Poker guide - Hiring a poker coach

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Hiring a Poker Coach By John DeBoer

Hiring a poker coach is not an easy decision. It means opening up to an outsider and questioning your basic playing assumptions. Communication and honesty are crucial to the success of your sessions. And poker coaching does not come cheap. Sessions normally start at around $100 an hour and can range as high as $1000. But if you are a poker player whose game is stagnant, the money could prove to be well spent.

With a poker coach, you get an outside perspective that helps you figure things out a lot quicker. It is a kind to stepping out of you and watching yourself play the game. Though it may surprise you, you may not like what you see. The need for that outside perspective has become particularly important these days, as the popularity of poker continues to grow.

What exactly are poker coaches? Let's begin with what poker coaches aren’t: Miracle Workers. Instead of addressing a poker player’s lack of reading or studying, they work on issues pertaining to weaknesses in a poker player’s game. They suggest actions that will help poker players achieve their goals most efficiently. Sessions normally take place one-on-one, usually on the phone, but may also happen in a mock casino setting with a group of players.

Obviously, a referral from another poker player is the best way to find a poker coach. Still, even the best poker coach won't be much help unless you're willing to work at it. You can't expect a quick fix. And there usually is homework in between sessions and it can be time-consuming. That's particularly challenging for poker player trying to make a living at the game. But as most good poker coaches will tell you, players’ that become consistently successful at the tables, find the time in their schedules.

Those who make the time to work on the poker coaches' teachings find it rewarding. But it can’t be a one time shot in the dark. Eliminating certain weakness in your game may open others. You may get into deep levels of tournaments where you have never been. To become a consistently winning poker player, you must learn and practice all aspects of the game and feel comfortable in any situation that may arise.

Finally, you also have to be willing to listen and accept advice and criticism. As any poker player that has been through poker coaching sessions will say “give your ego the night off”.

The author is a long time online poker player and webmaster of various gaming related sites.

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