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Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read.

01-11-2010 , 09:53 AM
There is another thread out on this, but unfortunately the op contains such an ineloquent general statement that itīs hard to post in the thread, even though the essence of his post is deserves discussion. Most of this is in my blog, but since almost nobody reads it and I want this out, here goes. Also, if a mod could put this in the right forum, that would be great.

Coaching, so far, has been one of the more enjoyable aspects of my online poker career. Unsurprisingly, it feels rewarding to do a good job and at the end of it have somebody says thank you and give you great feedback.

So far, my chemistry with every single person Iīve spoke to has been great, and every single one has booked at least a follow-up lesson.

As dubious as I have always been to coaching and coaching rates, so far I am confident that these students in paticular have been getting value for their money as with everyone we have been able to identify some very key leaks. The common denominator for the guys I have spoken to so far is that they all have the right attitude, which is one of humility coupled with work and intelligence, which in turn makes me feel like I want to go the extra mile with them, maybe spend an extra hour preparing for the session, maybe going overtime for as long as I can until I have another commitment.

But as mentioned, I am and always have been dubious to coaching and coaching rates, particularly those of players I have tangled with and whose games I have very little respect for. In some cases, I think I can flat out say that they are so overpriced in regards to their winrates and what I have seen from them at the tables that the best thing they can do is either improve or change their line of business because coaching wonīt last forever, and theyīre not making that much playing anyway. In setting mine, I tried to get some advice from a couple of people with way more experience of it than myself and whom I respect, and also to compare myself with some other coaches with similar rates from Leggo, DC, Cardrunners / Stox, Bluefire, 2+2 and a couple of other places. What you find is a small group of real respected winners in the 6-max games of today, a few people that are complete unkowns if it were not for the recommendations of other respected (or formerly respected) players that may or may not be good coaches or players, and a drove of people who I would like to compare winrates with or whom I would like to sit down and talk strategy and 6-max with. In partcular, I saw a very clear trend of once upon a time winning 6-max NL players that have changed their games to HU NL or PLO (essentially they are not cutting it anymore, and are basically content to sit around all day until someone who has no clue what theyīre doing gives them action), or gone back to school, and still somehow think that they are in tune with TODAY'S 6-max 5-10 and 10-20 games. The reality is that at itīs equivalent stake, 6 max nl is the toughest game, by far, to make a living at. Being a 2-4 6 max reg is tougher than being a 2-4 hu reg (as long as you are a winner on PTR nobody better than you will give you action anyway, so donīt worry about playing any tough opponents - definitely my experience), 2-4 PLO reg, or 2-4 any reg. But because of the amount of action, it is potentially the most lucrative and has the most longevity.

This has nothing to do with the training sites in themselves. This has to do with a number of their coaches, whom they have little control and supervision over once they are taken in as winners at the time. The responsibility and selfinsight lies and should lie with the coach. Most of the guys at the training sites get a lot of heat, but are more than anything a bunvh of cool guys providing a service. Within that service, you have to cherrypick yourself from the options they provide.

There are, of course, exceptions to this rule. There are some great players, and some great coaches who might not be great players due to whatever reason. I do subscribe to the fact that the greatest coach might not always be the best player, in fact I am convinced that this is true. But two things; why would anybody want to take a chance on them when there are real proven strong winners out there, and how are these people who no longer put that much volume in up to date with todays games? The 6-max game of today is different than that of 6 months ago, which was different than that of a year ago. This game is not static. Beacuse of this, it is one of the few games that even though a coach may not have to be a great player, he always has to be a player first, and a coach second.

The reason I teach 6-max is that it's my profession and thatīs what puts food on my table. Not coaching, not HU, not PLO, which will be me selfpromoting myself, which I also think is fine.

