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Coaching, Updated

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I used to think poker coaching was not for everyone. I didn’t see the need. There are sources of free information. Low-cost training sites. YouTube experts (and even some real experts out there, too.)

Hey – if you don’t want to read this (republished) document but want to talk to me, use one of the social media/skype/email links around here, or use the form is below. is fine.

Group schedule is currently: NL Practicum, Saturdays at 11:00 AM PST. Office Hours are Saturdays at Noon PST and Tuesdays at 11:00 AM PST.

Here’s some advice on poker coaching and thinking about poker training: The Poker Zoo, Ep. 16

On the other hand, sometimes it’s just the best, most efficient way forward.

Now I have coached successfully since what, 2016? I didn’t hang a shingle, people asked me to because they knew I was winning and could explain how it’s done.

What’s changed is, now I understand why some people really need a coach:

It’s because of all the shitty ideas, books, training sites, and other stuff out there. I have to unwind what they did and continue to do.

They don’t teach the theory of the game, or to make that concrete for you, why does anything happen in the game? Why do you need to do this and not that?

The key stuff isn’t in the solver or in the app or the charts you overpaid for.

The models are mute, they explain nothing.

Anyway, I have developed a somewhat independent philosophy which removes some of the mystery of the full ring. The basis is in understanding, before you sit down at the table, the nature of big bet community card games, especially NLHE which is still the most common game and the usual basis of a live poker win rate, and how it revolves around position and stack size. This philosophy overlaps with GTO practice, and I in fact spend a good amount of time in solver world.

Now most players lose because they just don’t work or think or try very hard or even care: pretty simple.

However, if that is not you, if you are stuck and know at heart you can get there, a mentor is one of the fast tracks out. (What’s more, if you are a bad live reg and fall into my general categories of why you are struggling, I can help you with all of the erroneous thought processes I list.)


The essence of my strategy for many years for the game of NLHE poker is playing all my hands according to their natural alignment with position, stack size, and community cards. This is what I call synchronicity. This separates my particular style from common styles and emphasizes post-flop logic.

It also means I have a basic and coherent understanding of the game and am not just clicking buttons or following some guide. In fact, I don’t pass out charts until I’m sure you understand the theory behind the charts – they are of little value and always change, anyway.

GTO play is all about synchronicity – everything has a logic and reason and works together nicely.

Simplicity is key: all my thoughts on poker will revolve around these three complementary aspects of the game, because in the end, we are performers, not theorists. We need to be flexible and active and not weighed down with too many complex and numerous ideas. We are, above all, players.

How will coaching work?

If you contact me, I will send you an overview of my practice which explains how things work and the cost.

If you want to consider moving forward, we talk over Zoom as a consult. I need to start with getting a sense of your game and/or your issues. The most successful poker coaching experience is one where we both know what we are working toward, whether it is one theme or an entire overhaul of your game.

If it looks like I can help, we will agree to a month of service where we are in constant communication.

We will use Skype primarily. Simple and functional.

I may suggest a diagnostic session or a video of your play which I will analyze.

In all cases, we will start from the beginning of poker theory.

A series of homeworks is how I communicate theory. You will do work and will think.


Kent Dail, 2022:

I played poker for years before encountering Persuadeo and the Zoo. One of the first things that caught my attention is how he and his cohort talked about the game. I had never heard the game talked about to that level of detail or sophistication. Despite having poker coaching in the past, I lacked a basic language to describe what was happening in hands and was stuck whenever I encountered any theory that I did not understand. Working with Persuadeo allowed me to gain a level of understanding of how the game worked and gave me the tools to discover additional theory and strategy on my own. He does not give you canned answers or strict rules, but instead trains you about what considerations need to be made in any given situation. Poker is a complex game with countless permutations of situations that require thought and Persuadeo’s teaching enables you to have the necessary tools to think through each situation and the skills to analyze and refine your thought process. Excellent value and return on investment.

Christian Soto, August 2016:

Persuadeo is the only person besides my close friends who I can say thinks along the same wave lengths as I do in terms of strategy. I’m not saying we play the same but he thinks about new ways to win and isn’t someone who I can see teaching gimmicks but rather how to think. He’s also a very non-bullshit kind of guy which I like. And I think is that’s also needed in a coach.

Brian Cuban, October 2017:

Tomorrow’s my last Easy Game discussion group with persuadeo , so I wanted to take a minute to say that my experience working with him was a very positive one, and I highly recommend seeking him out if you are in the market for coaching.

