Red Chip Poker Crash Courses: Are They Worth It?

Red Chip Poker offers a variety of poker training materials for all sorts of players. Those interested in getting a good basic coaching should definitely look into their CORE program to receive a well-rounded starter pack for Texas Hold’em cash games and tournaments.

However, RCP isn’t geared towards just the beginners.

The site also offers plenty of quality materials for those players looking to master a specific segment of the game. That’s exactly what their crash courses are all about. Taking a particular area of the game and looking it at from every angle. Unlike the CORE program, these courses are much more targeted and intense.

Red Chip Poker Crash Courses

At the moment, there are five crash courses offered by Red Chip Poker, namely:

As you can see from the names, every single one of these is quite specific and it does require a certain level of previous knowledge of the game. There isn’t much point in looking into MTT 3-bet shoves specifically, for example, if you don’t already have very solid tournament foundations and are now looking to build on that knowledge.

In this review, we will offer an overview of every specific Red Chip Poker course to give you an idea of what you can expect to find inside. This should help you make up your mind if one of these is what you’re looking for. Generally speaking, the team behind RCP provides quality content and these courses don’t disappoint but having an inside look is always helpful.

GTO Crash Course Overview ($79.99)

The GTO Crash Course is the latest addition to the Red Chip Poker platform. Like the name suggests, this particular series looks into the Game Theory Optimal (GTO) and provides the full breakdown of this approach.

Lately, GTO has become very popular and more and more players are looking to implement it into their game in one way or another. In this course, Doug Hull, Ross Glover, and Andrew Brokos teach you how to do just that through a series of nine video lessons, each one of them covering a particular concept. Just as a side note, Andrew Brokos is the author of Play Optimal Poker which is a popular GTO strategy poker book, so he is a renowned expert of this topic. 

The course begins with the video by Doug Hulk explaining very basics of the game theory. So, if you’re completely new to this idea and you’ve only heard the expression but know much beyond that, you’re in good hands. Doug uses a very simple example to introduces the basic premise of the game theory and builds upon this.

After laying out the foundations, the course continues to go into specifics of GTO by explaining certain sample (“toy”) games like AKQ and A-5 games. If you’re completely new to GTO, these definitely may seem scary and too complex to understand but the course does a good job of breaking things down in a way that’s fairly easy to understand even for someone who isn’t an experienced player already.

GTO crash course

In his AKQ “toy game” videos, Brokos offers a simplified version of the game that only involves three cards and features a limited set of options on each street. By doing this, he makes the whole idea much more approachable for someone who isn’t as well-versed with complex mathematical formulae and calculations.

Using a sample game with just three cards, Brokos is able to really bring home the whole idea behind the GTO approach and explain why it works in practice. This alone may not be enough to improve your play straight away but it will definitely help you keep up with the rest of the course. He also uses this sample game to explain the whole idea of exploitative play and how and when you should adjust to your opponent’s strategy (provided they’re deviating from GTO).

In the later videos, Brokos moves on to a different toy game, this time around A-to-5 game. The basic idea is still the same one found in the earlier videos but the complexity level increases as there are more cards involved. The AKQ game was good enough to explain some basics but it lacks the nuances required to fully understand GTO.

As there are more cards and more options (raises become a part of the game as well), Brokos is able to really expand on his GTO explanation. By the end of the second set of videos, you should have a very good idea of what GTO is all about and how you can utilize this knowledge at the tables.

In the final three videos, Ross Glover talks about GTO+, a piece of software that you’ll need if you really want to start using this approach. While understanding theory is important, the only way to really learn GTO is by actually computing different situations and coming up with solutions based on raw math.

The Verdict

If you’ve been hearing the term GTO all over the place and want to finally find out what it is and why everyone’s so hyped up about it, this crash course will definitely help. I like the fact that the course starts from very simple and basic concepts and builds on them as this makes it much more attractive to an average poker player who doesn’t want to be overwhelmed.

On the flip side, perhaps the entire course isn’t comprehensive enough to really underline all the nuances of the GTO approach. It is designed more to be your ticket into the world of the Game Theory Optimum and provide you with tools and ideas you need to start building upon. But since this is a “crash” course after all, I guess it’s only natural that it's not going to be able to cover all that this topic entails.

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Live $1/$2 No Limit Hold’em ($39.95)

Coaching materials that focus on live poker aren’t nearly as available as those covering online play. That fact makes RCP’s Live $1/$2 NLHE Crash Course even more valuable. If you’re someone regularly playing lower to mid-stakes live cash games or are considering taking them up, this course will provide you with a wealth of knowledge specific to this setting.

Although it is listed in the crash courses’ section, this particular course is very comprehensive. It contains a number of video lessons as well as an abundance of written articles and podcasts addressing many topics that are covered inside.

