When investing in your poker future, it can be a bit tricky to see exactly how much to spend or what your short-term and long-term investments might yield you. Unlike a 401(k) or monthly budget, it might be harder to figure out an amount that makes sense to invest in working towards becoming the poker player you’d like to become.
You might ask yourself: “How much will it cost to improve at poker?” The answer depends on if you want to beat your home game or “go all-in” and invest in yourself to become a professional poker player. Fortunately, poker has a wide range of finance options to help you improve your game and ROI.
Here are some of the top ways to up your game.
- Play one hand & get $100 in bonus play funds
- Top-quality mobile app
- Best online MTT schedule
The Evolution of Poker Training
Before the widespread dissemination of poker content — including that of poker strategy, tutorials, videos, podcasts, and articles — became the norm, a poker player would typically have to put the work in at the table, playing thousands of hands over the years to learn how to adapt, evolve and become a better player. Most players didn’t want to share their secrets with amateurs and were upset when Doyle Brunson published his first book Super/System, in 1979, a classic for any poker player. Doyle is one of the most revered people in poker. The Hall of Famer has 10 World Series of Poker bracelets to his name, including back-to-back WSOP Main Event wins in 1976 and 1977, and has $6,176,737 in live earnings, according to the Hendon Mob.
On the lower cost of the scale of poker investment, you can buy a book such as Super/System or its sequel to learn more about high-stakes poker professionals’ strategies. You can watch innumerable videos on your phone or computer and poker strategy apps. There are also poker training sites, which vary in price. It’s worthwhile looking at some of the best poker training sites to see what courses they offer. There’s something for players of all budgets and plenty of material covering all sorts of poker sub-niches.
Poker Training Options: From $ to $$$
If you’re not ready to plunk down any money, note that Jonathan Little has created Pokercoaching.com’s Master the Fundamentals. This is a free 19-module course that explains poker basics and starts you on the path of becoming a better player.
Another site that doesn’t strain the budget at $39.99/month is WSOP bracelet winner Ryan Laplante’s Learn Pro Poker. It helps you master the fundamentals of No Limit Hold 'em tournaments.
A third option is investing in Red Chip Poker’s PRO Membership. For $50 a month, the PRO offering gives players value who want to take poker study seriously. Instructors include James “SplitSuit” Sweeney, WSOP bracelet winner Chris Wallace, and other talented professionals.
If you’re looking at the higher end of the spending spectrum and are prepared to invest a little more in your poker-playing arsenal, Run It Once Poker Training and Run It Once Poker — which is gearing up for a big re-launch in the US online poker market — founder Phil Galfond’s This is PLO course offers 50+ hours of comprehensive heads-up Pot-Limit Omaha material for $2,499. That’s not a misprint. But keep in mind that spending 25% of a WSOP Main Event buy-in on a poker training course provides exceptional value for experienced Pot-Limit Omaha players looking to boost their game to the elite levels. It includes over 100+ unique videos teaching poker theory, tricky spots, and a review of high-stakes hands. Phil won the $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha tournament at the 2008 WSOP, earning him a bracelet (he currently has three) and added $817,781 to his live tournament earnings.
Personalized Poker Training
If you have the budget to invest “the maximum” in your game, you could opt for one-on-one training from a poker coach. Coaching costs vary, ranging from $100/hour to thousands for training from a high-profile poker professional. If your jaw just dropped at those prices, keep in mind two things: that’s time that the poker pro could be playing and earning money at the felt instead of training you, and the high-level training you’ll get will most likely pay for itself many times over once you implement the lessons learned.
Of course, there’s “no better teacher” than personal experience, and playing the game of poker can impart many lessons, whether it’s tournaments or cash games. Tournaments can run from dailies costing less than $100 to Super High Rollers with $250,000+ price tags. And cash games are there for almost any price point.
With all of these options available to help you with your poker strategy and overall efficacy at poker, there are many ways to improve. There’s no end game with learning how to be a better poker player, as it constantly evolves with new technology and the players coming up alongside this new tech. However, poker strategy tools also continue to evolve side-by-side, bringing more and more options to your table or home game.