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Any Tips For Getting The Most From 1-on-1 Coaching?

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  • Any Tips For Getting The Most From 1-on-1 Coaching?

    I'm starting my first ever one on one coaching sessions in the next few weeks and really looking forward to it!

    This isn't something I've done before, and as coaching isn't cheap even at the micro/low stakes if you want someone trustworthy who knows their stuff, I'm keen to make sure I get the very best from it.

    I'm practicing recording game tape to get better at talking through my decisions in real time, and I've already told my soon-to-be coach that the main topic I want to focus on is database analysis.

    Can anyone give me any tips or pointers on what else I can do to really make the most of this?

    Does anyone have much experience either coaching or being coached?

    Also, last question, is it weird that I'm also feeling really quite nervous about it?

  • #2
    I've had coaching in the past but for MTTs. Firstly, fire an email to your soon to be coach with the same questions as they are the best person to ask how best to prepare for a session with them.

    Your probably nervous as this might be the first time someone has taken a deep look into your game, and you might not like what they have to say. On that front, be open minded about what they have to say - take it on board, digest it, and try to not get defensive or feel insulted - their criticisms are there to help you improve. If your not sure about something or a concept, dont be afraid to ask seemingly dumb questions to clarify.

    Hope it goes well for you.


    • #3
      Thanks for your response Turbulence

      I think being open-minded is very important.

      Did you have a contract or anything with your coach? What's to stop them just taking your money and never responding again?

      I'm 99.9% sure that won't happen with this guy, he's got a few books out, has a regular podcast etc. and he's been around for a while, but it's still a concern.


      • Turbulence
        Turbulence commented
        Editing a comment
        I didn't have a contract as such but he was a coach at another training site and we organised it through them in writing, part of the deal was me being featured in a series of training videos; so there wasnt much concern about being ripped off.

        As a minimum you should get written confirmation of your arrangement (by email would be enough) i.e. proof you entered into an agreement. If its a reasonably well known person and coaching is one of their main income streams its not in their interest to 'rip you off' but its a funny world.

      • Guido
        Guido commented
        Editing a comment
        Sounds like AB or SM
        Last edited by Guido; 05-05-2020, 11:07 PM.

      • LondonImp
        LondonImp commented
        Editing a comment
        If 'AB' and 'SM' are initials, then yes

    • #4
      i would prefer 1 of them and if You Hired him i would say WOW


      • #5
        I've been looking for a poker coach as well. Trying to decide between Peter Clarke and Sky Matsuhashi. Assuming you booked SM as i've started recording and talking during my sessions as well via his advice. Let us know how it goes!


        • LondonImp
          LondonImp commented
          Editing a comment
          What are your experiences of creating your own game tape? I find it incredibly weird...

      • #6
        I agree, so weird i only do it after my family is asleep. I've noticed I'm not particularly good at explaining my thought process. HUGE upside is i sometimes realize I'm making a decision without much reasoning! Example: few days ago i get raised on river by Aggro Reg, my commentary "I don't know what hands he could have that I beat, but I'm not folding this hand" basically my thought process stopped at the relative strength of my hand.

        Also it forces you to stay in the zone, constantly talking about villain's range/our perceived range keeps me from going on auto-pilot.

        Very helpful practice IMO.


        • #7
          Were you able to commentate over your usual game?

          I generally play 6-8 tables and just couldn't get close to articulating my thoughts out loud in time.

          I've tried playing a single table of zoom so I can always be focused on a single hand, but then I have no HUD available which usually has a large influence on my exploitative style of play.

          Then I've tried just playing 2 tables at my normal stakes but then there's just so much downtime between junky hands...


          • #8
            I usually play 6 tables but I run 4 when commentating. 4 seemed to be a good size, not too often you have 2 interesting hands going at once.

            Gives me a lot of respect for people who stream. Have you ever seen S4Y's Poker Out Loud? Man those guys are so impressive, they can rip through a complex thought process and range opponents so FAST and eloquently. Best I've ever seen on explaining thought process in the moment.


            • #9
              I've had my first 1-on-1 session now and thought I'd share my experience for anyone who's considering doing the same:

              The guy was a good coach which helped, he seemed to deliver the old 'compliment sandwich'. Started and ended with a couple of things that I was doing well and focussed on the bad stuff in the middle. It makes things less stressful during and after.

              The best take-away for me is that he found a few glaring leaks that I just did not know were there.

              One of them was my SB strategy.

