Sunday, May 08, 2011

Poker Lessons and Poker Coaching with Dr. M

Over the years I've tried to help friends and family get the most out of their time spent playing poker. It's not always easy. Learning how to play poker is like learning anything else that has deep complexity. It takes time, it takes effort and it takes practice. Most beginners are looking for the secret code that's going to let them win like I do so they can dive into the deep end and try to swim.

At least a dozen times I've been faced with a situation where someone who has almost no poker knowledge beyond what beats what, wanting to know how to play because we are at a casino or they've decided to play online after watching me play. I could talk for days about just starting hands and now I have to condense 10 years of knowledge into 10 minutes?

On the other end of the spectrum is my only current student (I'll call him Dr. M). Dr. M is actually a doctor which is great because he can afford to pay me $50 an hour to help him and because it means he's spent a huge chunk of his life learning. Dr. M has read just about every poker book out there so if I tell him that with an M of 10 the implied odds are not there to limp in the hijack he knows what I mean without having to think about it.

I've found it interesting that what Dr. M needs is not lessons, but rather coaching. What's the different between lessons and coaching? You get golf lessons when you're shooting 110, take 3 shots to get out of a sand trap and couldn't read a putt if it was in neon block letters. You get coaching when you're shooting 75 and want to get it down to 72. With Dr. M all the pieces are there, the just need to be put in the right place.

At this point I've been coaching Dr. M for almost a year and a half, talking to him about every 3 weeks on average. In the past two months he's had 3 or 4 solid tournament scores so we've been talking more often (he's got the fever). Since I don't get to the tables much these days, I'm hoping to start sharing pieces of my conversations with Dr. M on this blog in the coming weeks and months.

Or I might totally forget and never share a single hand! That's sort of how I work. We'll see...

If you're interested in lessons, coaching or poker consulting please send me an e-mail at wdhuff@gmail.com.

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