Too Soon for Coaching?

thepokermonkthepokermonk Red Chipper Posts: 320 ✭✭✭
edited January 2017 in General Concepts
I'm still very early in my poker studies, I'm getting my fundamentals down but still learning a ton everyday from books, videos, articles, and forums. Also still playing at the lowest stakes ($1-2 NHLE). My question is, do you think it is too early to consider getting a coach, or is it never too early? My concern is that I still have so much to learn from more traditional means (and much less expensive) like books, videos, etc., that it might be a waste of money to hire a coach who is just going to teach me things I should be learning on my own. On the other hand, I wonder if a coach might teach me things I'm not able to learn on my own, identify mistakes that are becoming ingrained in my play, and accelerate my learning curve and get me moving up in limits sooner than I could on my own. What do you think?


  • Skors3Skors3 Red Chipper Posts: 666 ✭✭✭
    I don't exactly know what the right answer is but I can tell you my experiences to give you some food for thought.

    I worked with Doug a couple years back. It was totally worth it for me. It's great to study books and videos but I learned from working with Doug that I was misapplying some of those ideas. I was able to ask him questions about general spots that were giving me trouble. And the biggest for me was going through hand histories and dissecting my actions. So you get personal attention to your game which you can't get from all those books and videos. In addition, I hired Doug for 2 hours. I bet I spent 4-5 hours with him that night and we even met up again the next day. I still speak with him on occasion and see him when I'm in Vegas.

    That also led me to this site, which is great for me. I've gotten to meet some other poker players. So networking has been a unexpected but completely welcome side effect.

    I'm sure there's more I'm not thinking about. Maybe hire someone for a session and see how it goes.
  • JCWJCW Red Chipper Posts: 93 ✭✭
    There is the theory I read about a while back about how some people learn better visually and others better though audio. And it seems true to me.

    Anyhow, accepting that we learn better though some means than others the real question is...

    ... how do you learn though coaching?

    If you feel that is would benefit you, then go for it.

    If you don't know, try it.

    If you know in the back of your mind you wouldn't like it and just want justification for not getting coaching, then save yourself time and money.

    We are not all round pegs that fix perfectly into little round holes. We are people and we are all different and different things helps us differently.
  • Doug HullDoug Hull RCP Coach Posts: 1,769 -
    Going to Ed for coaching was life changing.

    It was like four years ago. This coaching directly lead to my first book, meeting James, starting this site, and eventually quitting an engineering job and moving across the country to do poker stuff full time.

    I was on the fence. Was I seriously going to spend $400 to sit in a Starbucks and talk to this guy? My buddy says to me "Doug, I have seen you spend $400 on hopeless calls where you did not learn a damned thing."
    Co-founder Red Chip Poker,
    Author Poker Plays You Can Use
    Author Poker Workbook for Math Geeks
  • SplitSuitSplitSuit RCP Coach Posts: 4,010 -
    I think you should have basic fundamentals down pat before you even consider getting a coach. If you don't have fundamentals understood and enough knowledge to formulate the right questions...coaching can be a massive waste.

    When you get to the point where you have a solid list of 20 real questions written down (not, "should I stack off with AA on the flop?" - but rather "this is the range of hands I assign when villain raises me on the this close to correct and if so, what's the best line with AA?")...then consider hiring a coach for a session or two and see how it goes.
  • Jimmy3150Jimmy3150 Red Chipper Posts: 362 ✭✭
    I got a poker lesson after having played for ~9 months. But I hadn't read much on the subject, hadn't joined any forums etc etc. Hence the lesson was not as useful as I hoped, although it still gave me some good pointers. I think you need need to be quite advanced in your level to really get the most out of a coach, otherwise you're better off just spending $150/hour at the poker table.
  • Doug HullDoug Hull RCP Coach Posts: 1,769 -
    Jimmy3150 wrote:
    I think you need need to be quite advanced in your level to really get the most out of a coach, otherwise you're better off just spending $150/hour at the poker table.

    While I agree there is a time when it is too soon to get coaching, it does not follow that you are better off spending $150/hour at the poker table. There is an in-between.

    I have absolutely refused to accept payment from students because they came in at such a remedial level (as in, they did not know the rules of the game yet) that it was not right to get involved. Before you get paid coaching, you should listen here: ... t-podcast/

    If you are losing $150 an hour at the poker table, then coaching is an absolute bargain! Realistically though, I would say the ideal student is somewhere between losing $15 an hour at $1-$2 through winning about $5 an hour at $1-$2. The $15 an hour loser, believe it or not, is likely your slightly below average player. A few well placed tweaks can shore that up. The $5 an hour winner is actually doing better than 90% of the player pool. With a little training they should be able to double to triple their win rate.
    Co-founder Red Chip Poker,
    Author Poker Plays You Can Use
    Author Poker Workbook for Math Geeks
  • FilthyCasualFilthyCasual Red Chipper Posts: 871 ✭✭✭
    I think they key for me right here is
    therob1776 wrote:
    I'm getting my fundamentals down but still learning a ton everyday from books, videos, articles, and forums.

    That would make me think that a group session or seminar might be more bang for your buck. At $75+ an hour, Also could depend on the errors you believe you are making. If you know the right play and do something else, mental game coach could be worthwhile. I don't see a problem with a mental game coach regardless of skill. You don't need poker experience to benefit from these excercises
  • DeadEdDeadEd Red Chipper Posts: 5

    I will give you an answer from someone from outside the Red Chip community. (just joined today) You joined this site about 5-6 weeks ago and said you have been paying $1/$2 tables so it is probably safe to say you have the basics down. As for the less expensive methods of learning poker that you mentioned such as books and videos, you should 100% be incorporating those into your poker education whether or not you get coaching. You want as many sources of information as you can get on the subject if your ultimate goal is to be a winning player at poker. The problem for you is that you are playing $1/$2 tables and nothing smaller. If what I am reading in the posts above are any indication (but I'm not sure so don't quote this next number) the average coaching cost is around $150/hour? This is not a purchase, it is an investment. At the levels you are playing, it really isn't too much money. If you were playing .05/.10 tables, on the other hand, it would be a 15-buy-in cost for each lesson and then the benefits would not justify the cost. I wish you much prosperity in your poker career and trust me, you are doing the right thing by joining a forum and asking questions. I've never joined one and I think my progress was stunted as a result. Happy Hunting!
  • SplitSuitSplitSuit RCP Coach Posts: 4,010 -
    Welcome to the forum DeadEd, and thanks for your contribution!

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