Where and how to find a good poker coach

T

telboy

Rock Star
How do i go about finding a good poker Coach & where do i find one.
I have been playing poker for some years now but i need to improve my Cash game.
I used to play Tournaments but with my job i haven't got the time to sit there for
4-5 hours, plus i can only play mostly after 11pm at night till i get tired or between 7am - 9am and maybe the odd 30 mins or an hour during the day. UK Time.
I want to play levels .05-.10 up to 1-2
Can anyone please help me
 
MediaBLITZ

MediaBLITZ

Legend
Oh man - good luck. Probably best method is reference. I have gone through 5 coaches and couldn't really refer a single one. For the most part it has been disappointing. I am close to the point that a good book is probably a better way to go.

Define what you want in a coach and how you want him to work with you. So far every coach I have worked with was unwilling to meet me halfway to what I thought I wanted to work on or how I wanted it delivered.


Coach A - Face to face with guy who got me started. This is when I was first starting out with Hold'em. Not a "real" coach and I didn't pay for it. I out grew him in about 6 months because I was way more motivated to learn than he was. We are poker buddies now and I end up doing more coaching than he.


Coach B - Emails. Sent him tournament hand histories and he rightly discovered I was being a wimp and choosing to limp when I should be shoving. But once he discovered that he refused to look for any more leaks since this was such a glaring problem. Also never expressed why or took time to teach - would just flat out say "don't do that - you're being a donk". End of lesson in 2 minutes for $50.


Coach C - Via Skype. He really wasn't a coach so much as a teacher. Had no interest in anyone talking but himself. I think he got more out of it than I did but cause it allowed him to articulate and regurgitate what he had learned - but if I said anything he would just wait impatiently and blow me off so he could continue with his lesson plan.


Coach D - Face to face. Full on poker pro w/wsop cashes (and more). Total opposite of C. No plan at all. More just a sounding board and I pay for the privilege of his wisdom. Still working with him but I have to figure out how to come up with my plan so I can get the most out of it. Asked him for a little more structure or to at least know what we were going to talk about next and got the old "this is what I do and how I do it - deal with it". He basically confessed he had no idea what he was going to talk about with me until we got together and sat down. I got with him based on another player I ran into who had some good game and definitely talked the talk. I just flat out asked him if he had been coached.


Coach E - Mostly face to face and phone. Resident Russian grinder/pro. Pretty dogmatic black and white in his approach. More of a poker buddy now, but I tell you he did something that was priceless. He sat down at my table (across from me live) and sweated me for about 4 hours. Later he listed a whole bunch of my tells and how I misplayed some hands and some general strategy that helped immensely.


Oh there was a one time session with Dennis Phillips that was just gold. He taught, he coached, he was awesome.


In the end there are probably more so called coaches that suck than are good at it. I have to think if a so called coach doesn't take the time to even see or hear where the state of your game is at then he is all about himself and you are just a revenue source.

Here's a list to start with - http://www.notedpokerauthority.com/poker-coach-directory
 
B

Big_Rudy

Legend
I've never been coached, and at this time have no plans to be. But, Media's rundown is about what I would expect. These days, with the popularity of poker, it seems that anyone who can document a string of 2-3 winning months wants to style themselves as a "poker coach".

I, personally, would do a LOT of research on my own before I would pay someone to teach me poker. Get a list together of a few people whom you think would be good for your goals. After you've researched them a little on your own, and narrowed your list down, contact them directly.

When you get to the point of contacting them directly, ask them for references, both good and bad, from people who have been coached from them in the past. A quality coach should be able to ( be happy to) provide this. If not, I'd think twice about hiring them.

Lastly, follow-up with the references. Those who liked the coach/got something worthwile from him... why did they feel that way. Those who didn't.... same thing.
 
ALL IN CLUBS

ALL IN CLUBS

Legend
Oh man - good luck. Probably best method is reference. I have gone through 5 coaches and couldn't really refer a single one. For the most part it has been disappointing. I am close to the point that a good book is probably a better way to go.

Define what you want in a coach and how you want him to work with you. So far every coach I have worked with was unwilling to meet me halfway to what I thought I wanted to work on or how I wanted it delivered.


Coach A - Face to face with guy who got me started. This is when I was first starting out with Hold'em. Not a "real" coach and I didn't pay for it. I out grew him in about 6 months because I was way more motivated to learn than he was. We are poker buddies now and I end up doing more coaching than he.


Coach B - Emails. Sent him tournament hand histories and he rightly discovered I was being a wimp and choosing to limp when I should be shoving. But once he discovered that he refused to look for any more leaks since this was such a glaring problem. Also never expressed why or took time to teach - would just flat out say "don't do that - you're being a donk". End of lesson in 2 minutes for $50.


Coach C - Via Skype. He really wasn't a coach so much as a teacher. Had no interest in anyone talking but himself. I think he got more out of it than I did but cause it allowed him to articulate and regurgitate what he had learned - but if I said anything he would just wait impatiently and blow me off so he could continue with his lesson plan.


Coach D - Face to face. Full on poker pro w/WSOP cashes (and more). Total opposite of C. No plan at all. More just a sounding board and I pay for the privilege of his wisdom. Still working with him but I have to figure out how to come up with my plan so I can get the most out of it. Asked him for a little more structure or to at least know what we were going to talk about next and got the old "this is what I do and how I do it - deal with it". He basically confessed he had no idea what he was going to talk about with me until we got together and sat down. I got with him based on another player I ran into who had some good game and definitely talked the talk. I just flat out asked him if he had been coached.


