Poker training sites can represent sort of a catch-22 for small stakes poker players. On one hand, small stakes players are the perfect target market for poker training sites. These tend to be the players who are either new to poker or are struggling to move up in stakes. The problem is that poker training sites are not exactly cheap.
So for the average small stakes player, it’s a tough place to be in. Do you wait a bit and try to build up a little cash before you invest even more money in your poker career? Or do you bite the bullet and spend cash that you could otherwise use to play poker?
The question for small stakes poker players in particular is whether or not poker training sites are worth the investment. From my own personal experience, I can tell you that poker training sites are most definitely worth the investment – as long as you sign up at the right training sites. The poker training industry has exploded in recent years and there are a lot of places out there looking for your business.
Yes, training sites can be expensive up front, but a membership at a quality training site is well worth it in the long run. Even if you dole out a couple hundred bucks on training sites, you will easily make the money back if the education saves you just one extra pot every month.
However, you should know that poker training sites can only do so much for you. The instructors can give you all the knowledge on the world, but it’s up to you to actually implement what you learn. Learning how to become a great poker player requires hard work and dedication just like any other contest of skill.
Having said that, I still recommend poker training sites for serious players. I would not recommend a training site for some casual player who just likes to hit the tables once in a while for a little gambling action. But if you have actual goals in poker and want to move up in stakes, a membership to a poker training site can be just the boost you need.
Medium stake and high stakes poker players can also benefit from poker training sites. Some sites have instructors who regularly play in 500/1000 no limit games against the top competition in the world. So no matter how good you are, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll find something useful at a top-tier training site.
Choosing a Poker Training Site
Choosing the right site consists of two major things. First of all, it is vital that you find a training site that is high quality. This is obvious, but there are a lot of crappy poker training sites out there. Do a little research on Google and ask around on poker forums for recommendations.
From what I’ve experienced and heard, a couple of poker training sites stand out above all the rest:
There are more out there though, so do a little research before you just sign up to any old training site. Look for poker training sites that have recognizable pro instructors, lots of videos, active forums and high quality articles. Most decent poker training sites have free trial periods that you can use to evaluate the quality of the training site.
The other major factor to consider is the site’s focus or specialty. Poker training sites tend to come in one of three categories:
- Training sites that focus on cash games
- Training sites that focus on tournaments
- Large all-in-one training sites that cover it all
I’ve seen everything from standard all-in-one poker training sites to others that focus exclusively on heads up SNGs or shorthanded cash games. Whatever type of poker you like the best, there is probably a training site out there that fits the bill. Once again, research is the key to figuring out which will suit you the best.
I may add a section devoted to poker training site reviews one day, but for now let this guide get you started. A combination of research and free trial memberships should be enough for you to get a pretty good idea of which poker training sites are the best for your needs.