I was part of a group that read Andrew Seidman’s Easy Game together over the past three months. Persuadeo did a great job of guiding our discussion and providing insightful commentary at each of our meetings. He is very good at making difficult concepts simpler to understand and answering any questions you may have – but he does so without spoon-feeding you. There are times when you may spend a few days or perhaps a week working through a specific concept or question. He will be with you the entire way as you work toward a solution, and he will be there make sure you’re headed down the right path with your train of thought, but he will also ask that you take it upon yourself to think things through and try to come up with the answers on your own. This can be challenging, but it is ultimately to your benefit as it will help you learn to correctly think about the game. The biggest takeaway from my time with Persuadeo was not any one specific concept (although my strategic game has improved significantly over the past three months because of what we’ve discussed), but that I was able to see how a successful professional thinks about and studies the game, and I can emulate those qualities in order to become a more successful student of the game myself.

Julie McGrath, October 2017:

This is so hard for me to write. Persuadeo is such an amazing coach that I don’t really want to share and have all of you improve your game as well…. I was raised to tell the truth, so I suppose I must.

For the past several years I have been looking for a cash coach. I’ve read Persuadeo’s blogs and was really intrigued by his poker stories. I knew there was something very different and unique about his approach to the game. He is not the type of person, as you all may know from his posts here, to give you the answer. I didn’t want another coach telling me how to play a hand, but I was looking for someone to teach me why.I have had 2 months of private coaching with Persuadeo, and it felt like I basically relearned the game. He never once told me there was a particular way that I had to play. He made me find the answers, my own path, and my own strategy. When you sign up for private coaching with Persuadeo it is a month long. You will work very hard and he will push you to understand. To really thoroughly understand the”why’s” of every poker decision you will make.

The Easy Game study group gave me another opportunity to continue with my poker studies. We had a great group that worked under Persuadeo’s guidance. Each of us had a chapter a week to summarize, as well as some additional individual assignments. He sets up a chat group where we could talk about Seidman concepts in further detail, and maybe discuss a few HH’s that related to the topics at hand. He is very good at taking complicated concepts and simplifying them for application. I have to say it was the best experience and I will never look at poker the same. I thought I had a good handle on strategy with my private coaching, but this study group really solidified even more concepts.Everyone always wants to know if a coach has made you a winning player. So yes, Persuadeo has helped me increase my win rate. More than just a little. What is more important to me is that he has given me the tools to confidently solve on my own. This is where my game has improved drastically and it has allowed everything else to fall into place.

So if you are considering a coach. He is the one. Be prepared to get out of it what you put into it. If you are a serious student of the game then his coaching is completely worth your time and money.

William Scott, 2020:

I finished C1 last month and it was a tremendous eye opener.   My previous approach to NL was based on years of old thinking from when the game was still a mystery and positional advantage was still a new concept to anyone other than Doyle Brunson.  The game has gotten harder and more evolved and your breakdown of what is at the core of the game opens an entirely new way to approach everything done in a hand, from reasons to play a hand, reasons to bet, check, call, sizing, and an overall strategy for the game.  The approach is simple, but the execution is quite complex and that will take significant time to turn into a skillset.    The course, combined with the chance to practice in the club game and this forum are extremely useful in growing my abilities.  Thanks

Jason Rathbun, 2022:

I’ve studied with Persuadeo for a little over a year now. I haven’t studied with other coaches so
I don’t have anything to compare it too but I know his style works for me. I’ve always been a
bit of a “why” person and that is what you will get with Persuadeo. It’s all about concepts and
thinking correctly. If you have trouble understanding a concept he will find another way to
explain it or a way to get you to think about it so that you do understand it. There is no cookie
cutter “play this range from this position or make this bet size here”. There is always a why any
action is taken in any given spot and that is what is taught. Beginning with week 1 of “what is a
bet”. Everything expands from there. If you want charts and what to do in a spot then go
somewhere else. However if you want to learn how this game works and want to be able to
think about the game and adapt to multiple situations then Persuadeo is the guy to go to for

Oh and value. What you get for your money here is incredible. The amount of time that
Persuadeo puts into his students is incredible. From one on one to the chat group questions
are answered almost immediately.

The hourly model does not work for me and might not for you. Poker ideas take time to resonate and develop. If a mentor is what you need, you will likely have many questions and not want to feel pressured to squeeze them into an hour of my time or your time.

Lastly, students will be given access to Poker Zoo, a chat group, and the more permanent record of The Back Room, both of which we use for study, support, group discussion and transparency in my poker coaching. A discord group exists as well, and the public is invited to it.

Contact me for more details about poker coaching (or, I suppose, other stuff) with the form below. If you need references, ask.


If you like what you read here, we may have the basis for a beneficial, poker coaching relationship.

Thanks for your time – Chris Murray (aka Persuadeo, an old forum name)

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