Q: How many lessons do I need to get good at poker?
A: Learning poker is very similar to playing a musical instrument. There are many different levels of players, and every player is not always playing for the same reason. A beginner guitarist may just want to learn a few chords to impress his friends and would only take 1 or 2 lessons. A more experienced novice may want to learn more complex songs and scales, and perhaps experiment with writing his own music. He would take fairly regular lessons, perhaps a couple a month until he is satisfied with his progress. While an expert musician who, even though he already knows hundreds of songs, chords, and scales many different musical styles, will still put in the time to study to continue improving because he knows that as a musician you can never truly know all there is to know, he will continue taking lessons indefinitely.
Poker is very similar. Depending on exactly what you’re trying to get out of lessons you may be satisfied with a different number of lessons from another student. There is no absolute answer.
My advice: start by taking one lesson and go from there. Often times students are amazed at how much they actually don't know about poker and can learn from poker lessons and are very eager to learn more.
Q: I want to work on *insert a very specific poker strategy* (i.e. 3 betting) can you help me?
A: Of course I can. However, poker is very complex game. Just like learning math in school: some aspects require you to be have previous knowledge of other aspects and strategies. You can’t learn geometry before you learn basic algebra, and you can’t always learn complex poker strategies before mastering the basics. So sometimes I’m required to back-step a bit and brush up on some things before we can jump right into the topic of your choosing.
Q: Ok, I’ve decided I want to schedule a lesson, what do I do now?
A: 1. Fill out the small form on the Contact page
2. Fill out the form, including the dates and times you are looking to schedule a lesson. I’m generally available for lessons Monday-Thursday from 11am EST to 4pm EST. If these times don’t work for you, don’t worry, let me know what would work for you and I’ll do my best to fit you in at another time.
3. You will receive an email (usually in under 24 hours, mon-friday) and I will let you know if the date/time you selected will work or not, along with an invoice to pay for the lesson. The invoice will be from paypal, and you can pay with any major credit card or bank account.
Q: What do I need to bring to the lesson?
A: If you do not have one already, you’ll need to create a Skype account. Skype is free to use, you can download it from www.skype.com . Make sure you are on Skype 5 minutes before the lesson starts, and I will send you a message.
Assuming you play online, the only thing you will need to bring to the lesson is a hand history of a tournament or cash game that you’ve played recently. It doesn’t have to be anything special, just an ok length so we can get a good idea of your game (usually a hh of at least 100 hands is a good idea for the first lesson). You can email this to me prior to the lesson, or send it via skype just before. Please send the file in the default .txt format that it is found in.
Q: Where do I get my hand history from?
A: Your favorite online poker client will supply one for you. For most poker sites, you need to first make sure that the software is saving your hand histories to disk. To do so, on the poker software go to Options, and be sure to click “Save my hand history” . Then, navigate to the folder where the hand histories are being saved (the poker site will usually display this folder). Find the hand history .txt file you’re looking for, and send it to me.
If you need assistance with this step, feel free to ask and I’d be happy to help you
Q: Can I pay you via player transfer on a poker website?
A: Transfers on poker sites are not accepted for lesson payments. It is against the terms of service of most poker sites to receive fund transfers for commercial reasons, and therefore I do not accept payment via this method.
Q: Will you watch me while I play and help me make decisions?
A: No, I will not be watching you play live; all review will be of previously played hands/tournaments. This practice, commonly known in the poker world as “ghosting” is not a very effective teaching method. Most students focus more on the results of the hand/session, rather than the concepts and points being conveyed by the lesson. Also, ghosting is against the terms of service of most poker sites, and therefore not something that I will partake in.