Tournaments are probably the most popular form of the game of poker. A lot of new players start with this format due to the thrill of tournament success and the potential to win tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars under the lights at a final table.
But, in poker, like in many other things in life, success doesn’t come easy. Poker success will be acquired through hard work, dedication and study.
If you are serious about improving your tournament game or are you looking to move up to some of the largest stakes online, you may have considered taking The Tournament Masterclass – by Raise Your Edge (who I ranked as the #1 training site on the market in my poker training sites roundup page).
It's the most popular tournament course on the market at the moment, and for good reason.
Bencb789, the head coach of the Tournament Masterclass, has won millions in online poker tournaments, including the 2016 PokerStars WCOOP $102,000 Super High Roller where he defeated Fedor Holz for $1.17 million and $1k SCOOP event in 2019 for $100,000 (reviews of both of which are included in the course).
So Bencb has the knowhow and the course has the right content, but what do YOU need?
To be successful with this course, you will need the following:
- To understand fundamental poker tournament strategy. This isn't a poker course for a new poker player in the slightest – I repeat, if you are a beginner, this course is not for you!
- To have the desire, dedication and willingness to work to become a great poker player.
If you bring those things, Bencb's masterclass will teach you everything you need to know to beat poker tournaments at the highest levels.
To summarise what this course entails and my overall impressions:
The Tournament Masterclass is a top-level MTT course with over 50 hours of content taught by online crusher, Bencb. Ideal for competent MTT players breaking into mid-stakes and above, it includes highly detailed video lessons, a top-notch preflop range viewer, and helpful quizzes. Our rating: 9.0/10.
So let's take a look at what to expect from the Expert and Apprentice Tournament Masterclass in this review of RYE's most premium content.
If you would like to see what the inside of the course looks like, I'd recommend you watch our detailed review of the Tournament Masterclass:
Table Of Contents
- Tournament Masterclass Course Content
- Tournament Masterclass Customer Success
- Be Ready to Put in Extensive Work With The Tournament Masterclass
- Raise Your Edge Discount Code – Get $150 Off
- Alternatives To The Tournament Masterclass
- Raise Your Edge Poker Review Verdict: The Tools To Beat Poker Tournaments
Tournament Masterclass Course Content
After viewing the introduction and signing up for the course, you’ll be presented with a number of module groups with each having their own subgroup of videos. Below is a general overview of what you’ll find in each of these modules.
Preflop Tournament Play
In this first section, you'll learn all about play playing preflop, starting with an extensive discussion about hand ranges. Bencb789 looks at over 200+ preflop ranges from just about every situation imaginable. He also introduces you to the expert range viewer which is one of the most valuable parts of the course in my opinion.
Next, he moves into talking about the theory behind developing comprehensive open raising strategies followed by putting those strategies into practice. Afterwards, you'll learn strategies behind flat calling and 3betting preflop and also about aggressively defending your blinds.
The final two sections will cover more advanced preflop concepts such as 3betting, 4betting and squeezing with 40bb+ all of which are extremely powerful if used correctly on the table.
Postflop Tournament Play
The next section of this course focuses on post-flop play starting with an extensive two-part series on playing in position. Topics include:
- Typical Mistakes Made in Postflop Play
- Choosing to Cbet or Check back
- Playing Against Check Raises
- Turn Play & Betsizing
- Delayed Cbets
- River Play
- Blocker Plays
Then, he covers playing out of position as both the preflop aggressor and as a cold-caller. You will also get into more advanced concepts such as playing in 3bet pots and playing as a cold-caller in position.
This section has a wealth of information regarding short stack play. It is an excellent module for those that have trouble playing the short stack as RYE masterclass covers all of the following topics:
- Typical Mistakes in Shortstack Play
- What to Consider When Shoving
- Minraising vs. Shoving
- Calling All-Ins
- Learning Push & Call Ranges
- And More
The ICM, or independent chip model, module is only available for the expert class and is split into two videos of preflop and postflop. The preflop video is a 90 minute long video covering 9 different discussion points. If you haven't had much experience with ICM before (i.e. you are a cash game player), this section will really improve your game a lot.
