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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 , 03:28 PM
OP

You bring up very interesting concepts to me, about the validity of a poker coaches credentials and the rates at which they charge. This hits me in a couple of ways, when you suggest that a coach maybe shouldn't be coaching because of their winrates (etc), this gets into the realm of why anyone believes in the reasons that they choose to coach in the first place and whether the market should be driven by those that provide the service (coaches) or the masses that should be benefiting from it.

I guess I'm talking about whether coaching is benefital for poker in general; not in the sense of winrates for all those involved, but in terms of how your independent reasoning for choosing to coach influences your decision making in other venues of your life which ultimately impact other people. Meaning are choosing to coach for

1)Immediate financial benefits ($497 per hour)
2)You intend to dip your feet in and see if it brings you to places deeper and bigger (GreenPlastic)
3)Maybe coaching will force you to look even more introspectively at yourself and be a huge growing experience on many levels
4)Other reasons that I"m too small to comprehend

So this is surpassing into the tl;dr blabber; I can expand on this if you happen to see my post and respond cliff notes to last 2 min:

McDonalds (fast food) like it or not, is a part of Americans diet, the merits of its influence can be argued both positive (business, taste) or negative (health); now in choosing to coach poker did you take the consumers into account and whether they choose your product because they truly believe it is good for them (they'll make money) or that they take it just because it is avaliable and don't think about the impact it has on themselves (health of Poker)

I suck flame away

Edit:

In the mess above I was simply (lol) trying to say that it seems like you have a strong opinion about coaches that you view as lacking appropriate, current credential and I was wondering if this is because you think bad advice in coaching is bad for Poker and takes to to a worse place, where good coaching is positive and takes Poker to realms unseen

Last edited by LucKeeRiceBalls; 01-11-2010 at 03:41 PM.
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-11-2010 , 03:39 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by dumbndumb
Why should this be the list of qualifications? You are not paying these individuals to win, you are paying them so they improve YOUR game. If you really want qualifications for a coach to be standardized you need a VALID measure of how a coach HELPS THEIR STUDENTS.

I have watched several online training videos and some of the ones I have learned from the most are made by players that are not strong winners, but they are great instructors. I have also seen some vids by strong winners that I haven't learned from because they are not particularly good instructors.
This is valid, but if you are seeking private coaching at these types of prices you should aim to find someone that you think is both a good teacher and a good player.
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-11-2010 , 04:11 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by sh58
coaches don't need to be in touch with the modern game at all imo.

a good coach transcends recent trends
This is obiously not a level, as I first thought. Iīm not sure who you are, but this baffles me as I think I may have played some 5-10 against you in the past on Ipoker.

At some point in 6-max, somebody started a trend of 3-betting light from the blinds. At some point, somebody started to counter that with 4-betting. Also, people started to flat a lot less from the blinds, people opened their button ranges, and some standardized lines began to take shape, people started shoving AK on QJx flops. For instance, people started 3-betting UTG raisers.

A person who was a monster winner in the 2004 party games, and has since left the game would be hard pressed to teach an up-and-coming 6-max player anything near his worth of 300 or 400 or 500 dollars an hour when the student continuosly presents him with these situations and the ranges the coach assigns to his students villains, which is really what itīs all about, are those of 5 years ago.

If you want further elaboration, look at any twoplustwo strat thread from 2006 where people are talking about preflop ranges in particular, like folding ak utg to a sb 3bet, and you tell me if somebody who stopped playing then is suitable to coach somebody now.

This to me is so clear that if you disagree, thatīs fine and weīll just have to leave it at that.
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-11-2010 , 05:08 PM
The above is true because most people think of a coach as someone who tells people what to do - whether its specific lines or strategies to combat opponents actions.

There is a large number of reasons for this but the main culprits are that most coaches do not know how to coach and most students do not know what a coach is.

Coaching should be about how to think about poker - this sort of coaching stays valuable forever.
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-11-2010 , 06:32 PM
If a coach or player has a solid understanding of equity and theory, shouldn't it come down to adjustments? Shouldn't a coach be able to teach the proper adjustments to exploit/counter any current game trends? Weather those trends are actions or ranges.