You see, the tragedy of the poker training industry is that because a lot of you guys are at a percieved information disadvantage and think that some people are sitting on something special, a coach can feed you any type of garbage and you wonīt know wether itīs gold or golddust. And trust me, a lot of guys from what I have seen in the past couple of weeks, are just putting out the first thing that comes to their minds - sounds good at first glance but garbage. Poker always sounds good on paper, and it always sounds good when you break out pokerstove and "assign" haphazard ranges and talk equity and lines and balance and talk about how "everybody today is not cr-ing enough turns". In the context of you being a huge winner in the games today, you talking like this makes sense, because what you are saying translates to skill. If you have found yourself "running really bad over the last year", you should come back with these statements after they have made you some money, or if not you shouldnīt charge for them.

The reason I feel about this is that I now have two students who have worked with other coaches whom were very respected once upon a time, and are probably great guys and definitely very intelligent, but have no business teaching lines that exploited the so called vanished regs of two years ago. Well, they donīt have any business charging for it, anyway.

All this is just my opinion, and itīs a forum, and itīs my post, so I am definitely entitled to it. This is going to offend some people, which is great, because those will be exactly the people Iīm writing about - Hi guys.
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-11-2010 , 09:59 AM
So you agree with what clarkazoid (or w/e his exact SN was) said, but you just express yourself better than he did in his OP...
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-11-2010 , 10:07 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinz
So you agree with what clarkazoid (or w/e his exact SN was) said, but you just express yourself better than he did in his OP...
No, there is very little in Clarkatroids op that I agree with. I donīt think itīs a scam as such, his descriptions of the students are complete nonsense. Itīs a shame he didnīt take more time to write that, it could have turned into an interesting intelligent thread.

For what itīs worth, I have played with Clarkatroid, and I believe that he could use a very good coach to plug some minor leaks altough he may think the same of me or not agree. But his winrate is steadily deteriorating, and he is an intelligent enough guy to know that the games are changing but that some people are still winning at 4-5 ptbb.
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-11-2010 , 10:08 AM
Just curious, how much do you charge for you coaching? Is it higher than your average hourly playing 6-max? PM me if you think it would be inappropriate to post the answers. How did you come up with a $$$ figure per how how much your coaching was worth?
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-11-2010 , 10:12 AM
will you marry me?
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-11-2010 , 10:19 AM
Can you please clarify some things where I am confused about.

Are you now saying that you found the hourly prices of getting coachings pretty overpriced and should be ''ethical'' according to some standards. If so what do you found a fair coaching rate? is that depending on the limits the student plays or the limits the coach plays and can win hourly a good amount.

Or are you saying that people who are coach for almost x years but hardly playing any Y volume and are not putting Z amount of effort in refreshing their game should NOT be coaches at all or at least lower their prices?

I found it a good read and Im quite interested in discussion
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-11-2010 , 10:22 AM
very nice post sir
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-11-2010 , 10:34 AM
Well written , coach me plz
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-11-2010 , 10:47 AM
i agree with a lot of what you said, OP. even when i was making 2k+/hr playing poker, i never once charged anyone for a private lesson. i always was too worried that i wouldn't be able to provide enough value for my time and it wasn't worth potentially pissing some people off when i was trying to build a business. i still make a training video every month or two, but i make them exclusively at HUNL which i've always felt is my strongest game. the difference between video making and 1 on 1 coaching for big $$$ is that i am 100% sure there are lots of aspiring HU players that can learn learn something from me, even if i'm not putting in major volume playing. i also spend a lot of time preparing for my videos and if i don't think they are of high quality then i will do them again. if i'm not putting in as much time at the tables as other players, then I need to make sure i put in more in prep time otherwise my videos will suffer. interestingly enough, my videos over the past 6 months have been rated more highly than those of a year ago, before i started to add to my prep/study time.

there are a few things to consider:

-what about a guy that breaks even-ish at 25/50, can he teach a 2/4 reg something? probably. is it worth whatever he is charging? maybe, maybe not.
-there are non-technical aspects of the game that are super hard to learn and get more important as you move up in stakes. these shouldn't be discounted, although most can be learned in training videos.