              I've been following the SB strategy suggested in the implementable GTO charts and I thought all was going well. Not so! Certain aspects were just not working so I've got a plan to follow for the next 2 weeks to try and improve my bb/100 from this position. -- This is of course not me stating that the strategy is wrong, just that it might not be the best to use for my games (or perhaps I'm just bad at implementing it )

              Another issue was how I respond to limpers - when I choose to isolate I make a decent profit, but whenever I over-limp I bleed money away. Again I just didn't realise this, even though I have the same PT4 as my coach. So now my mantra for the next 2 weeks is going to be "if it's worth playing, it's worth raising. If not, fold."

              If anyone is considering getting some coaching and has questions please feel free to ask.


              • #10
                who is your coach ? If it is all right to disclose. Affordability is an issue. how many sessions you are going to get and how often ? I've been wanting 1 on 1 for some time - can't win enough to pay for it. Recently binked a $22 bounty after a long stretch of no final table ... They made 1st and 2nd place get the same prize $, ( worsening condition for players ... blah ) I could get myself 7 hours of jon little, but never enough to go around.

                It is easier for people with means.

                When JJpregler was here, he said stuff I knew to be true .. and stuff I guess I fought with... Changes don't come easy. Must be frustrating for the coaches..

                I know that I step away from the forum for a while , only come back and see people playing their same game.
                Last edited by CrazyEddie Reloaded; 05-21-2020, 11:27 AM.


                • #11
                  Originally posted by CrazyEddie Reloaded View Post
                  I know that I step away from the forum for a while , only come back and see people playing their same game.
                  That's a fairly pessimistic outlook buddy.

                  I've seen lots of people make really big strides in their play on this forum. I find it really encouraging and I hope to be able to do the same.

                  Hopefully when this damn virus passes and life returns to normal we'll see a few of the old faces return here which will help the forum.


                  • #12
                    So I think you might like to find a coach that will pull you out of your comfort zone. Meaning you play and study a lot so you must have some idea of what you think your holes are or what makes you uncomfortable. If you're on the tight side you might want to find a coach that plays aggressively. If your aggressive you might do better with a coach that can rein you in a bit. Maybe you just want a coach that helps you study better etc...Do you join the Saturday study sessions? I've been MIA across the board for the most part but I'm coming back on the next sale. I can hardly wait!


                    • Guido
                      Guido commented
                      Editing a comment
                      what do you mean with on the next sale ?

                    • kkep
                      kkep commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Guido He runs some sort of deal every holiday. I just signed up for the free week and discounted month to do the challenge. I'll probably have to cancel for a few days after that and grab whatever deal he runs over July 4.

                    • CrazyEddie Reloaded
                      CrazyEddie Reloaded commented
                      Editing a comment
                      fine point, although the great tom dwan once said he never had a coach. He never trusted people would be truthful .. even if they knew ,etc. Most coaches started off as nits , is that fair to say ? they would have simply told him he was bad.

                  • #13
                    Well I certainly feel more out of my comfort zone, that's for sure.

                    It was interesting hearing about holes in my game that I just didn't know were there. Some situations I was habitually making the same play without thinking about it.

                    I've also discovered I have a new type of tilt: "embarrassment tilt". Normally if I make a mistake I can shrug it off as a learning opportunity, but now I know my coach is going to see it so I feel stupid and end up playing badly and spewing off more.

                    It feels like a bit of a waste of money if I'm just paying someone to point out obvious tilt mistakes but clearly I shouldn't be making them!


                    • #14
                      It was interesting hearing about holes in my game that I just didn't know were there. Some situations I was habitually making the same play without thinking about it.
                      Do you mind sharing an example of that?


                      • #15
                        A problem that was costing me equity was having a very rigid 2-bet flatting range preflop from non-blind positions.

                        There wasn't enough focus on my oppponent's post-flop tendancies and so I was arriving at the flop without a plan. Not good. Now I try and decide what I'm going to do based on the specific flop textures and opponent's action before clicking the call button.

                        Also, by simply flatting I was inviting everyone else to call and getting to flops multiway without the initiative.

                        So now I'm also adopting more of a 3bet/fold strategy which cuts back on rake too as I take down more pots preflop.

                        I've clearly got problems responding to cbets across all streets too, but that's a topic for the next session


                        • radubalaj
                          radubalaj commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Interesting stuff, thank you. I'm glad it's paying off.

                      • #16
                        Really interesting stuff. It's good to hear that you are definitely getting something out of it, even to the point of being more analytical and aware of your own game.