Shouldn't a GOOD poker player be able to adapt and adjust to the constantly changing game? I would think a coach should teach a student to be able to identify the most profitable adjustments to make based on current conditions. Based on what you're saying, wouldn't a student get LESS value from learning to beat the games AT THIS CURRENT snapshot in time? Then 6 months down the road, he would need MORE coaching to learn to play profitably against the current trends/ranges....

Quote:
Originally Posted by boywonder
This is obiously not a level, as I first thought. Iīm not sure who you are, but this baffles me as I think I may have played some 5-10 against you in the past on Ipoker.

At some point in 6-max, somebody started a trend of 3-betting light from the blinds. At some point, somebody started to counter that with 4-betting. Also, people started to flat a lot less from the blinds, people opened their button ranges, and some standardized lines began to take shape, people started shoving AK on QJx flops. For instance, people started 3-betting UTG raisers.

A person who was a monster winner in the 2004 party games, and has since left the game would be hard pressed to teach an up-and-coming 6-max player anything near his worth of 300 or 400 or 500 dollars an hour when the student continuosly presents him with these situations and the ranges the coach assigns to his students villains, which is really what itīs all about, are those of 5 years ago.

If you want further elaboration, look at any twoplustwo strat thread from 2006 where people are talking about preflop ranges in particular, like folding ak utg to a sb 3bet, and you tell me if somebody who stopped playing then is suitable to coach somebody now.

This to me is so clear that if you disagree, thatīs fine and weīll just have to leave it at that.
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-11-2010 , 06:35 PM
Ooops, I guess I just said the same thing but in a lot more words.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TRD23
The above is true because most people think of a coach as someone who tells people what to do - whether its specific lines or strategies to combat opponents actions.

There is a large number of reasons for this but the main culprits are that most coaches do not know how to coach and most students do not know what a coach is.

Coaching should be about how to think about poker - this sort of coaching stays valuable forever.
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-11-2010 , 10:34 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by TRD23
The above is true because most people think of a coach as someone who tells people what to do - whether its specific lines or strategies to combat opponents actions.

There is a large number of reasons for this but the main culprits are that most coaches do not know how to coach and most students do not know what a coach is.

Coaching should be about how to think about poker - this sort of coaching stays valuable forever.
Decent point which I agree with, but for the price people are paying, they are entitled to both. Otherwise, David Sklansky could potentially be the best 6 max coach ever. An also, instead of going through a training regimen, why not just hand them "The theory of poker" for 20 bucks and let them work the rest out. Also, the training sites wouldnīt need to put out training videos with people playing different stakes, because after all, lines and such catered to your specific player pool are not as important as "how you think about poker" - might as well be the 25 as the 2000 no limit games.

This is why in poker, some things just sound great and well thought out on paper, and they may very well be, but they are not necessarily always entirely true. Again, weīll agree to disagree.
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-11-2010 , 10:53 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoahSD
I think it's not to hard to judge a coach and therefore find one that's good for you. A good coach should be able to explain almost everything he says to you to the point where there's no question that he's right. A good student should ask for these explanations.
Not to belittle your opinion, but you're speaking from the perspective of a coach, and it's hard to believe you can also see clearly from the perspective of a struggling grinder. For YOU it's not hard to judge a coach; you judge players at 5/10 and determine "they suck at poker", and you exploit their specific leaks for profit. Do you really think a guy breaking even while table selecting well at NL 200 can tell when a very articulate, intelligent person they revere is justifying the wrong play in a complex arrangement of cliche terms? This NL 200 player can't even exploit big leaks at his own game to net a profit, and you think he's going to navigate through a sea of impressive poker verbiage from a 'poker god' to rightly discern truth from error?

