If you’ve started playing poker and are not sure of the best ways to improve, then we’d like to help you along. Think of us as the travellator-style walkway in an airport; we’ll try to get you to where you want to be slightly quicker, while you feel slightly smug about the people you can see working a lot harder than you to get to the same place slower.

Hand History

One of the best ways to start learning immediately is by watching your hands back in the hand history function available on all reputable poker sites. When you begin your next poker session, schedule how long you will play for if you’re at cash tables or how many tournaments you’ll be playing. Then plan to analyse your play at a designated time after you complete your session. This is often better the next day, rather than straight after playing. Poker – especially if you’re just starting out on the gold brick road – is a long game, and we all start all too emotionally attached to variance, bad beats and the like. You’ll grow out of this, but quicker if you apportion your analysis for a specific session. Learn to let go when you’re not in this post-match session.

Bank Those Blogs

We don’t write these articles for our own benefit (although they really help)! We’re keen to help you all get better. One of the best ways you can do that is to favourite the main partypoker blog page. Blogs are widely available on poker. If you like a specific player, why not follow their results next time they play? While articles such as this one are researched with the aid of several players’ poker experiences including our own, almost everyone in poker has the option to follow their hero. Watch them online, read their blog and learn from the best!

Open Forums

Forums such as 2+2 have long been the residence of true grinders, posting long sessions and discovering some of the building blocks of a solid game. These ‘grinders’ often go into detail about how they conquered emotional tilt leaks, bankroll management fails or a particular playing leak which you can fix quicker once you are invested in it. Reading a depth of any material naturally commits the reader to that way of thinking. You may well find a poker cause to get behind, too, making you feel more of the poker community. Interaction with fellow players can be a huge benefit to your game, and who knows, you might meet some new friends, too!

Training Sites

There are a plethora of training sites available out there, so which one do you pick? Research is key here. Which ones have been around a long time? Which are at the cutting edge of poker that people are learning right now? Once you’ve found the right site for you, make sure that you can afford the plan that you’re looking to invest in and write down what you’re hoping to achieve from training. Not only will this be vital information to pass onto your chosen coach, but it gives you a firm mental footing for the areas that you’re looking to see development in. you can then appraise the training rationally after the event based on criteria you specified before it began.

Buddy Up with Better Players

One of the best things to do in poker is find someone that is slightly better than you at the game and buddy up with them for some time to play similar-sized tournaments. Whether it’s talking through hand histories in The Jab, The Contender or The Uppercut depending on your level, do it for just a week and you’ll see a huge difference. There’s a reason Lennon & McCartney were better in The Beatles – they both pushed each other to greater achievements when working closely together. You can even set rewards or work prop bets into the week as a way of keeping it fun as well as productive!

Build a Stack of Books

One of the earliest insults to throw around in poker, was ‘Go and read a book’. Curiously, it wasn’t said in the sense that many poker players may have benefitted from on a personal basis, which would be for everyone to read more books, but it was an insult of learning. There was no shame in following that advice then and there isn’t now. Read poker books written by successful players, not just teachers. Chris Moorman’s recent poker books are so highly sought after not because he has the turn of phrase of Emily Bronte, but because his advice counts, backed up as it is by coming from the world’s most successful online tournament player of all time. There are thousands of poker books on the market. Catch ‘em all!

Volume

It is impossible to underplay the importance of volume in poker. Playing the same variant over and over breeds a familiarity to the gameplay that simply cannot teach, a natural appreciation for repeated situations. Having comfort in poker is a great thing. Not only is it great to learn about how to play paired boards differently to flushed or mixed texture ones, but as James Akenhead once told us, “Making easy decisions quicker frees up more time to make marginal ones, and puts pressure on those less comfortable with the easier decisions.”
Go forth and conquer in poker, and we hope this checklist of ways you can speed up the improvement process helps. Good luck at the felt!

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