There is a lot of information out there intended to help the aspiring poker shark, and no one has the time to read it all. In this article I will tell you what you should check out and what is basically a waste of time.
The by far most important location for information are poker forums. They let you get the answers to questions you can’t find with a simple Google-search. Perhaps more importantly, you also learn stuff you didn’t know you were looking for by reading threads you aren’t even involved in. Don’t get too carried away, though. Reading every single post, taking part in every hand analysis and taking too much part in non-poker discussions is not optimal for your skill-improvement.
The PokerTips strategy section is very helpful as a starting point for improving your skills, and its free. The Beginner and Intermediate sub-sections teach you the fundamentals of Texas Hold’em and serve as a foundation to build further information upon. You can take a sneak-peak at the Advanced and Expert sub-sections too, but they are called what they are called for a reason.
The strategy section contains a lot of Fixed Limit Holdem articles, but that’s ok because starting out playing FL is an effective way of learning the basics of No Limit. No offense FL-players. Nah, who am I kidding, offense is intended.
There is a sea of poker books out there, but many are crap, and if you have read a couple of books you have read most of the content of all the books because they are so similar. I would recommend “Winning Low Limit Holdem” by Lee Jones for the beginner. It is a book about FL, and the most important thing you will learn from it is which hands to play when and how preflop.
Then I would recommend “Theory of Poker” by David Sklansky. This one will teach you how to think as a good player for all situations in all poker forms.
Those are basically all the books you need. Sure you can buy other books you think will be helpful to you, and they probably will help you in some ways, but not nearly as much as the two books I have mentioned, especially the Lee Jones book.
Magazines are of little help, you can get the information in those for free on poker forums. Blogs are usually of little help as well (this one is an exception of course), even if it is written by great players (this one is an…, nah not even you would buy that one). Players complaining about bad beats (losing hands, which were favorites to win), bragging about how much they made last month or informing you that they got a dog last week is of little use to you.
Learning from professionals on TV is dangerous. The situations they are in are very different from the ones you are in (the skills of their opponents being the most important difference), so their moves for their situation would often be wrong for similar situations you are in. Poker on TV is also almost always edited, so it gives an incorrect image of how the play actually was on that table.
If you are good enough that you have started making some money on poker, you may wanna consider using online poker coaches. The standard rate for coaches is about $50/hour, but the price can vary a lot. Be careful who you give your money to, there is no point paying that kind of money to someone who doesn’t have much to offer you. I think DeucesCracked.com is a good place to search for coaches, although I have never used them myself.