An example, on DC'ed Whitelime did a vid with some guy where the guy played 4 tables, one of 25NL, 50NL, 100NL, and 200NL. Whitelime doesn't ever play these stakes, so theoretically and conceptually he can be valuable, but with specific reads as Boywonder has explicated, he should have leaks. One hand to me stands out--at the 50 NL table. The vid maker was in the SB and UTG limped, the CO (50 bb's) raised, and the BTN (no reads) called. Whitelime and the vid maker agreed it was a great spot to squeeze with their hand, KTs. Immediately I realized it was a terrible spot to squeeze, not remotely close, because you have perhaps an enormous fish who limped UTG, the 1/2 stack is not likely to ever fold whatever he has, and you have the BTN to worry about. You are exceedingly likely to be in an inflated pot OOP with K-high with no PF fold equity AT THIS LEVEL (of course at a higher stake, people respect the money more and there is fold equity, making this a more viable play)...and also, just calling will be a 4-way pot with fish. Now, the vid maker with hearty approval never questioned Whitelime's thinking, probably because a) it is a 'standard' squeeze spot (which in my view is one reason why it's bad--it's transparent), and b) it's Whitelime, come on. However, I don't expect any viewer watching to notice how bad that play was, either-the type of thinking that would analyze that play correctly would probably lead to play that beats all these levels and therefore would not be watching the vid in the first place.

Another example is a high profile player from one of the major training sites doing a vid to help someone move up from something like NL 1k to NL 2k, but the high profile player hadn't played 6-max in quite some time. During the vid, he continually made "standard" plays (3-betting IP light, squeezing, making moves on low boards post flop IP, etc.) and they were exploited back because, of course, players have adjusted to this sort of thing, knowing how tight of a range you must be repping to make those plays. So virtually all the vid was a waste in helping the other player move up since the reads were so off. But I don't think the student ever picked up on this; for he is a student, presumably the one who needs to sit quietly and try to learn, and if he does not understand, assume it is his thinking that is wrong, not the wise coach (which is in humility the place where a person should be, except oftentimes this needs to be balanced with objective analysis as well, which is incredibly hard to develop as a skill).

My point from these two examples is three-fold:

1) Students/watchers of vids/coaches CANNOT for themselves properly evaluate what is correct instruction and what is amiss, because of the state of mind a person should be in when he receives instruction (it is exceedingly difficult to simultaneously absorb and assume information you don't totally understand and reject some information for the same reason), and because of the fact that the person already struggles with poker analysis otherwise they'd not be seeking coaching/vid watching. I think for Noah's statement to be true, he must be speaking of someone who already beats NL 400 or higher (in general).

2) Coaches such as Whitelime at low stakes are GREAT for concepts and theory, but not so much for specific game-time analysis such as hand ranges and specific plays that are so level-dependent. Boywonder concludes from this that you should seek coaching from players who are relevant to your level AND are great players in general. I have made the argument in another thread that if you understand that you need to develop your own reads and learn how to assign hand ranges and unique lines at your level by yourself anyway, then you can watch Whitelime and great players like that (or get coaching from them) and STILL learn a great deal on the theory end (often it's hard to get 'great' players at your level who are also very advanced theory-wise, since 'your level' is usually NL 200 or under).

If I were struggling at NL 100, would I rather have Tubasteve (has some spot-on reads) or Balugawhale? Hands down, I'd personally rather have Baluga because conceptually he's worlds above Tuba, and I think in the long run that'll help me more. But I have to admit, when I was struggling at small stakes, Tuba was so practical that it helped quite a bit--his vids showed me what specific moves work at those levels. So there is a give-and-take, and you have to know what you need and what specific coaches can provide.

3) CR's and DC'ed should provide detailed resume's on their vid makers and coaches so that players can evaluate what kind of learning they can do from these guys. For instance, at NL 50, I don't want to learn from Krantz game-specific moves , and from a low stakes grinder, I don't want to learn highly complex theory. I need to know about them as a player for me to evaluate how I should approach learning from them.
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-11-2010 , 11:02 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Megenoita
Not to belittle your opinion, but you're speaking from the perspective of a coach, and it's hard to believe you can also see clearly from the perspective of a struggling grinder. For YOU it's not hard to judge a coach; you judge players at 5/10 and determine "they suck at poker", and you exploit their specific leaks for profit. Do you really think a guy breaking even while table selecting well at NL 200 can tell when a very articulate, intelligent person they revere is justifying the wrong play in a complex arrangement of cliche terms? This NL 200 player can't even exploit big leaks at his own game to net a profit, and you think he's going to navigate through a sea of impressive poker verbiage from a 'poker god' to rightly discern truth from error?
This, this, this, this. Very well put, just so perfect. I am going to quote this, if ok with you.
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-12-2010 , 12:22 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by boywonder
Decent point which I agree with, but for the price people are paying, they are entitled to both. Otherwise, David Sklansky could potentially be the best 6 max coach ever. An also, instead of going through a training regimen, why not just hand them "The theory of poker" for 20 bucks and let them work the rest out. Also, the training sites wouldnīt need to put out training videos with people playing different stakes, because after all, lines and such catered to your specific player pool are not as important as "how you think about poker" - might as well be the 25 as the 2000 no limit games.