First up the basics of ICM is covered i.e. understanding the risk and reward of the scenarios based on the impact of the potential payout. The most obvious application of this is playing on the bubble where you might play more conservatively in order to ensure that you do not bust without making it into the money. A similar concept can be applied to when you are seeing big pay jumps when at the final table of a large tournament.
A lot of attention is paid to the other 8 points which compose over an hour of the 90-minute video.
Bencb then moves onto the postflop video which is over 1 hour of content describing some of the adjustments you need to make postflop due to the effect of ICM. Most interesting is the quantification of how much “extra equity” to you require to make a move based on the amount of your stack at risk. If a small portion of your stack is at risk very little extra equity is required while if you are risking your whole stack you will need an awful lot more equity (i.e. +10% more) than would typically be the case.
This gives rise to the common strategy of “applying pressure as a big stack” becomes obvious since so little of your stack is at risk.
This section is concluded with a number of example hands which help reinforce what has been learned in the previous two lessons.
This section was updated after the initial release of the course and is a very welcome addition to the expert class. This section contains 3 videos coming to a total length of approximately 3 hours which are broken down into a preflop video, a practical hands video dives into a range of hands which were played by Bencb in the past, and a play & explain video.
The preflop video contains many nuggets of useful information which helped improve my game. Most apparent was just how prevalent limping is in a modern heads up MTT game. Limping is often appropriate since you only need to call half a big blind while allowing you to maintain position on your opponent; however, it can be very difficult to balance in practice.
Of course, limping many weak hands should be balanced with some stronger ones (such as even AA) so that your strategy isn't exploitable by a savvy opponent.
Bencb provided the ranges for a whole range of heads up situations for <25bb deep. Here is an example of one of these ranges for the 20-25bb ranges where you will be either open raising or shoving:
The detail in this is hand chart immense and you can tell an enormous amount of time has gone into developing this to ensure that you are very difficult to play against. The discussion of how you can adjust this strategy to your opponent's tendencies are also very welcome and useful.
Importantly Bencb points you that you should not be afraid to play in a very exploitable manner when you arrive at the heads up battle – you will likely never play with this particular opponent again, and even more unlikely when the same amount of money is on the line.
High Stakes Reviews
As mentioned in the introduction, Bencb has had many big wins over the years including the entire SCOOP 1k 2019 win for over 100k and the WCOOP 100k (final table).
Bencb presents three videos recapping his final table run in the 2016 WCOOP $100k Super High Roller. In this series of three videos, bencb789 breaks down his thought processes and helps you “bring it all together” by seeing how he applied his strategies to win the event and $1.17 million.
There are 11 videos on the 1k SCOOP win where he goes into a lot of detail and reviews many of the hand including using PIOsolver to analyse some of the tough spots. My only critique of this would be it should be more clear at what part of the tournament each video starts from.
Tournament Masterclass – Bonus Content
In the bonus content section, a number of topics are included.
First, “The GTO bible” which dives into the use of GTO and application of a range of poker solvers to the game. Also included is one of my favourite videos on the “Myths of GTO” play! This section contains 23 videos which range from 10-40 minutes long each.
There is a 10-minute video on fighting tilt which provides some useful strategies as well as roughly an hour of extra PKO (progressive knockout) content.
This section was added after the original course was completed and is an example of the types of updates you can expect in the future for this course.
Raise Your Edge Range Viewer – Find out Exactly What Hands You Should Play Preflop
We already showed the range viewer for the heads up situation, however, this course also provides you with ranges for almost every imaginable preflop situation. No more guessing what hands you should be opening UTG or calling vs a 3bet.
You can use these ranges as a template to work from whilst analysing your opponent after a session, during a warmup or cool down. You can even use them in game if you are only running a couple of tables (note: range viewers are against the Terms of Service of most online poker sites, so be warned).
Truth be told, this is one of the most valuable if not the most valuable part of the course since they are so detailed and well thought out.
Tournament Masterclass Customer Success
Here are some of the testimonials from either crushers who have worked with Bencb or coaching clients.