the bottom line: A few years ago, it was pretty easy to win at any online poker game if you had a good pre-flop strategy. there was enough suuuuper dead money that lots of people with major flaws in their games were still making good money and were absolutely worthwhile to pay for coaching. nowadays, the games are harder and there are more people who in actuality were never winners or big winners trying to coach. like anything else, it depends, you need to do your homework, there are still lots of great coaches out there. i am obviously biased as an owner of CR, but i still think almost anyone is foolish to not go out there and get video training, become a winning reg, and THEN consider coaching.
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-11-2010 , 10:53 AM
the comment about the games half a year ago not being today's games seems a bit too simplistic. a good coach should be someone that improves you not someone that is spoon-feeding everything to you (which you seem to imply: if it's relevant that the coach plays in todays games than the coach is the one assigning ranges and frequencies)

i've always preferred (both giving coaching and receiving) an approach where the coach doesn't talk a lot about ranges/frequencies, leaving that to the player, the player is the one that has to develop that skill largely on his own. the implications of whatever ranges/frequencies the player reads is something that a coach should focus on - with correcting faulty ideas in range/frequency assumptions being only a secondary focus

things like gut feeling or the supergood reads some players have can't be learned by a coach imo. the coach can only learn the underlying concepts (trusting yourself, focusing, not autopiloting, always thinking, ...) to the student, not the reads itself
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-11-2010 , 11:00 AM
It is kinda sad to download Course to NL HU and then realise that some of videos are made by players that are actually losing or winning very small rate. My only reasonable explanation would be that they were hired when they were on heater.

But I guess poker is just very personal game where you can learn some theoretical aspects, and see some other person's point of view, but in the end must fit the learned knowledge to own personality.

Like that Limit guy who has very bad grades at PTR considering his stats but he has huge wins, and the other guy there has A+ grade and he is break even...
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-11-2010 , 11:07 AM
IMO, you have the start playing poker by learning yourself, and I mean , playing 25k+ hands before u start thinking about how good/bad you are?
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-11-2010 , 11:16 AM
There are some problems with receiving coaching or watching videos in general. There is a certain level of trust needed on the part of the student, for most people sound good when they are talking poker, but few are really doing well in their games. So there needs to be a way to navigate through the information given...if you have Leatherass or Boywonder as a coach, you can pretty much trust what they say, at least that it has a solid foundation in reality. But what if the coach/vid maker isn't established as a great player? I think it's really hard for the struggling player to evaluate these kinds of things. It's almost as if there is a catch-22 where if you are good enough to properly evaluate unproven (to you) coaches/vid makers, you are good enough that you don't need a coach.

I think there should be listed qualifications for vid makers, including PTR or HEM graphs updated every 3 months. Players should be able to look people up and see if they feel they are worth watching. A sort of recent poker resume. I hear certain training sites say they are very strict with choosing who can make vids, but on the major training sites I've seen, time and time again I am seeing players that are certainly not big winners in any game (I can give specific examples but would rather refrain), and their advice reflects that fact.

The next trend in the training sites should be a higher standard of vids/coaching.
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-11-2010 , 11:27 AM
How much does boywonder charge for coaching?
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-11-2010 , 11:31 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Megenoita
It's almost as if there is a catch-22 where if you are good enough to properly evaluate unproven (to you) coaches/vid makers, you are good enough that you don't need a coach.
for me at least, this just isn't true. good coaching isn't a one way hour-long coach -> student lecture
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-11-2010 , 11:38 AM
Fantastic post.
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-11-2010 , 11:54 AM
Boywonder,

do you fear that your recent publicity might have some subconscious on your game since you have been successfully griding in anonymity for so long?
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-11-2010 , 11:56 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by boywonder
No, there is very little in Clarkatroids op that I agree with. I donīt think itīs a scam as such, his descriptions of the students are complete nonsense. Itīs a shame he didnīt take more time to write that, it could have turned into an interesting intelligent thread.

