Like with every forum, there is always a bit of trolling going on and you might have to deal with some “difficult” users who seem to enjoy starting drama even in threads where that is completely uncalled for.
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Downsides of Poker Forums
While poker forums can definitely be helpful to keeping up with the poker world, like NVG poker on twoplustwo, or even on your path to becoming a better player, they have certain downsides. The first and the most obvious one is that you can’t always get the advice you’re looking for.
All the information is provided on a voluntary basis, meaning it can be a bit of hit and miss. There might be players on the forum who can help with their input but they won’t always be around to answer your questions.
Although poker forums can sometimes contain a wealth of resources accumulated over the years, it is usually presented in a completely unorganized way. There are all sorts of threads out there and some of them can hide real gems. The problem is, how do you go about finding them? Thus, a lot of information that is actually available is virtually out of reach.
Even if you do come across some old threads that seem to be valuable, keep in mind that the information could easily be outdated. Some poker forums have been around for well over a decade and some of the info you’ll find on there may have been relevant at the time of posting but might be quite far away from the optimum these days.
Reddit Poker and Forums: Time vs. Value
So, although poker forums are definitely a better way to go about improving your game than Reddit Poker (especially the ones that have been around for years), you’ll still have to invest a lot of time to get any real value out of them.
When you ask a question, for example, it may take a couple of hours or even a couple of days before someone takes notice and finds time to write a useful answer. The information you get might be valuable but at such a slow pace, your development as a player can take a long time.
On top of that, for most questions, you will get a few completely different opinions so at the end you will not know which play has the most EV and end-up wasting time just like in Reddit poker. For example, if you ask what hands you should be playing in a specific situation, you will also get different suggestions that are not based on anything, so better get poker hands cheat sheets and same you time on the way.
The thing is, as a poker player, be it a full-time professional or someone who wants to use poker to supplement their income, time is a very valuable resource. Every moment you spend away from the tables is money lost in a way, so the last thing you want to do is waste too much time doing nothing and waiting for an answer to a question you feel is important.
Poker Forums and Reddit: Seeking Alternatives
Reddit Poker and poker forums are completely free resources, which is their biggest and most obvious advantage. They also have other upsides, as these online destinations can sometimes hide a wealth of great information and can help you get in touch with some great players who can help you learn a lot and seriously improve.
None of this is, however, guaranteed. To take advantage of what these venues have to offer, you’ll need to put in a lot of time and effort, without any guarantee that you’ll find what you’re looking for. Even worse, you’ll often have to deal with bad information and advice, which can actually hinder your development.
So, all in all, while we wouldn’t want to dismiss these free resources completely, it is important for the players to take them for what they are worth and not expect too much from them. Poker forums, for example, are a great additional resource for those interested in studying the game but if you’re hoping to use them as your primary source of learning information, you might need to rethink your approach.
Looking into Specialized Poker Training Sites
Unlike forums and Reddit Poker, dedicated poker training sites usually aren’t free. People working behind the scenes to provide learning materials available on these sites put in their time and, more importantly, their expertise to help others grow as players. It is hardly a surprise this comes with a price tag attached to it as poker knowledge and skills can be used to actually make money.
However, unlike poker forums, these sites offer a very structured approach, where students are usually offered everything they need in smaller, logical units or lessons. For example, if you’re looking to learn how to play poker tournaments, you can find a site where you have a complete game plan, so you don’t need to look all over the place for resources. Everything you need is in one place, which can save you a lot of precious time.
In addition to saving your time, you can also count with the information you’re being provided with is accurate and up to date. Poker training sites employ experienced players with results so the knowledge and insights they provide are really valuable and will help your growth and development. While there is always some debate about different approaches to the game, the information found on these sites is usually of good quality.
Reddit Poker and Forums or Investing in Your Poker Future?
Up and coming players are often reluctant to pay for poker training, mainly because there is so much free information out there already but also because they are afraid that what they’re paying for might not be worth it or they simply can’t afford to pay for a poker training site or one-on-one coaching.
If you don’t have a lot of money to invest, poker training programs come in all shapes and sizes and perhaps you can start off with something cheaper like Upswing Poker Lab. That way, you won’t be out of pocket too much and you’ll also get a good idea of how paid training differs from having to hunt for free resources all over the internet and across various poker forums.
You’ll be surprised just how much more you can get out of a structured and professional approach that addresses all the different topics that you may be interested in.
Furthermore, all courses are designed in a way that they follow the same fundamentals, so you can easily keep up. This isn’t the case with the knowledge and advice on poker forums and Reddit Poker, as there are different players with different ideas and approaches, so you’ll often end up more confused.
Conclusion: Take Reddit Poker & Poker Forums at Their Face Value
The idea of this article wasn’t to dismiss Reddit Poker or poker forums as some dark places you should avoid.
However, you should see it as it is – a place to read fun stories, have some fun chatting with other players or at best, as a very small part of your learning journey.
Take these resources at their face value and always take what’s offered there with a grain of salt. Also, understand that finding useful information and filtering it from the rest can be a demanding task and take up a lot of your time. For a poker player, time is a very valuable resource, so you shouldn’t be wasting it that easily.
If you’re really looking to grow and move your game to the next level, you’re probably better off looking into a structured and organized approach offered by training sites and poker coaches. While this may cost you some money up front, it will more than pay for itself by saving you heaps of time and also providing you with accurate and up-to-date knowledge you can actually take to the tables and start turning into profit!