Imagine taking a course in college. You sit down for your first day and the professor drops the entire semester’s workload in front of you and says, ‘here ya go, see you in a few months’.
This is what it can feel like when you join a poker training site. Where do you even begin? The amount of content on sites can be daunting. Sure, there may be specific elements of your game you want to work on, but to level up your entire poker game, with the countless options out there, it can be intimidating and downright off-putting trying to navigate your way around.
I’ll fully admit to having bailed on a training in the past because it was too frustrating. Sifting through the countless videos, webinars, articles and forums, not really finding precisely what I wanted, and not having a direction for an overall learning path; it was incredibly overwhelming.
Jonathan Little’s Pokercoaching.com has recognized this hurdle potential students face and created a new section on the site, titled appropriately – Learning Paths.
With the growth of the site over the past year – expanding the amount of content, the number of coaches, and introducing PokerCoaching Premium, Pokercoaching.com has never had more content options.
While this is incredible for students looking to improve their game, a road map could be useful to help them along. This is exactly what’s been provided – in four forms no less – divided into cash game and tournament paths, and basic and premium levels of PokerCoaching.com memberships.
We’ll go into detail of each section in a minute, but first I’ll break down the various elements of content available, as PokerCoaching.com is far more than just training videos.
- Charts – The backbone of range creation and analysis, charts will be the first links available in each path. Every chart for every situation you could ask for is included. Every starting position, a multitude of stack sizes; all recommended by Jonathan Little. Throughout the series these will be referred to, but suggestions will be made for adjustments based on situations and opponents.
- Videos / webinars / courses – These form the majority of content within the paths. Most will be around 20-30 minutes, with some up to 1.5-2 hours for a full webinar with student questions and interactions. Most videos are headed by Little, but his entire team of coaches is utilized throughout. Some topics get a deeper dive with a series of videos in one of Little’s ‘courses’. Videos are also approximately 30 minutes each, but there are 3-6 of them flushing out a single topic.
- Homework Challenges – These roughly 40-minute webinars present a hypothetical hand situation where the student creates their own charts, illustrating what hand ranges they would check, bet, raise, or fold on each street. Little goes through the hand with his suggestions, breaking down decisions based on ranges, not specific holdings. A really thorough and interactive way to think about hand ranges.
- Hand quizzes – The most interactive and easily digestible content on the site. These short videos present the student with a hand situation, where they are then tasked to choose which action to take via multiple-choice answers, with varying degrees of point rewards for better answers. For PokerCoaching basic members, these provide a great incentive, as points can be used to unlock additional content available on the site. At the time of this writing, there are over 700 quizzes available in both cash game and tournament scenarios!
- 10 question quizzes – These multiple-choice quizzes test your knowledge on specific training sections.
All these elements will be incorporated into the learning paths, so let’s take a look at how they’re laid out.
*Of note, though this review of the PokerCoaching Learning Paths is pretty thorough, breaking down each element in detail would take quite a while, so we’ll just be touching on the key points of each. It’s up to you to fully discover and enjoy!
- Deep-stacked Preflop, Online 6-max charts – These charts accompany both the PokerCoaching and PokerCoaching Premium cash game sections. The deep-stacked charts assume a 100 BB stack (but can be applied to 50 BB+ stacks), cover Raise first in (RFI), Facing RFI, and RFI vs. a 3-bet. As mentioned, these are default suggestions. Deviations are discussed throughout, based on situational play. The online 6-max charts are referred to as implementable GTO charts. They assume 100 BB stacks and are all RFI vs. GTO opponents.
- Tristan Wade Deep stack fundamentals video (43 min) – The video discusses knowing what story you’re telling with betting, pot building, flop textures and recommended bet sizing, positional strategy and opponent tendencies. Wade incorporates charts and a few hand examples to illustrate these discussion points. Theories are applicable for 50+ BB stacks, but mostly for 100+ BB.
- 4 hand quizzes (Jonathan Little, Evan Jarvis & Brad Owen) – this first set of quizzes uses knowledge of ranges in spots for value and a bluff, a multiway situation with AK UTG, and pocket aces UTG when just starting a session.
- Lexy Gavin C-betting video (40 min) – One of PokerCoaching.com’s newest instructors, Gavin discusses factors on deciding to C-bet. These include what class your hand falls into, who has the range advantage, opponent tendencies, board textures, and the number of players in hand. Gavin brings plenty of good discussion followed by some hand examples to illustrate her teachings.
