Utilizing the Full Tilt Poker Academy
Okay, someone asked TPC to do a post on the Full Tilt Poker
Academy and TPC said he didn't use it that much. I, on the other hand, love it and I think that everyone should give it a try. It's free and simple poker knowledge, so there's really no sense in passing this up. So I'm going to give an overview on the certain aspects of the Full Tilt Poker Academy and anyone who has anything to add is more than welcome. I don't use all of it, but I do use most of it.
First off, you sign into the Full Tilt Poker Academy by using your same screen name and password that you use to log into Full Tilt's poker client. I don't think this can be changed. Anyway, once you enter the Full Tilt Poker Academy front page you will see 8 tabs across the top of the page. They are:
We will be going through all of them and I will explain what each tab is for.
Full Tilt Poker Academy utilizes over 100 pros to bring together this learning site. I won't put all of their names in here, but there are quite a few from Tom Dwan to Gus Hansen to Jennifer Harmon. The site is free to use and there is tons of useful information for beginners up to, I'd say, around mid level stakes. These pros have put together small segments of information regarding some of their strong points. So check through all of them and find one that you think would offer you the greatest help to start.
Okay, this is where it starts to get a little more fun. Now you get to chose, based on your level of skill, certain lessons that you want to view. These are usually a 10 minute video of a certain pro talking about a certain subject. The subject could be MTT's, Pre-Flop Play, How to Play against a certain type of player, etc. They aren't really boring, especially if you pick a subject that you feel you could really learn something to improve your game. I would start with an individual lesson to begin with and get used to how they are structured, and then move into the FTPA Courses. FTPA Courses are found by clicking the link that shows up just above where the lessons are at. There are four courses that you can take: Introduction to Winning Poker; Mastering No-Limit Hold 'em; Advanced Multi-table Tournaments; and Advanced Cash Games. These course take a number of lessons and structure them into a full on course of study for you to learn about a specific style of poker you want to play. I highly recommend these courses, and I suggest that you go through them at least three times each to allow them to fully sink in. And I don't mean run through them three times in a row all in the same day either. Go through one of the courses, and then take a couple of days or a week to try to use the skills you learned. Then, go back and do it again, rinse, repeat. This will allow you to learn it, use it, see where you might have misunderstood something, learn it again, use it again, etc.
The Sit-N-Learns are fun as well as informative about how much you actually learned while doing the lessons. Basically, they are tests about the lessons you have taken. You pick a Sit-N-Learn that is based on one of the lessons that you have taken from the Lessons tab. Then, you are asked questions and timed on your answers. The faster you answer, the higher your score. The higher your score, the better chance that you can get into the exclusive $5000 Sit-N-Learn Freeroll put on once a month. You have to make the leader board on one of 27 different Sit-N-Learn sections. To do this, you have to be in the top 250 of scores in that section. Then, the people with the top 250 scores on each of the 27 sections get invited to the freeroll. You can do this once a month per section.
This is my favorite part. But I wouldn't start here! Do the lessons first, then work on this part. The Challenges are made by a specific FTP pro on specific aspects of a specific type of poker. In other words, Chris Ferguson challenges you in "Pre-Flop Play" to several tasks pertaining to "pre-flop play". Some of the tasks you only have to complete once, some as many as 5 times. When you complete a task you are awarded with FTPA Credits. These credits you can use in the FTPA Store which we will talk about in a minute. I enjoy picking one of these challenges because it gives you the challenge and tells
you why each certain task was asked of you. This allows you to add new aspects to your game fully aware of what you are meaning to do. One major issue though... Don't try to force the tasks through! You will only lose money doing this. When you accept a challenge, memorize it as much as possible, and keep it up on your web browser for quick reference. But I try to only look at them when I'm at a break in a tourney or when I've sat out of a cash game for a b/r break or what-not. You don't want to constantly be trying to force the task through, but instead, you want to constantly be looking for where you can use the task to your advantage. A good example is where Gus Hanson tasks you to see 6 out of 10 flops in a 6-9 seat MTT with 90 or more starting players when you have 40 or more BB's. You don't want to do this on a loose table! If you try to force it on a loose table, you will just lose chips. Try to look for a table that has more TAG players than LAG players to do this. That will increase your chances of having less players on the flop which in turn increases your chances of winning your hand with your "small ball" type strategy.
I haven't spent a whole lot of time with the Sessions tab as of yet, but I plan on it. This tab has FTP pros explaining their plays and thought processes as they play in real time on FTP. You can find sessions on MTT's, Cash games, SnGs, etc. I think this would be a good section to utilize while in the middle of doing Courses. After you finish a course on a subject and are playing poker trying to use your newly learned skills, when you finish a session for yourself (or before you start one), try to find a session in the Sessions tab that shows a pro doing what you will be trying to accomplish. This will allow you to see the moves the way they play them and maybe hear some more "in tune" information while a game is being played.
The FTPA Store allows you to spend the credits you have earned in the FTPA Challenges and such FTPA gear, FPPs, MTT tokens, poker strategy
books, and even Subscriptions to certain Strategy sites. After you get accustomed to the FTPA I would look through the store and find something you might want to buy with your credits you will be earning. This will give you goal to attain and will help keep you on track with your FTPA.
This section is pretty self-explanatory. These are short, video podcasts of FTP pros talking about different aspects of poker. I would definitely take a look through these to find subjects you might be struggling with. This is a good add on to Lessons and Courses.
This is where you get to see what Challenge you are on. You can also see the Challenges that you have accepted, but are waiting idle. You can change between the active challenge and idle challenges anytime on this tab. This is what you will want to keep in your web browser and handy when you are trying to accomplish certain tasks in your challenges. At the top of the page in this tab, you have your "Dashboard". The Dashboard allows you to change the main screen in My Academy to show "Track your Challenge Progress", "Access your Academy Transcript", Add your Favorite Pros", and "Check the Sit-N-Learn Leaderboards". This way your My Academy page will have the information you want as the main part of your page. Play around with the settings and see what works best for you.
I hope that I've either answered any questions you might have had or made someone interested in an excellent, and free, way to improve your game while getting bonuses through the FTPA Store. If anyone has any questions concerning something I've talked about or something I might have missed, please post your question in here and I'll try to answer it ASAP. And again, if anyone has anything to add feel free to do so. But no matter what, I think this is an excellent resource that, if used properly, can do nothing but good for your poker game