Very few training videos generated as much buzz as nosebleed cash pro Phil Galfond’s one-shot over at Cardrunners and subscribers were severely disappointed to learn Galfond wouldn’t be a regular contributor to the site.
Turns out Phil (aka mrsweets / OMGCLAYAIKEN) had plans to develop a site of his own, plans that became public with the highly anticipated launch of BlueFire Poker in early 2009.
Cost: $29 a month plus $99 sign up fee, discounts for 6 and 12 month advance payments
New Videos: 4-5 a week
Hand Replayer: Yes
Core Focus: Cash games
Notable Pros: Galfond (!), Samoleus, Giggy
Video Quality: High
Download / Streaming: Both available
Archive Size: ~400 videos
BlueFire gets an overall score of 95/100 from the PTP Staff.
Sit and Go Coverage
BFP recently added an extensive SNG team to their roster, so expect increased SNG coverage over the next few months.
BFP hasn’t developed much MTT coverage as of yet.
This is the core focus of BlueFire, and they’ve assembled an impressive team. To be honest, I’d pay the money just to see 5 videos a month from Galfond, but the rest of the starting roster boasts pretty impressive resumes as well. Low to midstakes players will be especially interested in the Giggy videos.
BFP does a pretty good job of balancing varying formats and buy in levels – you can watch Galfond at the nosebleeds (and some levels below) and then fire up a SoCalQuest video covering .25/.50 NL immediately following.
Non-holdem game coverage
PLO gets a lot of attention on BFP, but there’s not much in the way of other games. It should be noted that Galfond’s extensive PLO record makes this site a unique resource for PLO players.
The heart of the site is, at the moment, Galfond. Truth be told, if you’re going to build your site around one pro, Phil is a pretty damn good one to pick, so this is a massive asset for the site.
I like the design – it’s clean, easy to navigate and does a good job of suggesting related videos without crowding the scene. The videos are by and large well-produced and feel well-thought out, as opposed to the rambling messes you’ll sometimes find populating the release pages of some other training sites. The videos are all DRM-free as well, which is a nice bonus.
There’s some supplemental content – blogs and articles – that add to the value of the site, if you’re interested in that sort of reading. There are also forums, which offer users a great opportunity to interact with the Bluefire pros.
Basically the only drawback to the site right now is its newness – you just don’t get the depth of archives that you’ll find on some other sites. The video release frequency is a little lower as well, but BFP seems to have a quality over quantity mentality that makes the release frequency pretty much a non-issue, in my opinion.
As mentioned above, the core of the site is cash games, so if you’re a tournament player or mix formats and want a site that covers both cash and tournament play, BFP isn’t for you.
BFP hits the higher end of the market price-point wise. That said, serious cash game players (or those attempting to become such) are doing themselves a serious disservice if they pass up the opportunity to get inside the head of Galfond and co.
Don’t Forget: Memberships to trainings sites like this are available free via PTP Rake Rewards.