- 3 C-betting quizzes (Matt Affleck, Owen & Jarvis) – These quizzes piggyback off your newfound C-betting smarts. Situations include betting 66 for value BTN vs. BB on a low card board, AQo multi-way on a progressively scarier board, and playing AA defensively vs. a scary board.
- Homework Challenge (32 min) – This first homework challenge is accompanied by a YouTube link to an instructional video on how to properly complete the homework, using the PC range analyzer. To get the most out of the homework challenges, I really do suggest seeing them through completely. Creating your own charts does take some work and can be a bit intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it and work through the problems from start to finish, you really will benefit. You’ll feel much more comfortable with charts and range analysis from the more hands-on style of it. Honestly, the first times I just watched a homework challenge without going through the process myself, I felt a bit lost. But with more familiarity and then actually DOING the homework, the lights all went on, and these have become some of my favorite sections on PokerCoaching.com.
- Jonathan Little 3-betting concepts class (22 min) Right away, Little acknowledges that there is plenty more to discuss than is available in this video, but he refers to a couple of his books and other available webinars to expand on the discussions touched on here. Linear and polarized 3-betting ranges are discussed, along with when to use each. Also touched on – what to do when you 3-bet and get called, what to do when facing a 3-bet, and how to play post-flop after you call a 3-bet.
- 10 question quiz on 3-betting concepts – Little presents a nice challenging quiz to follow up his 3-betting video. Your knowledge of when to use a linear or polarized range will be put to the test.
- 3 3-betting quizzes (Jarvis, Gavin & Affleck) These quizzes will challenge you with decisions regarding implied odds with a suited connector vs. a 3-bet from a tight player, 3-betting kings and getting check-raised on a low flop, and an aggressive 3-bet line out of position with AQs vs. a raise and a call.
- Homework challenge (41 min) – 3-betting considerations are a part of this homework challenge, as you’re presented with a situation facing a UTG raise from a good, aggressive player, followed by a call from a straightforward but splashy player. You’re on the button. Pop quiz hotshot…what do you do? What do you do?!?!?!
- Pre-flop charts (deep-stacked, 15 bb, 25 bb, 40 bb, push/fold – FTT app) Get your binders out, folks, because there’s a ton of implementable GTO charts provided to get you started on this section. A multitude of stack sizes are available, along with Little’s push/fold chart, which also provides a link to his Float the Turn push/fold app, so you can check your ranges on the go. It’s great for a quick crash course / refresher on tournament breaks, just don’t pull it out at the table!
- 4 hand quizzes (Little) – the PC Tournament Path begins with a set of quizzes from a variety of tournament situations and buy-ins. In general, the hand quizzes on PokerCaoching.com run the gamut of buy-ins and situations, but don’t think that these won’t apply to you if you’re playing smaller stakes. Little and all the coaches do an excellent job of taking player type into account in these quizzes. A TAG is a TAG and a maniac is a maniac, whatever the stakes, so the decisions and situations will always be relevant.
- 3 Big Mistakes of Small Stakes Players w/ Jonathan Little video (34 min) – The first instructional video in this Path is a brief overview of Little’s coaching sessions with amateur player Nikhil Segel. Segel contacted Little for coaching after he won a $25k PokerStars Platinum Pass last year. Little turned their sessions into an excellent 15-part series titled ‘25k Platinum Coaching Sessions’ that I reviewed last year. It’s a great look at the transformation of a true recreational player with a ton of leaks into a player who could hang with some of the best in the world in a tournament WAY above his regular buy-in range.
- When to C-bet Based on Board Texture w/ Jonathan Little video (25 min) – Little discusses how range and polarization advantage influence how often and how much you should be c-betting. Also discussed are which sizings to use with various draws, and protection betting. Equilab and PioSolver are introduced as study resources.
- 10 question quiz on C-betting concepts – Bet sizing, frequency, board textures, position, and opponent types will all be considerations for this multiple-choice quiz.
- 3 hand quizzes (Little & Affleck) – Little presents a pair of hand quizzes from a $3k WSOP tourney in mid and deep stacked situations, while Affleck takes an interesting line in a $600 tourney with top pair vs. the BB on a super coordinated board.
