Full Tilt Poker Academy

Learn, chat and play poker with the pros.

Anyone who has watched TV in the past 5 years is sure to have seen a commercial featuring that famous tagline by now. If you just washed up off of a desert island though, we are talking about Full Tilt Poker here, of course, I’m not sure what you would be doing reading a poker blog if you didn’t already know that.

Full Tilt Poker recently adding their Academy to the site and is free to all of it’s members. I think this was most likely a move precipitated to head off sites like Cardrunners who are actually somewhat affiliated with Full Tilt Poker  now.

I heard about this the other day at the Home Game from Nice Guy Eddie, I really don’t spend a lot of time on the Full Tilt site other than to play poker, and I have seen a number of the pros play there, but Patrick Antonious doesn’t say more that 50 words in any game I’ve ever seem him play so I wasn’t expecting to see a lot of conversation from him, durrr has about 40 tables open when he plays so I couldn’t ever see him having time to type in a comment other than “nh” or “gg”. Iwatched Mike Matusow play a couple times and have to say that was worth the price of admission, look forward to catching Mike again at a table because he is good fun.

I’ve only had the chance to sit with Scott Fischman in an actual game, it seems most of the other pros are scared to play the limits I do. Now I like Scott as a player, but I didn’t learn or chat with him while we played. I felt so used, so mislead.

Enter the Full Tilt Academy.

I have to say I was a bit sceptical when I first got there, but I tend to pick up about one or two tidbits from every “course” or “challenge” that I do. The messages are pretty easy to understand and the concepts not too advanced. It is a great place for beginners new to the game to get a grasp on poker other than from what they see on TV.

I should throw out a caveat  or two here though:

A lot of people are reading these lessons, and thus, there will be a lot of people that will eventually be playing the same way. This will leave opportunities to exploit this game into the future, but for now, many of the lessons make good sense for the novice players looking to plug a few leaks in their games and for the beginners looking to understand some of the concepts like bankroll management and bet sizing.

While these lessons are for level one or two players, note that many of them will not work on drunk morons who call 3 pot sized bets with any part of a flop all the way to the river in order to go runner runner gut shot straight on you. Good strategies are a starting point but you need to always look and see if the player will understand the move you are trying to make. I found a few of these plays to be too advanced for anyone in a multi-table position to see, and some will bleed off chips, make sure you are playing at the proper level and bankroll if you are going to give these a go.

The most important lesson I have found there so far is on the Power of Position, it is as must do for all players that are new to the game and will help you throw away those 95 suited cards in early position. I love to play cards like that, but if you start throwing them away you will see the effect it has on your chip stack, as well as the types of decisions you have to make after the flop. Players that feel they need to defend their blind all the time with these holdings ultimately give me a whole stack worth of called raises in a session.

I’ll update on the rest of the Academy as I work my way through it, but from now I think its definitely worth a go, take 15 minutes out of your day and work on your game, so few people continue to learn after they decide to start something, poker is a game where you should never stop learning. I will be using it more in the future as I work on my weaker games like RAZZ and STUD HL in order to make a run at some of the HORSE tournaments. And hell, it’s free. How can you beat that?


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