Chance Kornuth opens poker coaching site, Chip Leader Coaching

To say RunGood poker pro Chance Kornuth has enjoyed success the past three years is like saying the U.S. presidential election has been divisive. In 2014, he won the Bellagio Cup for over half a million dollars and finished the year with $843,176 in prize money. In 2015, he took third in the PCA $10k Main Event and won a WPT $2k event in Choctaw, Oklahoma, ending the year with $711,498 in tournament winnings. This year, Chance has made 15 final tables and won four major titles for a combined $2,332,180 in prize money, and we still have a couple months left on the calendar.

Chance Kornuth (foreground, left) and Cliff Josephy (foreground, right) at the World Series of Poker Main Event, October 31, 2016 | Credit: ESPNChance Kornuth (foreground, left) with Cliff Josephy (foreground, right) at the World Series of Poker Main Event at the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada | October 31, 2016 | Photo credit: ESPN

Chance, along with friend and fellow WSOP bracelet-winner Shaun Deeb, had been coaching WSOP November Niner Cliff Josephy over the summer. Josephy would return to the WSOP on October 30 as the chip leader at the final table of the Main Event in Las Vegas. He would eventually finish third for $3.45M. He and Deeb were on the rail throughout competition to root on their friend and student.

It turns out, coaching poker players has been on Chance's mind for additional reasons. He's been developing a plan to seek out more students. On November 1, Chance took to social media to announce his new website, ChipLeaderCoaching.com, where players can apply to become his students.

I called Chance at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida to talk about his amazing year on the felt, his experience at the WSOP, and his new coaching venture.

 

Q. What a year you're having! You win the $25K Aussie Millions high roller in January for $547K. In February you finish 2nd at the UKIPT 8-handed $25K high roller for another $407K. In April you win the EPT Monte Carlo $10K High Roller for $395K. You finish 3rd in the $10K Bellagio Cup in July for another $286K. Anything I'm leaving out?
A. I won the $25k High Roller at WPT Jacksonville a couple weeks ago for $186k. There were a few other final tables in there and also an online 3rd for $186k, I think. Back in January at the PCA 25k I made the final table, but that might be irrelevant.

Q. Before we talk about your latest venture, I just have to ask. It's no secret you and Shaun Deeb were coaching Cliff Josephy for his Main Event final table appearance at the World Series of Poker last week. How do you go about preparing someone for the biggest poker tournament in the world?

A. We went through a lot of simulations about how we thought everyone was going to play. We were pretty spot on for everyone except Qui [Nyugen].

Q. When Josephy called all-in and found himself behind with his set of two's against Vayo's set of threes, what advice did you have for him?

A. just to keep his head up. He could easily spin his stack back up

Q. 
And he did, doubling up twice pretty quickly. When did you become interested in poker coaching?

A. I've always been fascinated by the coaching concept. I've purchased multiple expensive poker materials instead of hiring a specific coach. But in hindsight I think it's considerably easier to have a person teach you than a text. Also I really enjoy answering people when they want advice about a hand. It's flattering that they care enough about my opinion to ask.

Q. Did your work with Cliff Josephy influence your decision to open your own coaching site?

A. I was already in the process of opening a site before I was approached by Cliff and Shaun. However, it gave us a very clear date we should try to launch by. It was also really cool that everyone who was involved with helping coach or do [simulations] with Cliff was not only willing but wanted to wear a patch for the site. 

Q. Your coaching "site" looks to be more coaching than site. Is this because it's so new or is your focus on coaching specific players rather than general strategy?

A. Partially because it's new, but also because right now it's exclusive. We will have a members area with the archived Skype lessons we do. But our focus is for everyone who becomes a member of CLC to improve drastically from where they were when they entered. That's why we pick and choose the people who get to be a part of it. 

Q. What kinds of players are you looking for? Who is your ideal student?

A. Our target market is most professional MTT poker players. But more specifically a player that understands the fundamentals of the game and wants to take their game to the next level. 

Q. We've all seen coaching sites that provide videos or articles for independent study, whereas hiring a coach is 1-on-1 training in person, via Skype, or through e-mail. How will you be working with your students?

A. Because we are more exclusive, we will be there for our members in all of those ways. Students can send hand histories. Have access to the video library that we will build up. And have Skype sessions. 

Q. You're constantly travelling the world for poker tournaments. How much time will you be dedicating to your students?
A. I'm expecting my students to work hard, spending two to four hours a week on their game. I'll be there for them as much as they need me to be; I don't think I can answer that with a definitive number. 


Q. How much does it cost to hire you as a coach?
A. Our compensation will come from a small percentage of our students' tournament winnings. So, we only get paid if they do well. For people who don't want to become full members of CLC, I will be offering 1-on-1 coaching on a per-hour basis. The hourly will be between $1,000-$1,500 an hour based on how many hours are purchased. Also, the coaching sessions will be recorded and added to the CLC archive.

Q. I don't think I've ever heard of someone coaching on commission before. So you get paid based on your students' results?

A. Commission-based coaching isn't that new but began online for cash games. In fact, that's where John Beauprez and I got the idea. Online, the cash game system is the same only they take half of the profit up to €30k. That's why we think the service we are offering is so great for everyone involved. 

Q. Do students sign up for a specific period of time? I mean, I presume there's some time limit involved and you don't take a percentage of their winnings for life.

A. No life span. But there will be volume requirements. If players don't play and aren't working they will be removed. CLC is a place for people who want to work hard and rise to the top of the poker world. 

Q. The site is just a week old. How many students do you plan to take on?

A. Our beta group is only going to be five students and then later on we hope to accept more in groups of 10 to make sure everyone is getting as much attention as we promise. 

Q. Will there be other coaches working with you?

A. As we hire guest coaches we will be more willing to take on bigger groups. But not at first. We have already spoken to some of the other most respected players in the poker community about being guest coaches but it's too early to say who since no one is signed. 

Q. You've mentioned you'll be creating videos for your students. Is there a chance you'll open those up for low-stakes players to get a glimpse at them?

A. The long term model for the company is to open up the videos to low stakes players or people new to poker but that's way down the road. The content will stay private for a long time. 

Q. You're back home in Ft. Lauderdale now that the WSOP Main Event is over. What's next on your schedule?

A. We are finalizing our test group now so coaching and content development will begin this week. However, I still need to stay sharp and play a few selected tournaments. The next one will be the Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood main event the day after Thanksgiving. Followed by the WPT at Bellagio for the $10k and $100k to hopefully cap off an incredibly fortunate year. 

Many thanks to Chance for taking the time to speak with me and everyone at RunGood wishes him and his students all the best. For more information about Chip Leader Coaching, watch the introduction video below or visit www.ChipLeaderCoaching.com.

 


Mark Slatcher
Mark Slatcher

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