Nov. 24, 2012
Poker boot camps
If you've been entering poker tournaments and not cashing, it's possible you need some expert input. Yes, you can search for poker advice on the internet where there's a ton of articles filled with advice. Go ahead. Search for those words. You'll get somewhere in the neighborhood of 16 million results. Then, even though many of them won't provide an author name, you have to figure out which site is valid. After that, you have to choose which ones work for you.
Better still, you could save yourself a lot of time by attending a poker boot camp. There aren't nearly as many as there are free articles on the net and choosing one should be as easy as asking yourself three questions: Does the boot camp provide professional instructors (winners); is the boot camp affordable; and is the camp located near you?
Here's a summary of the two most notable boot camps.
The WSOP Academy offers two venues -- online courses or face-to-face instruction. The online course starts with record bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth, who plays poker in cash games and sit-and-go scenarios while providing commentary and insight into the play. If you're a serious poker fan or player, Hellmuth needs no introduction. Like him or not for his table antics, he is one of the top players in the world. As part of the course, Joe Navarro, former FBI agent, imparts his knowledge of body language, some of which will really surprise the student. Both instructors are definitely qualified to teach as are additional mentors, tournament pros Annie Duke, Greg Raymer, Mark Seif, Mark Gregorich and Gavin Griffin.
Despite competition from the highly publicized World Series of Poker name, The World Poker Tour prevails as a top-notch boot camp. Also offering an online course, the WPT offers lessons from some of the top players in the world. There's Linda Johnson, a fierce competitor in cash games and a formidable opponent at the tournament tables. Also on board is Kathy Liebert, the million-dollar tournament pro, Jan Fisher, Mike Sexton and WSOP bracelet winners T.J. Cloutier, Gavin Smith, Hoyt Corkins, and Jerry Yang among others.
Before you decide which camp to attend, go online and check each one out carefully. Decide if you are a candidate for online courses or if you would benefit more from a live camp where you can interact with the pros. Look for camps in your geographic area as well.
A word of caution, however. You'll get excellent instruction from poker camps but if you meet any of the instructors across the table, in the heat of tournament play, they will treat you just like any other opponent. It's not that they didn't impart their knowledge to you. It's not that they don't want you to be a winning player. The nature of any poker player is to win, even if it means beating a friend or relative out of the top prize.
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