- Homework challenge (37 min) – How do you play your ranges in a $500 tourney from the button facing a raise from the Lojack? After outlining his suggested strategy, Little compares it with GTO strategy from PioSolver. You’ll be surprised how notably tighter his strategy is from GTO!
- 3-betting Out of Position w/ Alex Fitzgerald video (25 min) Time for some creativity! The Assassinato takes us through just how to play a hand like 10-6 suited for a 3-bet in the big blind! I’ll admit, Fitzgerald’s coaching approach took a bit of getting used to at first, but it is unquestionable that the man is a freakin’ poker genius, and a helluva coach. After a few of his videos, I learned to love Alex’s sly smugness as he breaks down hands. And if there’s one thing I learned above all from his teachings, making half pot bets is THE ABSOLUTE WORST THING YOU CAN DO! Get off the fence!
- 3 hand quizzes (Little) – Another good variety of situations are presented here in tourneys ranging from a $500 online event to the WSOP Main Event. Coming off Fitzgerald’s video of aggression from the big blind, we’ll smash away with a blocker in the big blind here as well.
- Triton Million hand review w/ Jonathan Little video (40 min) – The final video in this Path goes through some wild hands from the $1M buy-in 2019 Triton Million. They include Tom Dwan in an AA vs QQ vs 87s to 3- and 4-bets pre-flop situation, Sam Greenwood facing an 11x(!) 3-bet pre-flop, and Christoph Vogelsang wearing a suit, instead of that neck-hoodie thing he usually sports.
- Homework challenge (40 min) – The Path’s final homework challenge has you fairly short stacked with just 30 BB UTG early in a $500 tourney.
As illustrated above, the Learning Paths available with a basic PokerCoaching membership are both excellent and very thorough, with not just strong fundamentals preached, but plenty of extended teachings as well. However, if you want to take things to another level, the offerings in PokerCoaching Premium are just that, premium. They include a notably larger amount of content and are well worth the difference in membership price.
The primary basis of the PokerCoaching Premium cash game learning path is Little’s outstanding Cash Game Master Class. A few months back, I wrote a review of that course that gives a VERY THOROUGH breakdown of each of the 20+ videos in the series. I will say this though: after studying the Cash Game Master Class for that review, I was able to turn an 8-month downswing around in just three months, and my graph has kept soaring in the months since. It’s an absolute game changer, and I can’t speak highly enough about it.
Successful revenge tour yesterday.
We got em at PH, Flamingo and Mirage to the tune of 40 BB / hour for the day.
Now to fuel up before starting today in my favourite room in Vegas. @AriaLV @ARIAPoker pic.twitter.com/6wIGu32y0Y
— Mike Patrick (@MikePatrick98) November 27, 2019
Here are the other elements of the PokerCoaching Premium cash game learning path:
- Combatting Limpers course – Little recommends going through the first 3 videos of this 6-video series. For small/medium stakes players where there is frequent limping, this series is a godsend. His sections in the Master Class on limping were arguably the most useful of the series for players at those stakes, so to get an expanded treatment in a course is just awesome.
- Hand quizzes – scattered throughout this Learning Path are 11 more interactive hand quizzes from Little, Affleck, Wade and Owen. A couple of them are repeated from the PokerCoaching Cash Game section, since the teachings in this Premium section have been expanded on from the basic Learning Path.
- Homework Challenges – There are a pair of Homework Challenges included in the PokerCoaching Premium Cash Game Learning path. One will see you go to war against an army of limpers, while the other wraps up the Path, implementing all your new cash game strategies and knowledge.
- Unbeatable Mindset course – Former psychology professor turned poker player and mindset coach Tricia Cardner joins Little for a series of videos on psychology, mindset and the mental game of poker. The series, which contains 6 videos + bonuses, is an excellent supplement to the hours of poker study in the Learning Paths. Mindset is such a huge and underappreciated part of success in poker. I’m a huge fan of Dr. Cardner’s poker mindset books, so it was great to see an over 3-hour-long webinar discussing all facets of poker psychology and mindset included here.
*There is a LOT here. This is the largest Learning Path of them all, so I’ll stick to just discussing the videos and webinars. There are an additional dozen quizzes and a pair of homework challenges as well.
- Learning Your Opponents Through Pre-flop Play w/with Jonathan Jaffe video (35 min) – The “dolphin trainer” takes us through a series of pre-flop situations, where he then provides analysis of what other likely tendencies players will have based solely on those initial actions. Dude raises K3s in early position? Sure, he’s LAG, but what else does it mean?
