Poker is a hugely popular game, but thanks to online poker becoming more accessible, it’s getting more competitive each year. New players that join online poker sites can often be dissuaded by how difficult the level has become and will often crash out before they get a chance to make money.
There are lots of options for poker players to improve their game, including free resources and courses, but one of the fastest ways to improve is with a professional coach.
Poker coaching has really taken off in recent years for both online and live poker. Like in any subject, a coach can walk you through the process of playing poker and help you improve your game over time. It can be extremely beneficial, but it can be expensive, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll improve to a high standard.
If you do want to get better at poker, a coach is a fast way to improve, but there are a lot of things you should look out for before committing. Making sure you find the right coach is essential, as not every coach will be the right fit.
Things to Consider Before Hiring a Coach
A coach can offer a fast way to improve, but it is an expensive option. Before you commit to hiring a coach, make sure you’ve played a bit first and at least tried some other methods to improve your skills. Starting out at low-stakes tables and studying some free poker guides online is one of the best ways to improve as a complete beginner.
Once you have more experience playing poker, you’ll have a better understanding of what a coach can do for you and the areas you need to improve in. If you’re a complete beginner, the coach will be teaching you very basic concepts that can be learned online for free. Once you’ve nailed those fundamentals, you can start thinking about hiring a coach.
When you do start to consider a coach, don’t be put off by the prices. Good coaching is expensive and cheap options are likely not to be worth it. When you hire a coach, you’re hiring an expert and getting advice from someone with a lot of experience in the game. You’re also getting a lot of time and effort from that coach who could be using that time to play poker, so it makes sense that you’ll need to pay quite a lot.
$100 an hour is a typical rate, but this can be much higher. This is an investment in your poker playing skills, so if you want to go on and play in professional tournaments, it can definitely be worth it. That said, if you’re just playing recreationally, it might be a lot to pay. Consider your motives for hiring a coach and what you want to get out of it.
How to Find the Right Coach
The right coach is someone with the experience of playing high-level poker and the ability to teach others and pass on their knowledge. Just because someone is great at poker, it doesn’t mean that they’ll be a great coach.
However, you do want your coach to have experience as a player. The best thing you can do when looking for a coach is to look at their track record both as a player and as a coach. You also want to find a coach who shares similar values to you.
Different people approach poker in different ways and have different ways of learning. Maybe you have a more analytical, math-based approach, or perhaps you enjoy the psychological aspect of the game more. You should look for a coach that plays the way you want to play. That said, you may also benefit from finding a coach who will work on your specific weaknesses in the game.