It is a little bit amiss that I haven’t written a blog about TPE yet, given I have spent so much of my life on the site, so I thought I would spend a little time talking about them, both the things that they do well, and also where I think they could improve.
In late 2010, I started taking the game a little more seriously. I was still playing micro stakes, but I had started to consistently win, especially the $10 and $20 888pl online games that they had running at the time. It was only maybe $1600 or something in my lifetime online, but it really helped my gain my confidence, and made me realise that I could make some decent pocket money.
Besides the 888pl forums or twoplustwo, I hadn’t had any formal training in poker, and I felt like that was going to be the way I took my game to the next level. Anyway, at the time I was listening to the two plus two pokercast, and a few of their ads were for training sites, but the one that really stuck out for me was Tournament Poker Edge, because it dealt exclusively with tournament poker. So in terms of training sites it was a niche but still massive market. I decided to join TPE for a month initially, just to see what it was like, and I was instantly hooked. I was thirsting for poker knowledge at a time when most of my other poker friends’ interest was waning, so TPE filled that void perfectly for me.
I was also taken aback by the extremely welcoming environment over there – I was obviously still a huge fish, but the first time a pro player commented on one of my posts and said it was good, it felt great and made me want to interact with the community even more. It is still by far the friendliest forum I have ever been on, and as a significant member of the community I try really hard to continue to keep that going.
Because I am a forum whore, I was asked to be a moderator over there, and eventually started writing the “what’s new” article, which was awesome because it allowed me to watch all of the videos, and also get paid a small amount for doing so! It also meant I was actively watching the videos, and that active engagement meant I got the most out of the videos. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal, and it was. Unfortunately my Uni studies and other things meant I couldn’t keep up doing it.
Now a word on the content – awesome! There is a mix of quality video coaches, and the content is is nicely varied between theory, live sweats and other types of videos. My favourite videos are the theory vids, particularly from Andrew Brokos, Daryl Jace, and Ben Warrington, but to be honest there was probably one video out of the hundreds that I watched that I didn’t take something out of.
This may sound like an advertisement, so in the interests of balance I will say that there are some things that TPE could definitely do better. I think the first is that they seem to be in a habit of still trying to hire coaches from the US, and as such we get a lot of content from the US facing sites, which a lot of the time is not especially relevant to playing on pokerstars. A couple of the site’s pros were/are also sponsored players of Lock Poker, and for those that follow online poker at all will know that they are just the latest in a string of shady sites that have not paid back players. These pros, particularly Casey “bigdogpkt5s” Jarzabek and Marc Alioto, have been unacceptably quiet on this fact, and I think in the process have hurt their reputation somewhat. Both of them still list on their twitter profiles that they are sponsored lock pros, and to be honest I think that is a significant indictment on both of them, and I wonder why they haven’t been instructed to take it down by TPE, as i’m sure it hurts their reputation as well. I would love them to make some sort of comment on this, but I doubt it would happen.
Their podcasts of late have also been a little hit and miss. The early podcasts were absolute gold, and I’m sure they were a massive driver for new subscriptions. In the last year or so the frequency has dropped off significantly though, and most of the podcasts have featured some combination of Bigdog and Marc Alioto. Now don’t get me wrong, both of these guys are awesome podcast guests, but of the pros listed on their site, I think Bigdog, Marc Alioto, DannyN13, Cougars4444 and Ttwist are the only ones that have featured more than once. They also have numerous active pros such as Andrew Brokos, Daryl Jace, Cody Custer, Jamie Kerstetter, Jeff Romano, Chris Moon, James Lambert, Arvydas Merfeldas, Cory Waaland and Ben Warrington who have either never been on the podcast, or have been on once, and that was more than 1 year ago. There has also only been two podcasts in the past 6 months, which to me is not good enough to be honest.
To me, this represents another pretty significant failing on the part of TPE, as this was one of their biggest selling points and now seems to have dropped.
Now before you think this is a hate post, it is quite the opposite. I am writing this because I love the TPE community, and as someone who has spent so much time here I feel like I also have a role to play in keeping the TPE community alive and thriving.
Overall, despite the fact that there is some significant areas on which they can improve, you really cant go past the quality of the site if you want to learn tournament poker. It is easily the best value for money I have ever spent in my poker career and in my life really, and if you are coming up from the micros or low stakes, it is essential to have a membership in my opinion.
If you have ever been wanting to sign up, click the link below and I will get a little something for referring you too.