One of the complaints you’ll often hear about some of the larger online poker training sites is that their videos and instructors are a little out of touch with life at the low stakes. While low stakes and high stakes use the same deck and the same rule sheet, the dominant (and optimal) style of play can vary wildly by stake, as can the profile of your typical opponent. It was with this gap (presumably) in mind that GrinderSchool.com – a coaching site that focuses almost exclusively on micro to small stakes – was started.
Cost: $10-$20 per month, depending on plan
New Videos: 7 days a week
Hand Replayer: No
Core Focus: Micro to low stakes
Notable Pros: n/a
Video Quality: High
Download / Streaming: Both available
Archive Size: 600+ videos
Grinder School gets an overall score of 85/100 from the PTP Staff. If you are a beginning or micro to lower-limit player, the site will be more useful to you; intermediate or advanced players won’t get much out of the site.
Sit and Go Coverage
Over one hundred that cover full ring, standard structures, turbo structures and shorthanded. Buy ins covered are primarily $22 and under, with some coverage of satellite tournaments.
A mix of over a hundred videos that focus on lower buy in tournaments, with a few larger buy ins.
This is where the site has the largest amount of their video content. There’s a good mix of limits and formats, although not much coverage for heads up cash play. You’ll find videos dealing with everything from .01/.02 to $1/$2, with an even split, more or less, between full ring and heads up.
Non-holdem game coverage
A smattering of videos covering non-standard games. Release schedule promises four non-holdem videos a month, so archive should improve over time. Good news: the videos they do offer are focused on introducing the games to new players, so if you’re just starting out with a particular game, that’s a bonus.
The specific focus of this site is definitely its biggest advantage. Lower stakes do play significantly differently than higher stakes, and micro-stakes play differently still. While good poker players can certainly adapt to any level, there’s something to be said for getting advice from someone who plays those stakes every day, as they’re likely to have a familiarity that breeds a unique insight.
The forums for the site offer dedicated threads for each videos, and video authors seem readily available to discuss specific hands, answer questions, and so on.
The low price of the service, along with the lack of an upfront fee, is an attractive feature. The variety of payment / access plans should make it easy for a range of budgets to find an affordable option. The site offers a prorated refund guarantee for all subscribers.
The articles section is underdeveloped, with only a few entries covering basic topics. GrinderSchool lacks some of the bells and whistles of the larger sites, such as a replayer function or a structured curriculum ala PXF. You also won’t find a ton of promotions or subscriber bonuses, but then again, that’s part of how they keep the price low.
It’s picky, but there are minor usability issues with the site. GS employs a drop-down system that allows you to sort videos quickly, but you don’t have the advanced dashboard options that some other sites offer. It doesn’t detract from the quality of the instruction, but it can make it harder for you to manage your experience with the site.
Micro to low stakes players who are looking to see how regular players in their game deal with scenarios common to those limits can certainly benefit from checking out the free videos and deciding from there. As far as value for the money goes, this site is tough to beat if you’re a low limit or beginning player