The whole internet is flooded with all sort of poker learning resources. Anything from basic guides to advanced strategic courses to teach anyone how to beat the game and earn money regularly playing poker. Some of those learning resources are free, and others are paid. Some are just not worth it, and others were created by some of the best players of the game. Some are worth $50, and others are worth a couple of thousand dollars.
So, what to choose?
It´s borderline impossible to determine without knowing a bit about yourself both as a person and as a poker player. What formats do you play? In what development stage are you? How well you understand the basic theory of the game? Among many other questions. Poker is a very complex game that requires a lifetime to master. Don´t let this discourage you but I won´t sugar coat this for you saying you will be ready to beat NL500 after reading this article.
I am just trying to open your eyes to the fact that it requires a great deal of commitment, discipline, hard work and consistency to be able to go from a recreational or mediocre poker player to a consistent winner at mid-high stakes. There is some useful knowledge, though! All the knowledge you need to achieve that goal is already out there whether you play cash, Sit & Gos or tournaments.
Now, here comes to bad news (lol)
The problem with all that knowledge is that there´s plenty of it! And for beginners, it can be very overwhelming having to process all. Especially since it´s not very well structured. But, fear no more because here come I come with some more good news. I am going, summing up the most sensitive areas you need to heavily focus on to improve your poker skills exponentially. Are you ready? Good, here it goes.
That´s it! There isn´t much to it. Yes, you can (and should) master basic poker theory and the fundamentals of the game. But in regards to medium to advanced knowledge, all you need to learn to be one step ahead of your competition is strengthening your mindset and developing a solid hand reading skill.
When it comes to mindset, there´s no better resource than “The Mental Game of Poker” both part 1 and 2 by Jared Tendler. These books are the standards when it comes to the poker mindset. But make no mistakes, there are other great books that I highly recommend reading that will significantly improve your attitude towards, not just poker, but life in general.
These are my go-to books, if you can, by all means, purchase them!
Now, the “non-poker” books about mindset…
Lastly, one of the best free resources to learn and develop a better hand reading skill I´ve ever come across is has to be the “66 Days of Hand Reading” playlist available on the SmartPokerStudy YouTube channel.
Other fantastic free resources about hand reading are “How to do Poker Hand Reading” article published on smartpokerbudy.com site and, another YouTube playlist called “Live Poker Workbook” made by Splitsuit available on The Poker Bank YouTube channel.
I will make you this promise; if you take the time to read/watch, learn and master all the knowledge on these resources and, more importantly, you build the discipline and consistency to regularly apply that knowledge, 3 to 4 months from now you are going to become the player you always dreamed on.