Last year I reached the final table of the WSOP Main Event. I had three months to prepare myself as optimal as possible for the biggest stage of poker. I came in contact with Ben ‘bencb789’ when preparing for the final table and he really opened my eyes. He helped me out so much and discovered a lot of leaks in my game and taught me various new things. We did a lot of coaching sessions and they were all extremely valuable to me. I still do some coaching sessions with Ben and I learn something new every day. Would recommend!
Kenny Hallaert, November Niner 2016
I had several skype sessions with Ben from RaiseYourEdge to work on my game and especially to prepare myself for some serious tourmaments (WSOP). In this short period of time he pointed out a lot of helpful things which I should consider during tournament play. I can honestly say he brought my game to the next level, I highly recommend his coaching as he has the ability to listen to the students’ needs and tailor-made his coaching. Money wisely spend if you like to improve your poker game and learn from one the best coaches out there.
Dirk Luenzer, Live Tournament Player
I know Ben for the biggest part of my pokercareer already. We were not just studying poker together, but were flatmates for more than a year sharing thoughts and strategies pretty much everyday. His work ethic and professionalism is outstanding and the combination of understanding theoretical concepts as well as applying those to playerpools of all levels is rarely seen out there. I decided to play the highest live tournaments out there myself and one thing I can tell you guys for sure: I’m really happy to not face my buddy Ben out there in the Live-Arena.
GoOse.core!, Cash Game Crusher (up to NL100k)
They also have a hall of fame where you can see the biggest winners who have taken the course:
Be Ready to Put in Extensive Work With The Tournament Masterclass
In the introductory video, bencb789 talked about how you will need to commit yourself and put in the work to get the most out of this course. I completely concur, and this course may be more study intensive than any I've encountered in the past.
I knew this course was going to be involved when the first module was an hour of non-stop discussions about ranges. It felt like a complete data dump, and there is no way a person will be able to assimilate the information in just a single viewing short of having an endemic memory.
That's par for the course with this material. This training requires more than just casual viewing. It requires you to put in the time, study and practice to master the material. Don't be surprised if you will need to spend several hours taking in each and every video by watching multiple times.
What I Liked About This Course
Some people can look at a poker situation and come up with various scenarios without a lot of effort. Others need to have a more methodical approach to each situation. Unfortunately, a lot of poker training software shies away from the methodical approach and thus alienates players who thrive under this strategy.
I am one of those players, and I was impressed by the methodical approach of bencb789 in this course. I'm the type of person who likes to have a plan of action for every situation. I want to plan for contingencies, and this course gives you the knowledge to do just that by giving you the tools to plan out every phase of tournament play and from just about every angle imaginable.
Next, I feel this material is beyond comprehensive and very well structured. The depth that bencb789 goes with each topic is better than I’ve seen from any site I’ve checked out to this point. Other than if you are a complete beginner, you will benefit from this course. If you are an intermediate poker player, your learning curve will skyrocket compared to other players with your experience. Advanced players will find tools needed to move up to the next level, win more often and perhaps achieve poker goals they set when they first started playing.
In addition, the homework assignments after many of the lesson are an awesome addition. Homework may be something we thought we would ever have to do again after leaving high school, but there is a reason Bencb gives you assignments – they really do work! The homework really helps you hammer down the content learned in each lesson and apply it to your game.
I also enjoy both the public and private (once you signup to the tournament masterclass) discord channels from Raise Your Edge. There are lots of other players in the same position as you who are trying to improve their game, completing homework, and asking a question about hands which makes the journey all the easier.
Finally, this course will also be continuously updated as the game and its players evolve – which is comforting to know as games can evolve fast! I have seen numerous updates to the course since I have enrolled. The updates include the following:
- Shorter more focused videos. This will allow you to learn one concept and focus on it, versus having to find go through long videos for the one section you are looking for.
- Keep track of your learning. Video's you've watched are tracked so you can come back to where you left off.
- Interactive quiz feature so you can test your knowledge in each section.
Recently, there have been updates to the heads-up and multiway section of the course as I previously mentioned.
What I Didn’t Like About This Course
I am more of a hands-on and visual learner. Courses that focus more on lecture than giving examples are hard for me to sit through. Overall, I felt that this course focused a bit more on discourse than needed. Sometimes lecturing is unavoidable, but with the volume of the content presented, some more visualization is required to keep things interesting.