Coach E - Mostly face to face and phone. Resident Russian grinder/pro. Pretty dogmatic black and white in his approach. More of a poker buddy now, but I tell you he did something that was priceless. He sat down at my table (across from me live) and sweated me for about 4 hours. Later he listed a whole bunch of my tells and how I misplayed some hands and some general strategy that helped immensely.


Oh there was a one time session with Dennis Phillips that was just gold. He taught, he coached, he was awesome.


In the end there are probably more so called coaches that suck than are good at it. I have to think if a so called coach doesn't take the time to even see or hear where the state of your game is at then he is all about himself and you are just a revenue source.

Here's a list to start with - http://www.notedpokerauthority.com/poker-coach-directory


Wow nice resume:cool: sounds like you have been around the poker scene;)
 
ericgarner118

ericgarner118

Rock Star
Just curious, but is there any reason you are looking for a coach right now instead of subscribing to a video training site like deuescracked or dragthebar? I know that a coach can give you some one on one time, but there is definitely a lot that can be learned from just watching the videos up on those sites. Most of them have a week or so free trail you can check out. You may want to head over there and see what they have to offer before you start dropping some money on a coach.
 
MediaBLITZ

MediaBLITZ

Legend
Just curious, but is there any reason you are looking for a coach right now instead of subscribing to a video training site like deuescracked or dragthebar? I know that a coach can give you some one on one time, but there is definitely a lot that can be learned from just watching the videos up on those sites. Most of them have a week or so free trail you can check out. You may want to head over there and see what they have to offer before you start dropping some money on a coach.
This is an excellent point. I have only used a few, but I really really like Deepstacks U. It is very different from any other site out there and actually teaches concepts on purpose. Personally I just don't enjoy wading through sessions some guy recorded so he can talk about whatever happens to come up only to get derailed by getting dealt another hand to play.
Poker VT was okay for a short period but their customer support was a complete nightmare and I would not recommend them to my worst enemy for fear of retribution.
 
MediaBLITZ

MediaBLITZ

Legend
In fact after rereading your post I would do this if I were in your shoes -
Get ahold of and read (and reread) Miller and Sklansky's "Small Stakes Hold 'em: Winning Big with Expert Play". Less than $20 on Amazon. In fact I am now using it to develop my own cuuriculum for my current coach to respond to.
Also go ahead and sign up for Deepstacks (or something you will use) and in 3 to 6 months reflect back on how it may have changed/helped your game. Then go after a coach -maybe.
 
MediaBLITZ

MediaBLITZ

Legend
Thinking about this some more I have pulled some numbers out of my ass (but am striving to be accurate).

My poker knowledge (albeit limited) breakdown probably looks something like this (where the knowledge came from):

Books - 60%
Phil Gordon - 30%
Dan Harrington - 10%
Ed Miller - 15%
Phil Hellmuth - 3%
Daniel Negreanu - 2%

Training Sites - 30%
Poker VT - 8%
Deepstacks U - 20%
Other - 2%

Coaches - 5%

Forums - 5%

Now these numbers can be very misleading because it is not just about "knowledge".
For example Dan Harrington is only 10% but his books are almost my entire foundation for hand analysis and review. And that 5% next to Forums is most of the application and practice of those principles.

The 5% next to coaches includes revealing and eliminating a bunch of tells I had - critical to my success at a live table.

So each percent is important but you can see that the foundation goes back to Phil Gordon's material (as it is with many regulars in here) - without which I would have probably struggled with Harrington and without that probably would not have understood Miller.
It's a vicious cycle - LOL.

My point is (and I can say this from experience) you are not practicing good BRM to invest in a coach if you have not laid your foundation and have a good existing framework. So here I am having to take extensive notes on my own play to take back to my coach to have something of value to talk about (which in itself is a great learning tool).

So if you are going to move on to a coach (I do believe in coaching from GOOD coaches) you have to know what you want from it and you may also have to define your own curriculum, In order to do this you will have to know your strengths and weaknesses as well as knowing what you don't know - or don't understand. Then you can probably get some value out of a coach. If you can't do these things then you are not looking for a coach - you are looking for a teacher. Nothing a book couldn't do for you :D
 
fletchdad

fletchdad

Jammin................
Awards
2
I have worked with 4 coaches so far, and got something from all 4. But in retrospect I think coaching is one of the last things I should have done. Training sites and a poker tracker are better starts. (and books are a must IMO) The training sites are obvious, but the tracker is great in analyzing what YOU do, and how much you do it.

IMO a poker tracker is fine to show you stats on a player, but its real value lies in post game analysis. I play 6 max and have a ton of leaks, and one thing I am now working with my coach on is how to see how I can improve my game without asking him.

MB above made some very good points, and you should listen to what he says IMO.

For cash, I like the Professional No Limit Holdem and Small Stakes NLHE both by Ed Miller, Sunny Mehta and Matt Flynn. AFAIK the other SSNLHE book mentioned by MB is more geared toward LHE, but I may be wrong.
 
MediaBLITZ

MediaBLITZ

Legend
AFAIK the other SSNLHE book mentioned by MB is more geared toward LHE, but I may be wrong.


It is listed as such but I've found it to be more general/basic play/strategy (at an Ed Miller level - it is NOT a beginners book). It does not cover SPR like Pro NLHE so it is definitely not targeting NLHE.

But hey, it's Miller so it's got value ;)
 
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