This is a guest post from Jonathan Little.
When it comes to learning about poker, most amateur players think that if they put in enough time playing at the table that they will eventually figure out how to beat the game and progress to the high stakes, where they can win life-changing money.
While it is true that you will improve over time if you actively pay attention while playing, you will find that your skills increase at a much faster rate if you learn from the diligent study (and mistakes) of other players.
I understand that many players are skeptical of learning poker from someone else, often citing that they would rather develop their own unique strategy.
While there are many strategies that can succeed at poker, you will start winning much faster if you learn how and why the best players in the world implement their strategies.
Also, if you can afford private coaching, paying a world-class professional for a few hours of their time is well worth it.
It is important to realize that you are not just paying for an hour of the pro’s time.
You are actually paying for all of their experience distilled into exactly what you need to immediately better your poker strategies.
My experience with poker coaching
When I first started playing poker professionally, I was struggling to win at the high stakes online sit n’ go tournaments.
I paid a respected professional $5,000 for 10 hours of private coaching.
While this may seem like a huge amount of money, by implementing his advice into my strategy, I was able to win about $5,000 more each month over the next few years.
In the end, I essentially spent $5,000 and 10 hours of my life to return over $150,000.
Whenever I tackle a new poker variant, I always hire a coach.
I strongly suggest that you find one or two consistent winners to learn from who either have in the past or are currently beating the specific game that you are striving to beat.
For example, if your normal game is $1/$2 No-Limit Hold’em cash games, your time would be much better spent learning from someone who has beaten the small stakes cash games over a decently long period of time as opposed to someone who hasn’t played No-Limit Hold’em in years but plays high stakes $25/$50 Pot-Limit Omaha on a regular basis.
It should go without saying that the person you study from should also be a consistent long-term winner in poker.
There are a few “coaches” out there who claim to be winners but are not.
Make sure you do your diligence!
Me as your personal coach
As for resources that I offer (I have been a consistent winner at all forms of No-Limit Hold’em, as well as Limit Hold’em and Pot-Limit Omaha, throughout my career), I have numerous books published through D&B Publishing, the largest poker publisher in the world, as well as a few training sites.
PokerCoaching.com offers regularly updated interactive quizzes that put you in my shoes and asks what you would do in various hands that I have played throughout my career.
I then grade your answers and let you know if you picked the play that I think is right or wrong on each betting round.
In addition to the quizzes, each month I post a somewhat in-depth homework question and ask the students to submit their answers on the private members-only forum. I then review every answer that is submitted in an exclusive webinar for the students.
You can start your free 7-day trial now at PokerCoaching.com
If you want to take things to the next level, I also offer my Inner Circle at PokerCoaching.com/innercircle where I host biweekly office hours where you can get on the phone with me and ask all your poker questions.
I also present mini-webinars discussing specific topics that the Inner Circle members want addressed.
That said, I understand that PokerCoaching.com is a significant time investment and many players want to start their road to poker mastery in a different way.
I have two book series discussing the main forms of No-Limit Hold’em (Strategies for Beating Small Stakes Poker Tournaments and Jonathan Little on Live No-Limit Cash Games) that are a great place to start if you want to develop a fundamentally sound strategy and learn exactly how professionals think. Details of Jonathan’s new book can be on D&B Poker.
I (along with a few other excellent poker professionals) also post regular videos on the poker training site FloatTheTurn.com where you can watch us play and view presentations on specific concepts.
If you are adamantly against paying for poker advice, you can still learn from me by checking out my weekly educational blog at JonathanLittlePoker.com, my podcast WeeklyPokerHand at JonathanLittlePoker.com/wph and you can even get two of my audiobooks for free at JonathanLittlePoker.com/free.
Whatever you do, do not assume that you will become a world-class professional in a short period of time by simply watching a few videos and playing a bunch of poker.
Especially when you are learning the game, you should spend at least as much time studying as you do playing.
If you want to jumpstart your poker career, enlist the help of a coach who can pinpoint exactly what you are doing wrong so you can get on the path to success.
Good luck with your games!