When it comes to video lessons, they represent a synergy of videos from different courses available on Red Chip Poker. Because of this, the course may not have the same coherent, step-by-step structure you’ll find elsewhere on the site. However, I don’t think that takes too much away from its value. Every lesson represents a separate entity and there isn’t too much overlap between them so you can pretty much watch them in any order you wish.

Videos offered in the course are provided by the likes of Ed Miller, Adam Jones, Doug Hull, and James ‘SplitSuit’ Sweeney, each of them covering a particular topic or area they know best.

Some of the topics you’ll find inside include:

  • Preflop skills you’ll need & adjusting your preflop sizing
  • Understanding how a casual live player thinks about poker
  • Fighting for pots at $1/$2
  • Continuation betting & barreling
  • Some common bet sizing mistakes
  • Postflop planning
  • Session reviews

As mentioned, this is a fairly comprehensive course and you’ll find a wealth of material that will definitely help you in live cash games. While examples and ideas are taken from $1/$2 live games, I think these concepts will easily apply to most lower-stakes games anywhere in the world.

There are many differences between online and live games and this crash course does an excellent job underlining these and focusing particularly on the things you could and should do better in a live setting. This isn’t a course for total beginners but rather for those who already have solid fundamentals but are looking for ways to improve their profitability in live cash games.

You’ll learn a lot about bet sizing and how you can use other players’ mistakes and misconceptions to your advantage. You’ll also get a look behind the scenes of the mind of an unstudied player to better understand what their goal is at the tables. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be able to really take your live game to a whole new level.

How Good Is It?

As mentioned, there isn’t much training material focusing particularly on live games out there, especially of the kind focusing on lower stakes. These lessons will definitely help you understand some important points about live poker and make very profitable adjustments that you’d never even think of in solid online games of today.

Just keep in mind that this is a course for live games specifically. Many ideas and concepts explained inside this course will be suboptimal online games these days. Other than that, I’m convinced that a majority of strategies you’ll find in this course will significantly improve your profitability at live tables.

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MTT Crash Course ($39.95)

Like the live cash games’ course, Red Chip Poker’s MTT Crash Course provides a wealth of training material, including videos, strategy lessons, and podcasts. Video lessons make up the core of the course, though, and they cover pretty much every aspect of what you’re going to need to become a profitable tournament player.

Once again, the video section is actually a playlist of different lessons from RCP coaches but it is quite well organized and follows a solid structure, starting from some fundamental ideas and building on these.

  • Jordan Young covers MTT preflop strategy
  • Sweeney talks about some common spots, steals, re-steals, and playing with 10 and 20 BB stacks
  • Young and Soto cover MTT play according to different stages
  • Several lessons talk about specific MTTs like KOs, small-fields, and WSOP STTs
  • Sweeney explains the use of ICMIZER

In total, there are 20 videos in this playlist, each of them covering one of the particular topics mentioned above. A great thing about this crash course is that it is a great fit for all tournament players.

If you’re just starting with MTTs, this course will give you all the tools you need to take you from a novice player to someone who knows what they’re doing in almost every situation. You’ll learn all you need to know about starting hands’ selection, playing at different stack depths, dealing with downswings, and much more.

On the other hand, if your tournament game is already solid but there is a particular segment you want to improve in, MTT Crash Course will help you do it. Simply pick the videos that cover the area you want to know more about and go through them. Either way, you’ll get a lot of value from these lessons.

In addition to these videos, the course provides links to many more materials you can use to expand your knowledge. So, if you feel like you want or need to know more about a certain topic, you’ll find the links in the course section to take you further. There are quite a few MTT-focused podcasts and strategy articles you might want to read along the way.

Of course, there is a lot to take in so your best bet is to try and watch these videos at your own pace. It is probably too much information to properly take in all at once. The course is already broken down in logical segments to some extent so perhaps try to do it that way. For example, watch the preflop content and try to really take in what’s being discussed before moving on to the next segment.

What Will This Course Do for Your Tournament Game?

There are many MTT courses out there and you can definitely find longer and more in-depth ones if that’s what you’re after (see Raise Your Edge's Tournament Masterclass or PokerNerve's Road To Success course). However, this RCP’s crash course represents a very solid series that focuses on some of the most important strategic areas for only $39.99. It won’t cover absolutely everything you need to know about MTTs but it will help significantly improve your play in those areas that matter most for a very low price tag. 

Additionally, you’ll get plenty of links to further materials and ideas on what you might want to work on next. So, even if there is something you still need to learn about, you’ll know what it is and where to look for it.

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MTT 3-bet Shoves ($69.99)

As you can guess from the name, this is a highly specific and focused series that deals with 3-betting ranges in tournaments. It is a bit more advanced concept but it’s something you’ll need to work on as you move up in the MTT world. Knowing when to 3-bet jam your stack profitably is essential to your success in tournaments.

The series contains six videos in total. Five of them are presented by Ben Hayles while the final video is from Gareth James and it represents a summary of sorts of everything that’s been discussed in Hayles’ lessons.

