Poker: Studying the Game

Dedicated to women around the world who are persecuted for wanting to learn, to have options in life.

#Bring Our Girls Back

May 7th, 2014

#Bring Our Girls Back

We talk about studying this game of poker, but what does that mean for you, for me?

Sometime ago in a blog, I stated that I have “made a conscious decision to spend more time studying when my health allows, [and that is a caveat I have to respect]. As of now, I attend between 3 to 4 Live Trainings per week, 3 times a week reading trainers’ and experts’ blogs and watching their videos. As a hands-on learner, I am obsessive about taking notes and filing them under appropriate ‘My Poker Binders’.” With my sessions with Dave ‘TheLangolier’, this would add up to about 10 hours a week.” I also stated that “. I subscribe to a wide range of members’ blogs. . .I want to do more with blogging but realize I also need to be able to analyze poker hands much better than I am able to do so now. Thus in addition to the studying goals, I need to find an hour weekly to read hands submitted to our Forum wherein members are asking for help with hand(s) played. . . “

I am pleased to say that my ‘learning plan’ is firmly embedded in my poker program. The priority is after I play a session, I go over the hands logged on my PokerTracker. This includes not only the obvious, where I lost substantially, but those where I did well in order to see if I could have done better. Given I make more money pre-flop than at showdown, I want to see how I might have bid a hand, say with AA, to three streets. I mark off hands which I want to discuss with Dave during our sessions. At this point, the main emphasis is on bet-sizing and reading my opponent(s)’ hands in light of the flop.


Given the two above identified topics are key for me, and I need goals, I have now gone through all of Dave’s blogs and videos to read/watch any that have anything to do with these largesse focusses. I am now doing the same with Gareth’s blogs/videos which, like Dave’s, are terrific. I find ‘Poker Bites’ very worthwhile and they wet one’s appetite as they are meant to. Thus after watching one, say on ‘Aces and Spaces Overbets,’ I find that I translate much of what the pros say to my own game. If I feel the ‘Bite’ needs more clarification, I search the web and as with all topics, one must be careful as to which sites one regards as worthy. Reading other people’s blogs and featured blogs is informative, whether it is by someone who aims to be a pro within a year or with gratitude to CannonLee’s and TOO2COO’s videos on the Big Bang. As well I try to read featured blogs which I feel, for the most part, are well chosen. I am very pleased to have added more emphasis on hands presented for feedback in our Forum. I am shy to comment but I am getting there! There are always more videos to watch including those on ‘Scoop 2014, Event #1’ and PSO podcasts as I am currently listening to CannonLee and RoyalRaise85 interview on ‘donk betting’. Can one follow ALL that is offered even just on PSO, let alone other sites? I would say, ‘NO WAY!’ So how to choose?
As I mentioned prior, goal-oriented learning works best for me. And given my goals—working on bet-sizing and reading my opponent(s’) hand in light of the flop—are huge topics, there are few blogs/videos which don’t relate in some way. Thus the quality of the learning material becomes the decisive factor.

So how does one know if our ‘learning time’ is positively impacting our game? One sure way is the feel one has at the table. Even though I didn’t do so well during my last play sessions, I had distinctly more awareness of how the boards I played gave me a gutshot, possible straight, etc., and from opponent(s’) betting, how the same flop may affect his/her hand.

Another way we can judge progress—albeit this should never be the determent factor—is by comparing financial gain and VPPs garnered from the month prior. The last time I blogged on April 1st, I had accumulated $1300; I had earned 690 VPPs over two months; lifetime VPPs at 8,900 and by early March I maintained Silver Star. Currently I have accumulated just over $2000, a gain of $$700, with 214 VPPs over the past week; 3914 VPPs this year; and, 9.120 since I started tracking about 10 months ago. Silver status looks quite attainable, with no interest at this point in grinding for Gold status. 

I believe what is most important is to take our emotional pulse on our game. This past month was tough given health issues put me back in the hospital so by writing this blog I am re-connecting with poker, with my goals and back to playing and learning.So I started with “We talk about studying this game of poker, but what does that mean for you, for me?” I am very curious what ‘studying the game’ means to you. I am bound to pick up tips and I hope I have done the same for you.