By Jason Lake
If you've been thinking about improving your poker game and you happen to be sitting on a pile of money, then the world is your oyster. There are so many people out there who would love to teach you the game – for a price. You could pay a few hundred dollars for a year's subscription at a reputable training site, or a few hundred dollars per hour for a quality coach. On top of that, you're able to play poker and learn through trial and error without worrying too much about your bankroll.
But what those of us who don't have piles of money? Not a problem. There are useful and legitimate resources available to you for free, and if you're at the beginner level, free is your best entry point into the wonderful world of poker. You can start paying people once you're in a better position to understand what they're trying to teach you.
The world's leading video site has turned education on its head. You can learn just about anything for free on YouTube, and poker is no exception. There's archived footage from the tournament circuit, as well as training videos, documentaries and poker vlogs. Some of the information gets pretty stale over time, but the more math-based concepts hold up very well.
This is easily the best beginner-ish poker training I've ever come across, and it's free. Will Ma was in charge of the class in 2012 and 2013, bringing in guest speakers like Mike “Timex” McDonald and Jennifer Shahade. Kevin Desmond took over this year and did an outstanding job; you can watch the videos on YouTube, or even better, download the entire course pack for free.
This is a piece of software from PokerStrategy.com that lets you work with ranges and do equity calculations to see how well certain hands hold up against others. This robust program doesn't quite have all the bells and whistles of, say, Flopzilla, but you can't beat the price.
Quite a few training sites can be found kicking around, and like anything else, some are more reliable than others. Many sites will let you sign up at a “Basic” level that will give you access to a handful of beginner-level videos, where you can get acquainted with some of the concepts you'll want to use down the road – like ranges and equity.
If there's something you want to know, it (almost) never hurts to ask. You can get together with poker friends and discuss strategy, or you can sign up to a poker forum and get into the conversation. Just don't believe everything you hear or read, and keep in mind that different people approach poker in different ways. At the very least, you can learn where people tend to go wrong, and exploit these errors down the road.
All kinds of things are going on at Bovada Poker right now!