You can learn poker in many different ways, but if you really want to take your game to the next level, you need advanced poker training strategies to succeed.
First of all, you need to realize that watching random videos, reading articles from time to time or even analysing hands without any structure will not help you much. To reach success, you have to develop a clear system what you need to do, how you should do it and tackle it step-by-step.
It goes for all poker formats. If you are learning how to crush live games, trying to master poker tournament strategy, or having fun and improving your spin and go play, this approach will give you the best possible results.
The Start of Advanced Poker Training Approach
Even before starting the games, you should be fully aware of few things. The first step that many players miss is choosing the right poker format. To do that, you need to go all the way back to the beginning and think about the WHY of the game.
For many years, I was playing MTTs and making good money, but never really enjoyed it because the schedule was too much for me. I had to sleep at day and play at nights, which was exhausting and led to an unhealthy lifestyle. Therefore, I was not able to perform at my best, until I realized that I am playing the wrong format and moved to cash games.
Do not repeat my mistakes and think about the format, which you want to play, and most importantly, which one would fit your need the best. Only then, you will be able to develop advanced poker training strategies, stop wasting time on irrelevant things and concentrate on what matters.
On top of that, you should choose best poker sites for your specific format and identify most suitable poker tools that will help you on the way.
If you follow these simple steps, you will start your poker training in the right way and be set for success.
Poker Training Foundations in Your Game!
When you know the game of your choice, where to play and have software ready at your fingertips, you should understand the main principles before you start building the strategy part.
Knowing that margins in today’s games are very small, you should take some serious consideration about mental strategy as well. If you can prevent yourself from tilting or just reduce that to the minimum, you will save a lot of money in the way and instantly increase your win rate.
Even though it requires a lot of focus and dedication, to identify your emotions and reasons for tilting, there are few simple things, you can do to give yourself an instant boost:
- Spend few minutes preparing for your games (turn on distractions and take care of your basic needs)
- Warm-up before playing (review few hands or go over your stats in Holdem Manager or Poker Tracker)
- Learn to reduce poker variance (identify good games and quit on time)
- Never start playing when feeling bad (you will not be able to concentrate on making right decisions)
These simple steps will help you control your emotions and keep your concentration longer, which leads to playing your “A” game and increase in the results.
GTO versus exploitative play
All professional players know game theory optimal strategies quite well, and this is a topic you just have to put in your advanced poker training path.
However, very few understand the actual implementation of this topic. I wrote the full article about GTO poker strategy vs exploitative play, so make sure to check it out if you have few minutes.
Nevertheless, you need to understand that game theory optimal play is only used as a starting point versus good players or unknowns. When you learn that part, you will make the most money from exploitative play and be punishing your opponents for their mistakes, instead of just trying to balance your ranges.
Many players take GTO too far and try to apply it in every possible situation, leaving a lot of money at the table. Thus, this alone will help you build much better strategies for your poker training and play, so make sure to take advantage of your knowledge.
Advanced Preflop Poker Training
When all previous work is done, you should spend some time mastering preflop strategy. Without understanding it, and most importantly, knowing how to adjust versus different players you will never win a lot of money. If you end up making mistakes preflop, it is close to impossible to play right strategy later on so this part is essential.
It is like building a house, if you lay down bad foundations, there is no way to create everything else, and even if you manage to do that, it will eventually fall. Same is if you make mistakes preflop, you will end up in many dangerous situations where you do not have enough value hands, your ranges are very unbalanced, or you simply end up not bluffing enough, which is bad in all cases.
I know that many players have a misconception about playing from charts and think that it is not a valid strategy so let me answer this once and for all and tell you the secret. Every single good poker player in the world plays from charts, be it printed ones or in his head. It does not matter. There is just no way around it.
I used to think that it is just another statement until I invested a lot of my time and money into actually figuring it out. I was amazed how quickly I was able to improve my game after building the right ranges for all situations and understanding how to use it. Right now, I have a clear strategy how to play versus regulars, how to play versus unknowns, how to play versus recreational players, how to adjust my approach facing different bet sizing from my opponents and so on. I can quickly identify my opponent’s mistakes and punish them hard.
Therefore, building the best possible preflop strategy should be your top priority if you want to have success. You can do that with my advanced video courses, or do it on your own. Either way, you can get my FREE preflop poker cheat sheets and start your journey from there.
Analysing Your Game
There few options how you can go about it. The easiest one is to record your session using any of free screen recorders and then review how you played. I am sure that you will see things in a different light when watching your play form the side without being in the heat of the action.
Moreover, if you have poker playing friends, you can ask them to review your video and give a feedback. But if you choose this option, you just have to be sure that your friend is a much better player and that he can give valuable advice in the first place.
However, the second option is much more reliable. You will need Poker Tracker or Holdem Manager for this task. Both programs have free trials so you can download and try it out.
It allows creating custom filters, reports and using mighty HUD to see all the information in one place. Thus, you should take advantage of the tools that are available at your disposal.
The good thing about this is that even without knowing what you are doing wrong or knowing what poker stats are good, you can compare your statistics with winning players. It will help you to identify, where you are deviating from the norm, and most likely, leaving money on the table.
I never had such a clear understanding of the game until I started analysing mine and my opponents stats. It was one of the breaking points of my career. I was able to identify, how the theory could be implemented in practice, and how it can help me reach better results. All that said, you just have to play around with these tools, and you will learn more than you think.
The Crucial Part of Advanced Poker Training
So finally, we reached the last part of this section, and I am more than happy to say, that if you cover these topics alone, you will be a better player than the vast majority of your opponents.
After working with hundreds of players, I was able to identify that most of them are struggling in the same areas as I struggled years ago, so I created advanced poker training strategy video courses for all of it:
- When to c-bet and barrel multiple streets;
- How to play from big blind when facing a c-bet and when your opponent checks back;
- How to play postflop after calling 3-bets (when to play back, raise or float);
- When to bluff, bluff catch and take advantage of players mistakes in these areas;
- How to use bet sizing to manipulate your opponents play.
If you master only these 5 areas, you are almost guaranteed to make money in your games, and you will be on your way to success.
Moreover, when you learn not only WHAT to do, but understand the WHY part as well, you will know how to make decisions in every possible situation and will be ready to start printing money!
Final Thoughts on Advanced Poker Training
Days, when it was enough to raise, and c-bet are gone, and will never come back. Therefore, you have to develop poker training strategy that works for you and keep continually improving your game.
It is the only way to go if you want long-term success and I highly recommend devoting some time thinking it through. I hope you will be able to take few useful thought away from this article and see you at the tables!