Why Poker Forums and Reddit Are Killing Your Poker Results

Why Poker Forums and Reddit Are Killing Your Poker Results
Poker can be a lonely pursuit especially if you play online. I have played 10+ million hands of poker online and most of that was done while sitting in a room all by myself.

So it is nice to talk to fellow poker players once in awhile, bounce ideas off each other, and discuss poker hands.

But unfortunately this can also be a double edged sword. Many people will turn to poker forums or poker subreddits for this sense of community.

However, unfortunately these places can often end up doing far more harm for your poker game than good.

So in this article I am going to explain why you should avoid poker forums and subreddits and talk about how poker pros and serious players are networking instead these days.


Bad Poker Advice


Let me just start off with the #1 reason why poker forums and poker subreddits are often bad for your poker game. And that is bad information.

As I have discussed before, at least 70% of people who play poker lose at this game in the long run. Honestly, that is a very generous estimate. It could easily be higher than this.

So this means that most of the people who you are talking to on poker forums and poker subreddits are actually losing poker players.

Now this wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing if there was some sort of vetting process to see who is a winning player and who isn't.

But there isn't. In fact with poker forums and poker subreddits there is no way to even tell who the person is.

Nobody uses their real name and so you have absolutely no idea who you are talking to and whether you should trust their advice or not.


Too Much Noise


The other thing that this anonymous public discussion leads to is a very high amount of noise.

In other words, there are so many different opinions being offered, along with random tangents, derails, trolls and flame wars, that it can be difficult to even follow the discussion at times.

This is why almost all well known poker pros stopped posting or even reading poker forums and subreddits a long time ago. There is just way too much noise, negativity in some cases, and not enough high level poker discussion.

Now there are exceptions to this I want to be clear. But I am mostly talking about the biggest well known poker forums and subreddits in this article.


Time Wasting Off Topic Discussions


The last reason why poker forums and subreddits can be harmful for your poker game is that many of the most popular discussions aren't even about poker strategy!

For instance, on one of the largest poker forums the most popular section (called "NVG") is basically a place where people gossip and spread rumours about other well known poker pros. This is something you would expect out of high school girls, not grown men.

I get it though. Clearly many people like this sort of thing. Look at the success of TMZ for instance. But from a practical perspective, discussions like this are very unlikely to do anything good for your poker game.


You Make Money by Playing Poker, Not Talking About It!


And an even bigger reason why is because poker is a game where you largely only make money when you are playing. Just like with a regular job, when you are not playing, you are not profitable.

I have never heard of any poker forums or poker subreddits who pay people to make hundreds or thousands of posts and waste countless hours of their time.


In fact, this is one of the biggest reasons why you rarely see any well known pros on poker forums or reddit. It's because they are too busy actually playing poker!

You really have to consider the opportunity cost for anything you choose to spend your time on. Because it always takes away from something more important that you could be doing instead.

For instance, while the keyboard warriors are grinding it out on the forums and reddit, the real poker players are at the tables stacking the fish and building their bankroll.

But hey, I get it. Maybe you just really, really, really love to talk about poker. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Ok cool, so why not start your own blog, podcast, Youtube or Twitch channel?

Heck, some of these guys have so written so many poker strategy posts on forums and reddit that they could have written an entire book. They could be published poker authors earning royalties!

Just think about how crazy that is for a second.

Look, the point here is that if you are going to spend enormous amounts of time talking about poker why not at least own the content so that you can build an audience and then monetize and make money from it?

You owe yourself that at the very least!


Ditch Poker Forums/Reddit, Do This Instead


Ok, so now that you know all the main reasons why poker forums and poker subreddits are largely not helpful for your poker game, what should you do instead?

Well, you have probably heard the old saying that iron sharpens iron. And that is because it is true.

So the first thing you are going to have to do is get yourself around some winning poker players or at least some people who are really serious about improving.

Finding people who have a real name or at least a well known online screen name would be a good start.

Like I said before, one of the main problems with poker forums and reddit is that everybody is anonymous. Why should I trust the advice of some guy named "pokergod87" or "bignuts92"?

In my experience poker pros and serious poker players are not going to hide behind some silly made up name like this. They will use their real name instead and can be easily found on all the major social media platforms as well.


Social Media and Private Facebook Poker Groups


So as mentioned, social media is a great place to find other poker pros or serious poker players. In fact I use it all the time.


I am available on all the major platforms:

Plus a bunch more. And I always use either my online poker screen name "BlackRain79" or my real name, Nathan Williams. So I am very easy to find and people know who I am.

Poker players send me dm's and messages all the time on these social media networks and I am often in contact with other well known pros as well.

Many people these days will also set up a private Facebook group to discuss poker hands and talk about strategy with other serious poker players. Slack is also a great resource to use for this.

