Yup, that’s right, I’m going to tell you how to “win poker”. In one article. Without knowing anything about you, your motivations, your current poker knowledge, or your learning style.
Many of you likely subscribe to, or have somehow got placed on, email lists from multiple poker training sites and related companies. If so, your daily trip to your inbox doubtless brings up subject lines promising instant success, surefire ways to improve your game and, around this time of year, some dreadful reference to “Spooktacular savings”.
If you auto-delete these emails, I wouldn’t blame you, although I’d argue that ours contain the best jokes. I’d add that I believe nearly all training sites have something to offer anyone who wants to get better at poker. But the devil is in the details.
Let me give you an example that may get me fired.
Getting Better Faster
My responsibilities at Red Chip require me to have an encyclopedic knowledge of our content, and a working familiarity with the material offered by other sites. The latter is particularly true with our sister site at SplitSuit.com and associated material at The Poker Bank. Consequently, I spend a couple of hours a week reviewing the current state of poker training material.
It was during one such trawling mission when I came across the following video.
You’ll recognize from the gravelly tone and high w.p.m. that this is none other than RCP CEO James Sweeney. I’ve learned a great deal from James about poker and beard maintenance, so settled in to watch the whole thing.
I was immediately confronted with a completely new concept: the weekly sprint. “What’s a weekly sprint?” I asked Scooby. As usual, he didn’t reply, probably because he’s a cat, so I resorted to Google.
The heart of Scrum is a Sprint, a time-box of one month or less during which a “Done,” useable, and potentially releasable Product Increment is created.
I won’t provide a link to that, since I wouldn’t want to further embarrass the author. Suffice it to say the rest of the page is of a similar style and spelling accuracy, and misuses the em dash so badly nobody should be encouraged to read it.
Decoding this, along with the information in SplitSuit’s video, I deduced that what we’re actually dealing with here is a schedule. Progress.
I clicked “play” to resume the video and watched it to the end. By which point Scooby had failed to respond to half a dozen more questions, that I had asked with mounting incredulity.
Let me “bottom line” my problem with the video content.
One Size Fits All?
I could not learn poker like this. I could not date someone who learned poker like this. The idea that on a Monday I’d have a study plan for Thursday is so alien to me, it might as well be hatching eggs while drooling over Sigourney Weaver.
But I also know, from testimonials that come in to the company daily, that James Sweeney is a remarkably successful poker coach and teacher, who has helped literally thousands of people with their poker game. In fact, I’m convinced that in the market of highly-structured, poker training materials, there is nobody better nor more respected than James.
So why my revulsion at the “weekly sprints” and why might you care?
For a large chunk of my life, I have either been a student or a teacher. One central lesson I took away from that experience is that everyone learns differently. This gets magnified once you reach adulthood, for the simple reason that people’s lives, goals, and available discretionary time diverge.
In other words, a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching anything is essentially impossible. This is of great interest to a poker training site for obvious and financially tangible reasons.
Partly as a result of such considerations, I and other members of the Red Chip team are looking at ways in which we can better serve a broader spectrum of learning styles. It’s challenging, but extremely exciting for all of us involved.
But I also wanted to say something about how this may (or may not) be relevant to you.
If you find the highly-structured approach advocated in James’ video works for your poker education, great. Keep at it. And we’re not dating.
If you’ve struggled sticking to a rigid poker study plan, and blamed your own lack of discipline, or blamed us for a stupid plan, take a step back. Realize that while you might be having some bets pay off with the best online sportsbook, poker is a focused activity. It’s hard to become very good while spreading your interests around, like many if not most poker players do.
Maybe the plan wasn’t right for you. That’s okay. There’s a plan B, a plan C, and a plan Dripping Aardvark for the surrealists. Fundamentally, I’m convinced we can find a plan that isn’t “work” for you at all; it’s play.
Oh. Title, Kat. Complete the frame.
How To Win Poker. I have no idea. We haven’t met yet. But with the range of teaching and learning styles of the Red Chip team, we can figure it out.