This is why in poker, some things just sound great and well thought out on paper, and they may very well be, but they are not necessarily always entirely true. Again, weīll agree to disagree.
I agree with this, but it is oversimplifying the issue in my opinion-DS can't be the best 6-max coach because ALL the high stakes guys we're talking about, who are great conceptually but perhaps bad practically at a given level, do apply theory to practice much more than DS could--there are many levels of practical application, and DS would have perhaps the most disparity between theory and practice. I have long looked at the high stakes coaches who are undeniably profitable to learn from (CTS, FWF, Raptor, Stinger, etc.) as basically relaying TOP concepts to people practically. In other words, they are bridging the gap between the book, TOP, and practical application of it in current 6-max games. That's the best any coach can do. The second best a coach can do is relay to you game-specific lines/plays/moves/thinking that helps at your level immediately (but not going into great, extensive detail about how this relates to TOP concepts that you can apply to higher levels as well, indeed, any level). That this is the proper order in theory should be uncontested. In practice, a person may benefit more from the second than the first. Hence the adage, "In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is."

Of course the ideal coach is one who meshes both perfectly (conceding BW's point), always applying advanced TOP concepts to practical game time situations correctly, explaining them at both the theoretical and practical level. This is extremely hard to find in a coach, and I would submit that for most players under the NL 400 level (winning at that level, that is), they are not affordable. Boywonder, DrGiggy, Leatherass, AEJones, these are some of the few who bring the whole shabang, but they are not affordable for most players.

BW, you seem to indicate that if all a coach can do is stay at the conceptual level, you should avoid him and find someone who can teach at both levels. Fair point. But I'm arguing that there is a place for a player where a Krantz (an extreme example of the disparity between his theory and practice, i.e., any advanced player listening to him knows he's played a ton of poker and understands how to think about the game, yet if you watch him in a specific game, he may misapply concepts badly and make you a spew-monkey) can help them more than a coach who does well at a specific level but is not too advanced in theory. For example, I have friends who would do much better with Balugawhale (great conceptually, not ideal for low stakes) than with TubaSteve (has some great game-specific reads, but is not too advanced conceptually).

An empirical example of the above is the coaching results of MDMA. This guy really doesn't play poker, yet his students post graphs of before and after and they soar right away, after being coached by him. His students tend to be people who "get" the practical application of concepts, but they need more advanced concepts to move forward. They need a more advanced relation of TOP to cash games practically, although in applying concepts they are already adept.

Small stakes guys (anyone not beating NL 400 comfortably) tend to need the practical application first and foremost, and I agree that they should make sure to find someone who can at least beat the level well, and preferably also understand theory very well.

The reason I belabor the point is because it seems that your argument hinges on the assumption that there are affordable coaches out there who both crush their game and understand theory very well who are available for players at any level, and I just don't find that to be the case, especially in the vids that are being made nowadays.

I think this discussion is fruitful because it can potentially help struggling grinders to better discern their needs and find people who can most likely help. And it also helps because if the training sites start listing more details about their instructors, players can better discern what kind of things they can learn from watching vids, and what they can't.

Oh and yes, of course you can quote me.

M
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-12-2010 , 12:29 AM
Megen,
I'm quoting your post, but a lot of what I'm saying is just general commentary and not directed at you specifically.

