Poker is big business. Just look at the poker sites such as Full Tilt or Pokerstars willing to pay anyone who makes a televised event final table a small fortune just to wear a branded blazer, baseball cap or say “I play at… ” if they win the tournament. Every night there is the potential for a poker player to win thousands, if not tens of thousands for a relatively small buy-in either in cash games or tournaments. Poker is a genuine opportunity to make real money, so it is in your interest to maximise your chance of victory by working hard to improve your game. But how do you get better? We all know you have to study and practise, but there are so many ways to do it where do you start?
There are a selection of credible poker books that you should study and you can always go to the local casino and persuade the best player to give you individual lessons, but this article focuses on top 5 places to go online to get better and improve your poker play right from where you are right now; in front of your computer screen joker388.
Poker Forums – The biggest online poker forums have thousands of active members. These range from new players yet to play a single hand of poker to well-known pros and every type of player in between that dissect poker hands and argue all things poker. Just reading the discussions will improve your game. If you feel brave you can add your thoughts into the threads. But beware you will be flamed (internet speak for shouted at) if you do not quite answer correctly. But fear not as this is a great place to get raw feedback on how to play winning poker, so take a deep breath and dive into the shark waters and prepare to be cut down to size, but ultimately helped.
Poker Blogs – There are a mass of poker blogs to read. Players will talk about all aspects of their life and poker from their actual hands to things happening on the poker scene. Search for the well-known blogs and then surf through the blogs on their link lists. Participate in the blog by leaving comments. Blog owners (like this author) love receiving comments and you will most likely get a positive response. Work your way through and find authors that offer the poker blogs that you identify with, that teach you what you want to know and give you what you wish to read about. You will soon build a list that you visit everyday.
Poker Training Websites – Pros were quick to take advantage of the thirst for poker knowledge and there are many sites you can pay a monthly subscription to and watch the videos to tutor you on how to play. There are many types from those that simply list the videos to those that offer a more curriculum type lesson approach. When searching for the best site for you remember that many of the review websites are actually affiliates so finding objective reviews may be tricky. The trusty poker forum members will give their thoughts freely and very honestly if you ask them. Make sure you pick a site that is constantly adding video so that you maintain value for your subscription fee.
Poker Podcasting – There are a few large Internet Radio stations emerging for poker, and they often have weekly podcasts for you to download. This is a great way of picking up advice straight from some of the best players in the world, or people who are good at conveying their thoughts about poker topics that may confuse you when discussed on forums. Search through iTunes, Poker Road, and Bluff online for a start. No matter whether you play Stud, Holdem, Razz or Omaha there are podcasts discussing strategy. You can listen to these podcasts whilst you walk or drive to work and many last for over one hour which are not only great learning tools but excellent entertainment.
Railbirding – Make sure you check out some of the higher stakes cash games online. You can watch the top pros show you how they play cash games. You will see the showdowns when players are called down and you can write down some of the hands that you see played out. If you wish use a screen recorder so you can go back and watch the hands again if you would like. This is watching the best players do what they do best, an amazing opportunity to learn. Also make sure you tune into the Pokerstars replay of the Sunday Million Final Table every week. These guys have beaten thousands of others in the biggest weekly tournament for big money, so there are some excellent tips on tournament play to pick up from them.