An in-depth look at Poker Coaching Part 3: Finding a poker coach

We are now up to Part 3 in this series and it’s time to take a look at some of the questions you should be asking before hiring a poker coach, and what you should be looking for in your coach.

What to Look for in a Poker Coach

  • Experience

No offense to younger poker coaches who might be crushing the game, but there is a certain value that should be placed on experience. A good poker coach will have seen it all, and experienced many high’s and low’s in their career, be it poker related or personal. If you are a younger/newer coach you need to understand that your lack of experience is a detriment and you should be able to answer any concerns on this front and layout precisely why you are the coach they should hire.

That being said, a younger poker coach who is not as worldly as an experienced player is fine for online poker coaching or to plug leaks in your game, but if you are looking for a coach/mentor I’d definitely go with a player that has more experience… and by experience I don’t mean the person has to be 60 years-old, just someone who has been around the block once or twice, travelled the poker circuit for a few years, or been ensconced in the poker world for a half-decade or more.

  • Results & Testimonials

This pretty much goes without saying, but your poker coach should have trackable, provable, results, both as a poker player and as a teacher of the game. If the person is just getting into coaching and doesn’t have references and testimonials they should at least provide links to any forum posts or other writings they have done and should be able to verbalize why they are equipped to be your poker coach.

Testimonials are also a huge asset, and any coach worth his salt should have multiple testimonials.

  • Free trial

I’m a big stickler for standing by your product, and there is no better way to say “I’m worth the money I’m charging” than to offer a free consultation or even an abbreviated session. If a person isn’t willing to offer some type of free consultation it could simply mean that they are super-busy and don’t have the time, but it could also mean that they don’t really believe in what they are selling, or are unsure about their ability to coach you, and want the money up front.

  • A Good Communicator

This is extremely overlooked in poker coaching; your coach has to be able to verbalize their thoughts in a clear concise way. This is not only a matter of the person being taught absorbing the coaching, but it’s also cost-effective. Think of it this way, a coach that has to explain things with 200 words instead of 100, or explain the same concept six different ways before you grasp it, is wasting half the session (which could be hundreds of dollars), which means less information passed from teacher to student.

  • Empathy

A good poker coach should be able to put themself in your shoes and see things from your point of view. If your coach is having trouble figuring out why you are not improving, or where your sticking points are you may want to find a new one.

  • Punctual, accommodating, and true to their word

Another quality you should demand in a poker coach is that they live up to their word and make good on their pledges to you.  A poker coach should be on time and ready to start the session, every single time. They should also be prepared and stay engaged throughout the session, avoiding phone calls and other distractions.

  • Positive attitude and pride in their work

A poker coach should also be energetic and positive during your sessions. When you are paying a premium hourly rate for someone’s services they should be happy to be there.  Furthermore, a poker coach should also be proud of the progress you are making, willing to share it publicly (if you agree that this is ok of course), since your progress is a reflection on their own skills as a poker coach.

Read Part 1 Here: /blog/an-in-depth-look-at-poker-coaching-part-1-the-basics/

Read Part 2 Here: /blog/an-in-depth-look-at-poker-coaching-part-2-types-of-coaching/

Read Part 4 here: /blog/an-in-depth-look-at-poker-coaching-part-4-expectations/

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Posted in: Poker, Poker Strategy & Tips
  • Comments: 0

What do you think? Join the discussion...

Community Poll


Recent Readers