Quote:
2) Coaches such as Whitelime at low stakes are GREAT for concepts and theory, but not so much for specific game-time analysis such as hand ranges and specific plays that are so level-dependent. Boywonder concludes from this that you should seek coaching from players who are relevant to your level AND are great players in general. I have made the argument in another thread that if you understand that you need to develop your own reads and learn how to assign hand ranges and unique lines at your level by yourself anyway, then you can watch Whitelime and great players like that (or get coaching from them) and STILL learn a great deal on the theory end (often it's hard to get 'great' players at your level who are also very advanced theory-wise, since 'your level' is usually NL 200 or under).

If I were struggling at NL 100, would I rather have Tubasteve (has some spot-on reads) or Balugawhale? Hands down, I'd personally rather have Baluga because conceptually he's worlds above Tuba, and I think in the long run that'll help me more. But I have to admit, when I was struggling at small stakes, Tuba was so practical that it helped quite a bit--his vids showed me what specific moves work at those levels. So there is a give-and-take, and you have to know what you need and what specific coaches can provide.
It'd be inappropriate for me to talk about specific coaches, so I'm not gonna comment on your examples. But I think what you're getting at is very important: A good coach teaches you how to think about poker. Of course, an ideal coach will also tell you how to play specific spots and how to expect your opponents to play in specific spots, but unless you play a very simplified form of poker (like shortstacking or DoNs or whatever), this stuff really won't help a student much except to provide examples of more general concepts. Hell, I'll occasionally make up completely unrealistic spots to illustrate concepts (i.e., let's say you're playing with an opponent who doesn't have a fold button).

I think that there's a huge distinction there, and I think that a lot of the things that people are upset about ITT are related in some way or another to confusion about this topic.

For example, some students come to coaches expecting to be given a playbook and pretty much ignore anything conceptual that their coach tries to teach them. Or some coaches try to teach their students how to play every spot, in which case the student will only noticeably improve if he picks up on the thought process himself--in which case he probably didn't need the coach anyway. A lot of these coaches are also telling their students to play incorrectly, and since they don't bother to use sound logic to justify their plays and their students don't know to ask, they can end up doing more harm than good (and charging for it).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Megenoita
1) Students/watchers of vids/coaches CANNOT for themselves properly evaluate what is correct instruction and what is amiss, because of the state of mind a person should be in when he receives instruction (it is exceedingly difficult to simultaneously absorb and assume information you don't totally understand and reject some information for the same reason), and because of the fact that the person already struggles with poker analysis otherwise they'd not be seeking coaching/vid watching. I think for Noah's statement to be true, he must be speaking of someone who already beats NL 400 or higher (in general).

I know from experience that this isn't true. When I coach my students, I make a point of asking "does that make sense?" every time I finish a thought. I've coached a good amount of people, and most of them were extremely willing to question me and argue with me until I'd convinced them that I was right (or acknowledged that I was wrong... occasionally ). Plenty of these students weren't beating 2/4 when I started with them... I don't know why you think they'd need to be in order to feel comfortable questioning me. I don't think that being skeptical hurt their ability to learn. In fact, I think it helped a lot.

You can also look at the comments on videos at the various training sites to see that people really aren't shy about asking questions.

Quote:
it is exceedingly difficult to simultaneously absorb and assume information you don't totally understand and reject some information for the same reason
If you don't understand something that your coach says, make your coach explain it to you. Really, very little that a good coach will tell you would be at all useful if you didn't understand it, so I again think that part of why people have these problems is because their coaches are telling them "do this in this spot" instead of "here's how you figure out what to do in spots like this".

Quote:
3) CR's and DC'ed should provide detailed resume's on their vid makers and coaches so that players can evaluate what kind of learning they can do from these guys. For instance, at NL 50, I don't want to learn from Krantz game-specific moves , and from a low stakes grinder, I don't want to learn highly complex theory. I need to know about them as a player for me to evaluate how I should approach learning from them.
If you watch a video where a coach makes a play that you wouldn'tve made in his shoes, explains why he make that play, and you understand the logic behind the play after the explanation, that's awesome. Even if you can't make that specific play in the games you played, you learned something.

If you watch a video where a coach makes a play and then you blindly copy that play, then you're doing it wrong. If you watch a video, see a coach make a play and ignore it because you don't think it applies to the games that you play in, you're also doing it wrong.