This completely eliminates all the noise, negativity/trolls and bad advice problems that often happen with large public poker forums and reddit.

Many paid training programs also offer this sort of exclusivity. For instance I have a private poker forum which is only available for purchasers of my books or video course.

The people who post in my private forum are a tight-knit group who are serious about improving their poker game. So the discussions about poker hands and poker strategy tend to be highly focused and useful for everyone.


Meet Other Poker Players in Person


Now there is one last option for networking with other good poker players and it is easily the best option in my opinion. Just meet up with them in real life!

I have personally met countless poker pros in real life and it pretty much always started by connecting through social media.

Now admittedly this is a little bit easier for me to do since I live in a place where tons of other online poker pros have also decided to move to.


But still in most of these cases we connected initially through social media, this blog or my Youtube channel.

This is yet another great reason to start a poker blog or a poker Youtube/Twitch channel! You will naturally start to attract more serious poker players just by putting your thoughts out there on a regular basis.

Lastly, attending big events like the World Series of Poker can also be a great way to meet other poker players as they tend to attract all the big names and serious amateurs as well.


Final Thoughts


Poker forums and poker subreddits can seem like a natural place to discuss the game and get advice especially for many newer poker players.

And while there can be some value in them (primarily smaller forums like mine which are private), most of the big public ones will probably end up making you a worse poker player overall.

The reasons why are numerous. Bad poker advice, high amount of noise and too many off-topic time wasting discussions just to name a few.

If you want to network with other serious poker players it is a better idea to seek them out and build online friendships through social media. Starting a poker blog, Youtube or Twitch channel can also be a good way to attract other serious poker players.

Never before have you been able to contact other poker players and even well known pros so easily by simply commenting on their posts or videos or with a simple dm or message. If they are really popular you won't always get a reply of course but you catch my drift.

Lastly, once you build a small circle of serious poker players you can create a private Facebook or Slack group to discuss strategy or even meet up in person.


Let me know your thoughts on networking with other poker players and discussing strategy in the comments below. What works best for you?

poker forums and poker subreddits

18 comments:

  1. Great article as always!

    I was wondering if you still offer coaching? IIRC you did offer private coaching a while back, like in 2011 or 2012. Might be completely wrong though.

    Anyways, pleasure reading your stuff. Keep it up!

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    1. Thanks Kuralik! Sorry but I don't do coaching anymore. You are right, I did in the past.

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    2. Great read! I started reading your blog a few weeks ago after a couple of years of playing poker on auto pilot xD Youve helped me get my passion back for online poker,and im running deep im tourneys and making the odd final table!!! I smell a win coming ;) cheers!

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    3. Awesome Niall glad I could help. Let me know when you hit the big score!

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    4. XD 2 days after smelling a win i just took down the big $0.55 on pokerstars! Field off 3500 and 9 hours and 53 minutes for $225! Not the richest win ive had,but what a motivational boost! Thanks for this awsome blog ;)

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    5. That's awesome Niall! Congrats on the win :)

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  2. Such a shame that you don't do coaching anymore. I would sign up!!! However, I think that I understand why.

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    1. Hehe thanks Graham, ya it's just a time thing. After playing poker, writing this blog, making youtube videos and traveling sometimes, I just don't have the time to coach anymore.

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  3. Cheers that's good advice. I found some of the forums to be really negative places where simply asking a genuine question can attract tons of abuse. When it happened to me I just assumed the folks replying were losing players taking their frustrations out on the forum rather than concentrating on improving their game and actually playing poker.

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  4. Good article. I agree, I stopped wasting my time on forums awhile ago. Not worth it imo, better to get a few poker friends and talk about hands.

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  5. This is a very long overdue article and one everyone should read. In an attempt to improve my game I have visited the mainstream forums in the past only to be angered by the immature abuse "people" (and I use that term loosely) reply with when you just want help. It's particularly galling for me working in Mental Health because I spend my working day surrounded by people with personality disorders so I don't want more of it in my leisure time. However Nathan's private forum is the complete opposite where I have met some top guys (you know who you are 😊) who have and are continuing to help my game enormously. I've even made a friend of one who will occasionally rail my play for me. So yes use forums but only private ones and practice zero tolerance to personalty retards

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    1. Glad my forum helps you Mike! Thanks for being a big contributor in there.

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  6. Another fantastic post Nathan, I always look forward to them.

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  7. Hey Nathan thanks for this. I generally read your posts as soon as possible. (By the way it's "tight-knit" as in a knitted fabric. Tight nit would be someone I would not be found at the table with)

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    1. Whoops I posted as unknown and have no idea how to post with my name

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    2. Thanks fixed and thanks for reading as always :)

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  8. i don't know but sometimes i think u play only to not lose your money. Today i play on 888 and i have hardly hit the flop oder something else. Yes i can not win every day but so to loose like that?

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