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Most efficient way to grow as a poker player

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  • Most efficient way to grow as a poker player

    I would like to start a discussion about improving as a poker player in general. Where do low-stakes grinder do better than uNL player? What skills do you have to posess to succesfully climb up the limits? My opinion on this is simple: Good poker player knows where his edge is, where do his opponents leaks are how to exploit those leaks and has a logical explanation for every move in every spot. He can autopilot while grinding because he knows most spots from memory(Or have done his homework away from the tables).Tilt is not a problem for him because of the confidence he has in his game(15bi down still on the sharpest A game).How do achieve that kinda flow, where you grind without any worries about the results, because of the confidence knowing you have big enough edge vs the opponents? What's your opinion about various ways for improving the game?
    • Books
    • Coaching
    • Study groups
    • Videos
    • Poker forums
    • PT or HEM stats analysis
    etc..? In my experience it is not good to overlearn, trying to grasp everything at once did not worked for me. Now I'm following an advice found on similar thread: learn ONLY one concept at a time(Pfr range construction, c-betting on various board textures, adjusting to various villain types etc..etc..) and just doing a circuit learning, updating the knowledge with each circle. Also working with Pokerstove or similar soft helps me too as I learn to assign ranges and equities automatically while grinding. How do you keep your game sharp? What's your studying vs playing time ratio? Have any advice what learning goals should do best? Any ideas about improving in general? Let's start this! mileypoker:

  • #2
    Different people respond to different types of "education" in different ways.

    Some people are very good with passive forms of learning, like going to lectures, viewing videos and reading books. Others learn by doing; they are "experiential learners". Others learn from post-game analysis, making copious notes or doing math. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learnin...K.2FVARK_model for three modes of learning.

    For me, I like a mixture. I'm happy to read a book and then test out a few of the things I've learned bit by bit. I'm definitely benefitting from the PSO live training sessions, because they are somewhat similar to classrooms in that there is active participation. (I was always good at school, hehe). I think I learn best from a teacher posing a question, letting me think of an answer, and then being told if I'm on the right lines. It's a little harder when I'm just watching a tape or reading a book, and it just says "You should do X", because I want to be able to ask "But why can't I do Y or Z?".

    I think the best way to learn is probably to have one-on-one sessions with a coach, who can tailor his teaching according to how best you learn, but good coaches don't come cheap.
    Many of the famous pros have "life coaches". Those guys aren't great poker players, but they are great at keeping their pupils motivated and mentally tough. To some extent, being motivated, healthy, and able to play your A-game for long periods is more imporant than how good you are at bet-sizing or bluffing. Learning to beat the game "in theory" can be done by reading a few strategy books, but putting it into practice for long time time periods and during rough patches of variance needs completely different skills. There's not a lot a skype group can do to help you if you play a solid ABC game 90% of the time, but you spew off several buy-ins every time you get tilted.

    I think that the first thing to do to try and improve your skills is identify your weaknesses. This can be tough to do, especially as poker players are often quite egotistical and don't want to admit they have leaks in their game. I've known for ages that I have several leaks in my game, but it's only been recently that I've tried addressing them. One of the reasons I undertook my 6-max challenge was to get me out of my full ring comfort zone. I think trying a new game/format is a good way of improving your overall poker skills. If someone is weak at post-flop hand-ranging, then I might suggest they try out Omaha/Courchevel or fixed limit. Playing those games made me much more conscious of the possible hands a villain could have. I'm much better at spotting the nuts on a random board these days, even if I still pay them off!

    I'm not sure of my playing/studying ratio, but I've never been someone that puts in a huge volume of playing. I used to read/study/analyse about an hour for each 3 hours of playing, but now I'm on the forum so often that I probably spend more time looking at other people's hands than playing my own.
    Bracelet Winner

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    • #3
      Thanks for the link, Arty. A lot of interesting content in it. From the info and test I had found while exploring the article it seems I better learn by doing things, altough I feel like going about the same thing from different perspectives is more efficient

      I agree with your saying that mental game is more important than technical poker skills. I think they connect with eachother real close. Good mental game-->High motivation to improve-->Confidence in game-->Good mental game.

      All internet is screaming that being results oriented is bad. I wonder is it right to be results oriented in learning? I mean measuring your overall progress in skill improvement? If yes, then how to measure it while ignoring monetary results?

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      • #4
        lol .. I too like to analyze my analysis!!

        So many smart people at the tables, maybe it's necessary

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        • #5
          As a 4NL player who thinks about this a lot, my opinion is:

          1) Play as much as possible, but limit the number of tables (I like 6 or less for learning, but 4 or less is probably better still).

          2) Find and read quality books that are at or one step above your current skill level. I feel my biggest leaps in skill have occurred when obtaining and reading a really great book.

