I’ve been an oblique scholar of Jonathan Little’s for a number of years. From his Instapoker quizzes, to his Secrets and techniques of Match Poker sequence of books, and each subsequent e-book thereafter, and now along with his website PokerCoaching.com (and Floattheturn.com).
As Jonathan has been pumping out coaching content material for years, it’s close to unattainable to maintain monitor of, not to mention ingest, each article / video / webinar he’s supplied. There’s rather a lot.
So, once I was tasked to put in writing a evaluate of 1 his newest video sequence, ‘25ok Platinum Teaching Classes’, I used to be keen, curious, and to be sincere a bit skeptical. I imply, I didn’t actually count on to study something I didn’t already know. However I’m not essentially who this system is meant for. But right here I used to be, plowing by the 6+ hours of movies and being wowed by simply what number of theories each elementary and superior are supplied.
Get the 25Ok Platinum Teaching Classes module now: accessible as a part of a $99 teaching bundle!
The idea for the sequence is Little’s teaching of Nikhil Segel, a leisure participant from India who received a Platinum Move from then-PokerStars ambassador Jaime Staples for the positioning’s unbelievable Gamers Championship held earlier this 12 months forward of the PCA within the Bahamas. The event could be the biggest $25ok purchase in event in poker historical past, with over 300 gamers successful entries by varied means courtesy of PokerStars, together with over 700 extra who put up the $25ok themselves.
The mission: convert Nikhil from a (by his personal admission) rank novice who primarily performed freerolls and microstakes tournaments right into a contender for life-changing cash within the greatest event of his life. No biggie.
The 15-video sequence is a development of the duo’s work collectively, and at its core is a sequence of hand historical past breakdowns (with Nikhil’s enter all through), however given Nikhil’s inexperience, Little has to attempt to drill as a lot into his scholar as rapidly and completely as doable. And consider me, there’s rather a lot! As I discussed, I used to be wowed, and at occasions, Nikhil mentioned he was a bit overwhelmed.
Let’s get into it.
Part 1 (movies 1-4): We’ve acquired work to do
The primary hand we see is our scholar open-raising 27x in a SB vs BB scenario. Yup, work to do.
That is the place my skepticism as an skilled poker participant kicked in. I used to be anticipating to see all types of random nonsense that Little must simply flip into primary ABC poker instruction, however foolish me, that is one in all poker’s finest coaches we’re speaking about and he’s not going to dumb this down. Positive sufficient, 17 minutes later after finishing the primary video, the skepticism was gone, and the eagerness and curiosity took over as I couldn’t wait to see the place this journey went.
Other than hand 1, there actually have been some massive holes that wanted addressing instantly together with bet sizing, limping and beginning hand choice (you’ll wish to hearth any Ace-x hand you ever see once more throughout a room earlier than that is completed) to call a couple of.
However as I mentioned, Little doesn’t maintain again, and by the top of video 1 of the 25Ok Platinum Teaching periods these matters have been addressed, together with:
- contemplating your play primarily based on participant varieties
- an opponent taking the lead on a paired flip card
- river calls primarily based on bluff vs. worth combos
- enjoying suited connectors and board protection
- blind play vs. completely different participant varieties
- C-betting ace-high boards
- river bluffs on a scary run-out
- maximizing worth with premium fingers
- fold fairness
- medium pairs pre-flop vs. a elevate and a 3- bet shove
- betting for worth vs. safety, and (most significantly)
- working towards such as you’re enjoying the $25ok and never a freeroll!
Every of the 15 movies is like this. Virtually each hand Nikhil performs is analysed and critiqued accordingly.
Video 2 introduces some staples of poker coaching, Pokerstrategy.com’s Equilab program, and a pair of assets from Little’s Float the Flip website, his push/fold app, and fold fairness calculator.
Little takes Nikhil’s propensity for taking part in Ace-x and breaks down the numbers for it in a couple of conditions, with all outcomes displaying that Ace-x (with a non-shove stack) is usually rubbish.
With the assistance of the push/fold app, charts, and fold fairness calculator, Little emphasizes the significance of shoving or folding as a substitute of calling in spots with fingers like QJ.
Movies Three and Four proceed with Nikhil’s first set of pre-coaching hand histories. A number of extra key conditions are mentioned together with play from the blinds, in addition to a spot the place he clearly must be enjoying the Ace-x. There are additionally a few enjoyable fingers discussing pocket aces, and when you must sluggish play to induce bluffs and get max worth.
This primary part is actually about inspecting Nikhil’s degree of play, giving him the groundwork to be extra profitable within the tournaments he performs usually, and to have a shot within the $25ok occasion. Loads of ideas you’ll know, however inspecting how somebody of Nikhil’s talent degree performs and presenting a better degree of thought to him by Little could be very intriguing.
Part 2 (Movies 5-7): Let’s see what you’ve discovered
The subsequent Three movies comprise hand histories following Little’s first sequence of teaching periods with Nikhil. Video 5 begins with an replace from Nikhil, saying he’s engaged on making an attempt to be tighter, with no extra limping and never enjoying Ace-x (we’ll see about that…). Nikhil additionally says he nonetheless has considerations about his bet sizing, however Rome wasn’t inbuilt a day, so let’s see how Little’s teaching is kicking in, lets?
Instantly, we see that Nikhil’s hand choice is healthier, with plenty of hassle fingers like KJo, QTo being performed rather more prudently by recognizing the energy of an early place raiser and folding.
His open-raise sizing is usually higher as nicely with a couple of exceptions, notably within the small blind, the place Little stresses the significance of accelerating the sizing, on condition that you do not need to offer the massive blind pot odds to name, then having to play the hand out of place.