I'm not saying that there's no place for wathing smaller stakes videos. A lot of concepts are way more important at small stakes than high stakes and vice versa, so it makes sense to watch videos at the stake that you play. But you definitely can learn a lot that can be applied at NL50 from a good video made at rail haven.

Last edited by NoahSD; 01-12-2010 at 12:56 AM.
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-12-2010 , 01:20 AM
lot of tldr in here so ill try to be brief, brevity is the soul of wit, etc etc

noahsd, thx for not telling everyone i suck as a coach
all, coaching prices are regulated, obviously, by demand for them. if coaching isn't worth its price, the price will naturally fall.

vanveen has a pretty interesting post, this most interesting part is here:
Quote:
what worked for the Untiltable Master may not work for his students and many of them will prevent him from providing useful advice by lying about how they think and what they care about (most tilt is identity/self-esteem related).
This is, in my experience, often true. Many students hear but don't listen, for whatever reason. I have literally tried everything I can think of to break this. Some people don't get over this.

The most interesting question, in my opinion, is, "do you need to be current in the games to be a good coach?" Was MDMA worth getting coaching from when he wasn't playing? BldSwtTrs?

In my opinion, there are two parts to beating poker on a strategy level. First, there is the theory. This remains, and can't possibly change, simply because it depends 100% on the rules/format of the game (though it can be explored in further depth). Second, there is flow (i call this game dynamics sometimes). This has more to do with tendencies, (people are 4betting me now, what do i do??? etc).

So basically, if you are up on the tendencies, and your coach is up on the theory, that coach can still help you a lot.

Andrew
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-12-2010 , 01:26 AM
Noah,

I think you're kinda making my points for me. You said:

"When I coach my students, I make a point of asking "does that make sense?" every time I finish a thought. I've coached a good amount of people, and most of them were extremely willing to question me and argue with me until I'd convinced them that I was right..."

Realistically, they are listening until you use your superior reasoning skills until you've convinced them (right or wrong) that you were right. Maybe with you, you're much more right than wrong, and willing to admit when you're wrong, and maybe your particular students are a rare breed that analyze exceptionally well. But I think most coaches, whether good or bad, believe they are following your process but in the end they are justifying the wrong plays with beautifully constructed reasoning, and their students are prone to falling for this because of having a great deal of respect for their beloved coach--not that they don't argue, but that in the end, they succumb to the reasoning of the "superior mind". Again, you are in the shoes of "a good coach" and perhaps can't see outside yourself.

Baluga-you seem to affirm my thesis.

Last edited by Megenoita; 01-12-2010 at 01:31 AM.
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-12-2010 , 02:53 AM
Yeah.. I agree that a lot of coaches think they're doing what I'm talking about when really they're providing specious, vague arguments, and I definitely agree that there are plenty of coaches that aren't worth what they charge.

I guess my point is that a lot of this can be worked out if students demand more explanation from their coaches, and I was disagreeing with your assertion that this isn't possible--or even that it's particularly difficult.

I don't think that if all students suddenly started asking their coaches to explain everything until they were convinced, there would no longer be bad coaches, but I think it would help a ton.
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-12-2010 , 03:04 AM
Are you accepting anymore students, boywonder?
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-12-2010 , 03:31 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoahSD
Yeah.. I agree that a lot of coaches think they're doing what I'm talking about when really they're providing specious, vague arguments, and I definitely agree that there are plenty of coaches that aren't worth what they charge.

I guess my point is that a lot of this can be worked out if students demand more explanation from their coaches, and I was disagreeing with your assertion that this isn't possible--or even that it's particularly difficult.

I don't think that if all students suddenly started asking their coaches to explain everything until they were convinced, there would no longer be bad coaches, but I think it would help a ton.
You may be right that these things can be worked out by students asking (inept or out of tune) coaches to justify their specious, vague reasoning, but I think Boywonder's point is that meanwhile the students are overpaying to help the coaches learn how to coach. Similarly, sifting through tons of vids with instructors who offer too high a % of poor reasoning wastes monthly fees when it would be more efficient to attend to the vids that are by truly great players. I'm asking the instruction sites to make that easier for the players by doing a comprehensive bio, a poker resume of sorts, including PTR-like or HEM stats over the last 3 month and 6 month period, as well as an overall perspective (this person has accomplished this and that in their poker life...). Let the students decide what vids are worth watching and in what mindset, being better equipped to understand the instructor's perspective. This also keeps the sites accountable to put out high quality vids, and to do "background checks" that are verifiable by those on the outside. And I'm agreeing with OP that in choosing a coach, one should be very aware of actual game play as well as their theoretical understanding.

