If you’re someone just starting your poker journey or have been playing for a little while but need a way to approach your game from a more methodical and organized point, the Red Chip Poker CORE course might be just the thing for you.
Envisioned as a fairly extensive starter pack for poker players, the CORE training program offers everything you need to improve your performance at the tables. From the very basics to more complex and advanced concepts, this course can take you from a mere beginner to a very solid player.
The good thing about RCP CORE is that is quite broad. It doesn’t focus on a particular game type. Many concepts and ideas explained inside can be applied to tournaments, cash games, and sit and go’s alike. The main idea behind this program is to provide you with a solid foundation for you future growth.
Although this course doesn’t contain any earth-shattering secrets that you couldn’t find elsewhere with some research, its value stems from the fact you’re provided with a nicely structured and organized lessons that take you one step at a time. For a beginner, this structure is very important as it helps save time and provides a manageable learning curve.
Table Of Contents
- Red Chip Poker CORE at a Glance
- CORE Level 1: The Fundamentals
- CORE Level 2: Turning Up the Heat
- Level 3: It’s Time to Look at Some Hands
- Level 4: Take Your Pick
- How Valuable is Red Chip Poker CORE, Really?
Red Chip Poker CORE at a Glance
The RCP CORE course is mainly taught by James ‘SplitSuit’ Sweeney, the main guy behind the Red Chip Poker project, and Adam ‘W34Z3L’ Jones, an accomplished player in his own right and a very experienced coach.
The course is divided into several different levels. The first two focus more on the game theory and explain everything you need to know to play solid poker. You’ll learn about important math concepts, hand ranges, betting ideas, and more.
The third level contains hand analysis. Going through various hands played by RCP members and, you’ll get to see how many of these theoretical concepts are actually useful in practice.
The final level of the course contains two modules: one is devoted to tournament play and the other one covers cash games. Taught by Ed Miller (cash games) and Chris Wallace (tournaments), this is the latest addition to the CORE program that really adds a lot of value to it. You are free to watch both modules, of course, but you can also focus on the one that you’re more interested in.
The best way to go through CORE is by following the order of lessons as they are presented in the course. That way, you can be sure you won’t miss out on any important concepts along the way. This is especially true if you are a beginner and don’t know much about poker strategy at all. Simply put your trust into the course creators and let them slowly take you on the path of becoming a better player.
CORE Level 1: The Fundamentals
You won’t feel overwhelmed even if you don’t know the first thing about Hold’em besides rules. CORE is a course that is designed in great part for the beginners so it takes things really slowly.
You won’t find any complicated formulas or calculations in the first math lessons. These would be pretty pointless at this stage. Instead, you’re offered some simple but very useful ways to make quick calculations to help you make better decisions. Most of these principles really aren’t hard to learn and understand and you’ll be able to adopt them easily with some experience.
Betting & Hand Ranges
After laying out poker math fundamentals, CORE moves on to another important segment, namely betting. Structuring your bets, sizing them properly, and knowing when to bet is essential to poker success. In this section, you’ll learn about things such as:
- Positional advantage
- Stack-To-Pot Ratio (SPR)
- Bet sizing fundamentals and conventions
- Bluffing, etc.
All lessons take between 10 and 30 minutes and explain these important ideas you’ll need to know about moving forward. Understanding how betting works in poker and how you need to think about it isn’t as simple as you might think but, luckily, it isn’t so complex that you couldn’t figure it out, either.
In the next section, you’ll learn basics about poker hands. You’ll find out what ranges are, what they look like, and how you can use this knowledge to determine your opponents’ likely holdings. Don’t worry if you don’t even know what a “range” is, as everything is explained slowly and methodically.
Preflop & Postflop Play
With some of the main theoretical elements out of the way, the RCP CORE course finally moves on to the actual play. The next two segments in the course deal with your decisions before and after the flop. Of course, these lessons tie to the previous ones and many of the concepts explained earlier are integrated into the discussion.
In the preflop section, you’ll get a simple and concise plan on how to correctly select hands (i.e. range construction) to play and how to deal with some common situations before the flop. The final lesson of the preflop section takes things up a notch and discusses how your opponent are likely to think when figuring out their opening ranges. This may sound a bit complicated right now but if you’ve been paying attention to the things explained up to this point, it shouldn’t be too hard to follow.
The postflop section continues on the preflop discussion as your decision before the flop will heavily influence all the later streets. Some of the things you’ll learn about are different types of flops and how these differences should influence your decisions. Not all flops are the same and being able to quickly recognize major groups of flops can be very beneficial to your game.
In this section, you’ll also learn about ways to extract value from your hands. This can be a tricky thing to figure out as you need to understand how often you can bet and expect to get called with the worse hand. So, it’s one of the longer lessons in this segment but it is definitely one of the most important.
The final segment of Red Chip Poker CORE Level 1 is called Cognition and it deals with the things that aren’t as tangible. It is what’s often referred to as “mental game” in poker books and videos. I’d suggest watching these videos if you’re serious about getting ahead in poker as they explain some very interesting concepts and situations that you’ll likely come across if you play for a while.