These videos talk about situations where you’re working with a stack of 12 – 20 big blinds, which is an area that most experienced tournament players know all too well. You’ll spend a lot of time in MTTs playing with a stack in this region and it is the perfect size to 3-bet jam on your opponents if you know how to pick your spots.

In the five videos, Hayles goes through everything you need to know about this idea, starting with the theory behind it and then moving on to lessons distributed by your position at the table. Naturally, your 3-bet shoving ranges will differ depending on you and your opponents position i.e. in early position, on the button, or playing from the blinds.

The first video is very important, even if it is quite “dry” when compared to the rest of the series. In it, Hayles touches upon all the important ideas that you need to understand to be able to properly form your 3-bet shoving ranges and understand why this aggressive play can be and usually is so powerful.

  • Tournament situation
  • Stack sizes
  • Position
  • EV
  • Fold equity
  • Opponents

Many of these ideas you’ll already be familiar with if you’re a tournament player but going through the video and listening to Hayles explaining things in his own way will still be useful. This is especially true for the final section of the introductory lesson where he talks about EV calculations as these are at the very core of properly building 3-bet shoving ranges.

At the very end of the video, there is a short questionnaire that you can use in potential 3-bet shove situations. Going through these questions and trying to answer them on the spot will help improve your intuition for whether you should jam or fold and wait for a better opportunity.

The rest of the videos are examples of 3-bet shoves in different scenarios. Covering different positions at the tables, Hayles talks about building your ranges and correctly thinking about your opponents’ opening ranges to help you get to the right decision. The final video by James goes through all the different positions once again and is a great way to wrap this series up.

Is This Course Worth My Time?

If you’re a tournament player, I’d say that this one is definitely worth watching. This is one area where many players struggle because it doesn’t come naturally. The only way to have solid 3-bet shoving ranges is to learn them and this crash course offers pretty much everything you need to know about this particular concept.

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Aggression ($39.95)

Everyone keeps saying that aggression is key to winning in poker but at the same time they’re advocating a tight approach that kind of limits your options. So, how does reconcile these two ideas and goes about becoming a more aggressive player while still staying solid and not wasting chips?

If these are the kind of questions you need answers to, the Aggression Crash Course by Red Chip Poker is exactly what you need.

Featuring 17 video lessons as well as a variety of podcasts and written articles on aggression in poker, this crash course will really open your eyes to what it means to be an aggressive player at the tables and how you can put much more pressure on your opponents whilst actually having a solid plan and not just throwing chips around.

You’ll learn about many interesting concepts that will widen your view, presented by the likes of Adam Jones, Christian Soto, James Sweeney, Matt Berkley, Ed Miller, and several others experienced players and coaches.

A more aggressive style includes opening with more hands but how do you go about it without spewing chips away? It takes more than following charts – you’ll need to understand your table image and the kind of players you’re up against.

Do you 3-bet often enough? Most TAG players gravitate towards 3-betting only their very strong hands, which makes them exploitable. There are ways in which you can widen your 3-betting range to make you much more unpredictable and tougher to play without giving any edge to your opponents.

When to empty the clip? Mindlessly betting at a pot in a hope of taking it down usually won’t do the trick. You need to plan your actions ahead of time. The best players out there think about every street and they know what they need to do. Well-timed aggression against right opponents will seriously improve your winnings.

This is just a small taste of the things you can expect to find inside the Aggression Crash Course by Red Chip Poker. This is one of those courses that you can really watch in any order you like because every idea pretty much stands on its own two feet. If your goal is to become more aggressive, though, you’ll find heaps of great advice on how to do it.

Many players are afraid of ramping up the aggression because it may feel like you’re just giving chips away to TAGs waiting for you with their nuts. But after watching this crash course and understanding how to correctly go about it, you’ll understand that there isn’t much that they can do if you have a plan and know exactly what you’re doing.

Do I Need Aggression Crash Course?

I think that most players can benefit from a course such as this. It is all too easy to become too tight and get too deep into your comfort zone. While your strategy might be working just fine, it is also quite possible that you’re leaving some money on the table due to lack of aggression.

One thing to keep in mind, though, is that this course can be a double-edged sword. You need to watch it carefully and try to really understand the ideas that are being explained. Otherwise, you might end up on the other side of things, taking aggression too far and throwing away chips in the spots you shouldn’t.

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RCP Crash Courses Summary

Red Chip Poker crash courses do an excellent job of explaining what they set to explain. Some of them could be better organized or more detailed but, in general, they offer a wealth of knowledge on particular poker topics that all players can take advantage of.

If you’re looking to improve a certain aspect of your play that’s covered by one of these courses, you definitely won’t be disappointed after watching it. Plus, if you still want to know more about it, you’ll find plenty of additional links and you can even post your questions on the forums, where other members and even coaches will be happy to engage in a discussion with you.

These may not be life-changing poker lessons that will take you from zero to hero in one day but if there are certain gaps in your knowledge, they’ll certainly help fill them up.