The PokerCoaching.com Tournament MasterClass is just that, a masterclass, and an outstanding training course. As we all know, poker strategy is always evolving, so too is PokerCoaching.com’s training content.
Enter the Advanced Tournament Course, the latest massive multi-lesson endeavor from Jonathan Little and his outstanding team of coaches. With over 35 hours of content, it would appear to be a huge stand-alone course, and while it sort of is, it’s almost more like a huge expansion pack to your favorite video game, with exciting new weapons and items to crush your opponents.
What’s New in This Poker Course – The BFGs in the ATC
The Advanced Tournament Course takes the lessons taught in the Tournament MasterClass and expands on them in a huge way (I mean it is 35+ hours long). One of the most notable additions is the expansion of bet sizing strategies. Whereas the Tournament MasterClass primarily dealt with situations for “small” or “large” bet sizes, (mostly 1/3 or 2/3 pot-sized bets), the Advanced Tournament Course moves from the preset buttons to the slider with lessons on how and when to implement tiny bet sizes (ranging from 1 BB to 25% pot) and various overbet sizings on each street. Each section comes with multiple examples and comparisons using a variety of board textures.
The elements to consider within a hand are refreshed and expanded throughout the course. While range advantage and connectivity, nut advantage, position, stack size, and such are obviously discussed, it felt to me like there was an added emphasis on board dynamics when it comes to bet sizing and frequency. All of these factors are obviously important on any given hand and are discussed in each bet sizing concept lesson in the course.
Lessons are primarily taught with the onus on 40 BB strategy, which obviously has some wiggle room around that stack size, but there is a section specifically on 75+ BB play and the impact on frequency and sizing of bets (primarily based on the importance of nut advantage and SPR size). Short stack play isn’t really revisited from the Tournament Masterclass as the lessons there still hold up.
Plenty of new tools are also included in the course, including updated preflop GTO charts, new ICM and heads-up charts, a ton of post-flop GTO betting frequency charts, and for users of PIOsolver, a ton of presets to load into the program.
The PokerCoaching.com staple of a short quiz at the completion of each lesson to test yourself on what you’ve just learned returns, along with a 40-question final exam at the end to test everything you’ve learned collectively.
Advanced Tournament Course Content
Before we get into a few specifics of some of the lessons, here’s a quick breakdown of all the content you’ll find in the Advanced Tournament Course.
Advanced Bet Sizing Concepts (with Jonathan Little)
- 8 sections, with most videos 5-20 min long, a couple longer (3:13 total)
- When to bet small, large, adjusting raise size vs. a bet, playing turn, playing river
Deep stacked adjustments (with Jonathan Little)
- 4 sections (:43 min total)
- Postflop adjustments, positional effects, the value of being able to make (or block) the nuts
Multiway Postflop Play (with Jonathan Little)
- 7 sections (1:31 total)
- Advanced concepts, C-betting, large betting spots, strategies when facing aggression, as the in-position preflop caller, when to lead multiway
Advanced Exploits and Adjustments (with Jonathan Little)
- 8 sections (2:05 total)
- How to exploit opponents that C-Bet too much in single-raised pots, that C-bet too much in 3-bet pots, that ‘cap’ their bet size on the turn, that ‘cap’ their bet size on the river, adjusting against tight players preflop and postflop
Advanced ICM and Final Table Strategies (with Brock Wilson & Justin Saliba, Ethan “RampagePoker” Yau)
- 3 sections (1 instructional – 1:57, 1 Final Table Review – 3:58, 1 Live Stream – 4:00)
- Instructional section ‘Mastering Preflop ICM’ includes understanding preflop ICM variables, Raise first in (RFI) strategies, vs RFI strategies, vs 3-bet strategies, blind vs blind strategies
- Final table reviews of Rampage’s PokerGO win for $200k, Saliba’s WSOP online bracelet win + Saliba reviewing hands using solver software
- Live stream is Saliba’s bracelet win in full
Mastering Heads-Up Preflop Charts (with Jonathan Little)
- 2 sections (2:15 total)
- Online strategies (with 12.5% ante) for 10-75 BB, Live strategies (with big blind ante) 10-75 BB
Heads-up MTT strategy (with Jonathan Jaffe & Justin Saliba)
- 4 sections (14:42 total)
- Jaffe and Saliba play 1- and 2-table HU sessions and review each (both online ante, live ante)
- Saliba 30-min breakdown using software
- Live stream of the sessions
How to Optimally Use Poker Tools (with Matt Affleck)
- 4 sections (2:34 total)
- ICMizer, PokerTracker 4, Simple 3-Way, PIOsolver
A Few Specifics of the Advanced Tournament Course
Little and his team worked on the Advanced Tournament Course for about a year, and the effort is evident, but as is the case with almost all of Little’s teachings, it is very digestible. Most videos clock in at around 10-20 minutes, which presents players the ability to study a precise subsection of a topic, or just plow right through the 90 min+ section on multiway play should they choose. That said, I would strongly recommend focusing on the smaller chunks and really learning the concepts as opposed to just zipping through video after video.
