Playing your best poker is counterintuitive. Many of our natural tendencies, with respect to handling loss, exercising precaution, estimating odds, and evaluating situations, equip us poorly for playing poker. Part of our goal in learning how to play our best poker is untraining these misplaced default settings. Another part of our goal is training new skills from the ground floor, from four-betting to check-raising to turning hands into bluffs.
It is not easy to be a profitable poker player. Anyone who writes in their blog or coaching listing otherwise is selling you snake oil. If it was easy everyone would be a profitable player and the vast majority of players are long term losers. Beating the rake is hard. I cannot make you a profitable player, but I can catalyze your effort to turn yourself into one. I can teach you the skills necessary to become a long term profitable player but at the end of the day much of the effort is left to you.
What I coach
I have the most playing and coaching experience in NLH 6 max cash. I can coach any stakes 100nl and under. I think I am best suited to coach 10nl-50nl 6m. I specialize in Zoom/Rush. I also play and coach live cash games, usually at the 200-500nl level.
I have considerable MTT experience and can coach beginning or intermediate players at the $5-$50 buy-in level online or the $1k and under level live. If you are an experienced MTT player you would probably be better served hiring a different coach.
Finally I can offer insight and additional resources in the mental game department. I have helped students in the past frame their goals and their mental game obstacles. It would often be best for students to hire me not for this specifically. But I can help aspiring 6 max cash or MTT players with their mental game and some of the things it takes to become a winning, professional player. The vast majority of my mental game coaching references Jared Tendler's body of work or my own experiences as a professional.
What I don't coach
I am not qualified to coach either heads-up or full ring cash games online. I have never put any volume into either. So believe me, if you want HU or FR coaching, you would be much better served by someone else. I am not qualified to coach any game other than no limit hold'em. I am just learning PLO and some limit games. If you want coaching for PLO or other games you are probably already better (or much better) at them than I am.
How I like to structure coaching
I like to assign homework. Wait... what? Gareth you dropped out of university multiple times and hate homework. And now you are assigning it? That's right. If you don't want to do homework, please tell me that before we get started. We can watch videos of you playing or go over hand histories each session and do nothing in between. I suggest this route if you are an airline pilot, a surgeon, or a similarly pre-occupied person with five kids. If you are not a married recreational player with a full time life looking to improve at your hobby, you are going to do homework. I assign reading articles and watching CardRunner's videos. I assign making forum posts and counting combinations. Sometimes I assign creative writing -- as in, create villain's range on every street of hand history X. I assign homework for free. Getting better at poker isn't going to happen by Skype osmosis. The good news is I don't grade your homework or control whether you graduate and get that cushy job in the real world.
We can use our hour session in a variety of ways. If you know what you want to work on, say check-raising from the blinds, then we can work on that by talking theory for a portion of session and looking at hand histories for a portion of a session. If you do not know what you want to work on I prefer that you record a session of your play that we will review together. I won't sweat you live and you won't sweat me live. Alternatively we can look through and leakfind your database. We will be working over Skype and Teamviewer.
I am going to be working on some articles for students that they can keep for reference. As of now I have not finished one, so this is a future project. I also provide an email write up following every session. This details and summarizes some of the concepts we talked about that I feel could be fleshed out or be explored in depth. Finally I have some footage of my play at various stakes that haven't appeared in the CardRunners library that students can gain private access to. I have in the past tried to keep a private forum for students without a ton of success. This may be something I retry depending on student enthusiasm. I can help students familiarize themselves with HM including designing a HUD, PokerStove, ProPokerTools, and Flopzilla. As of this moment I cannot show you how to use the CR EV calculator.
Coaching rates and payment info
My rate is $50/session. Sessions are an hour but also include a follow up email summary, weekly email support, and preparation work. Students can purchase a package of 4 sessions for $190. Prospective students can buy one $50 session and then purchase the next three for $140. Finally you can purchase a ten session package, which also includes more intimate email/Skype support and hand history analysis between sessions, for $450. I take payment on PokerStars or via transfer to my TD Canada account. I also take MoneyBookers or PayPal, but I have to include a 3% markup on these to account for transaction costs. I apologize for this but these companies really gouge me.
