My last blog post here at Cardplayer Lifestyle was about my first-time experience coaching someone. Just a couple days after it published, I was contacted by a woman named Moran Fine. She explained to me that she had started a brand new poker coaching website called Poker Castle. She explained the website and its format to me as follows:
“We built a platform recently where you can give group training sessions in a new fun way. The main idea is that the trainer gives the session to six students simultaneously. While the students play one against another at a 6-max table, you can watch them play (they are able to play random or custom hands) while the coach can see all the cards. There is an audio conference call running in the background, so everybody at the table can hear each other. After each hand the coach can give the players feedback about how they played, ask questions and even show the ranges table.”
Simple, Intuitive User Experience
Moran then invited me to create a table the following weekend, so I could try it out. I was nervous doing so, but as I quickly discovered, there was no need to fear. Poker Castle is so easy to use both from the coach’s and students’ perspectives. My fears fell away as soon as Moran gave me a walk-through of the software. As a Mechanical Designer, I have always appreciated not only form and function, but simplicity. Basically, I want something that helps me do a job more easily, I want it to look cool, and I only want it to do what I need it to do, nothing more and nothing less.
Poker Castle is unique in that it has combined a few critical poker learning tools into one software interface. I can create a table and I have everything I need to coach poker and generate some income, or alternatively, I can log on as a student and learn from some great coaches; all without ever having to leave the comfort of my couch!
When a student first logs in to Poker Castle for a training session, the coach greets everyone and the students then introduce themselves one at a time, each giving a quick rundown of their poker experience up until that point. The coaches are top-notch, friendly, and understand that not every student is at the same level. As such, to properly tailor the coaching, they ask each student specifically what aspects of poker strategy they wish to focus on.
I was so fortunate to sit in on a session with Michael Niwinski who is a professional poker player and coach best known for finishing in 15th place at the 2016 WSOP Main Event for just over $427,000!
This kid Mike Niwinski is lovably nerdy. Hard not to root for him. @WSOP
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) October 22, 2016
I had never had the opportunity to be coached before, and Michael has savoir-faire. In one hour he helped take my 3-betting game from neutral to top gear, plus I got schooled in some of the finer points of bet sizing that I had never considered before. Where else are you going to get a coaching session with someone of that caliber for $30 an hour? The answer is nowhere! Rather, you are likely going to have to pay in the $200-$300 per hour range anywhere else.
Class Is Now In Session
When the time came for me to log on and coach my first session on Poker Castle, my nerves had already been settled by Moran’s encouragement and the overview she had given me. I was ready and excited, as this was to be only my second poker coaching experience.
My students logged on, introduced themselves, and summed up what they were hoping to get out of the session. I introduced myself, rattled off my poker history and background, and we were ready to begin.
As a coach, you can program in custom hands to Poker Castle’s software to work through if you want to set up specific situations that a student may wish to work on. My first time out of the gate I didn’t exercise this option; rather I opted to take advantage of the random hand generator. I clicked the button to start and BANG, we were off to the races. It sounds cliché to say, but from there on in the rest almost seemed like a blur. Our 60-minute poker coaching session was up before we knew it and we were all saying our goodbyes. I have mentioned in previous blog posts that I am a somewhat of an extreme introvert, so I was both relieved to have been done and excited to have completed the session successfully with what appeared to be a group of satisfied students. On the other hand, I was also left wanting to repeat the experience; it was so much fun!
Moran had been watching the session “behind the scenes” and I was anxious to hear her thoughts on how it went. My anxiety gave way to elation when the next day she emailed me with the proverbial “thumbs up” and mentioned that she had gotten positive feedback from a couple of the students in the session. What a great feeling… plus, I had made $30! In retrospect, the entire experience was just a ton of fun. I can’t wait to log on, create a table, and do it all over again.
In A Nutshell
When all is said and done, Poker Castle gives you the opportunity to get $200-$300 per hour of coaching value at the rock bottom price of around $30 per hour. It’s a groundbreaking concept, disrupting the known methods of poker coaching and creating something new and unique in the field. For coaches, too, this gives you a brand new, highly intuitive way to share your knowledge as well as create a new revenue stream.
Ladies and gentlemen, there is a new kid on the block in the poker training sphere and, if I were a betting man (which I am), I’d say that Poker Castle is positioned to be a clear and decisive standout in the market. There’s always talk of “the next big thing” in poker study – well, for my money, Poker Castle is it!