Poker Training – A Flawed Model

Does Poker Training Work?

The poker training website model is broken for players. Here is why….

1) Incentives are seriously misaligned and training websites do not get paid based on the performance of their clients. Also, Variance often confuses clients as to which website is “helping” their game.

2) Poker training isn’t very profitable and many of them make their “real” money from staking, affiliate income, or some other source. As a result quality dwindles

3) “Buffet” style poker content doesn’t allow coaches to distinguish themselves based on quality and be compensated accordingly. As a result much of the content produced is just churned out and not high quality. Some new websites are going with a more a la carte system which is probably better IMO

4) Accountability does not exist in the industry and it is very difficult to determine who to learn from. This is further complicated by the fact that there are several ways to make money at online poker, so coaching styles naturally differ.

5) Falling Revenues has reduced the incentive for poker training sites to invest in the “brand”. As a result the quality of content has been reduced. Until we see growth in worldwide poker volumes and the US back in the game it is difficult to see this changing.

Don’t get me wrong I am not saying that most poker training websites don’t have skilled players producing content. What I am saying is there is a culture of mediocrity in poker training that spills over into the player pool. There is a reason that so many aspiring players languish and never move much beyond the micro stakes… A broken training model is a big part of that.

1 on 1 Poker Coaching

The 1 on 1 coaching model with hourly compensation is also flawed….. Here is why

1) Poker is incredibly challenging and most humans can only process so much in a short period of time. As a result it is very difficult for even a high quality coach to pass on enough information to have a lasting positive affect on the win-rate of his/her student

2) Hourly Model Fails Players because they are forced to pay too much on an hourly basis. The coaches do well because they are essentially selling a “dream”. It is easy to overcharge when you are selling a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow…

3) Mentorhsip Model Fails Coaches. The best model for coaching is one where the coach is seriously invested in the long term success of his player. However, there is no incentive for a coach to be that interested… It’s not fair to the player to be an indentured servant to the coach and it’s not fair to the coach to invest and then not be rewarded. Once players succeed there is a tendency to feel it is from their own hard work rather than recognizing and rewarding those around them that have contributed to their success

4) Accountability again is lacking. Does a player receive a refund from the coach if they don’t improve over the next 50,000 hands? Normally, if you purchase a product and it doesn’t work a refund is owed… Imagine that in the poker training business…  lol

5) Hustlers are all too common in the poker industry. There have been several poker training scandals… Many players who are no longer profitable try to sell coaching…

I haven’t really discussed solutions in this article but I hope you enjoyed the article. If I get enough feedback on it I may discuss some solutions, if there are any….

-Written by Paul Ratchford “ThePokerCapitalist”


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