video classes.
Also, there are:
To write this review, Masterclass gave me free access to their platform. However, this has ZERO impact on the quality of my review.
If I find something wrong with a course, I always include it in my review. This way, I recommend only the best poker-studying resources, and my readers will trust my reviews. Also, Master Class can find here some constructive feedback to improve their services.
Nonetheless, the courses I have watched on Master-class, especially the poker-related ones, are great!
The content is well organized and divided into easily digestible short videos. The interface is easy to navigate, and the video production is very high quality.
The course is about $16/month, billed annually (depending on your location).
It is included in the annual Masterclass subscription.
Together with Ivey’s Masterclass, you get access to Daniel Negreanu Masterclass and 180+ other classes taught by some of the best specialists in their fields.
The interface is user-friendly. You can access the Masterclass platform via mobile and TV apps. There is even an option to download the lessons and watch them later.
In the first lesson video, Ivey explains why he’s finally decided to discuss his poker strategy openly and why he loves poker.
“Position in Hold ’em is one of the most important aspects of the game because it dictates who has to act first and who gets to act last.”
Phil breaks down the importance of table position, debunks a common misconception about hand-range charts, and shares tips for defending the blinds.
“Betting is all about maximizing value. You need to know how to get worse hands to call and better hands to fold.”
Phil will teach you:
Additionally, Phill will show how he’s used the above concepts in his past hands.
“Range charts, or grids that show you which hands to play and which hands to fold, are a perfect tool to learn which cards you should play from each position. Once you pick up a general idea for the most common scenarios, though, you must learn to adapt to your surroundings.”
“When I’m bluffing…I don’t really care if they call me or not. I’ve already made my decision. It doesn’t matter to me.”
Utilizing some of his favored hands as instruction, Phil demonstrates the significance of watching your opponents’ stacks and describes the perfect circumstances for bluffing.
“If you’re not trying to convince people that your hand is better than it actually is, then you’re only playing half of the game (a poor strategy overall). If you’re a player who never bluffs, getting value for your good hands will be tough, if only because your opponents will know that you always have a good hand. Bluffing is a way to trick your opponents into tripping up.”
“Postflop is where things get serious. The bigger the pot, the higher the stakes.”
Learn how to:
“Players can either sit back and wait for their opponents to make mistakes, or they can be proactive and try to create mistakes. Forcing mistakes can be achieved by bluffing a lot and by aggressively pressuring your opponents; the goal is to put them on edge and leave them thinking that you’re capable of anything. Once you have an accurate sense of how your opponents play, you will be able to outmaneuver them with ease.”
“A lot of poker is instinctual. I think it’s essential to trust your instincts, trust your reads and be able to pull the trigger when necessary.”
Knowing when to fold is equally important to understanding when to bet.
Ivey examines the risks of overplaying and illustrates how to bypass expensive mistakes.
“you’ll become familiar with the instinctual feeling that, despite appearances, your hand is not good and folding is the right decision. There may even be times when the math says you have to call a hand of a particular strength, but in-game dynamics say you should get rid of your hand without a second thought.”
“If you’re able to hone your skills by playing with a deeper stack, you’ll have a huge advantage over anyone you face at the table.”
Many players need to pay more attention to deep stack play.
Phil will explain why Deepstack Play is important and teach you how to play suited connectors and pocket pairs.
He will also present two famous hand examples where implied odds decide the outcome. One of the hands he played against Antonio Esfandiari.
“No limit hold ’em is a game of risk versus reward. It’s all about the stack sizes: The deeper the stacks, the greater the risk—hands that you might be happy going all in with 50 to 70 big blinds are suddenly tough to play when you are 250 big blinds deep. Short stacked poker is almost a solved game, whereas deep stacked poker comes with much more risk.”
“In my opinion, poker is the most mentally demanding game there is. You have to stay levelheaded at all times.”
Phil talks about his famous “Ivey glare” tilt and how to deal with significant losses.
He will also explain why he folded a winning hand in the WSOP:
“You have to be really aware of what image you’re putting out there on a given day, constantly gathering information on your opponents because that can mean the difference between winning and losing.”
