Should You Get Poker Coaching?

Updated: Dec 7, 2021

Naturally, as I spend a lot of my time coaching poker, I can see the benefits that my students receive. I'll be bias and suggest that all players receive coaching to some degree. It's also important for me to explain how a good poker player operates and exactly what poker coaching is. In this article I'll do my best to play devils advocate, be honest, and explain which players will benefit the most from coaching. I'll also try to explain why you should or shouldn't get coaching, whether from me or other sources.

How Does Coaching Work?

Poker Coaching works by you getting into contact with another poker player, one that is good at coaching other students. A coach will find out which areas of the game their student needs to work on, based on their own knowledge of the game, and then offer pointers and theory on the subject. A good coach understands which areas will see the biggest improvement in a player in the shortest amount of time. Pre-flop leaks for example can often be solved relatively quickly- and have a knock on effect on the rest of a students game.

There are many areas of the game that students will commonly be deficient in, some coaches may prefer to focus on one area of the game in greater detail. As theory is shared across scenarios, allowing for an easier transfer of skills learnt, expediting study in other areas of the game. I prefer to offer a consultation session with players, watching a few hundred of their hands and providing them with a list of areas that they need to improve in. Then, should they wish, we can work together on those areas. This is also a chance to set goals and listen to where the client thinks that they're deficient in.

Will You Benefit From Coaching?

With the seemingly infinite quantity of free online resources for player to read, you may wonder why it's worth paying someone to coach you. There is also a growing quantity of paid content, some of it of very high quality too. This can be overwhelming for new player or regular players and my be of no use to better players. You will waste your time combing through these resources for relevant information.

For the remainder of the article I'll refer to 3 groups of players:

New Players (Beginners)

  • Are familiar with the rules of the game.

  • Have a small amount of experience.

  • Are unsure where to start.

Recreational Players (Regulars)

  • Have tried using online resources.

  • Have been playing for some time.

  • Want to take the game more seriously.

Break-Even/ Slightly Winning Players

  • Players who can't progress any higher in stake.

  • Have used resources in the past successfully.

  • Need help finding their leaks.

Poker Coaching for the Beginner Player

Coaching for new players will be highly beneficial. This is because a coach can quickly put them on the correct path with which resources they should use. They understand the areas of their game that are most time-effective to work on, and some basic, simplified theory that they need to know.

Beginner players are some of my favourite to coach. Those who are