          3) Spend time on the PSO watching training videos, pro videos, reading the forums/blogs, and taking advantage of the great hand analyses.

          4) Spend some time reviewing your hands/stats with your tracking software (if you have one). For me this is a lower priority than the others, but it can definitely lead to some insight.

          Comment


          • #6
            Start at the bottom up and don't move up until you can beat a level. As Rocker says, play, play, play and play some more. Make sure you're saving hand histories as when you've played about 10,000 hands, download a trial of Holdem Manager or Poker Tracker and print off the results. Post them up here and someone will analyse them. When you make your first $100 buy Holdem Manager or PT umbup: Tight aggressive at micro stakes is the way to go BTW, the most important button on your screen is the fold one.
            Bracelet Winner

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by morduk666 View Post
              All internet is screaming that being results oriented is bad. I wonder is it right to be results oriented in learning? I mean measuring your overall progress in skill improvement? If yes, then how to measure it while ignoring monetary results?
              Being results oriented in poker is bad. By that I mean we shouldn't just look at how much profit we've made, because that isn't a great indicator of your skills, at least not over a "small" sample. I've known fishes on heaters to win at 8bb/100 for 50,000 hands while playing 42/4. They didn't play well. They just got really lucky rivers when they hit their gutshots.
              Recognising you have been lucky (or not) over a particular sample can help you get a better idea of your skills.

              With regard to learning, I think it's fine to be results oriented, inasmuch as you can feel good when you have one of those "aha!" moments that improves your game. e.g. When I started playing SnGs and didn't know much about the push-fold game, I'd heard that we can shove a wide range in late position when we are short-stacked. I didn't really understand why/how it was profitable to shove 10bb with 98s, but then I watched some videos (including Dave's one on fold equity) and did some math away from the table and the penny dropped. Now I understand how shoving weak hands can be +EV, I feel much more comfortable doing it. (And I don't mind too much when I get called and lose, because I'm sure that it's profitable in the long run).

              Like anyone else who's put in the hours, I feel like I'm a much better player today than I was 3 years ago, but this hasn't necessarily led to much better results. My poker knowledge has grown hugely, but my winrate hasn't changed much. But for me, the results aren't particularly important. I'm more interested in "growing my knowledge", because I get a buzz from learning for learing's sake. I don't think you can really measure poker knowledge, except with quizzes like the infamous Donkey test. When you've learned something new about poker strategy, you just kind of "know". You are less stressed at the table and feel more comfortable making particular plays, because you "know" they are +EV.
              Bracelet Winner

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by morduk666 View Post
                All internet is screaming that being results oriented is bad. I wonder is it right to be results oriented in learning?
                Not being "results oriented" refers to short-term results. The results oriented over a proper sample size, at least 5k hands, is very proper. As to goal setting, what I have found works best are two level goals. One is a reasonable but challenging improvement and the other a "stretch" goal. Goals must be measurable and for a fixed time period. If you reach the stretch goal on time give yourself an appropriate reward. Satisfaction alone should be a sufficient first goal. The first step in improvement, whether yourself or others, is motivation. Properly set goals are a great tool for maintaining motivation. Good decisions. mileypoker:

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by TrumpinJoe View Post

                  As to goal setting, what I have found works best are two level goals. One is a reasonable but challenging improvement and the other a "stretch" goal. Goals must be measurable and for a fixed time period. If you reach the stretch goal on time give yourself an appropriate reward. Satisfaction alone should be a sufficient first goal.

                  Googled it, found this : We define a stretch goal as an
                  organizational goal with an objective probability
                  of attainment that may be unknown but is
                  seemingly impossible given current capabilities
                  (i.e., current practices, skills, and knowledge).



                  Got a bit confused at this point, could you give 1 example for stretch and 1 for other type of goal ?
                  Last edited by morduk666; Sun May 19, 2013, 09:47 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Fair enough. A typical goal is one that has a reasonable chance of being met on time, say 85-90%. A stretch goal has a much lower expectations, say 20-30%. As example, let's assume one has a 15% ROI over a significant sample of a certain SnG. Increasing that to 20% in 6 months is a reasonable goal for a good developing player. Then 30% would be a stretch goal.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by TrumpinJoe View Post
                      Fair enough. A typical goal is one that has a reasonable chance of being met on time, say 85-90%. A stretch goal has a much lower expectations, say 20-30%. As example, let's assume one has a 15% ROI over a significant sample of a certain SnG. Increasing that to 20% in 6 months is a reasonable goal for a good developing player. Then 30% would be a stretch goal.
                      Got it.umbup:
                      Last edited by morduk666; Mon May 20, 2013, 12:02 AM.

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