Welcome to my coaching credentials page. Here you’ll find my poker coaching CV including graphs, testimonials and my skills as a coach. I’ve put a lot of work into becoming the best coach I can be over the last few years as I’ve detailed below.
A) The Mandatory Graphs
I’ve seen some very successful poker players who make dreadful coaches yet charge $500 per hour because they’ve crushed mistakes NLHE for a few months. I’ve seen some pretty average poker players who make good coaches because, despite having limited success, they understand how to teach concepts and get through to their students as individual learners. Being qualified as a poker coach is about far more than being able to show off a pretty graph. Nevertheless, pretty graphs help and it’s always nice to know the coach that you’re investing your trust money and time in is capable of beating the limits you’re playing, and then some. This graph shows my rise through the stakes from 25NL to 200NL. Although my win rates have been solid through these stakes, this makes up only a fraction of my credentials a poker coach. You’d be foolish to hire me based on this alone!
B) Poker Coaching Credentials
When it comes to coaching poker, I’ve been around the block. I’ve been a poker coach for nearly 4 years now and worked with over 100 different students.
I started out back in 2010 as a micro stakes coach, working for a website called www.grinderschool.com producing instructive videos and taking on micro stakes players for hourly paid coaching sessions. I’ve now made over 150 videos for the site and have learned a hell of a lot about how to present my ideas. When I first started, I was brimming with enthusiasm for this new venture, as I love teaching and explaining concepts to others is a skill that comes pretty naturally to me. That said, I quickly began learning the three most important lessons of my poker coaching career…
1. Student Focus – Just because I understand something well it doesn’t mean I can just talk at my student and expect his understanding to reach that level any time soon. Coaching is about seeing your individual student as exactly that – an individual, and learning how their brain works. Some students understand better through practical examples, others via analogy. Some can pick up on things extremely quickly by watching and asking questions, while others need you to throw them into the drivers seat and elicit concepts out of them. I involve all of my students in lessons to the extent that they talk more than I do. Monkey see – monkey do doesn’t cut it when it comes to learning this complex fiend of a game. You have to be immersed in the lessons and it’s my job to ask you the right questions and get your cogs turning in the right way.
2. Structure – Many of the aforementioned $500 per hour ‘ballas’ charge you this amount for sitting down and randomly going through some hand histories in your database. Maybe they watch over your shoulder as you play a session and give you running commentary of what you should do. If you’re lucky they might even assign you some homework once in a while. When you take a course in university how dismayed would you be turning up on the first day for your tutor to tell you: ‘Ok just read some of those books and let me know if you have questions’? Poker tuition should be guided and structured. There should be a logical order and limitation to what the student learns so as to not overload the brain and cause conceptual disarray. In my coaching package I diagnose your major leaks, set goals and constantly recap and revise to ensure these goals are being achieved. We learn new material based on the biggest weaknesses in your game and what’s most relevant for your stakes. Sessions take a myriad of different formats but always for good reason. Sessions form part of a learning plan tailored specifically to you and are not just blips that leave you feeling robbed and confused. Homework is set constantly and guided work you do in-between sessions is just as valuable as session time itself.
3. Guidance – Hiring a coach should never be an investment in X session hours alone. it should be like hiring a mentor and a guide through the bewildering forest of poker learning. You wouldn’t want to trek through the amazon using a guide who only showed up for an hour once a week. In between you’d get ridiculously lost. Poker’s no different, although I set my students goals in between sessions and ensure they have a very good idea what they’re working towards, it’s also essential to be on hand to give support, answer questions and help them over stumbling blocks every step of the way. This is why my coaching packages come with everyday support from me as well as access to my student group where you can share your journey with lots of other students all striving to get better at poker.
C) Teaching Credentials
Like I said, being a good poker player is only a small portion of what makes a good coach. For the last few years I’ve done three things for a living: I’ve played poker, I’ve taught poker and I’ve taught English. I’ve taught classes of screaming Italian teenagers, individual professionals like lawyers, 11 year old spoiled children, stressed out high school students studying for exams and mixed race classes. I’ve taught beginning poker players and those with almost no English to successful 100NL players and fluent English speakers seeking native competency.
I know how to get through to and motivate different character types and can now quickly gauge exactly what the best way to teach someone is after only a couple of meetings. This means my poker coaching is adapted accurately to fit your needs. Teaching is a social art as well as a technical one. If you want to hire a poker coach, hire a teacher not someone who sits behind a screen all day.
I’m about 50 times more proficient at coaching poker thanks to the experience I’ve gained playing, coaching and teaching in the last few years. Learning to teach poker has been just as much of a battle as learning to play it.