Coaching part ii


How do I teach that?

Turns out, there is a lot of information that I've read that I've also digested and processed. It's on display at the poker table everyday and I utilize it even if I don't think about it. Kind of like typing on a keyboard after you've learned to type. You push the "I" button without thinking about which finger goes where, however, if you slow down and think about you know it's your right thumb (just kidding).

The guy I'm working with, I'm hesistant to call him a student because I think he's a great poker player who regularly wins online and goes deep in tournaments in live play, is open and receptive to all those little kernels I've picked up. I don't profess to be a better poker player than my peers, in fact, I can name a ton of players locally that I think have an edge on me, and there are probably countless others playing in stakes I don't play at.

I do have some modicum of success in live play relying on the explosion of information that is available to any player, and I believe in that area I'm probably better than most.

It's good that the guy I'm working with is interested in fine-tuning his reads. I spoke to Big Ray, Goondingy, Big Smoove about how he's taught some players in the past and he gave me a good suggestion for how to go about it. So, we decide that I'll sweat my guy for a couple of downs, take some notes and chat with him over the term of another dealer and go over what I've seen. There could be no better way to do it. I've seen things he's done and things other players have done that I probably wouldn't have seen had I been playing and focusing on my own hands.

I really enjoyed breaking down hands where he made correct calls and I ask him why he did it and he got to the conclusion for completely different reasons than me. The antagonist in the hand was spewing weakness verbally and nonverbally (in my mind I was screaming call) but the guy I'm working with had noticed this dude checked the turn and if checked behind bluffed the river three or four times that night, so made the right call.

(Sidenote: I really think I'd get a lot of out of watching some of the other bloggers play hands and breaking it down with them and vice versa. Just a lot of differences in play and nuance that would help us all. Anybody wants to exchange their knowledge in Omaha strategy I'd love to sweat them.)

So far, the coaching has gone great, he's already implemented a lot of my little tricks and things I've picked up on, and been open to other pieces of information motivating opponents decisions that he hasn't been noticing, and winning because of these tips. He's told me about pots he's taken down because of a suggestion I've made, and solid folds because of expaning his outlook. Like I said, the guy is a really good poker player and is absorbing my knowledge quickly and steadily. I teased him to stay away from me in cash games after I gave him all my secrets (though I've read competitive teachers know not to teach their students all their tricks).

I'm really happy that he's gotten a lot out of this process and I've really enjoyed talking through hands with him, and discussing poker in general. I found in high school the easiest test to study for was when I was helping one of my friends who had to get a certain grade to stay eligible for the lacrosse team. The material stuck as soon as I explained it, and indeed, I had one of the better cash sessions of my own after doing a sit down of coaching.


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