Again, higher quality coaching/vid instructors should be the next step in the evolution of the poker training age.
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-12-2010 , 09:29 AM
Just to clarify a point in the OP, there are of course exceptions to what I wrote. But they are so few, and often so expensive, that their target market isn't the struggling 400 no limit grinder anyway. These are people that were so far ahead of the curve even while they were playing, that their advice is relevant today or would be very relevant even if they played a small amount of midstakes 6-max from time to time. Also, all of the coupled that with a strong theoretical and conceptual approach to the game.
Without being certain, if I were to have to guess, names like Krantz, Aejones, CTS, Brian Townsend, Phil Galfond and such notables come to mind.
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-12-2010 , 05:22 PM
Have not read all the posts but thought I would add my two cents.

1. It's so MUCH more important that you get a great teacher instead of a great winning player. If he can't teach he could be the best player in the world and he would make a very small difference in his students games. [The people who learn is the same people who would have picked it by reading a post in the strategy forum]

2. It's much more important that the coach masters the skills the student needs and being a huge winner doesn't always imply this. As an example I think a lot of poker players would benefit tremendously by getting a really good psychologist/life coach and in many cases this would add more to their game then a top winning players advice.

3. Therefore I would recommend that if you are looking for a coach, look through the possible coaches videos/posts/material and decide if this is a person that actually has skills that would help your game. Also take a second and consider if you can follow the reasoning (does he talk a language that makes sense to you?).

4. In my own experience of coaching and getting coached, 1 session is to little ~6+ sessions are to many. It seems like it's the first couple of sessions that add the most to your game, often you will still gain from more sessions but not as much as the first couple of ones. If you want to do 20 sessions over the next 6-12 month I would recommend doing it with a couple of different coaches instead of just one.

5. Do what feels right for you. If you have your first session and feel like this will not work just tell your coach. No reason in continuing if it will be a poor exchange.
[I'm a SSNL coach and if I would get a student where I felt "I can't help this person", I would of course tell him that and recommend him to someone else that would benefit his game more]
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-13-2010 , 09:12 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoahSD
I think that it's important for people to realize that there are bad coaches out there. You can't just choose any coach who says he coaches the stakes you play, pay him for x hours and come out a big winner (or even come out with a higher winner than you started).

If you're a smart guy and you're comfortable asking questions, I think it's not to hard to judge a coach and therefore find one that's good for you. A good coach should be able to explain almost everything he says to you to the point where there's no question that he's right. A good student should ask for these explanations.

I think a lot of people have the idea that a coach is going to be able to sit down and tell you the correct play in a long series of spots and they're going to be a noticeably better player for it. The fact of the matter is that NLHE is a complicated game. If your coach spent hours with you just listing the correct play in various spots and you actually managed to remember them all, that would barely effect your winrate at all because he'dve covered such a tiny % of the possible spots you'll see. So, the job of a coach isn't to list correct plays to you, it's to show you how to figure out what the correct play is. If your coach isn't doing that or you're not understanding your coach's explanation, one of you isn't doing his job.
i like this post. But I tend to disagree. Let me give you an example for instance. I got coached from someone who specializes in game theory as applies to poker. Now, I have had about 10-15 sessions with this guy already. Now to the point, I ask about situations and he tells me the correct line from a near gto standpoint. We go over 100's of situations. My strategy is pretty much predetermined. Now from a theoretical abstract point of view I understand why we do the things we do most of the time(i still dont understand a lot though). But later on I will quantify that concept. The importance is for me to build the traits now of making good plays. Learning good traits is part of what a coach should be teaching a student. That is why I am paying him x dollars per hour as well. No student will ever understand everything their coach tells them. And its okay to question but with respect and integrity in knowing who is the Master in this session.

