Even the greatest of players in any sport can’t get there alone. From the world of soccer and football to golf and tennis, the great ones always need some help. Whether it’s adjusting that golf swing or nailing that backhand across the court, one thing is certain – coaching matters.
And that includes poker. Ready to get your game together? Best Poker Coaching welcomed four new coaches to the fold in recently and here’s a look at their stories and what they offer players.
Hometown: IJsselstein, Netherlands
Games & stakes: NLHE 6-max mainly NL100-200 (sometimes adding NL50, NL400, NL600)
Sites played: Microgaming, Unibet, PartyPoker
This 6-max coach is a former student who finished the 30K 6-Max program, and is now offering his knowledge to others.
“Since I’ve started playing poker, I always enjoyed commenting on poker hands and talking about poker to other students,” Rutger says. “After I finished CFP at BPC, I was still commenting on hands from time to time on the forum and Leandro asked me if I wanted to actually do this in a coaching format.”
Rutger now works by breaking down hands that students post in video format and offers his thoughts.
A big challenge to coaching, he says, is trying to make students understand his way of thinking and understanding why a play is good or bad – so they can apply the hand analyzed to other situations. Rutger offers a tip to think about when looking for a coach.
“I personally think it’s important that the coach actually plays and knows how the stakes he teaches are being played,” he says.
It has been a nice rise for Rutger over the last few years. He began at the NL2 level in September 2015 as a beginner, and just slowly moved up the stakes successfully. As a longtime BPC student and now coach, how does the site stand apart from others?
He notes: “It’s a great community that really knows how to scale things.” Need a coach? Rutger’s ready to help scale your game.
Hometown: Helsinki, Finland
Games & stakes: PLO up to PLO50
Sites played: Unibet and smaller independent networks
If PLO is your game, then this 6-max coach may have you raking in more pots than missed opportunities. Kyyberi has a long history in coaching and hand analysis. He joined PokerStrategy.com in 2008 and began regularly discussing posted hand threads. His thoughts helped others understand differing strategies.
“I have been teaching and coaching in sports since 1993 and that helped me to find a way to make people understand the concepts and important things in hands more easily,” he says.
That led to work with PokerStrategy in small stakes PLO in the Finnish community, and in 2012 Kyyberi became the poker school coordinator of that community. When that community was closed, he worked more in the English community producing videos and live streams. He now brings that experience to BPC.
“I have coached around 300 students so far, and besides just a couple, all of them have been happy,” he says.
When it comes to poker and sports, Kyyberi says someone being a good player doesn’t mean he is automatically a good coach. He recommends sampling coaches before committing long-term.
“Most coaches have free content in Internet, so watch those and see how it feels,” he says. “Then get one session and see how well that coach suits you and your needs.”
Kyyberi became interested in poker after playing some recreational Sit and Gos and other tournaments. He then moved to play 6-max, he says, “back in the day when three-betting A-K was considered as an ‘expert play.’ But as soon as I tried PLO, I fell in love with the game.”
After so many years teaching, that love of PLO has been a benefit to students all over the world.
A natural teacher, Kyyberi works as a kindergarten and preschool teacher and as a martial arts teacher and coach for international-level athletes. He tries to tailor his coaching to each student’s needs.
“Some students require instant changes and quick rules of thumb while some need longer explanations and more in-depth concepts,” he says. “I am pretty good in understanding how we learn new skills, and I am able to explain that to my students and find the best way for them at that moment. Coaching doesn’t make anyone a good player – coaching just shows the way and helps that player along.”
For students, Kyyberi stresses that it’s important to be patient for progress – keep with the plan and watch for progress over time.
“People are always looking for quick solutions – in weight loss, finances, and in poker,” he says. “To become good at anything requires a lot of work. And sadly most players like to just play a lot more than to do the work.”
Hometown: Australian but lives in Bali, Indonesia
Games & stakes: $60-$100 spin and gos
Sites played on: Pokerstars
Paul also comes from a teaching background, which has served him well as a teacher. He began coaching 10 years ago after he quit teaching and has coached over 500 players since then.
That coaching comes with plenty of experience. He began playing full time 12 years ago, starting in regular and turbo HU Sit and Gos on Full Tilt and PokerStars and later moving to limits as high as $350. He then switched to HU hyper turbos as high as $200 stakes. He also plays Spin and Gos in the $60-$100 range.
His work has paid big dividends for many players.
“I’ve had dozens of players I’ve coached become full time professional players,” he says. “I also was the main coach for the Evolve coaching stable and coached a number of players who have gone on to play the highest limits.”
When working with students, Paul hopes they understand the theory behind the strategies.
“I want them to not just understand what to do, but why they are doing it, so they can solve problems at the table themselves,” he says. “Understanding what people don’t know can be a challenge. It’s too easy to think that concepts are obvious when in fact some people have missed them along the way. It never hurts to go over things meticulously to make sure no child is left behind.”
What asked what he does away from poker, Paul offers some insight into his great poker life. “Hookers and blow. OK not really. I spend a lot of time with my girlfriend and hang out at the beach everyday.”
Age 31. Home : Pärnu.
Games and stakes: Nl200-Nl1000.
Sites: Whereever is good action.
Danel is no stranger to BPC success. He finished the €60k CFP Crusher contract recently and is now hoping to share his success with others as a new 6-max coach. Students looking for a successful mentor would do well to seek his advice.
After scoring so well in the program, coaching seemed a natural progression.
“I got an offer from BPC to help them coach guys who also want to get better and improve their game,” he says. “A coach should be able to determine the leaks and give solutions nad help a student make the most money out of game. It goes in hand with being realistic and understanding what your opponents are doing, so you can adjust accordingly.”
Danel has played poker more than 10 years. He began playing just for fun, but also was making some small returns on his money. He played a lot of MTTs then switched to cashcames five years ago. Before becoming a student at BPC, he estimates he was I making €1,000-€2,000 a month. Away from poker, he enjoys sports, traveling, friends, family, reading, and investing.
— How does Danel feel that BPC stands apart from other coaching sites?
“It provides students with everything they need to start making real money, in addition to coachings. It’s a team that is working to be ahead of the competition. I hope that students start understanding the game better and start making some real money, to improve their quality of life.”
Sean Chaffin is a freelance writer in Texas. His work appears in numerous websites and publications such as PokerNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @PokerTraditions.