Another area where I feel this course could improve on is video length. A lot of these videos could be split up into more manageable sessions. Many 90+ minute videos could have been split up into shorter 40-50 minute videos sessions. Although I must acknowledge, some of these were addressed in the latest updates.
Raise Your Edge Discount Code – Get $150 Off
You need to realize that poker training should be looked at as an investment in future profits. Like any other form of investment, sometimes you have to pay a bit more to realize a higher future return.
The Apprentice Tournament Masterclass is currently priced at $697 but you can get $80 off using coupon code HOWTOAPP for a total of $617.
While that sounds like a high price to pay for poker videos, you must realize that you get lifetime access to this course. Over the course of a year, that's just $50 a month. Over five years, that's about $10 a month. Do you think you can afford to spend $10 a month over the next five years to become a better poker player?
You can also jump into the Expert Tournament Masterclass if you are ready to take a full dive in this poker course. You can pick up Raise Your Edge's flagship course for a total of $1147 with discount code HOWTOEXP which gets you $150 off.
You have unlimited access to these videos 24-7, and if bencb789 updates the materials or adds new videos (which he has recently just done), you will have access to his latest strategies at no extra cost to you.
Alternatives To The Tournament Masterclass
There are a number of other courses which may also be of interest to someone looking to improve their MTT game.
Upswing poker's Winning Poker Tournaments Course by Nick Petrangelo is one of the most obvious of which and is priced similarly at $999. This is an excellent course which detailed, comprehensive, and very intense, similar to the tournament masterclass. However, I think the tournament masterclass edges with the sheer level of detail that goes into the range viewer. However, you should definitely check out the full review of Winning Poker Tournaments before making a decision.
If you are quite new to the game, I think the $1000+ price tag for either of these courses is way too much to invest. In that case, I would recommend another professional poker training site for tournaments, PokerNerve's Road To Success course for which the starter course retails at only $104 and the premium course at $517.50. The starter course will cover the fundamentals (which aren't in either of the other two courses) while premium course covers much of the same strategies and techniques but at a lower level of detail and comprehension.
Raise Your Edge also have a number of other courses which you can check out right here on our best poker training sites page.
Raise Your Edge Poker Review Verdict: The Tools To Beat Poker Tournaments
The Raise Your Edge Tournament Masterclass is for anyone that wants to become better at tournament poker. However, to be truly successful with this course, you will need to put in the time, study and practice required to get better.
Can the average poker player passively watch these videos and improve their game? Actually, yes they can once you have good starting fundamentals. From my own experience, I already feel I have a better understanding of specific concepts than ever before, so most anyone can learn from this course.
With that said, it is not cost-effective for casual players to put up $1,000+ for a poker course. In addition, if you are a new player, you will find it tough to come to grips with all of the high-level content.
It's under half the price at $517.50 (when using coupon code HowToPlayPokerInfo) and starts from the very basics of tournament play and is therefore suitable for players who are new to the game or who have never studied intently before.
However, if you’re a serious tournament poker player who wants to up their game the tournament masterclass and bencb789 is exactly what you have been looking for.
It has all the right content and tools (hand range viewer) you need to take your game to a new level. I already mentioned this in the intro, but I think this is the best poker training site you can get your hands on in 2020 for the reasons I have outlined.
Make sure you take advantage of our Raise Your Edge discount codes if you do decide to jump in.
The Tournament Masterclass will give you everything you need to improve your tournament strategy and start winning more often. While you never know what the future will hold, this course will put you in the best position to make your poker dreams a reality.
If you would like a more personal touch, Bencb789 also offers private poker coaching lessons which you can find at the following link: https://www.raiseyouredge.com/pokercoaching
Free Trial/Money Back Guarantee: 60-day moneyback guarantee once you complete the homework assignments and quizzes.
Content Organisation: All content is very easy to follow and find although some videos are a touch too long and could be broken into smaller ones.
Content Depth & Comprehensiveness: Advanced strategies are covered in a lot of detail. Recent changes to the course have improved this. Top marks.
Video & Audio Quality: Audio and video quality is perfect throughout.
Value for money: Quite expensive but great value for money, particularly with the preflop range viewer which is almost worth the price of admission alone.