Poker is believed to date back thousands of years, with some historians tracing its origins to a 10th-century game played by the Chinese emperor of the time; however, even though the game celebrates a long-standing history, it remains as popular as ever. Unfortunately, the ever-growing player base makes it challenging for beginners and intermediates to make any actual winnings. Luckily for you, you can access expert help with just a click of a button.
The seven best poker training sites for live poker games are Raise Your Edge, Upswing Poker, Pokercode, Bluff the Spot, Run It Once, PLO Mastermind, and Advanced Poker Training.
In the following sections, I’ll be delving into each of these poker training sites and why they’re my all-time top picks when it comes to live poker game coaching. I want to note that due to the different nature, pricing, and features that each of these alternatives offers, their ranking is random and that, ultimately, the best training site for you will depend on your needs and expectations. Let’s get started!
1. Raise Your Edge
Even though Raise Your Edge is a newer site providing its training services to poker players all around the world, it has been able to build a reputation as one of the best among its competitors.
The site itself was built by a high-stakes crusher with more than a decade of experience under his belt. His name is Benjamin Rolle, or, as some players may know him – bencb789.
Even though the founder has amassed his experience and fame by playing mostly online tournaments, his advice and expertise stretch far beyond the digital space. Therefore, if you’re looking for advice on how to succeed in live games, you’ll be able to benefit a lot by enrolling in his lessons.
A quick google search will turn up thousands of raving, stellar reviews complementing Rolle on his simple yet effective lessons, which can help improve players of all levels significantly enhance their odds of winning.
The courses provided by Raise Your Edge are arguably among the most comprehensive in the business, so you’re guaranteed to get excellent value for your money.
As expected, any high-quality course like this will come at a price. However, the good news is that there is a limited-content, free version of the course that you can enroll in just by typing in your email address. This program will give you access to:
- Rolle’s 5 pillars to succeeding in any poker tournament
- Some of the core skills that can help any beginner start their poker journey right
- A supportive community of like-minded individuals
- Exclusive discounts on Rolle’s other courses and products
Overall, I’d say this is a pretty impressive deal, as you’ll be getting some high-quality content without having to spend a dime. So, whether you’re a total novice or someone trying to get a feel of the site before investing your hard-earned money, I highly recommend giving the free program a try.
On the other hand, if you’re a more advanced poker player, liked the free content and want to learn more, or simply want to access some high-value content, you can choose between one of the paid-for programs, which can range anywhere from $550 to $999 depending on the type of guidance you’re looking for.
If you ever want to play at live tournaments like WSOP (on this link you can read my complete guide on this most popular live tournament series) or other popular live tournament series, then Raise Your Edge is a perfect choice for you.
2. Upswing Poker
Founded by high-profile players Doug Polk and Ryan Fee, Upswing Poker is one of the most popular poker training sites in the business, even though it’s still a relatively new business.
However, should you choose to opt for one of their advanced programs, you’ll be able to access training content from many of the industry’s greats. For example, your standard monthly subscription (more on this below) will get you courses from Doug Polk, Andres Artinano, Jake Abdalla, and Pratyush Buddiga.
Moreover, the site doesn’t only focus on Texas Hold ’em training, as PLO (or Pot-Limit Omaha) players will be able to receive tailored courses as well. However, if you’re looking for an entirely PLO-focused training site, keep reading until the end, as I’ll be recommending an excellent option.
Upswing Poker covers tournaments, NLHE cash games as well as PLO cash games.
Just like Raise Your Edge, Upswing Poker offers a program for everyone. On their site, you’ll be able to access some high-quality (albeit limited) content and guidance simply by enrolling through your email address. This free program includes:
- Two lists of 20 secret rules, respectively guiding you on playing flash draws and three-bet pots
- Eight charts created to help any player improve their strategy, starting hand selection, and ultimately, their win rate.
The free program is excellent for beginners and intermediates alike and can help you get a feel of the content you’ll be paying for later on.
However, if you’re looking to access some more in-depth information, you can pay for content and services priced as low as $7. As always, remember that you get what you pay for, and if you want a comprehensive course on becoming a successful poker player, you might have to shell out a bit more.
Upswing Poker utilizes a monthly subscription approach. The initial sign-up fee is $99, and every month after that, you’re expected to pay $49. However, you can enjoy a discount if you prepay for a 6- or 12-month subscription, which cost $299 and $499, respectively.
Pokercode is yet another new-ish training site that comes highly recommended by players of all levels. The site was founded by one of the biggest names in the industry – Fedor Holz. However, he’s not the only pro sharing his wisdom on the platform. Big winners Fedor Holz, Matthias Eibinger and Steffen Sontheimer have taken it upon themselves to share their best tips and tricks through Pokercode’s courses.
As the website boasts, the coaches you’ll be learning from in Pokercode have won an accumulated $64,000,000 through their games, so you know you’ll be learning from the best of the best.
Pokercode also offers a free program you can access instantly. However, I must say that the information seemed fairly limited, and you won’t be able to get much out of your free membership.