Flop bet sizing and board texture can be addressed in a few spots. Nikhil’s sizing basically is healthier, however he has the potential to get himself into hassle on extremely coordinated boards which are prone to have hit his opponent’s vary (see instance beneath).
Now for the reason that fundamentals are usually enhancing, how about we throw some high-level stuff in there to spice issues up a bit? Little introduces a sophisticated play from the massive blind, 3-betting ragged suited aces, kings and queens, then C-betting small on the flop! Yup, a number of enjoyable issues you are able to do within the blinds and right here’s one in all them!
Additionally, since we’ve acquired a lot of the points out of the best way close to weak aces and limping, now it’s time to introduce spots the place it’s OK to just do that. The ability of place!
Nikhil’s play reveals enchancment (“1,000,000 occasions higher from the primary session”, Little compliments), however there are nonetheless loads of classes to study on this part, notably a few arduous ones in post-flop play with suited connectors. Nikhil tends to overplay marginal made fingers, which will probably be some extent Little takes nice care of working with him on all through the sequence.
Part 3 (Video 8) An replace from Nikhil / Overload
The eighth video of the 25Ok Platinum Teaching sequence stands by itself as an replace on Nikhil’s mindset because the event approaches. It’s dialogue on not overwhelming your self and including on pointless strain.
Little goes by his scholar’s prolonged e-mail, the place he illustrates the quantity of research and preparation he’s present process, together with a breakdown of ‘methods’ he’s getting ready for the event. It’s apparent Nikhil is taking the upcoming event very significantly, however Little suggests he could also be overwhelming himself with the quantity of labor he’s doing not solely with him, however with different teaching websites. Little’s recommendation is to simply put together as finest he can and play stable elementary poker.
One other nice level about mindset is introduced up as Nikhil suggests a number of occasions that if he’s feeling overwhelmed or tilted on the desk he’ll stroll away and take a break. Little acknowledges this may be good at sure occasions, however with the quantity of situations Nikhil suggests he’d depart, he’d be higher to simply sit there and “be sane” in most of them. Cooling off may be useful however lacking too many fingers could be detrimental.
Part 4 (Movies 9-11) 1 Month to go / previous habits die arduous
With the $25ok quick approaching and Nikhil displaying indicators of psychological fatigue from his arduous work, some unhealthy habits creep again into his sport that Little should squash as he additionally provides to his scholar’s preparation.
Some poor hand choice and irregular pre-flop elevate sizing pop up once more, however post-flop play is the place a lot of the work nonetheless must be completed.
Nikhil’s post-flop tendencies to bet in poor spots or bet too massive — permitting his opponents to play completely, whereas lacking worth in others — is actually highlighted right here. He tends to open himself as much as getting blown off his hand too usually when he must be seeking to get to showdown (as illustrated beneath).
These conditions are addressed and labored by very nicely with a number of conditions displaying a check-raise to be the optimum play (whereas others illustrate why it’s undoubtedly not). This part will assist any participant with their post-flop sport.
Video 11 offers primarily with quick stack play and conditions late in a event. Little wraps up this part acknowledging small blind elevate sizing, quick stack push/fold choices and the marginal made hand hassle must be labored on. As we get to the house stretch, let’s see what enhancements are made.
Part 5 (Video 12) Standalone 6-handed tourney
The 12th video of the 25Ok Platinum Teaching sequence stands by itself as a 40-minute coaching session in shorthanded play as Nikhil navigates his method by a 6-max event.
In an e-mail at first, he acknowledges his considerations about regression, noting a latest sequence of unhealthy outcomes. Little tries to calm his fears with a reminder of how high-variance event poker is normally.
Changes when enjoying 6-handed are mentioned all through this video, hand choice will probably be considerably looser, stats will seem wilder, however actually 6-max is rather like full ring with UTG, +1 and +2 eliminated.
That mentioned, there’s nonetheless no excuse for what we see beneath, a stone bluff with air right into a horror present of a board that might show disastrous for our scholar!
Part 6 (Movies 13-15) Arduous work pays off!
The ultimate part of movies is a hand historical past of a event Nikhil wins shortly earlier than he heads to the Bahamas. The principle theme of this lesson is ‘make the most of the errors your opponents will make’! Granted, that is nonetheless a micro stakes event, however the work Nikhil has put in reveals, as he outplays his opponents and capitalizes on their egregious errors (see beneath).
One caveat – Ace-x nonetheless rears it’s ugly head and Little should implore him as soon as extra concerning the issues with reverse implied odds this hand may cause (“ask your self, would you play K7o? The reply’s simply no!”).
It’s nice to see how Nikhil has improved and the way Little’s teachings have influenced his sport. The ultimate video offers with closing desk play, pressuring your opponents, extra push/fold conditions and ICM concerns.
In fact, there’s nothing like heading to the largest event of your life coming off the excessive of a victory and seeing the fruits of your labour.
As I discussed on the outset of this evaluate, I used to be skeptical about what I could or might not study from this video sequence. Now having watched the whole sequence, not solely was I reminded of ideas that had possibly slid out of my sport, however lots extra have been launched as nicely. The combo of a bombardment of data together with the story of Nikhil Segel’s development all through these classes make for an amazing coaching device for poker gamers of all talent ranges.
In abstract, Jonathan Little’s 25ok Platinum sequence is actually one of many most interesting hand historical past coaching periods accessible.
So I bet you’re questioning how Nikhil did on the PSPC within the Bahamas?!
He made it to day 2 with over 90,000 in chips from a beginning stack of 60,000. Nevertheless, his run ended there, however not in unhappiness as he known as it “the absolute best expertise” and “top-of-the-line days of his life”. Now for those who don’t make the cash, that’s about one of the best comfort prize you may get.
— Nikhil Segel (@NikhilSegel) January 7, 2019