Response to Comment on Rush Poker Part IV: Coaches

Continuing my meandering ramblings loosely in response to a comment that got my brain aflutter, in this post I kind of continue to actually answer the question posited to me and discuss a coach for when you play poker online and who I'd recommend.

I was talking about what works in poker coaching. I don’t know how much I could learn from Phil Ivey instructing me in stud or Texas Holdem poker, I would probably learn a lot if he were to verbalize the rationales for his decisions to the nth degree but that doesn't really seem like Phil, you know.

Therefore, I see what you are saying teaching and excelling at poker are sometimes two different things. The makeup of a successful poker player may not make a great poker coach. However, I'd imagine Brandon could be a great coach as he has sound reasoning for the decisions he makes and could probably pass that on to an eager student as he's an articulate person.

Granted, you may learn more from a lesser poker player who is a better teacher than from the better player who struggles to articulate his concepts. A bit like having Michael Jordan as coach is probably far worse than a guy like Doc Rivers who had to figure out things on a basketball court a bit more than Jordan who just knows it. Granted as poker is a mind game and basketball a physical one, even the players that are just gifted are intelligent and though they might not know the numbers to not chase in a particular spot they understand innately when to give up on a hand. So, great poker players are far more likely to be able teachers than say great natural athletes.

So, you can obviously learn a lot from good players. I do know that I learned a lot from Jonathan Little’s sites and have touted him before. He mentions a book coming out which I think will be very interesting to people that have seen the quickness that he can make situational decisions because of his foundation of understanding the game. Though, bringing him up brings up another aspect of teaching and that’s the student.

I was talking to a live player once in a tournament about Little for some reason and that guy spoke about playing one of Little’s students in a cash game. He said the player was one of the worst he had ever seen, so Little must be a terrible teacher. I guess that's one way to look at it, but not the only way to look at it. I said, maybe the player was just a terrible student. I’ve learned a lot from those free videos Little has up on his many sites so I know for a fact he’s the opposite of a bad teacher. Or maybe the person was starting off a terrible player and had improved but certainly wasn't the equal of the live player I was discussing this with (who is a proven steady winner).

I guess it could also be sometimes it’s just some people do better with certain types of teachers than others. So, I guess somebody I might have success with might not be a good fit for you. Or if you are a bad student and don’t study the principles being taught, or struggle in their application, it might not matter who is teaching you.

And more to come...


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