Step Up Your Study Game: Tips for Moving from Regular to Elite Player in No-Limit Hold’em

As an intermediate player, you’re on the verge of taking your No-Limit Hold’em game to the next level. Regular practice and small-positive win rates at 25NL to 100NL show that you’re on the right track. However, to truly excel, it’s time to focus on deliberate and consistent study habits.

Breadth-First Approach to Study

The No-Limit Hold’em game is vast, with various formations and scenarios. To train your intuition more effectively, it’s important to study a wide range of spots. A great way to do this is by exploring large databases of high-quality simulations, such as the free sims in the Zenith Poker Library. With over 3000 simulations, you’ll have more than 200 hours of study time if you dedicate 1-2 hours to each database.

Quality of Simulations

While increasing study volume is crucial, it’s equally important to focus on high-quality simulations. Low-quality simulations can lead to missed or suboptimal bet sizes and suppress raising frequency. To ensure you’re getting the most out of your study sessions, look for simulations with three or more sizes per node and multiple raise sizes. The player making a raise is often doing so to set up the stack-to-pot ratio for an all-in, so simulations with sufficient raise sizes are essential.

Study Consistently

To take your game from low stakes to small stakes, I recommend dedicating one hour of study for every 2-3 hours of play. Consistent and sustained effort over time will lead to better results and help you beat 200NL.


As an intermediate player, increasing your study volume and focusing on high-quality simulations are the keys to success. With deliberate and consistent effort, you’ll be well on your way to joining the ranks of the elite in No-Limit Hold’em.

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