However, if you do want to invest a bit in your growth as a poker player, the content you’ll get as a full-rights member is worth every dollar. The monthly membership price will set you back $89. However, you can make significant savings by prepaying for a quarterly or yearly plan, priced at $214 and $699, respectively.
Although the price tag might seem a bit steep (even when compared to the sites mentioned earlier), keep in mind that hiring each of the instructors you’ll be learning from individually would cost you thousands of dollars, so you’re still getting pretty good value for your money.
4. Bluff the Spot
Even though each of the alternatives mentioned thus far offers excellent content when it comes to live poker game training, they’re still pretty pricey for most poker players to afford. Let’s be real; their free-access programs, although highly qualitative, are still rather limited.
The good news is that top-tier training doesn’t always have to cost an arm and a leg, and a prime example of this is Bluff the Spot. MMA Sherdog, the head coach, is one of the biggest high-stake winners in the game, accumulating more than $1.2 million in winnings.
As mentioned, most of the content provided by the site is free. For example, by providing your name and email address, you can sign up to receive their free PDF with 7 little-known tips about 3bet pots. For more information, you can also visit their YouTube channel, whose videos are sometimes considered much better in terms of content than some of the paid content out there.
However, if you’re a higher-level player looking for some more in-depth guidance, Bluff the Spot does offer a few paid programs for you to check out, ranging in price from $199 to $899. At any rate, I highly recommend checking out the free content first before making a commitment.
5. Run It Once
Run It Once is a highly popular poker training site that was founded in 2012 by Phil Galfond. However, unlike other sites mentioned up until this point, the content you’ll be able to access on Run It Once comes from a whole team of highly experienced poker players.
The (impressive) line-up of coaches whose advice you’ll be paying for on Run It Once includes:
- Tommy Angelo
- Jason Koon
- Ben Sulsky
- Ola Amundsgard
- Daniel Dvoress
- James Obst
These are just a few of the greats sharing their advice on the site.
You can get a feel of the site by enrolling in their free program, which allows you to access the website’s strategy forum. That’s where members share advice, discuss strategies, and more. So not only will you be profiting from the real-life experience of players of all levels, but you’ll also find a community of like-minded individuals, all wanting to progress in the game.
However, that’s not all. Free members can also view up to three “Elite” videos, which are usually reserved for paid programs. Speaking of, those willing to make an investment in their playing skills can choose between two programs: Essential and Elite.
The former caters to low-stakes players and will set you back around $24.99 a month. Moreover, you’ll be able to access up to five “Elite” videos per week.
If you’re a high-stakes player, you might want to invest in the “Elite Program.” For $99.99 a month, you’ll be able to access a vast (2400+) video library, allowing you to advance and perfect your skills.
6. PLO Mastermind
As promised, in this section, I’ll be delving into a PLO-focused training site. Those who aren’t fans of the traditional Texas Hold ’em might find it difficult to access high-quality online training that allows them to translate their skills into live cash games.
Jnandez, with over a decade of playing experience under his belt, created the program along with Luuk Botter, Suhepx, and Shuller, serving the player base with one of the first PLO training sites of this caliber.
PLO Mastermind offers an unbelievable amount of instructional content. Every week, new videos and quizzes are released to members of all levels looking to advance their skills. Moreover, the site has created a tight-knit community that regularly talks about tips, experiences, and all things poker in the platform’s forum.
Like all sites mentioned up until this point, PLO Mastermind does offer a free membership to users looking for base-level advice or for those looking to try out their services without having to commit financially.
As a free member, you’ll get:
- 10 Launchpad videos
- Access to the community’s forum
- Limited insight from the coaches
- Demos of the poker training content you’ll get by investing in a paid membership
If you do decide to pay for a membership, you can expect to pay around $109 a month. Alternatively, you can invest in a yearly membership, which will set you back $1090. Even though this plan is undoubtedly pricey, keep in mind that you’ll be saving $218 (provided you were planning on paying for your membership every month anyway).
7. Advanced Poker Training
Advanced Poker Training is arguably the oldest and most well-established site on today’s list. The platform has been up and running since 2007 when it was launched by brothers Steve and Allen Bay. The site set itself apart from its many competitors and stood the test of time by providing its users with one of the most immersive experiences you can find through online training.
The skills you’ll gain through Advanced Poker Training are highly valuable when it comes to increasing your odds of winning live cash games. Unlike on other sites, which predominantly focus on the theoretical side of poker, here, you’ll be able to play against virtual opponents to further expand your skill set.
Usually, you’ll watch a video on a particular skill or technique and then play a game that requires you to employ the said technique in practice. Afterward, you’ll be able to re-watch the game under the commentary of some of the industry’s greats, including (but not limited to):
- Lauren Kling
- David Williams
- Mike Caro
- Jonathan Little
- Scott Clements
They will explain in detail how they would have played the same hand, allowing you to learn from your mistakes.
You can create an Advanced Poker Training account for free. That account will grant you access to some beginner-level training games.
However, as you advance, you will have to invest in higher-level memberships. Luckily, these are relatively affordable (especially compared to the options we’ve seen thus far). Monthly memberships can be purchased for $39.99, while yearly memberships will help you slash your costs in half, coming in at $239.64.