After a ‘soft launch’ in late 2009, Drag The Bar has announced their entry into the poker training market with a slew of instructor and archive additions in 2010.
Is it worth adding a new site to your portfolio? The short answer: if you’re a no limit cash game regular, probably. If not, it’s a bit more of a judgment call. The long answer: read the review below.
Cost: $30 a month (discounts for 3/6/12 month upfront). No sign up fee.
New Videos: Every weekday +
Hand Replayer: No
Core Focus: Cash games
Notable Pros: Milwaukee2, Dusty Schmidt, “Chipsteela” / “EndlessJ”
Video Quality: High
Download / Streaming: Both available
Archive Size: ~400 videos
DTB gets an overall score of 87/100 from the PTP Staff
Sit and Go Coverage
A coach or two devoted to SNG, but definitely not the focus of the site. SNG coverage is mostly MTT SNG’s
Solid, with a number of well-known regulars on staff.
The focus of DTB – they’ve built a small but very solid core of cash coaches, headed up by Stars 1/2 regular Milwaukee2 and Dusty ‘Leatherass’ Schmidt.
Non-holdem game coverage
Looks like PLO will get decent coverage, with at least one full-time PLO instructor. Bonus: Bill Robertie has a backgammon strategy video series available on DTB.
Lots of good stuff: videos are available as streaming, iPod-compatible and MP4 download (DRM-free). Video viewing options for streaming include embedded and a scalable pop-out viewer.
Pricing is pretty reasonable at about $30/m (no sign up free) with solid discounts available for multiple months purchased upfront. A 7-day free trial is also available at the time of this review, check DTB to make sure that’s still active.
Instructors seem pretty engaged on site, with several hosting active blogs and participating meaningfully in forum discussions.
Content-wise, DTB does a good job across the board. We watched all (or part) of several dozen videos and found production quality to be high and advice / analysis offered to be generally articulate and well-reasoned. The site also offers a few multi-part ‘guide’ series where newer players can get a comprehensive walk-through of the nuts and bolts of MTTs, SNGs, etc.
Mostly nit-picking here, but small things matter in a market as competitive as training sites. The biggest complaint: the method for sorting videos is clunky and a bit too linear. There’s also no apparent method for you to rate videos or comment on videos, a real drag when you’re looking to pick a video or two from a genre and you’re not sure where to start (community ratings are a great way to help viewers narrow their choices).
Similar complaints for the user dashboard: there’s very little functionality available in this area. It would be nice to see a list of videos you had recently watched, a list of videos you’d likely be interested in based on your viewing habits, etc.
Finally, the community feels a bit thin and DTB offers little in the way of bonus tools (e.g. the Stox EV calculator, the PXF replayer, etc) for players.
If you’re a former PokerSwat customer, be aware that a big chunk of DTB’s library is made up of PS videos, as DTB purchased PS in January 2010.
The free trial makes DTB a no-brainer for anyone looking to improve their game. Any NL cash player should seriously consider a subscription, and MTT players or generalists will definitely find useful material at DTB, although generalists who can only afford one subscription might want to consider a site with a broader focus first.