The Great Poker Coaching Debate

Posted: June 23, 2012 in General
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So Poker Coaching, Is it worth the money? As with many things in Poker the answer is going to be it depends.

This is a question that I have asked myself many times over the past few years. Not been a person who can sit and read a book for hours on end and take in all the information or watch a coaching video, make notes and it all implant itself in my head, I turned to the rather expensive option of paying someone to work 1 to 1 with me in an effort to improve my game.

How do you find a Poker Coach? Go on most Poker forums and they will usually have a forum dedicated to different types of coaching. Take 2+2 for example, a quick look on there and its easy to find a couple of pages worth of coaches offering their services for a multitude of games.

I was beating NL25 at a decent rate but were having problems moving up to NL50 and were looking for someone who could help me take that extra step. I looked on 2+2 and did what I thought was a good bit of research and chose the person who I thought fitted best with what I was looking for. Luckily for me I found one of the good guys in NL_Fool and he was very helpful and we chatted a lot on Skype and he even went as far to advise me that I could pay a lot less money and probably find someone who could help me. The thing that swayed it for me was that he had a lot of glowing reviews from very established members of the 2+2 forums and after further discussions i parted with about $1Kfor 10 hours of coaching. If i recall i had about 6 hours out of those sessions before we had to cancel the rest because of personal reasons on his end but he was very professional over it and shipped me the money that i had over paid straight back no questions asked. As for those 6 hours of coaching, by the time I had finished those i was not only beating NL50 but i was also beating NL100 as well. I honestly believe that if I had kept working with him then I would be playing a lot higher than I am at the moment but it wasn’t to be.  Its fair to say though that those sessions paid for themselves many times over.

I carried on playing for a couple of months and decided to look for another coach, again hopefully to help me move up. This time though I wasn’t as lucky, I thought id done good research again but this time the coach didn’t have the great reviews from members of 2+2 and as it would turn out he forgot to mention that he was traveling the world and that it may be hard to schedule sessions. Obviously all this is partly my fault but I paid just over $1K again for 10 hours of coaching with the CardRunners coach Fooz . Now don’t  get me wrong the sessions themselves were quite decent and we had some good discussions but we would go 2 or 3 weeks without been able to schedule a session because of connection problems due to the area of the world he was in. The final straw was that I waited in on a Sunday for the full day because he “may” get a connection and we would be able to do a session, needless to say I never got the call and that was that. I started to fall out of love with the game and didn’t contact him again to try and arrange another session. I used 6 hours of those sessions and have never heard anything from him in regards to a refund for the time not used.

By this time my confidence and probably my game was shot to pieces and I was floating between NL25-NL100 when Full Tilt got shut down. That is history and I moved to Ipoker which meant that I was going to have to learn 6max. This time I made sure that I did plenty of research and after a lot of looking around I decided on the DeucesCracked coach threads13 and paid approx $50 per hour and in total had about 10 hours of coaching with him which included a couple of leak finder videos for DC that were thrown in for free. His approach to coaching was very professional and we did a lot of work on the math side of Poker that I really struggle with and by the time we had finished I was really confident in my 6max and FR game again and from that point I have kicked on and a lot of that is thanks to threads13.

So that’s my story when it comes to coaching but a quick look in the forums and there’s always stories of people who have not been happy with coaches and its very easy to see that it is a very shady area. After all its very easy to manipulate a HM/PT graph to make you look like the worlds best player and its going to be even harder to check peoples results now that PTR has stopped tracking Stars. You only have to look at the oldschool scandal on 2+2 where the coach was very reluctant to give out his screen names and also post a lot of graphs that people were asking for and then when it all came out in the wash the reason he didn’t want to release screen names was because on one of them he wasn’t even able to beat NL25 yet was making out he could beat NL100 at a good rate and also offering coaching for that level. The worst thing about this is that 2+2 have now allowed him to pay for another coaching thread so the only thing that is in place to protect people from getting ripped off is a few savy posters who look to protect the community against people like this.

So is it worth it then?  For me personally even though I did have a bad experience I would estimate that the coaching has paid for itself many times over and for someone like me who has a very short attention span, the 1-1 method is very good for me and I can get a lot out of it. It is a big chunk of money though and before you shell all that out you really have to do your research. I cant stress that enough because a bad decision can send you backwards instead of sending you forwards. If you can sit and watch a video or read a book and are able to learn best that way then there is a ton of good information out there but if that’s not for you I would recommend giving 1-1 Poker coaching a go if you really want to improve your game.

I am going to do a follow up on this piece called Poker Coaching – Do’s And Dont’s which will simply be a list form of tips to use if you decide to go down this coaching route.

  1. Johnny says:

    I got 10hrs of coaching from threads13 too, he was professional and his material was enlightening. Highly recommended!!!

  2. martl1 says:

    Thats good to hear. Yep I`d recommend him as well.

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