You can learn so much from a poker coach

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You can learn math, a new language, a new game or even something technical beyond your comfort zone. If it’s a skill, we can improve. So why not poker? I’m guessing you knew that was where I was heading.

I consider myself a poker expert; I coach players to improve their game. To approach this ever-vexing game from different viewpoints, I just signed up for a few poker classes, and if you know me, you’re shocked. I’m certain I will improve my coaching from this endeavor. It’s a no-brainer.

Recently, I received a thank-you note from a student. After just a few lessons, he was able to put together back-to-back winning sessions and higher hourly rates than he had ever experienced at $1-$3 no-limit hold’em.

Please keep this in mind before you read the flowery testimonial. After reviewing eight hands with my pupil, he still has a ways to go. He made some great adjustments and clearly came in with a different attitude. There were some glaring mistakes from playing hands out of position. As his coach, I must keep him on track and make sure success syndrome doesn’t kick in.

You earned your fee in the very first session! I can’t thank you enough. I feel reborn as a poker player. Your advice played out to perfection. … I played a $1-$3 game at the WinStar World Casino and walked away with my best day ever. … I did my best to not give any information away. I quit showing hands unless at showdown, I stuck to a tighter opening range, played position and value-bet my premium hands to extract as much money as possible. I spent a lot more time studying the table and it was easy to spot the calling stations and weaker players. I also folded a lot of hands I would have played previously, such as A-10 off, smaller suited connectors, and I quit defending crappy blinds. … I never thought a good coach would be this important in poker. Knowing I would have to report my play to you kept me focused on the plan.

Get a coach, ya think?

— Mark Brement has spent 15 years teaching and coaching all facets of poker, including at Pima CC. Email him at brementmark@gmail.com.