How to choose a poker coach

poker coach

The coach selection is a very important decision for the player. Nowadays, there are tens or even hundreds of players who offer their services in the field of poker training but only some of them can really teach you something.

The other coaches will only be interested in your money. Let's assume that you've already learned poker combinations and terms, passed the micro-limits on your own and gained a foothold at NL50 in cash or ABI10 in МТТ, but you can't move on because of the skill lack and you decided to seek assistance from the coach. 

What should you take into account during the poker coach selection process?

your poker coach

Your coach shouldn’t play at very high limits

It may seem strange but we will try to explain that. If you have progressed from the micro-limits to the medium ones without somebody’s assistance then you know the difference between them. So, if you are playing the above-mentioned NL50 independently and decided to hire the player as a coach who plays regularly NL1000, then this training may have no expected results despite the high price paid for the training.

Primarily because the methods, strategies, conceptions and the ranges that are effective at the high limits cannot be so effective at your current medium limits. This is due to your opponents’ general level and their understanding of the game: in those spots where the qualified players will always fold, at the medium limits players will be happy to make a call. It would be logical to hire a poker coach who plays at the “neighboring” limits with your ones. You play NL50 and the coach plays NL100-NL200, you play ABI10 and your coach - ABI20-40.

poker coach

The students’ results

You shouldn’t contact the coach who has no coaching experience. You should focus on the feedback about him from his former students and also their results “before” and “after” the training. The increase of winrate and the profit will be the main indicator here. 

The coach results

A good player isn’t always a good trainer. But what the trainer can teach you if he is playing negatively for a long period of time? The answer is: he can teach you only his personal mistakes and the strategy leaks.

Perhaps this is the most negative result of all possible ones concerning the cooperation with the coach. Do not blindly adopt the playing manner of the coach, without having a clear understanding of the validity of any certain actions. A good trainer must demonstrably point to your mistakes and also explain the reasons why he applies particular actions.

The play in complex compositions

  • The coach must play poker and do it not only in the game that consists of the fishes. The play at PokerStars can be an indicative one. Because despite all changes, the players’ composition at PokerStars remains the strongest one online in all disciplines.
  • His results and profit must be of current interest at this date rather than 3-5 years ago.

You shouldn’t learn from the players who lost track of time in the game even if they demonstrated good results in assumed 2012. At that time it was easy to play in a positive dynamics just having studied the starting hands charts with a basic understanding of the game, but in today's realities, it won't work even at the micro-limits. These unlucky coaches give the training lessons just because they cannot earn the money from the game.

poker coach

The manner of presenting information 

Before you start training you’d better read the posts of a potential trainer in the blog or forum or talk to him in Skype. You should understand that a tongue-tied trainer with a bad articulation and the halts in speech cannot help you digest information and improve your play even if he is a strong player. The coach should have at least a minimally clear and coherent speech.

poker coach

The price

The high price doesn’t mean quality learning. Sometimes players can set a fabulous hourly price only because of their reputation and fame in the poker community. As we have already mentioned at the beginning of the article you should hire the coach who plays at the limits that aren't much different from your current limits, because he should understand the main tendencies and particularities of the limit and not just explain the strategy “in a vacuum”. The coach’s price per hour must be proportionate to the play limits and most importantly – to the trainer’s skill.

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Sunrise Editor
Cardmates journalist, news editor and translator since 2016. Specialization: poker news and review of events.
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