- Putting Opponents on a Range w/ Jonathan Little video (31 min) – Although this video is in the tournament Learning Path, it contains a lot of information that’s also very relevant to cash games as well. There’s plenty of discussion on player types, putting them on ranges based on their style, and how to play against those ranges.
- Counting Combinations and Evaluating Blockers w/ Jonathan Little webinar video (29 min) – It might be some players’ worst nightmare, but it’s made very understandable and useful by Little. Counting combos of unpaired hands, pairs, suited vs. unsuited combos, whether cards are on board or in hand are all explained. Really simple and understandable. Good theories and strategies on when to 3-bet preflop with weak Aces, Kings and Queens (because of blockers), along with using blockers to determine opponents’ potential hand strength post-flop. Nut blockers aren’t just for Pot Limit Omaha, kids!
- Minimum Defence Frequencies (MDF) Concepts w/ Jonathan Little video (16 min) – Little explains the formula of MDF with examples. He breaks down how and when to use it, as opposed to the times when it doesn’t apply. If you’re a small stakes player, this may not be essential viewing since your opponents really won’t be playing balanced poker.
- Homework Challenge (40 min) – Ok, I know I said I wouldn’t touch on the Homework Challenges, but this needs to be mentioned. Little’s snarky wit comes through in a hilarious moment when a student asks him about how you can have more backdoor flush draws in a situation, to which Little replies, “Well, if we do have a random Jack 8 suited here because we don’t know how to play…”
- GTO short stack adjustments webinar w/ Jonathan Little (35 min) – Unless you’re winning every tournament you play, or punting off a big stack regularly, good short stacked play is essential in tournaments. Little compares a GTO solver with a traditional push/fold chart. As with other GTO comparisons in the series, there’s a marked difference in suggested ranges. Plus, it covers why strategies are far more complex between 10-20 BB than just push or fold!
- Post-Flop Short-stacked play w/ Matt Affleck webinar (64 min) – Affleck’s section on short-stacked play has a ton of in-depth analysis that is very applicable to smaller buy in tourneys. How do you best play second pair with a short stack? The hour-long webinar has plenty of hand analysis using PioSolver, as well as several hand breakdowns.
- Counting Combos and Range Composition webinar w/ Matt Affleck (50 min) – We revisit combos and ranges with a different voice. I really enjoy Affleck’s instruction. It’s comparable to Little’s teachings, but just different enough to add another layer of thought, with the occasional curveball thrown in to really get your brain churning.
- Over-betting on the River for Value/as a Bluff w/ Jonathan Jaffe videos (28 / 45 min) – A pair of videos from Jaffe on how and when to incorporate the mighty overbet into your game. The video on bluffs gets an extra 17 minutes because there is a lot more nuance to firing that monster-sized bluff.
- Bubble thoughts w/ Jonathan Little video (22 min) – The final single-serving video of the Learning Path. Lots of discussion about ICM and how to adjust your game based on your opponents’ desires on the bubble. Can they be abused, or will they try to abuse you?!
As if this all wasn’t enough, the back end of the Premium Tournament Leaning Path adds several full courses and 2-hour webinars that feature some lengthier and even more in-depth teaching on several specific topics, including:
- Advanced Bubble Play w/ Scott Clements & Jonathan Little (8 parts / 30 min each)
- Poker Mindset w/ Elliott Roe (3 parts / 30 min each)
- High Roller Final Tables (3 parts / 30 min each)
- Heads up Strategy webinar w/ Jonathan Little & Olivier Busquet (1 hr 45 min)
- Eliminating Tilt webinar w/ Jonathan Little & Jared Tendler (2 hrs)
While it might be tempting to do so, you most likely won’t be running off to your local casino and immediately crushing after a weekend of bingeing any of these four Pokercoaching.com Learning Paths.
The fact of the matter is that, like any true type of learning, they’ll take time and effort to fully absorb. But that’s what we signed up for isn’t it?
When I was tasked with writing this review, since there’s simply just so much material to cover, the intention was to just provide an overview of the many elements provided and give a brief synopsis. It wasn’t possible. I burrowed into so many sections, and will continue to dig through them repeatedly in the future. The ability to have so much great training laid out with a set direction to take and a variety of content along the way was so welcoming.
Settle in, New Student of PokerCoaching.com. Your professors aren’t going anywhere.