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Rant: I Don’t Want to Watch a 40-min Video of Somebody Folding
My son played his first football match today, and as a father it was one of the proudest moments of my life.
So entwined am I with his success I have had thoughts on helping out with the coaching.
I was a good footballer. But would I be a great coach?
The two are very different. Something that poker needs to understand.
Not Much Has Changed
I haven’t had an online poker training account for a very long time.
The cost of the membership outweighed the time I was willing to invest in the game. Recently, a friend of mine was grinding at my home and watching IveyPoker training videos.
I watched. I wasn’t impressed.
Not much had changed in all those years. Now I’m not talking about the deepening dialogue of strategy. I’m talking about presentation, structure and innovation.
It was missing. The one word description of what I was watching was ‘lazy.’
Using Camtasia to film yourself playing six tables of poker, whilst providing a running commentary, is lazy.
We’ve seen it all before. And unless your splitting of the poker atom is better than those that verbalized it before you, then you're going to find it difficult to hold my attention.
No Need for 40-Minute Video of You Folding
Great poker players don’t necessarily make great coaches.
Who is vetting these submissions? Is a video ever refused, or do we just show any old shit in the name of content?
If I'm paying $75 per month then I don’t want to watch a 40-min video of somebody folding.
It’s not providing me with value. It’s wasting my life.
I’m not talking about the multi-tabling. That could actually be forgiven if the action was slow.
I’m talking about the pros that run their hand histories through the hand replayer and then decide to show the whole lot. That’s 20 mins of a 40-min video of me watching you folding on the Hand Replayer?
Wouldn’t it make more sense to delete all the hands that are irrelevant and create a finely tuned training video of quality content?
But herein lies the problem. That would take time, effort and desire. It might also take a bit of coaching, mentoring and feedback.
Check-Raising the Turn? I'm In
You are a great poker player. You have been signed by the man himself, asked to make poker training videos and so you get into this ‘me too’ attitude.
Nobody is guiding you. Nobody is coaching you. You do what you know. You copy everyone else.
You're killing me.
The last site I was a member of was Bluefire Poker. It had a great roster of pros including Niman ‘samoleus’ Kenkre, Martin ‘DrGiggy’ Fournier, Jason ‘PBJaxx’ Senti and the man himself Mr. Phil Galfond.
It was awesome. Then it got boring. It was too repetitive.
Then they signed Alan Jackson. He was a cash-game player who was a Hold’em Manager (HEM) master.
Instead of just making films of himself multi-tabling he broke down the analytics of a HUD into a specific series.
I wasn’t bored anymore. Suddenly I had structure. I could concentrate on one thing.
I didn’t have to try and concentrate on the action whilst the coach tried to play six tables. I could also pick and choose what I wanted to learn.
C-betting? Not for me. Check-raising the turn? I’m in.
Don't Get Lazy On Us
The online training industry is big bucks. Don’t get lazy on us boys and girls.
There is a plethora of different ways to educate people. Use them all. Don’t get stuck with Camtasia. Be innovative. Break the game down into bite-size chunks. Deliver in a way that we can learn.
Don’t just take our money and then make a recording of yourself playing a Sunday session. Also, be more professional. Stop ridiculing players when making your videos.
“This guy is obviously a terrible player.”
“The fish in the cut off.”
“This guy doesn’t know what he’s doing.”
What if I am that guy? What if I have just excitably signed up for your training and you have just wiped your ass with my play? That’s just not cool, man. You come across like a twat.
Turn Great Players Into Great Coaches
I also think the online training sites should provide coaching for their coaches. Teach them how to deliver their understanding of the game in a way that it sinks in.
This is not about intelligence. This is not about "low-stakes minds" and "high-stakes minds." It’s about turning great poker players into great coaches.
You earn enough money, so start putting it back into your business and making your coaches the very best in the business. Right now, I’m not impressed.