Poker Secrets from Poker Champs is a collection of interviews put together by two-time WSOP bracelet winner Susie Issacs. Several big name players such as Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey, Johnny Chan, TJ Cloutier, Scotty Nguyen (just to name a few) contribute their stories and advice on this DVD.
This DVD is full of very basic tournament poker advice aimed at new poker players who hold famous pros in high esteem. The quality of the advice is dependent on the player giving the advice. Quite a few of the players offer very poor or obvious advice. The theme of a lot of the interviews is advice through life experiences. Most of the players tell stories from their poker careers and point out lessons that the viewer can learn from hearing these stories. A lot of the advice is geared towards helping players prepare for live poker play. Common tells, betting patterns, and casino etiquette are reoccuring topics in this compilation of interviews.
Many of the interviews consist of poor advice given by players who are not well-skilled at educating others. There were a few exceptions to this rule. The most valuable interviews are Daniel Negreanu’s, and Tom McEvoy’s. Negreanu does a nice job of telling entertaining stories and speaking in a way that new players can understand. Daniel’s likeability and intelligence makes his interview very valueable for new players looking for a poker role model. Already a well-recognized poker author and world champion, Tom McEvoy’s advice comes across as very intelligent. McEvoy seems very comfortable in front of the camera and does a fine job of offering some valuable strategy to the viewers.
The weakest interviews came from TJ Cloutier, Marsha Waggoner, and Ronnie Stanley. TJ spends a nice deal of time explaining how one can “get in the zone” and accurately guess what cards will come off the deck during future betting rounds. This is obviously a ridiculous claim that, true or not, has no place on a poker strategy DVD. Marsha Waggoner’s interview lasts about a minute and a half. She gives no helpful advice and viewers are left to wonder why she is even on the DVD. Ronnie Stanley spends a great deal of time speaking in a very monotone voice and giving ground-breaking advice like “sometimes in tournaments, I fold Ace-Jack in early position”. Viewers are left with the impression that Ronnie Stanley should be sitting at home watching this DVD waiting to learn the basics of poker.
During each interview, when the player mentions some strategy advice, the advice is shown in text at the bottom of the screen. There are also “Poker Dictionary” graphics that appear at the bottom of the screen which help viewers keep up with the poker lingo being spoken by the professionals. The interviews with each player are aired in full before moving on to a new player. This makes the DVD a lot easier to soak up because the viewer gets to see each player’s interview all in one chunk, rather than a bunch of edited clips and quotes from all the interviews. Each interview lasts roughly 10 minutes. A total of 15 players were interviewed for this DVD, so viewers receive well over two hours of advice, albeit often bad advice, from the pros.