Coaching can be a great investment. Since we play a high volume of hands as online poker players, any small increase in skill and technique can lead to a large increase in profit. A small adjustment in strategy can be worth hundreds or thousands of big blinds when applied over the course of a year. Getting this benefit of coaching requires finding a coach that will be able to both spot these opportunities to improve and accelerating the improvement process.
For many of us, our confidence level at poker when we are doing well is a little bit higher than our skill level. Then, when we experience a run of bad cards it makes us realize that we are not quite as good as we thought. This is an important realization because it forces us to reanalyze our game plan and work on improving. This process rebuilds your confidence and makes you a stronger poker player than before.
Another great reason to be interested in coaching is just for the sake of making more money. A good coach will be able to increase your profitability more than they charge.
Hiring a coach does require taking a certain amount of risk that they won't be able to provide you what you're looking for. Having been a client of several poker coaches over the past year, I have had a fair amount of experiences to draw from to figure out what you should look for in a coach.
- A winner at the games that you play - There are a fair amount of coaches out there with questionable results listed. Look for ones who make their screen name public. Contrary to what some coaches may say, it matters very little to your EV whether people know your SN or not.
- A full-time player - Poker players who play 25+ hours at the tables each week are going to have a much different perspective than ones who play part-time and coach part-time. Playing more hands and hours requires more mental game and means they are playing some of their volume at non-peak hours.
- Professionalism - The more professionally a coach conducts himself, the more professionalism you can expect from him. This includes being on time and present for appointments, being dedicated to his students, and spending additional time with his students. I've had a surprising number of coaches flake or cancel appointments at the last minute.
Since I have a very high standard for coaches that I personally hire, I expect you to have a similarly high standard for me. Let me know what you are looking for in a coach, and I'll let you know if I'm the right coach for you.