These lessons will help you with the best ways to study your hands and improve your play away from the felt. You’ll also learn how to best deal with your own mistakes and not let them weigh on you too much. You may not have aspirations to become a poker pro but having a professional attitude towards the game is required if you want to succeed at any meaningful stakes.
CORE Level 2: Turning Up the Heat
As you progress to the Level 2 of the CORE course, you’ll start to enter a slightly more advanced territory in your growth. Some of the concepts and ideas discussed in the lessons in these segments could definitely be of value to more experienced players as well.
The second level is structured in the same way as the first one, i.e. it contains the same modules (except for the betting, which was pretty well covered in the first section). So, you’re going back to the same areas of the games but this time around looking at them with new eyes and in light of the knowledge obtained from the initial lessons.
So, in the Math II module, you’ll expand your knowledge with things such as implied and revers implied odds, blockers, ICM, game theory, combos and equities, and much more. At this stage, you may come across some ideas that you aren’t quite clear about but don’t worry about it. Take your time with the lessons and continue playing applying things you do know. Eventually, it will all make sense.
Similarly, when talking about ranges in this module, the discussion turns more to balances, frequencies, and things such as capped and polarized ranges. You’ve probably had a chance to hear some of these expressions at least in a poker commentary but now you’ll get a full explanation of what they are and how you can utilize them on the felt.
The preflop and postflop sections of Level 2 are really quite extensive and valuable. It is clear that a lot of time and effort has been put into these. The preflop part is much more extensive and covers things like:
- Effective stacks
- 3-betting and trapping
- Playing in straddled pots
- Stealing and re-stealing, and more
The postflop section is even more extensive as it covers a really wide spectrum of topics. One of these is continuation betting, which is really discussed at length as one of the more essential plays you’ll have to resort to and deal with all the time.
Other than this, you’ll learn about how to plan things ahead and what things to consider when planning your line in a hand. At this point, if you watched all the earlier videos with attention, things will really start to fall into place and you’ll start to realize how all these different segments come together.
Finally, in the Cognition segment, you’ll learn more about things you can do to further push your edges. Here, CORE lessons discuss things like table image, player profiling, live reads, and emotional swings. These may sound a bit abstract at the moment if you’re not experienced with poker but do take time to watch them. As you play more, you’ll definitely start to understand what these are all about.
Level 3: It’s Time to Look at Some Hands
As mentioned at the very start of this Red Chip Poker CORE review, the third level consists of various hand reviews. These are organized by types (cash games, tournaments, and live cash games) and broken down by further elements, such as stack depth.
The hands are reviewed in the form of short video lessons accompanied by written articles. All of the hands originate from RCP members, so you can see examples from various games and players of all skill levels. This is quite useful for the learning process and probably beats looking into hands played by professionals.
What’s also quite useful is that you’ll find links to lessons covering certain topics covered in specific hand reviews. That way, you can quickly refresh your knowledge and fill in any gaps without having to spend any time searching through the lessons.
Level 4: Take Your Pick
The Level 4 of Red Chip Poker CORE represents the latest addition to this course and clearly shows that this is a living entity that creators want to keep fresh and valuable for new and existing members alike.
This section contains two modules: one on live cash games and one on tournaments. At this point, you probably have a good idea about what games you prefer to play and CORE gives you a chance to further expand your knowledge on your preferred choice.
Live Cash by Ed Miller
If you want to conquer live cash games, this is probably not a bad pick. Live games offer a lot of great opportunities and are generally much softer than online tables. And, with this extensive module taught by Ed Miller, you’ll be well on your way.
The module actually represents the adaptation of Miller’s book The Course and offers an excellent guide to take you from $1/$2 to $5/$10 games. Armed with the knowledge from previous modules and with a number of lessons specific to live games, you’ll be able to really fast-track your poker career.
Tournaments by Chris ‘Fox’ Wallace
If you’d rather try your hand playing tournaments, the segment on tournament play by the WSOP-bracelet winner Chris ‘Fox’ Wallace provides everything you need to get you started on the right path to success.
This, too, is a very extensive module covering a wide array of topics you’ll need to study if you want to become a good tournament player. Of course, everything you’ve learned up to this point will be invaluable but Wallace focuses on many tournament-specific aspects and gives you a detailed blueprint to crushing MTTs.
How Valuable is Red Chip Poker CORE, Really?
Figuring out the value of a poker training site can sometimes be quite tricky. How do you decide if a particular program is worth the money and if your investment will pay off? And, in general, these are legitimate questions.
With the Red Chip Poker CORE program, however, this isn’t an issue.
You can get in for as little as $5 a week and you’ll have access to all the content described in this review. If you’re a beginner looking to build your game and become better at poker, I don’t think you’ll find anything better out there for this price.
The structure of the course and the quality of the lessons make this a really easy decision, especially with all the content updated recently and two brand new modules added to the mix (which could be full courses of their own). If you’re serious about getting better at poker and don’t know where to start, this is it. It might be the best $5 you’ve ever spent in your in your life.
If you don’t like it for whatever reason, you can always cancel your subscription, no questions asked. But the initial fiver will definitely be well worth it, even if you only watch a few select videos.