Poker in Print: The Poker Coach (2020)


Each week, we take a look at a book that features poker and while many in our series lean towards the anecdote to carry an audience through, Alec Torelli’s latest poker book takes the opposite line and steams right through with strategy.

If you’re looking to accelerate your poker development from a recreational game that you enjoy getting better at to one where you’re making more of a steady profit, then Torelli’s The Poker Coach might be one of the best purchases you make this year.

As Torelli frequently delves into on his Twitter account, the American from Orange County has a real gift for lending nuggets of information to improve other players games. Torelli has $1.5 million in live tournament results alone, across just two dozen results too meaning he knows how to put what he says into practice too. That has the added benefit of lending credence to the tips he gives out by way of the reverse being true – these are strategies that are designed to be put into practice.

How The Poker Coach works best is in putting the building blocks in place for profitable play. From looking at the odds of a particular hand in different situations to making reads on your opponents, The Poker Coach is a book that is designed to improve a variety of aspects to your play.

These are common areas for improvement, and Torelli isn’t preaching GTO to already-established pros in this book. He’s looking to help decent players become good players, and it’s a good move in terms of reaching out to the widest audience you can find in poker.

One of the crucial aspects of the book is that it frequently makes you look at your own play. For some people, this will be easier than others, with the book appealing to anyone wishing to correct bad habits as well as put together a framework to put new ones into practice.

While the book says that it can give you ‘everything you need to take your game to the next level’, some of the concepts do benefit from note-taking on your behalf as a reader in order to apply them to your own game. This is a good thing, though. It makes you approach your own play with honesty in terms of identifying weaknesses and correcting errors, something that will help the likely readership of this book.

There are a number of different sections which focus on some key areas of profitable poker, such as managing your bankroll, putting mathematical knowledge into your strategy for getting the most out of every single hand and completing tests that ask you to prove the knowledge that you’ve gained from reading the book. In that sense, the Poker Coach of the book – Torelli himself, of course – has the ultimate level of control, demanding that you have read the book and understood the strategies communicated in order to pass your exams.

Take a lesson from The Poker Coach today and you’ll be thankful for gaining a lot of knowledge and a deal of self-discipline into the bargain. Because a bargain is what this book definitely is.