Poker is a complex game that requires many skills, and while a little bit of pure talent can go a long way, there is no substitute for studying the game with a good teacher.
Luckily, there are many amazing poker coaches out there. Some of them work with students privately, while others sell their full coaching courses through training sites. Whichever of these options you pick to boost your career, you will want to make sure you choose the right poker coach for your games.
These are the top tips for choosing the right poker coach to take your game to the next level and make you the player you have always dreamed of becoming.
Poker is a wide term encompassing many games and various formats. When looking at poker coaches, you will want to find those who specialize in the game type you prefer.
If you are still unsure which poker format you want to play, you can do a ton of research and find out which game best suits your style and preferences.
On the other hand, if you have already played a particular poker format for a while, you will do your best by finding a poker coach specializing in that exact game.
This way, you will quickly start building on your existing skills, and your learning curve will be less steep, as you will already have a general idea of some of the concepts you will be getting into with your coach.
Paying for cash game coaching will not help you much if you intend to spend most of your time playing tournaments, or the other way around, so make sure you get a coach that will teach you the right set of poker skills.
Different poker coaches offer coaching for different levels of the game, and there will be quite a lot of differences in the skills they teach in their courses or private lessons.
For example, a high-stakes tournament coach may teach you certain skills that don’t really work at lower levels or leave out many tricks that could help beat recreational fields.
Conversely, a coach teaching players at lower levels may teach you skills that won't work against the tougher competition at the highest level.
When considering poker coaches, you want to ensure that the guy you are going with is a master of the particular level of play you are hoping to play at, whether it’s the low, mid, or high stakes.
By making sure that you are considering the buyin level as well as the game format, you will be able to find a coach that offers more specialized training that you will have the most use of.
There is an abundance of solid poker coaches out there, but each of them tends to teach uniquely. If you want to master poker, you will want to learn from someone whose teaching style works well with how your brain takes in new information.
Since each individual typically learns differently, the only way to know if you like a poker coach’s teaching style is by seeing them in action.
If you are buying a coaching course, you can typically have a look at some snippets or a trailer of the training and get a general idea of what the site has to give.
If you are going to pay for private lessons, you may talk to your coach first or perhaps get a single trial lesson to make sure you are on the same page.
Once you have found a coach whose teaching style works well for you, your learning will become much faster and easier, and you will adopt a lot more new information than you would from a coach that simply rubs you the wrong way.
They sometimes say that those who can't do something prefer to teach it. While this may work in some areas, only proven winners can teach you how to play poker well.
Before you sign up for any poker coach’s services, you should check their track record and ensure they are a proven long-term winner at the form of poker they are coaching.
The truth is that even many players who used to beat poker just a few years ago may no longer be fit to teach it these days, but those who never beat it certainly are not.
While some coaches will try to convince you they can teach you some magical skills to help you win at poker, the truth is that only those who can beat the game for a significant win rate can teach new players how to do the same.
You should not be stingy when it comes to your poker education, as money invested in good poker coaching definitely pays dividends. However, there are times when poker coaches set a price that’s simply too high, as well as those whose services you aren’t ready for.
You want to make sure you are paying the money you need to get the training needed to beat the next level, not necessarily the highest possible stakes.
When deciding how much you want to invest into your coaching, make sure it's not more than your entire poker bankroll. If it is, you are probably paying more than you need to at this time.
For the most part, you will be able to get some good coaching for a price of just a few buyins at your current level, at least when we are talking about pre-made coaching courses, like the ones you can find on Pokercode.
When it comes to private coaching lessons, only get those when you are stuck and need some real help, and make sure you don’t get taken on a ride and charged for more lessons than you need.
Try to get a poker coach who will charge you a fair price to help you plug your leaks and play well at the level you are currently trying to beat, not more than that.
There is no better way to get a good idea of a poker coach's success than by checking with players who have undergone their coaching.
Typically speaking, great poker coaches will have great reviews from their previous students, and if you message those students, they will have only the best things to say about them. On the other hand, coaches who try to sell their services as more valuable than they are will usually get plenty of negative reviews pretty fast. The same goes for training sites.
Make sure to read what others say about a poker coach before you go for their product, and consider any warnings you find.
The final step you can make in your quest to find your perfect coach is to approach them directly and talk to them. Most coaches who are looking to sell private lessons will be more than happy to exchange some messages and talk about what they have to offer.
This includes talking about the teaching methods, pricing, potential schedule, and the particular things you need help with that they may be able to assist with.
By talking directly to the coach, you will get a sense of what they can do, whether or not they understand your needs, and if the two of you will work together.
Don’t be shy about approaching coaches on poker forums and discussing the potential for cooperation. Asking questions is the only way to get the answers you are looking for and the best way to find the perfect poker coach for yourself.
If you have the feeling you need to sharpen up your game then Pokercode is a great place to start. Sign up for a free account and set your first steps towards becoming a better poker player.
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