Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why should I work with you?
A: Fair question! There are countless persons coaching these days. Quite simply, there
are many excellent no limit hold'em players, but there are very few who can explain as
well as they execute. I am patient and I articulate my thoughts well. I could offer more
self-testaments to my ability, but I'd rather you check out my posts on 2+2 and on here
and watch my videos.
Q: What can I gain from coaching?
A: Poker coaching examines and reinforces not only the strategy that you employ, but the
thought process that underlies it. It is an opportunity for you to ensure that your
decisions are rational and that you are logically equipped to handle familiar and new
spots alike. I strive to equip students with a thought process to handle new situations
they encounter and not just to reel off rote answers - "do i call here?" "what raise sizing is
best?" and so on. When you ask questions like this, it offers me insight into weaknesses
in your game. Rather than simply answer your question, I'll discuss the underlying
theory so that you will be capable to answer it yourself.
With that said, players have sought coaching from me for a variety of reasons. Some are
looking for this whole-game breakdown described above; others are looking to target a
few particular leaks; others are unsure what they need and seek evaluation and advice. If
you feel you stand to improve and have a grasp on how, coaching will likely benefit you.
Q: Who is a good candidate for coaching?
A: An inquisitive mind and an ability to absorb criticism and advice are mandatory. I
don't claim to offer perfect advice, but if you fight me at every step, we will probably not
accomplish anything. I value energetic discourse with students, but every so often I work
with one who rejects everything I offer. If this is your personality type, I'd advise you
that this will probably not work.
I find that level of familiarity with your own weaknesses suggests how much you stand to
gain. We all have leaks unknown to us, but the better players and learners (and those
with the most potential to growth) usually develop some awareness of some of their own.
These students tend to ask, "I am having trouble finding opportunities to three-
bet/checkraise/double barrel," etc. I am very patient and will work with those with less
insight on their own game, but please understand you will likely have to work much
harder. I do not only want to list for you areas to improve and suggestions for each goal,
but to improve your own observation for the future. Those who recognize falling
temperatures before snowflakes plow them in the face will probably not get frostbitten...
Q: What limits do you coach?
A: I mostly coach 100nl and 200nl players. I am very familiar with the strengths and
weaknesses of evolving players at these limits and will be very effective.
25nl and 50nl players: I generally do not work with players whose main games are these
limits. I consider coaching at $140/hour to be a cost-inefficient means of improvement
and I do not feel right taking you on. Post on forums, exchange sweats with friends,
absorb training videos and look for coaching bargains - there are many on this site!
400nl and up: I play midstakes myself and do not think I have enough to offer the typical
midstakes player to advertise myself as a coach for these limits.
Q: What do I need to begin?
A: A skype account, a headset and a screen sharing program (I prefer Team Viewer) are
all that are needed.
Q: What sites do you coach?
A: The site on which you play does not matter. Our sessions will be conducted via
screen sharing programs and I do not need to even have your poker software installed.
As far as familiarity with how a particular site plays - this is much less important than
you think. Differences in play across sites are exaggerated and good players can quickly
recognize them, anyway. With your help in catching up to speed, I can offer you insight
on optimal play anywhere.
Q: What is your coaching method?
A: I don't have a curriculum or course. I begin with every new student the same way: you
play 2-6 tables for roughly 30-40 min and discuss your thought process aloud via skype.
My microphone is muted and I take notes. We then use the remainder of our session to
discuss what occurred. I learn about how you approach poker and will have the
opportunity to identify areas where you can expand your game: hand selection, pot
manipulation, bet sizing, isolation, three-betting, bluff catching and so on. Sometimes
we'll discover a lot of things you can do! Consider this a success.
Future sessions can take different forms. We can review hand histories, we can discuss
theory, we can conduct interactive (live) sweats or we can continue the format of the
initial sweat. Please note that during live sweats I am not an on-hand advisor. In my
view, coaching is about refining your thought process and not spoon feeding canned
advice. Learning what the correct action facing a river bet of 2/3 pot while holding a
concealed, rivered two pair versus a hand reading opponent who defended from the
blinds (add more variables as you like!) is less important than understanding how you
should go about answering that question in the first place. Live sweats offer us some
more time to discuss theory during lulls in action, but I will never be a robotic voice
telling you how to play.
If you prefer, we can also do video reviews. This works similarly to the “silent sweat”
method outlined above – you record a video of yourself playing and include audio
commentary. I watch the video and give you a written evaluation and discussion via
Skype. This can be effective if the hours that you like to play are different than the ones
we can find for coaching.
Sessions are typically about an hour. If you like, we can plan longer sessions, recurring
sessions, etc. Some prefer occasional tune-up sessions and I am fine with this as well.
Q: Are you available between sessions for discussion?
A: Absolutely. I am signed on to skype most of the time I am at my computer and am
happy to field questions. Please do not be shy. Everyone seems to err on the side of
caution and most hesitate to chat with me in fear of being a nuisance. Please, I welcome
discussion. I coach because I enjoy talking about poker and because I enjoy observing
and eliciting improvement in others. You may email me, chat with me or otherwise.
There is a far greater chance that you underuse your access to me than that you abuse it!
I am not always immediately available, as I do play poker myself and occasionally leave
the computer (!), but I will get back to you quickly.
Q: Do you offer package rates or different rates based on the limit played?
A: No. My rate is non-negotiable. I have set it at a level that allows me to profitably
supplement my own poker play at a far lower stress level. While I like to make my
services available to potential students, I would like to emphasize that this rate is a
significant reduction of my hourly playing and that what limits you play is unrelated to
the value of my time.
Q: How much improvement can I expect to see?
A: How much and how soon you will improve are too player-specific to offer any
assurances. Please note that I turn down some persons who request coaching, so if I work
with you it is because I genuinely believe we can improve your game together.
Players tell me that they begin to notice increased confidence and comfort in trouble
spots after one to two lessons. They shift out of auto-pilot, read hands better and
aggressively recognize opportunities as well as lines in situations where they had deferred
in the past.
My greatest interest in coaching is in leading and enjoying my students' progress. I am as
invested in your improvement as you are.
Q: How do I pay?
A: You can pay through paypal or moneybookers to Deucescracked. Peer-to-peer site
transfers are not available.