References and Results
I will look to update this as time moves forward.
I am hoping to get some quotes from past students here first, then will post some graphs. I am also in the process of putting volume in on Stars again so I want to wait to build a 200k sample or so at Zoom 6m that will be up to date. Most of my volume this year so far was live or online MTTs so I want to build a fresh sample. I will update this listing as I get some reviews from past students. So if you are on the fence, go ahead and wait and check back here later.
This is my 25nl rush sample on FTP. This is how I started in cash.
Here is 50nl on Stars from August 2011 to October 2011 (so non Zoom), making some of that Full Tilt money, which mysteriously disappeared, back.
Another Rush sample that doesn't cross over with the above 25nl graph, but before I moved up to 100nl
Here are my September, 2012 results,
First off, I'd like to emphasize Gareth's knowledge in the area of poker-psychology (aka mental game). He really helped to reevaluate my approach to the results, to playing more/better etc. and actually I was able to implement some things into the real life, which in turn reflected poker-life. So that's all-around knowledge, not only poker-related.
As for playing style, Gareth teaches you to play solid. This doesn't imply boring - vice-versa he has a lot of nonstandard moves like overbetting for value and as a bluff, but all the moves are with a very good reasoning. And honestly playing solid is what all the nl50 and below players need.It's also important to note, that Gareth gives you a follow-up e-mail and homework after every session. This gives you the opportunity to refresh session-topics and keeps you concentrated on certain aspects during the next week. Really builds up for you work ethics and makes even the laziest of you to actually learn the game.
-- CardRunner's 'Winged Guy'
I spent nearly an entire year multi-tabling 10NL & 25NL 6-max games on Stars. I had spent countless hours studying videos on Cardrunners, and reading various blogs and books, and while I believed the foundations of my game were fairly strong, I knew that there were some glaring leaks that were affecting me post-flop and were the reason I was losing at -1.50 ptBB/100 over a huge sample size.
I finally decided to get over my ego, and just so happened to stumble on Gareth's coaching offer on his blog. Within our first one hour session, he had spotted exactly what those leaks were, and given me a disciplined way of eradicating them from my game. Not only did he show me exactly what these leaks were, but he also explained the overall effect they had on contributing to the biggest leak of all... Tilt. By our 3rd session, he had started expanding my poker knowledge so that I could prepare myself to move through the limits, but not changing my game too drastically in order to prevent me from levelling myself at the current stakes I was playing at.
Back in November, I received a huge job opportunity that was going to take up all of time, so I decided to put poker on hold for a bit, including my coaching sessions with Gareth. After reviewing all the follow up emails that Gareth had sent out after every one of our sessions, I returned to poker back in April, and have been consistently winning at 2.51 ptBB/100. I believe this highlights just how strong his coaching is and how he was able to ingrain these good habits into your game in such a short amount of time. Now that he has some spare time to coach again, I plan on utilizing his knowledge as I progress.
If anyone would like further proof of Gareth's abilities as a coach, feel free to PM me here on CR and I can provide you with a summary of my results since I received coaching from him.
-- CR's 'ScumbagBlues'
Throughout my poker "journey", I've had lessons with three different coaches. By far, Gareth offers the best value by providing the student a lot more than your "standard" coach. He seems to use a personalized approach for each student, and remembers their tendencies and areas that need work, and applies these to the following sessions. This is extremely helpful for improving your overall game week after week. He is also very good at explaining tough spots, using very good logic and a strong theoretical foundation, as well as helping with the mental game aspect of poker that so many struggle with (including myself).
He provides notes that he writes up (very clear and detailed) at the end of every session that are extremely helpful for analyzing/improving your game and remembering the key concepts that were discussed. Using his group forum, he also offers help to students throughout the week by offering his insight to any hand that was posted. All the extra time and effot that he puts in really shows his dedication to helping his students become better poker players. All in all, I would highly recommend Gareth as a coach as he is almost guaranteed to improve your game. For what its worth, if I still had enough time to dedicate to poker I would hire him again without hesitation.
-- CR's Vincent Paquette
More to come!
You can PM me here on CR, tweet at me, or add me on skype at Gareth.Chantler.