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Old 12-28-2005, 03:44 PM
McMelchior McMelchior is offline
Join Date: May 2003
Location: New York, New York
Posts: 66
Default Re: Teaching a friend Hold\'em 101 & Basic SnG Strategy from scratch.

What makes for a good learning strategy completely hinges on how your friend is wired.

People are way more different in what way they can learn and what kind of education/training they benefit from than most are aware of.

Take for instance learning to read. Some kids pick it up like in no time. I (for instance) enjoyed reading John Steinbeck's novels after only 7 month of school. That certainly doesn't mean I was a prodegy (I have been playing NLHE tournaments daily for 5 years now, and I'm still far less than proficient). Reading was just easy for me to pick up. Other kids still had a hard time spelling their way through "age-appropriate" material in 3rd grade - not because they were dyslexic, but because the education program didn't fit their needs well.

Some people learn best by reading and appropriating the basis foundation of a subject before they venture into "reality". Other's gain nothing from it, but can only advance via a hands-on strategy (your friend sounds a little like that).

Most people learn a new field of practice through heuristics: Play these hands under these conditions, never fold AA preflop, always raise TPTK if there's a draw on the board etc. Learning the heuristics by heart makes it possible for them to practice without having their butts handed to them. When the heuristics have become second nature it's time then to challenge them with the underlying assumptions and theories. Until then these are of little value.

Generally an apprentice-model with reflection in action provides for the most efficient form of learning. Sit with your friend while he plays (not you, he'll gain little from that because of the enourmous gap between your understandings) and discuss the hands as they unfold. Or spend time going over the HHs after the fact.

If you want to start your friend out with a book I suggest a real beginner: Lee Jones Winning LLHE. It contains exactly the kind of heuristics that your friend can learn by heart in an afternoon and apply with enough success to continue being motivated (this is important - you need to be motivated to learn, and without frequent success the motivation will wane).


McMelchior (Johan)
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Old 12-28-2005, 03:53 PM
microbet microbet is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Southern California
Posts: 1,360
Default Re: Teaching a friend Hold\'em 101 & Basic SnG Strategy from scratch.

One of the things that made sure I didn't miss possible hands was my home game in high school where we played if someone said they had one hand, but really had a better one, it was what they said that counted, until after the hand when the money went somewhere else and then all of us made fun of them for about a year.
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Old 12-28-2005, 04:08 PM
splashpot splashpot is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Needham, MA
Posts: 425
Default Re: Teaching a friend Hold\'em 101 & Basic SnG Strategy from scratch.

You should definately convince him to keep his job. Sure, you can teach him poker on the side and see if he has a real interest/passion for it, but someone who wants to quit his job just because he sees someone else making a lot of money doing it most likely won't be successful.

Most people who are successful at poker don't realize that they probably have a natural talent for it. The myth that "any moron could make lots of money at poker if they read a couple of books" is not true.

So go ahead and introduce him to the game and see if he picks it up quickly, but you can't assume that any old person will be able to win at poker. It would be like me quitting my job to make a living in the stock market just because I saw some rich stockbroker.
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Old 12-28-2005, 04:41 PM
Eihli Eihli is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 363
Default Re: Teaching a friend Hold\'em 101 & Basic SnG Strategy from scratch.

Getting a job down here that pays $10+/hr has been as easy as walking outside your front door ever since the hurricane hit, so if playing poker doesn't work it's not like he'll have a hard time finding something better than where he was working at.

He won't be playing on his own for months to come. He'll be playing right next to me so I'll basically be 16 tabling through him.
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