The Importance of Having a Coach/Mentor as a Poker Player

Poker is a tough game to play (profitably). I know from experience, as a player, mentor and coach. In the beginning, it’s a struggle not to lose money, let alone try to breakeven. That’s how it was for me at least, as well as many of the students I coached.

However, I eventually got past that and to the point to where I was able to play poker and turn a profit. I was able to do this by keeping one simple thing in mind:

Surround yourself with people that are smarter than you are.

This is a concept discussed a lot in business, but it can be applied to any aspect in your life that you’d like to improve in, including poker. The idea behind this phrase is that you should network with other people (poker players) that are better than you are. This might be a peer that you met at the tables, or a mastermind group formed from a forum such as 2+2 or PTP, or someone you hire (coach).

3 Reasons Why You Need to Surround Yourself with Better Players

There are several reasons why you should surround yourself with better poker players. But only 3 reasons really stand out to me.

1. My number one reason for surrounding myself with better players is desire, inspiration and jealously. These are feelings that I’ve had personally from being around accomplished players.

The reason why this is good is that these are feelings that drive you to improve. You want to be a better player (drive) and you know someone who is (inspiration). The jealously comes from the fact that someone has the success you don’t yet have, but want. For me, the feeling of jealously was intense because I knew what my mentors/coaches had was obtainable — it was merely a matter of dedicating myself and being patient.

2. Another reason is because most players who are good aren’t what you’d consider ‘slackers.’ Sure, they might be lazy, but when it comes to playing poker they work very hard, reviewing hand histories, discussing individual hands and participating in forums. They do anything necessary in order to improve.

Why does this matter to you?

Well, for one thing it’s great to see an example of how hard you need to work. Hell, even if you work half as hard you should see some success.

Secondly, your mentor or coach won’t put up with your excuses, bad beats and general drama. They’ve been through it before; so they understand where you’re coming from, but they’ll expect you to get over it. Your coach/mentor will do everything they can to help keep you on track. But keep in mind that if you’re not willing to put in the work to stay on track, they won’t waste their energy on you.

3. Last, and most common, another reason to hang out with accomplished players is so you can discuss strategy. This will help you cut a ton of time off your learning curve, which in turn will reduce how much you spend trying to learn. You’ll get better and move up faster, consequently earning more and more money.

I also liked having a coach because my coaches were always trying something new. They would then pass this info on to me. I was always one or two steps ahead of the curve because of this.

Find a Mentor or Coach Now

I really can’t stress enough the importance of having a mentor and/or coach in poker. There is no downside to it. Even if you have to hire a coach at $50, $100 or $200 an hour, you’ll make that back lightning fast, even at the lower levels. Plus you’ll move up in levels faster.

The bottom line is that the ROI is huge. If you’re at all serious about poker and intend on taking your game to a higher level, surrounding yourself with better players than you is simply not an option — it’s mandatory.