Mathematics Based Poker Coaching


Coaching Philosophy

Over the past six years, I've helped dozens of players improve their games in one-on-one sessions, and thousands through forum posts. Often the question comes up of why? Why for a comparably small amount or nothing would you teach other players how to beat the games? For me, the answer is simple. Teaching the game makes me a far better player. Before each session, I will ask you to give me an agenda for the meeting so that I can take the time to ensure I have the fullest understanding possible of the subjects to be discussed. During the session itself, I will work with you to help you gain a full understand of the subject by encouraging questions and thoughtful discussion. I never take the position that the things I say are infallible or that there aren't exceptions to every rule. Ultimately, poker is a game of shades of gray. My goal is to help you distinguish between these shades. Using this open approach allows the discussion to move from basic concepts to the cutting edges of poker strategy and enables us to make drastic improvements to your game.


What I teach

First and foremost, I teach a philosophy of poker. Specifically, that poker is a mathematics based discipline. You can be a great poker player without math, but you will work much harder, and you will never have the confidence to know why your winning. You will have lucked into the right style at the right time against the right players. If the games change, you may well be less successful and lack the skills necessary to turn your game around. Learning the math behind the decisions you make allows you to play confident in the knowledge that you have a quantifiable edge on your opposition.

There are two main areas that math is most easily and usefully applied to poker, expected value calculation and large sample data analysis. One of the foundations of statistics is the concept of expected value. With enough time and effort, it can be used to analyze any situation in poker. Often though, it's a fairly simple process, which, once completed, yields a concrete answer to a situation you previously had no understanding of. Data analysis too can yield huge dividends by analyzing information you have on your opponents and your own results. I have an extensive knowledge of both the practical elements of analyzing poker databases as well as a rigorous formal background in mathematics and statistics necessary to understand and interpret the results. Learning even the basics of expected value and data analysis will change the fundamental way you make poker decisions. You will still face tough decisions and make mistakes, but you will know that every situation can be analyzed. Should you face that spot again, you will be able to have a concrete rational for the choice you make.


Coaching programs


Tactical Coaching Programs for Limit Hold'em

Complete Game Review ($500) - Ideal if your game is in crisis from a downswing or from months of stagnation. This package includes five hours of objective professional data analysis and hand reviews done on your database resulting in a breakdown of areas you can improve by street with hand examples. In addition, you will receive three coaching sessions (totaling five hours): one 2-3 hour one-on-one coaching session to go over the results of the analysis and two follow up sessions in the following weeks to solidify these concepts. The package also includes a detailed plan to refocus you on improvement, address fundamental flaws in your game, build confidence, and remove a results oriented mindset.

One-on-One sessions ($60 per hour) - Ideal if you are a new player looking to kick start the learning process and ensure you're on the path to success. Also useful for fixing problem areas in your game which you've identified. Some potential session topics include:

-Quick introduction to poker (Is poker right for you? What do I need to do to become a semi-professional or professional player?)
-Fundamentals of learning and improvement for longterm growth
-Resources for tilt control and planning
-Quick introduction to expected value (with examples)
-Fundamentals of data analysis
-Dealing with tough opponents
-Handling LAGs
-Playing marginal high cards and weak made hands

Continual Education ($200/four hours) - Ideal if you're a serious player looking to improve quickly and willing to work hard in between meetings to implement the strategies and adjustments seen in each session. Meeting will typically be weekly or bi-weekly. A typical session usually will consist of one or more of the following:

-Analyzing hands you're concerned about
-Working through mental game/downswing problems
-Analyzing opponents for exploitation and understanding

Review Cards ($35 per set or $120 for 4 sets) Ideal for those looking for affordable improvement. These study cards sets each contain 30 hand examples with reads on the "front" and a suggested play with a brief rational derived from mathematical analysis on the "back." The cards are digital and use open source study card software to improve the learning process.


Strategic Coaching Program for All Games

Theory Development Course ($2700) - Ideal if you are an advanced player looking to expand to multiple games and avoid plateauing. This fifteen week multi-part course covers the three main approaches to developing poker theory: recognizing key concepts through hand analysis, empirical data analysis, and simulation.

Each of these approaches will be examined over a five week period beginning first by laying the conceptual and technical ground work. Then, you will under take a guided project on a preselected topic. Finally, you will have the opportunity to choose a topic for independent research which I will assist you in completing. Through out this process, we will work to cross perceived boundaries and avoid the easy road.

Throughout the course, we will meet twice a week for about 75 minutes per session to go over new concepts and techniques, cover questions or problems you're having, and for you to present the results of your work and answer questions about it. I will be available between sessions to answer any questions you may have.