This is one way people learn to play poker. Through pencil and paper and applying strategy beforehand. Than quantifying that strategy. That is better than trial and error by far. The important part though is that I get good information from the coach so my subconscious can pick it up. My body will react to that information even if I truly do not understand it yet. Once I learn the good traits and it sinks into my normal routine I will save myself a lot of money and time by just learning good traits from someone. Than later on I will understand the why in detail down to quantifying it exactly.

For instance say someone has a habit of putting things away after they use it all the time. This is certainly a good trait as he will prevent other mistakes from disorganization to procrastination. A young adult may see that and do that as well. He may not know why he is doing it. But he is doing it and his body reacted off the information even though he did not truly understand it. He is picking up good habits when he is around people who exercise good habits. It influences him and rubs off on him. Through time, he will know why he is doing these things.

I look at it like this. If I have to do something everyday and I have huge leaks it is going to take sometime to unlearn those leaks. Because while I am functioning daily I still have to try to control those issues. But those leaks will have created other leaks. My leaks will be compounded exponentially. It will take a while for me to patch up my work. But if I learned to play near correctly from the start EVEN though I do not understand everything that I do it will speed up the learning process so much. I already know the correct line. You may ask how? I might not know but through time I will understand.

the question is now what is the correct play? i say a gto standpoint not an exploitive. I think when coaches dont talk about game theory first they are hurting their student. They are not telling their student the importance of balance. And that a lot of mistakes come from people not the approiate amount of balance For ex river play is usually what costs people the most money. BUT if they knew how to balance their ranges from street to street all the way to river they would have no problem. They would also be able to spot an opponent who isnt have the rigth value bluff frequency. In which case you can exploit.learn to balance first..,,

Last edited by GetitHowIlive; 01-13-2010 at 09:31 AM.
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-13-2010 , 09:38 AM
also explaining WHY we do a certain correct play is so hard from a quantifiable level. Not everyone will learn algebra, prob, stat, calc,game theory or w/e may be needed to find out this answer. But there is people that have come before us that save us immense amount of time because they worked together to solve these type of problems. I am kind of thinking like andrew carnegie also when they called him stupid at a court hearing because he did not know pretty trivial things like who was benedict arnold? he spent a lot of his time thinking. He had a button on his desk and would call people to find something when he needed an answer. Thats what I look at a coach as. Someone who I can call on and can give me the answer. They are like a counselor/advisor. Now if I want to find out how they got the answer they should be able to explain it qualitatively. But quantitatively this might be tough as I might not have the required math skills.
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-14-2010 , 04:58 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by boywonder
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.
read it all and would defintely read again... A+ write up and i hope their are more coaches out there like you.. when i get my first coach i hope he is defintely like you in the style you coach. I want to be able to feel like he understands where im comming from and he was once in the same boat.... if that makes any sense... THANKS AGAIN for this post!
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-28-2010 , 07:19 AM
Nice thread OP. Im thinkin about goin to a coaching site to improve my MTT game but now im having second thoughts/ Then again i mite jus go 4 it and improve my game then hopefully ill improve off that. :P
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-28-2010 , 03:13 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Plastic
even when i was making 2k+/hr playing poker, i...
Hi GP:
I like how you casually throw this infobit out. I would expect nothing less from someone who offers coaching services and has people in their employ that advertise rates ranging from several hundred to over a thousand dollars per hour to do so. I don't doubt you had hours where you made 2k+. But more informative would be what your hourly earn was after you averaged in the hours where you lost 2k+ and the doubtless numerous hours where you broke even etc. So what would that amount be?
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-28-2010 , 03:20 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrooGrux King
Tiger Woods has a golf coach.
How much does he charge?
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote
01-31-2010 , 12:18 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomGoogle
Hi GP:
I like how you casually throw this infobit out. I would expect nothing less from someone who offers coaching services and has people in their employ that advertise rates ranging from several hundred to over a thousand dollars per hour to do so. I don't doubt you had hours where you made 2k+. But more informative would be what your hourly earn was after you averaged in the hours where you lost 2k+ and the doubtless numerous hours where you broke even etc. So what would that amount be?
um i think taylor knows what hourly means, and i think you do not
Is coaching a waste of money? Oh, and too long, don't read. Quote

      
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