Of note, while the majority of the lessons as I mentioned are of the shorter — but tightly packed with information — variety, the “Advanced ICM and Final Table Strategies” is where we first see sections consisting of significantly longer videos containing analysis of the play by the teachers of those sections. Get ready; the solver talk will be out in full force, but don’t let it scare you off. Hearing the players/teachers discuss their thought processes in the moment, then explaining what the correct decisions are with the solver and chart backup is really effective. In particular, fans of Ethan “Rampage Poker” Yau will really enjoy the breakdown of his Poker Masters win against Brock Wilson.
The “Heads-Up MTT Strategy” section is by far the largest of PokerCoaching.com’s Advanced Tournament Course with multiple hour-long videos of Jonathan Jaffe and Justin Saliba breaking down heads-up matches they played against each other online with 12.5% antes and a simulated ‘live’ session with a big blind ante to show the difference in strategies.
For those who want to study heads-up and learn from two of the best, this is an outstanding series of lessons discussing many, many spots they encountered in their matches with each other. Their interaction with each other as they discuss their matches is fun, too. With two players who weren’t as personable and comfortable with each other, this section could have become a slog, but that isn’t the case at all. To be fair, as lengthy and deep as this section is, it’s the one I was able to spend the least time on relative to the rest of the course. While heads-up play isn’t my primary area of desired study, the way Jaffe and Saliba go through their matches made it both entertaining and educational. I fully intend on revisiting this section and working more on my heads-up game.
A pair of sections I found very helpful were those on “Multiway Postflop Play” and “Advanced Exploits and Adjustments”. As a player who primarily plays in smaller to mid-stakes buy-in tournaments, diving deeper into spots with multiple opponents was a critical part to this course. The two sections go hand in hand, as one of the key topics of the multiway section is how much more checking is necessary because of the lack of nut and range advantage you have the more players are in the pot. This comes up in the exploits section when discussing how to take advantage of those players who just endlessly continuation-bet without taking those factors into consideration.
In another very cool and useful section for students to add supplemental learning, Matt Affleck provides some great tutorials and suggestions for PokerTracker 4, ICMizer, PIOSolver, and Simple 3-Way, all of which are key programs when some study outside of PokerCoaching.com is desired.
One of my favorite gigs with Cardplayer Lifestyle, besides being sent to South Florida to party and hang out on a beach (er, sorry, cover a poker tournament in South Florida), is writing PokerCoaching reviews because basically I get paid to study! I spend a huge amount of time immersing myself in the content and working on improving my game while also sharing what makes the course so worthwhile for anyone looking to improve their game.
As Little suggests, if you’re new to PokerCoaching.com or thinking of signing up for the site, the Advanced Tournament Course may not be the first module you want to tackle. It does hold up well on its own for experienced players, but with an added foundation built from the Tournament MasterClass you’ll appreciate and be able to apply even more of the lessons taught in the Advanced Tournament Course.
That said, for those with a solid foundation or PokerCoaching members who have made their way through the Tournament MasterClass, I can highly recommend the Advanced Tournament Course. Along with the 20+ hours of MTT content, the nearly 15 hours of heads-up training is outstanding. It truly is a complete course to take your tournament game to the next level.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to terrorize some opponents with 4x pot-sized river bets.