This is an intensive course, which will require you to make at least a 15 hour per week time commitment. Material of this level is not accessible simply through lecture and discussion. You must apply the knowledge, struggle with the minutiae, and learn through experience. I will help you along the way, but no teacher is a substitute for hard work.


Qualifications

-Seven years of limit hold'em experience (four at midstakes)
-Five years of coaching experience
-Bachelors degree in Mathematics
-Masters degree in Statistics
-Four semesters teaching Introductory Statistics at the college level
-Hundreds of hours tutoring statistics
-Pokerstrategy.com Coach


Contact information

Email: leader2p2 (at) gmail (dot) com
Skype: Leader2p2
AIM: Leader2p2
Follow me on Twitter: @Leader2p2


Scheduling a session

Scheduling a single session is as easy as emailing me the times you're available and the topics you wish to discuss. I am generally available afternoon/evening/late night United States eastern time. Please allow 72 hours in advance of the meeting time to allow me to prepare and confirm my availability. If you have quick questions or concerns, I'm happy to help you on AIM/Skype. If you'd like to establish a longer term relationship or are interesting in the Complete Game Review or Theory Development packages, please let me know about your current circumstances and interests as well as when you would like to get started.


Payment methods

I currently except PayPal transfer, which can be made with major credit/debit cards or a bank transfer.


Coaching Reviews

SuckoutKing
I came to Leader specifically for math help in my game, and it has been a fantastic decision.

First of all, the man has a Masters in Statistics. Even the most complex poker math is so simple to him, and that gives me great confidence. Before the end of the first session, I was already blown away by the amount of independent research he had done on his own. Learning many of his conclusions directly probably saved me 100s of hours of research if I tried to do it on my own.

Secondly, he's very open and friendly. He works hard to simplify the answers to the complex questions I've asked. No matter what I asked, he was able to frame the answer in the objective form of mathematics.

But here's the bottom line. I've been playing a long time, and I've done very well in the past until the advancements in my opponents' games overtook me. Leader has taught me concepts that I have been unable to grasp no matter how hard I tried...stuff not found in almost any poker book, nor in articles. Even when I saw pieces of info, it has always been too difficult to understand in any form I've ever seen it. He took these concepts and broke them down for me step by step until I got it. Honestly, my head hurt at first and I wondered if I'd be able to effectively use these new ideas in my own game. I could not have guessed how quickly it would change my whole outlook on the game.

I remember recently we talked a lot about some specific postflop situations. He suggested strategies I've never used and I was intrigued. The next session I played, before I had been able to implement any changes on my own, I started to see plays that have always been used against me in a whole new light. Good players were making bluffs and rebluffs, aggressive value plays, and smart calldowns...all because they utilized mathematical concepts I never knew existed. I couldn't believe how much more familiar I became with my opponents' strategies literally overnight. Talk about getting into somebody's head. I felt the gap between myself and the winning $5/10 6max players shrinking rapidly.

And that is the impact you get when you talk to somebody as smart, knowledgeable, and helpful as Leader. Seriously, he's a huge bargain just when you consider his success at the tables and long history of credibility at 2+2, but when it comes to his expertise in poker math the price is just laughably low...impossible to beat.
jerni
Just wanted to throw in my 2c that I also think Leader is a fantastic coach. Would echo everything everyone else has said and would just note that one big differentiating factor is that he's very good at teaching you HOW to analyze hands ("teaching you to fish", so to speak), in addition to giving you advice/insight on specific hands.

Highly recommended.
DonJuan
I got the complete game review package from Leader. After playing nearing 2 millions hands last year going for SNE my game was on auto pilot. I needed a coach that was able to analysis my database and see where my leaks were coming from and there was a tons that he was able to point out. I love the fact that he point out a bunch of hands and showing example of where I am making my mistake. He showed detail of what hands in what position I should open up more. I had a lot of questions in general and he was able to give me different points of view and let me come up with my own thought. The whole experience was great. Not only did he provide what I needed but a lot more then what I asked for


My Jan and Feb graph where I begin my coaching from Leader

http://i.imgur.com/mCu8F.png

http://i.imgur.com/SAZpa.png
PokahPlaya
Completely agree with all the analysis of Leader as a coach. I got the Complete Game Review. He definitely knows how to get you thinking the right way about a hand. When he breaks it down, it seems almost automatic for future references. Which is his look on improving as a player. There is always stuff you can fix, but the more it becomes automatic making the right play your win rate will improve. He knows the foundation of how to approach the game. As a fairly new player (200k hands) I believe that i can only go up from here. I look forward to moving up and believe that Leader will be a large part of that.
Jack_Sarang
I was in a major rut in my game. Constant down-swings and only 0.6BB/100 winner in my main game. I tried a lot of self-study, watched a ton of videos etc but I was not making any improvement.