For what itīs worth, I have played with Clarkatroid, and I believe that he could use a very good coach to plug some minor leaks altough he may think the same of me or not agree. But his winrate is steadily deteriorating, and he is an intelligent enough guy to know that the games are changing but that some people are still winning at 4-5 ptbb.
my original op was just a bit of fun knowing the style it was written in, and the content it contained would provoke an nvg orgasm. It took me all of 20 seconds.

fwiw i agree with pretty much everything you say, im aware of my shortcomings and ironically im getting coaching to overhaul my game.

18 months ago i saw my winrate slow down so i decided to play twice as many hands in 09 in order to compensate for it. I knew i would make mistakes 12 tabling and not play as well as i could but i thought the extra rakeback would compensate for this. The amount of times ive timed out with a premium holding makes me feel sick

However, it was a shortsighted but successful strategy, how successful compared to the other option i will never know .

Going forward its now time to improve my game

Last edited by clarkatroid; 01-11-2010 at 12:24 PM.
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-11-2010 , 11:58 AM
Very well elucidated post BW, although maybe too much so.

tl;dr - there are good coaches and bad coaches, and the lower rung players have no way of distinguishing what is gospel and what is not.
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-11-2010 , 12:01 PM
coaches don't need to be in touch with the modern game at all imo.

a good coach transcends recent trends
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-11-2010 , 12:02 PM
To echo what GreenPlastic said, I also decided not to do private coaching because I would want to charge very high rates to make it worth my time, and at these rates I'd feel like I really had to blow the student away to make it worth it for them, and given my lack of coaching experience this might not happen. Also, regarding the state of the NL games, I think OP is correct here. I haven't made a 6max NL video in over a year and don't intend to, I don't think I'm qualified at this point as I've spent all my playing time in the past year on PLO/mixed games/HU.
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-11-2010 , 12:04 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stinger88
To echo what GreenPlastic said, I also decided not to do private coaching because I would want to charge very high rates to make it worth my time, and at these rates I'd feel like I really had to blow the student away to make it worth it for them, and given my lack of coaching experience this might not happen. Also, regarding the state of the NL games, I think OP is correct here. I haven't made a 6max NL video in over a year and don't intend to, I don't think I'm qualified at this point as I've spent all my playing time in the past year on PLO/mixed games/HU.
heard u were giving some lessons in plo
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-11-2010 , 12:12 PM
people who coach cant play poker. like they say, those who cant, teach...
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-11-2010 , 12:17 PM
Well...
Let's look at coaching at the college sports level...
You take an off-the-charts genetic talent...
Who has spent his whole life in athletics...
And improve and fine-tune the player AT THE MARGINS...
Maybe enough to move him 6th round to 3nd round...
In the pro football draft.

This is a 2-4 years process...
And every athlete below this level is irrelevant.

That's all "poker coaching" can accomplish.

You can take a very talented genetic Quant...
Who has already put in 500K or 1000K hands...
And has read every important book out there...
Understands all the relevant poker theory...
And is at least breaking even at 50NL or 100NL...
Then improve and fine-tune the player AT THE MARGINS.

Every poker player below this level is a fish.

So most "poker coaching" is a waste of time...
Because most lessons are given to lifetime fish...
Not a scam... but basically pointless...
Like > 90% of piano or guitar lessons...
Are taken by people with near zero talent.

Coaching is certainly not a threat to any Elite Player...
That idea floated here doesn't pass the laugh test.

The football analogy is better than many will think...
Because there room for about 3,000 to 4,000 guys...
To make a GOOD living playing Pro Football...
Roughly the same number as Pro Poker.

Last edited by RedManPlus; 01-11-2010 at 12:26 PM.
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-11-2010 , 12:35 PM
RedManPlus, that is a really tilting way to write out any idea that is more than two "lines" long. Please look at how the rest of the world writes and follow suit.

Otherwise, interesting thread! Eager to read more intelligent posts.
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote

      
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