Phil examines the risk of assumptions regarding table tells.
He will show you his favored way of collecting reads bout opponents.
“All of the different things your opponents might perceive about you—from your appearance and what you say to how you play your cards—come together to form your table image. Understanding how your fellow players see you is a critical part of the game and something you can utilize for your benefit. “
“To be successful, you have to be patient, dedicated, and adaptable.”
Phil will show you his practice routines that have allowed him to become the best poker player on the planet.
“Studying your role models is a great way to start improving: Observe how exceptional players conduct themselves and how they play their hands. You can slowly add these concepts to your game once you’re comfortable with them. But a more effective strategy for boosting your skill set is teaming up with other players. Poker has always been a combination of psychology and elaborate math, but the mathematical technique has become much more important in today’s tough games. Having like-minded poker friends who can work on these details with you will accelerate your progress many times over.”
Phil presents the traps of his early success and talks how the last 25 years of playing game of poker changed him.
Playing Seven-Card Stud and other poker games can help many players capitalize on opportunities. According to Ivey, this is the best form of poker.
Phil Ivey will teach you how to play seven-card stud, the first poker variation he ever played.
It’s unusual for Phil Ivey to analyze his hands publicly. This is unique to this MasterClass, and his reviews are excellent.
Most of the hands he talks about in his Masterclass are famous hands, with millions of views on youtube.
I watched them multiple times together with my poker friends.
You’ll see hand analysis of games where Ivey played the biggest poker stars, including Antonio Esfandiari, Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, Tom Dwan, Patrick Antonius, Antonio Esfandiari, and Phil Hellmuth.
I always wondered what Ivey’s thought process is when making these outstanding folds or bluffs. So, having him explain the thoughts behind his decisions is exceptional and helped me to improve my game.
If you have been playing poker for a while, then you are probably aware of this hand where Phil Ivey bluffs Paul Jackson.
Phil Ivey will explain in detail how he noticed the “tell” on Paul Jackson and executed this completely mad bluff!
If you don’t know which hand I am talking about, this is the one:
I like that Phil Ivey has taken a slightly different approach to teaching than other coaches.
In his Masterclass, he shows you many of his hands where he made mistakes and discusses the reasoning behind his errors rather than showing off only his best games.
To many students, Phil presenting his bad plays can be very encouraging. It proves that everyone, even the best players in the world, make mistakes.
A Class Guide enclosed with Ivey’s Masterclass provides thorough analysis, slang explanations, and exercises for the topics discussed in the videos.
A tremendous benefit of getting Ivey’s class is that, together with his training, you will get access to Daniel Negreanu Poker Masterclass and 180+ other courses.
The material that Phil delivers is of high quality, and maybe that’s why it feels as if he could talk a bit more about his 25+ years of poker experience.
Nevertheless, I am happy that I could watch at least 3 hrs and 30 minutes of his online and live strategy because he is not the kind of player that publishes much poker content.
In fact, he hasn’t written even one book about poker, which makes this course super unique.
Before watching the course, I considered Phil Ivey a poker genius.
And don’t get me wrong, he is a fantastic player—probably the best in the world.
However, I realized that he is also a human, and he achieved a lot of his poker success thanks to his unique way of playing hands and extreme dedication.
The biggest take from this Ivey’s course is that you have to:
Phil Ivey Masterclass is definitely worth it.
It will allow you to look at poker from a different perspective, the perspective of the best player in the world.
Phil Ivey is considered by many the best overall poker pro player on the planet. Having the opportunity to see the thought process that led him to this position is remarkable.
There is no doubt that Phil Ivey is a very talented player. However, I was surprised to see that much of his success is based on playing fundamentally sound poker (paying attention to your opponents, having a positional advantage and aggressive playing style, etc.).
I recommend the course to all types of players, except for total beginners who don’t know the rules.
Study one lesson at a time, and make sure to take notes. Read your notes before each playing session.
Remember that you are learning from one of the best players in the world, and implementing his strategy into your game is crucial for your long-term results.
There are numerous other poker courses that can help you move your game to the next level.
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