I also took the Complete Game Review and am very happy with the results. I had a lot of leaks that I would never have been able to spot on my own. Some very large, some very nuanced. Leader was able to identify them easily and give solid advice on how to plug them.

He gives very concise advice and instruction. The way he is able to explain concepts makes it very easy to understand and apply.

He is very patient and easy to work with.

Would definitely recommend his coaching to anyone looking to improve their game.
RedHot
I play 2/4 - 5/T limit holdem, and took on The Complete Game Review in order to find and plug leaks in my game. This turned out to be a really good decision, as by analyzing my database Leader was able to highlight a number of areas where my play was sub-optimal. Without having this review, I am quite sure I would still be making these weak plays now and into the future.

As well as pinpointing mistakes in my play, Leader was able to give me useful advice on how to internalize this new learning and make sure that the new knowledge was not forgotten. In addition he provided the basis of a plan for me to keep improving my play in the future.

Needless to say, $50 an hour for coaching from an experienced mid stakes player/statistician/teacher is remarkable value and I have no hesitation in recommending it.
Petro
Leader's complete game review was very enlightening for me. There's lots of value in having an experienced player sift through a big sample of hands to find problems in your play that you weren't necessarily aware of. He had lots of both practical and theoretical insight for play at the table and analysis away from the table. He did a good job of teaching how to properly analyze a hand using all the tools and info available.

All things considered, his review was a remarkable value.
Bahaus
I've been a winning 5/10 and 10/20 reg but got in a break-even/downswing trend so I needed a fresh analysis of my game
Leader's CGR was great and we've talked about a lot of in-game situations aswel as working on my game away from the tables
Long story short I've been crushing again for the past 100k hands

Great value for money
daiquiri
I play small stakes LHE (2/4-5/T) for a living for about 2 years now, and I recently bought the complete game review package from Leader during a downswing of biblical proportions, because I needed to find out if I had developed leaks during this stretch (or if I had any previously), and badly needed to regain my confidence.

As far as I know, no one offers such a comprehensive game review package as Leader does - there are quite a few solid coaches in the market, but unless you are really leaking like the Titanic, it can be very difficult to spot real leaks in your game if someone only does some session reviews or sweat sessions for you, which is what most coaches offer. Getting a big chunk of your database analyzed by a widely respected and solid midstakes player who is a statistics expert at the same time is probably your best shot at finding things in your game that are costing you money on a regular basis.

In my opinion Leader did a really good job in finding stuff like this in my game, and explained very clearly why and how they might cost me money. We also did lot's of analysis of hands I collected for our sessions, which represented problematic areas in my game and I feel that my understanding of these areas has become a lot better.
I'd also like to add that he was always on time, well prepared for our session and always easily available to schedule the next one.

With his help I managed to regain my confidence during the darkest times of my poker career, which is absolutely crucial to pull out of a downswing, and I'm also certain that I plugged some leaks that were cutting into my winrate.
For 500 bucks, this package is ridiculously high value, highly recommended.
Woncho Cheese
I recently completed Leader's Complete Game Review program and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for LHE coaching. He was very thorough in his analysis and well prepared for our sessions. He plugged a lot of leaks in my game and was able to clearly explain the rationale behind all of his advice. For the price, I feel like his coaching is a great value and quickly paid for itself at the tables. I plan to continue receiving his coaching.
solidswede
I have had several lessons from Leader. I usually get a lesson from him after a significant downswing. Usually when I have been losing I wonder do I call to much or not enough and after each lesson from Leader I have felt much better, because of the way he teaches you how to brake down a hand mathematically.

Leader does an extensive hand analysis with you. I.e. You on Bu with Ac7d BB defends flop is Qc9c5d. BB CR your flop bet. Leader will show you based on your assumptions of what he CR you with, whether or not it is profitable to call down, fold flop, turn or river.

I highly recommend Leader as a coach. He will teach you how to figure out through math, whether to call or fold on any given hand
frinxor
Had my first session with Leader a few days ago. It was very enlightening and thorough. I'm a NL player looking to learn limit and I've definitely learned more in an hour with Leader than what I've learned in hours of watching videos / playing on my own. Highly recommended.
pg_780
I've had 4 sessions with Leader, and my results have been terrific ever since, so I thought I'd send out a little plug.

I've been a wining $2/4 player for a couple years, and wanted to move up to $5/10, so I figured I'd get some coaching. My game is fairly math based, and I recently started up on the 2 +2 forums, so I thought I'd try Leader.

After just 2 sessions of PT3 analysis, and discussing many hands where I was uncertain, I was able to discover and plug several leaks that had slipped into my game. Leader is very good at assessing the value of one play over another, and has helped me shift the way I play in certain situations. He's also very good at using Poker Tracking stats to determine where your play may be faltering.

Investing $60/hr for Leader's coaching is a very wise move, for a player of any ability.