Training to Be a Pro But Need Help
Hey, there, fledgling poker player! So you’re tired of not winning at the tables, you’re looking to improve your game, and you’ve heard a lot about these online poker training sites? Lots of your opponents seem to be subscribing to them and improving their games. Can joining one or several of these sites improve your game as well? And if so, which sites give you the best bang for your buck? Below are a few of the best and most well-known poker training sites on the market today, and what each of them has to offer.
A top-tier site for those players seeking ways to improve their cash-game play. DeucesCracked’s videos are better edited than many of the site’s competitors, and with a library now in excess of 1,200 videos, there’s plenty to choose from. Cash-game action is the site’s focus, though tournament play and other poker variants in addition to Texas Hold’em also receive some attention.
Site instructors include noted online pros Emil “whitelime” Patel, Joe Tall, Vanessa Selbst (female pro), Ariel Schneller and many others.
See more details about Deuces Cracked and if its worth it.
By consensus CardRunners is the largest of all online poker training sites, having also merged with former competitor StoxPoker. CardRunners serves up an extensive library of thousands of poker training videos, with a heavy focus on cash-game play. The site’s professional tutors include Cole South, Michael “timex” McDonald, Brian “sbrugby” Hastings, Taylor “greenplastic” Caby and many others. Many of these players were the original high stakes players in online poker whom moved onto the business side. The massive library needs better organization, but the overall quality of the videos are among the best in this category.
See more details about Cardrunners and if its worth it.
While many of the training sites listed here focus primarily on cash-game play, PokerXFactor’s focus is on tournament action instead. Led by the legendary online duo of Cliff “JohnnyBax” Josephy and Eric “Sheets” Haber (who are also among the largest backers of other players in the industry), the site also includes instructional offerings from Kevin “BeL0WaB0Ve” Saul, Eric “Rizen” Lynch, Scott “BigRissky” Clements and many others. The site offers a library of several hundred videos, and includes an interactive hand-history viewer allowing members to review and share their own questionable or interesting plays.
Here is the full review of PokerXfactor’s tournament training site.
BlueFirePoker is one of the best sites for cash game strategy and videos. The site has a massive list of professional players including Niman “Samoleus” Kenkre, Martin Fournier Giguere (a/k/a “Giggy”) and others in assembling one of the most impressive catalog of videos to date. The guys that run that coach on the site have some interesting reads that most pros follow, plus a forum where professionals discuss hands with players. The price of training will run you $30 a month and they whack you with a $100 upfront initiation fee as well. It’s worth it when you’re getting tips from Phil Galfond, arguably one of the most consistently recognized high stakes pro.
Read more about Bluefire the training site.
More geared to beginning and intermediate players, Grinder School is a newer site centered on several hundred videos that emphasize the core concepts of basic play, with a target audience of micro-, low- and mid-stakes players. The site offers both cash-game and tournament tutorials but focuses heavily on NLHE action, though other games and topics are showing signs of receiving attention. I think this will be a great site for when the US is legalized for the average player. Cost is only $20 and there is no beginning initiation fee but you get what you pay for. I wouldn’t personally use them but their library of videos is greater than 1000 comparable to similar training sites…
Read our full review about our featured best site for low stakes training.
POKERSTARS POKER SCHOOL (POKER SCHOOL ONLINE/PSO)
Several of the largest poker sites now offer their own basic tutorial packages, free of charge, with PokerStars among the sites doing so. Stars’ PSO offerings are free (account registration required), though they are geared toward beginners; intermediate and advanced players won’t pick up much new here. Still, the groundwork covered here is a solid start for playing poker. Please note that PokerStars now owns Full Tilt Poker Academy, but they are two separate entities. The problem with poker sites offering their own training is that it dwindles the experience for casual players and is usually not in their best interest, thus the ‘basic information’ you get for free.
You can read more on the Pokerstars School here.
The above-listed training sites are some of the best online but depending on your skill level, stakes, bankroll, and preferred game type, the best site for your game can wildly differ. Most sites allow players a free trial, or at least, the ability to view their video library and lessons before signing up. Take advantage of this and be sure to look for information that will suit your skill level. For my money, DeucesCracked is the best training site for poker players of all stakes.
Author: Joseph Falchetti (twitter)
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