There are plenty of ways to hones your poker skills alongside putting in the hours at the table. There is an endless supply of articles, magazines, books, websites and coaches out there all offering their own insights in to how to make you a better player. However, if you are looking to invest your hard earned money in order to up your game then it's well worth researching your sources before committing yourself.
Highstakes Database have partnered up with Gordon Gekko and his coaching program "bestpokercoaching.com" and we believe that his unique insights, rigorous work ethic and unrivaled content can really back up the claims he makes. Check out his site as well as his free tips and videos to get a taste of this extraordinary poker coaching talent. As a one time (and long time) break even player at SSNL his transformation into a winning high stakes player was all down to sheer hard work - and his methods have been proven to turn other losing small stakes players into winning mid-high stakes players in less than twelve months.
We caught up with Gordon to ask him a few questions about his story, his goals and his coaching program.
How did you get started in poker?
- Rounders... ok just kidding. Actually haven't seen rounders until playing 2 years of poker; After finishing high school i wanted to realize my dream and travel the world. So i searched for a way to make money online. I've was a very active chess player and heard about poker from Martin Wahls (co-founder of pokerstrategy.com), who was a grand master. First i thought it was a big scam. Why would they give me $50 for free?! But then the curious part of myself got the best. My "grandson" and dog also signed up. But just like me, they lost the $50 rather quickly ;)
A lot of online poker instructors tend to have been pretty successful pretty quickly, whereas you admittedly struggled to beat small stakes over a long period of time before taking a look at your game and fixing your leaks through detailed analysis. Do you think that your experience as break even SSNL player helps you understand better the frustrations and mistakes that your students may tend to make than if you had breezed through those levels?
- Since I've learnt the game by trial & error, I've done every error/mistake possible. I'm happy when students tell me that they have finally found somebody who understands their situation. In most things I'm a person who looks really stupid at the start. I take a bit longer to understand things, but once i understand something, i never forget it and you can be sure that i'm gonna crush. So after figuring out how poker really works and how the real money is made, i then moved up actually rather quickly from NL 200 up to high stakes. But yeah, it took me quite some time until i finally "got it". What still makes me a bit angry today is that it was rather simple ;(
Looking at your website and videos it's obvious that you have put a lot of time and effort into your courses - do you truly believe that you can help become a winning poker player?
I get daily emails from successful students with thank you notes and bragging graphs. So the answer is a clear yes. Will everybody become successful at poker? No. But if you are able to follow simple instructions, and if you really want success, then you'll have a bright future at poker. Because most players give up when facing small obstacles. I always say "champions stand up one more time than the rest". Its one of my favorite quotes. But again, you have to be serious and focus on a quality education.
Leading on from the last question - given the amount of time and effort you put into your training site, do you still make time to play online yourself in order to make sure you are still sharp and ahead of the game?
- I only play rarely these days. Friends still call me to sweat/buy action when playing higher. And actually through coaching, I improve as well! Sometimes the "lion" inside me wants to prove himself. For example when i lived in Kiev some months ago, i played quite a few live games. One time player, always player. But I've decided that poker will be only one part of my live and i focus on different ventures as well.
What I found refreshing about your approach is that you really tell it like it is - people shouldn't waste their time "leveling" or trying to look good at the tables - they should be concentrating on mastering a simple, winning strategy. Using your methods how long should it take for say a 25c/50c break-even player to becoming a steady winning player at this level?
- Thanks for the compliment. You actually put your finger on the right spot. 99% of poker players repeatedly show me hands where they bluff off A3o in a 7bet pot for 400BB, while checking a set against an aggro maniac "in order to balance their range". BULLSHIT is all i can say. I could list a few more things, but in short words: If you understand how poker works and how you make money, then the hardest work is done. Its sound's easy, but the biggest part of my work is actually to remove the crap my students have learnt from other coaches/watching bad videos.
- To answer your question in a simple way: I'd say one month of hard work is enough to turn from breakeven to winning player. Many students were way faster, but if you need a bit more time like myself, then 1 month will be enough. In my courses i actually give detailed homework assignments. Not 100% of my students are successful. That's impossible. But EVERY student who did the homework showed great success.
What is the format of your one-on-one training?
- The best feedback i get for my ability to spot leaks in just a few minutes. That's typically the first session, where the student describes his problems at the table and together we develop step-by-step solutions to solve those.
- Many students also like the personalized videos. The student makes a video of himself playing, and i record, comment on their play and give them detailed advice, what went wrong, why it went wrong and how they could play their hand better next time. With long term students, we do a mixture of all formats. They all got their advantages and disadvantages.
Your testimonials are very impressive, you have obviously helped a lot of people win a lot of money - what's the range of limits your students are currently playing? Also, after being coached by you what is the biggest leap in limits you know of from one of your students?
- I actually have few students who i taught poker from the ground up. One of them, Tom, crushed NL 2000 after 6 months. He played $5 pub tourneys before. That was amazing, considering he only moved up after beating the limit for at least 30k hands and 50Buyin profit. Tom recently became the runner-up of the Irish poker open 2012. We worked almost daily together (he mostly watched me and asked questions). We're up to this day friends in real life as well and i continue to coach/buy action.
- The biggest compliment he gave me was after attending a $5000 seminar with Jungleman. "He - Jungleman - is a genius, but he teaches poker the exact same way like you"
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