What is Poker Training and is it Worth it?

Most poker enthusiasts consider training at some point. Getting coaching is not something to do lightly as it can be costly and time consuming. It’s only a good idea if you have the patience and dedication to give it your all. Whilst a reputable poker training site can help you improve quickly, the responsibility still on the student to put training into practice. In this article we’ll examine what forms of training are available online and whether it’s worthwhile.

Exploitative Poker

As you’ll see, poker coaching primarily falls into two distinct and different methods, exploitative and GTO. The exploitative method focuses more on the failings of others to give you a better win rate. Texas Hold’em Questions a UK poker training site offer exploitative poker training as their primary function. They claim that as low stakes games are filled with players making lots of errors it’s the best way to ensure a high win rate.

Game Theory Optimal Poker

The other method of training available online is a game theory optimal or GTO poker style. This is very popular in 2021 and is something a lot of poker players are trying to use. The idea behind it is to become “unbeatable” by using a strategy where you cannot be exploited. The crux of the theory is that you’re really playing ranges and opponents ranges instead. By balancing ranges in given scenarios you should be less likely to be exploited.

There’s plenty of merit for this way of playing at higher stakes where you play same opponents regularly or other players on a high level. At low and mid stakes, the strategy may be unnecessary and perhaps wasted.

Is Poker Training Worth it?

The price of hourly coaching is not cheap. Most poker coaches worth listening to are likely to charge upwards of $100 an hour. They are not going to share their hard earnt knowledge cheaply, particularly as they could just play and make more than coaching. There are discounted ways of learning advanced poker concepts by signing up to training video membership or poker courses. These can be cost-effective for those with smaller budgets.

Ultimately, it depends what your finances are like and how quickly you want to improve. If you have a decent bankroll and keen to develop fast, it might be worth a few hours coaching. Often, the first few hours with a coach are the most valuable as they will highlight the most obvious leaks that you can fix. Then, if you think they are already helping you generate a better ROI you can weigh up whether you want to continue coaching on a regular basis.
There’s plenty of free poker resources online but much of the advice is obsolete, old or just false. Platforms like Twitch might seem useful to watch poker being played but the vast majority of content is of average or poor poker playing.