When I was a kid, I used to play badminton. I wasn't great but I managed to eke into my school team for a zonal level competition. Our star player was a guy who had made Badminton his life's number priority. His schedule included waking up at 5.30 in the morning, a 2-hour practice session with his coach, school, another practice session. Needless to say, he was a damn good player. Poker is no different - to be really good, you have to put in the hours. But, how and where?
The number of resources to study Poker are innumerable. Let's get down to what we think is the right way to study poker.
1. YouTube Videos - YouTube is a huge resource of poker videos: Poker TV Shows (Poker After Dark, High Stakes Poker, etc.), Hand Breakdowns by Pros (check our article on Best YouTube Channels), Tournament Highlights. There is a lot of variety and usually they come with commentary, so it is entertaining to watch too. This is the least difficult method to get started on.
2. Training Sites - If you want to invest more time in your poker career, subscribe to training sites. Here, several professionals cover different theories in poker, review hand histories and talk about mental game. It is a wholesome resource for your development. Some of the good ones are: Run It Once, Upswing Poker, Tournament Poker Edge, Raise Your Edge
3. Hand Discussions/Forums - A good way to learn quickly is to surround yourself with other poker players and have a discussion with them about your hands. If you don't know any poker players, you can join forums like Two Plus Two and post your hands there.
4. Hand History Reviews - You'll play a lot of hands but won't always have the opportunity to discuss all of them with others. So, it is a good idea to review them yourself. To do this, you can use the help of software, and see if you played it right.
5. Twitch - This is the newest source of poker knowledge. A lot of poker players these days are streaming their online poker sessions LIVE (Lex Veldhuis, Jason Somerville). And they constantly explain why they are doing certain things. It is a great way to get into the head of a pro and look at their thought process.
6. Coaching - Finally, if you are looking to take your game to the next level, hiring a personal coach makes sense. Usually, these coaches charge on an hourly basis. But, the personal attention and the steep curve of improvement makes it worth it.
Hope this helps. Let us know your thoughts, opinions and questions in the comments below.
Mayank Jain is a writer who plays poker for a living. He writes at http://mayankja.in/ on mindfulness, travel and art, among other things."