I’ve done a little bit of poker coaching here and there, mostly from people who approach me on ITH. The biggest problem with coaching is that the people that I could help the most easily have a hard time justifying what I need to charge them. I’m still running 3 bb/100 at 15/30 over a pretty big sample, so I can’t justify charging less than $50/hour. My preferred model of coaching has been to review pokertracker data and hand histories. A detailed review of someone’s PokerTracker database seems like the most useful thing I do, but I can’t see how someone playing 1/2 or 2/4 can justify paying $250 for that and I can’t do a decent job for less than five hours work. I have done some sessions where I review 100 hand histories and comment on every marginal decision and I can usually do that in an hour or so, but I think it is a lot less useful. My most recent experiment was where I watched someone play for a couple of hours and gave him advice on the phone in real time while he played. In some ways it seems wasteful, because there is lots of folding in good limit play. I have to say that I enjoyed it a great deal, mostly just chatting on the phone with another good poker player. I don’t know if it will be a good model, but it was fun.
I turned away a number of people who asked for coaching in the old days because I thought it would be hard to do well and that I wouldn’t like it that much. Curiously, I think it has actually improved my game as I try to see life through their eyes and figure out what plays will work for the kind of player that they are. I still find that it is hard to do well and I’ve had one student who I really thought just lacked the required skills to be a good player. I couldn’t figure out a good way to tell him that, but I tried. I don’t think he’s telling his friends to use me now.
Now that I’ve started my own site, I’ve been trying to think if there might be a way that I can have people sign up using me as an affilliate and if that could earn enough to justify providing some coaching to them. If I make them good, then they will keep playing, earn me some kickbacks and win money for themselves. It could be a win-win situation, if I can work it out.