With most improvement products, they’re worth it if you put in the work, otherwise not. If you purchase a gym membership, it’s a waste of money if you don’t use it. If you use it regularly, it’s probably well worth it. Poker training sites and coaching are no different.
If you pay $500/year for poker coaching and put in $100,000 into online poker tournament buy-ins over that year, you need to increase your expected ROI at the tables by 0.5% for it to be breakeven. Add in that you get to keep the knowledge for tournaments after this year and it becomes likely +EV to purchase coaching. The key is maximizing what you get out of it.
Keys to maximizing coaching:
- Single-Task. If you’re going to watch training videos while playing or doing something else, you are unlikely to learn much or retain the information. Have dedicated times/days for study where you sit down and do nothing other than study. Take notes on what you learn for review later.
- Review Notes. Pre-session, look over your notes for review. You typically don’t want to do any major study before playing but a light review as a warm-up can be very beneficial.
- Ask Questions. If you don’t understand something in a video, leave a question in the comment section of the video. If you’re getting 1-1 coaching, ask every question that comes to mind, don’t be shy. Be willing to expose yourself. The goal is maximizing your improvement and return on the cost of coaching, not to look any particular way (smart, knowledgeable, skilled, etc).
- Actively work on 1-2 leaks at a time. Don’t try new strategies in 10 different parts of the poker game tree at once. Pick 1-2 things you want to improve on, and really focus on those when studying and playing.
If you do the above, training sites and poker coaching are very worth it. When you’re ready for more advanced training, join a major poker stable as they will be more invested in your success.