MasterClass Recruits Phil Ivey for Poker Lessons

MasterClass Recruits Phil Ivey for Poker Lessons

MasterClass is a unique learning system developed by two Americans who wanted to provide classes online by the experts in their respective fields. Anyone can pay for insight into any craft, as dictated and discussed by arguably the best in those crafts.

Who better to teach basketball than Stephen Curry?

Who better to instruct about magic than Penn & Teller?

Spike Lee teaches a course on independent filmmaking.

Annie Leibovitz schools the audience on photography.

Steve Martin sits in as the king of comedy.

Martin Scorsese steps up as a filmmaking genius.

Who wouldn’t listen to Dr. Jane Goodall talk about conservation?

What about Ron Howard as a director?

Is there a better person to teach chess than Garry Kasparov?

The list of courses and experts teaching them spans more than 55 options.

And then there’s poker.

In 2018, MasterClass offered its first poker course, and Daniel Negreanu was the instructor. The online class originally offered 34 lessons for intermediate and advanced players.

Now, it’s Phil Ivey’s turn.

Inside the Mind of a Champion

Phil Ivey appeared on the MasterClass advertisements this past week as an instructor of poker strategy. The description is titled “Inside the mind of a champion,” and it read:

“At age 38, Phil Ivey became the youngest player to win 10 World Series of Poker bracelets. Now the man known for his enigmatic table presence – and widely regarded as the world’s best all-around poker player – gives you unprecedented access to his mental game. Learn poker strategy, pick up new poker tips, and review hands with the player who’s won more than $26 million in live tournament earnings.”

The 11 lessons come with a downloadable workbook with lesson recaps, assignments, and a terminology guide for advanced poker players.

The lesson plan is outlined as follows:

Lesson 1:  Phil’s Journey (background, why he chose to open up about his game)

Lesson 2:  Preflop and Blind Defense (table position, hand-range charges, blind defense

Lesson 3:  Betting Tactics (maximizing value, minimizing risks)

Lesson 4:  Bluffing (monitoring opponents’ stacks, uses favorite hands as teaching tools)

Lesson 5:  Postflop Part 1 (floating, slow-playing, which draws to play)

Lesson 6:  Postflop Part 2 (dangers of overplaying a hand, costly river mistakes)

Lesson 7:  Deepstack Play (implied odds, using suited connectors and pocket pairs well)

Lesson 8:  The Mental Game (inducing tilt, dealing with tough losses, explaining the Ivey glare)

Lesson 9:  Table Image and Tells (dangerous assumptions, information gathering)

Lesson 10:  Strategies for Success (training, practice routines)

Lesson 11:  Closing (pitfalls of early success, how he’s grown in 25 years of poker)


The MasterClass web page for Ivey’s course advertises a $90 cost for the single course from Ivey, including lifetime access to all 11 lessons.

However, a person can pay $180 for a one-year subscription to the MasterClass site, which enables the subscriber to view any and every class available during that year.

The Negreanu MasterClass is still available, now with 38 lessons.

It appears that the company will be pushing both courses heavily at this summer’s WSOP, complete with a booth in the Rio hallway to advertise the poker-related options. It is not known if there will be a discount available for signing up at the WSOP.


About Jennifer Newell

Jennifer began writing about poker while working at the World Poker Tour in the mid-2000s. Since then, her freelance writing career has taken her from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back to her hometown of St. Louis, where she now lives with her two dogs. She continues to follow the poker world as she also launches a new subscription box company and finishes her first novel. Jennifer has written for numerous publications including and has followed the US poker and gaming market closely for the last 15 years. Follow Jen on Twitter

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