How Do I Choose The Right Poker Coach?
It depends on what you want. Dosen't that seem like the answer you get for most of the questions you ask about Texas Hold'em. But it really is true. What you want to learn is what type of poker coach you want to match yourself up with. Are you looking to improve you ring game play? If so, seek out a poker coach with experience in playing cash games. The reverse also holds true. If you are looking for assistance and direction in playing Sit n Go's or Multi Table Tournaments, then look for credentials that include tournament final tables and wins.
It may seem a little strange, but strong ring (cash) game players tend to be a little weaker in tournament play and strong tournament players will be a little weaker in cash games. Of course the majority of top level players are great players in both, but unless your looking to spend $1000.00 an hour in poker coaching fees, you probably won't be going to a top level player for your poker coaching. Before contacting anybody to talk about poker coaching, be honest with yourself and write down where you think you need help. Is it starting hands, odd calculations, position play, starting tournament strategy or strategy in the later rounds of tournaments?
One thing holds true....the more information you can provide your potential poker coach about your present level of play and what you are seeking to accomplish, the better they can prepare your session so you will get the most help they can provide. Always remember, the poker coaching session is about you, not the coach. Give them enough information and you can direct the session to where you need the most help.
Do I need More Than One?
Just as there is more than one way to shoot a basketball or swing a golf club, there are different ways to become a winning Texas Hold'em player. Many players find after spending a few sessions with one poker coach, they want a different perspective. Like the various poker sites that provide strategy, different poker coaches will relay concepts in different ways.
Remember, you're trying to absorb as much knowledge as possible and finding as many different ways to fit the puzzle together that you can will only make you a tougher player to contend with.
Hiring a Poker Coach
Hiring a poker coach is not an easy decision. It means opening up to an outsider and questioning your basic playing assumptions. Communication and honesty are crucial to the success of your sessions. And poker coaching does not come cheap. Sessions normally start at around $100 an hour and can range as high as $1000. But if you are a poker player whose game is stagnant, the money could prove to be well spent.
With a poker coach, you get an outside perspective that helps you figure things out a lot quicker. It is a kind to stepping out of you and watching yourself play the game. Though it may surprise you, you may not like what you see. The need for that outside perspective has become particularly important these days, as the popularity of poker continues to grow.
What exactly are poker coaches? Let's begin with what poker coaches aren’t: Miracle Workers. Instead of addressing a poker player’s lack of reading or studying, they work on issues pertaining to weaknesses in a poker player’s game. They suggest actions that will help poker players achieve their goals most efficiently. Sessions normally take place one-on-one, usually on the phone, but may also happen in a mock casino setting with a group of players.
Obviously, a referral from another poker player is the best way to find a poker coach. Still, even the best poker coach won't be much help unless you're willing to work at it. You can't expect a quick fix. And there usually is homework in between sessions and it can be time-consuming. That's particularly challenging for poker player trying to make a living at the game. But as most good poker coaches will tell you, player’s that become consistently successful at the tables, find the time in their schedules.
Those who make the time to work on the poker coaches' teachings find it rewarding. But it can’t be a one time shot in the dark. Eliminating certain weakness in your game may open others. You may get into deep levels of tournaments where you have never been. To become a consistently winning poker player, you must learn and practice all aspects of the game and feel comfortable in any situation that may arise.