What I think of Daniel Negreanu's Stacked

I'm a gambling man. I admit it. I'm not a give-you-the-deed-to-my-house type of gambler or anything like that but I do like playing the cards and throwing down on the slots. Recently, I had the chance to go up to the closest casino and test my card skills in this game the casino called Texas Hold'em Bonus. As nervous as I was to play my first real-life for real-money Texas Hold'em game, I didn't do too bad. I did alright for a few minutes, then I proceeded to blow ALL of my money. Man...I stunk. It was just bad. With that being said, you can imagine how stoked I was to be given the opportunity to review Daniel Negreanu's Stacked for the Xbox. Sure I've watched World Poker Tour on tv a few times and even caught Daniel in some games, but I didn't know how good or how big of a poker figure he was so I didn't know what exactly to expect.

Needless to say, the game is probably one of the best ways to improve your Texas Hold'em skillz outside of playing vs. real people. Is the game perfect? No. Some of the little things that annoyed me was how hard it was to find out why I couldn't bet more than $5 at a time. I eventually found out where on the screen the rules were but it wasn't as intuitive as it could've been. And no, I didn't read the manual. Does anyone read the manual, I mean really. That's really the only real annoyance I had with the game.

As far as the good points go, I loved the fact that there are video tutorials done by Daniel Negreanu himself. For a newbie like myself, this was a total godsend. Now I don't have to embarass myself by bringing my little "these are the hands you can get in poker and they're listed in best to worst order" list. While you're playing the game, there is an option to ask Daniel for his advice on what he thinks you should do with your hand. Apparently some people ran into some bugs with this feature, certain tips recycled pretty often and sometimes didn't make the most sense at some times, but it worked ok for me.

So far, in the 5-8 hours I've played the game, I haven't ran across any way to sneakily beat the AI every time and win every hand. That's always good. Setting the AI to mixed difficulty is still keeping me on my toes so the game is still pretty enjoyable for me. All in all, an awsome poker game that's great for beefing up on your Hold'em skills for that next card game with your buds.

p.s. watch this space for some Stacked scwhag contests...i'm pulling to get some goods to give away and if i get my way, I'll be having some contests here pretty soon so keep a look out...


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