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Old 08-01-2012, 10:01 AM   #1
LuckyAceFour
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Studying Poker

Can we go over some techniques we use to study ITT?

What is proper studying?

Effective strategies?

Process of studying?

Time we put into each day, week, and month into studying?

Is it possible to over study?

I have read a large majority of the COTM threads, I find them thought provoking versus thought transplanting. How do I go to studying to hand histories? I find reading/posting is not enough.

I can add more questions to the thread as it picks up, but let's talk corrective studying vs poor.

Last edited by LuckyAceFour; 08-01-2012 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:19 AM   #2
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Re: Studying Poker

Something I feel is effective is actually writing down your hands and/or posting a thread. Reading is passive, but writing your thoughts down forces you to think more intuitively. I use voice recording on my phone if the hand was really interesting, otherwise I just jot down some notes.

Afterwards, take a look at what you did and could have done differently at each decision. Weigh your actions carefully versus any information you have on the table.
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:36 AM   #3
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Re: Studying Poker

Nothing improves you faster than having a good player sweating you, or you sweat a good player.
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:13 PM   #4
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To start off, results oriented thinking/studying is poor. Their will be plenty of feedback later In this thread I'd think w better details on this...

Alot of people don't like pahwm hands BC they are spread over more than a day, but I think they are great for the interesting hands BC they provide more feedback and detailed street by street lines
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:32 PM   #5
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Re: Studying Poker

I think that most players would never do this but.....
I went to LV at the beginning of the main event for a week. I was playing at a table that normally I would have instantly changed tables. Everyone was a really good player. Out of the 9 seats, I was probably in the btm 3 or 4 in terms of skill level. My first instinct was to change tables but I was really interested in the game. I decided to stay and play fairly ABC, unless I picked up a good read. I think that it helped my game immensely.

I dont think that I will have this opportunity again anytime soon but I am glad that I went against my instincts in that game
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:04 PM   #6
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Re: Studying Poker

TL/DR- starting to sound more like a well, but I’ve come this far already…skip to numbered section if I am boring you
Online poker studying was much easier to do because we had databases full of information. In a few hours we could have 100s if not 1000s of hands on each villain we were playing with. The amount varies on multi-tabling tendencies. Everything was there and it was up to us to take the statistics and do the work. We could leave notes/color-coding, etc for every villain we came across.

How do we improve in the live arena?

Well you are already at 2p2 so you have already will have a leg up on many rec players.

It is can seem like a daunting task to formulate ranges, determine the correct lines when we play for a session with a Villain and see maybe 100-200 hands during this time. There can be a lot of variance, which may get us to incorrectly label someone's tendencies/class of player. Sometimes it can be difficult to not be results-oriented in live play because the amount of hands we see/play are so disproportionate to the online game. This can make it very hard for players making the jump (in either direction).
Here are techniques that I use/have used. I tried to put them in the order or my development as a player. I still go back and do some of the earlier ones, but not as often as I used to.
1. Ok, so some techniques for studying. One thing that I used to do before I started posting (a lot) was to read tons of HH’s, COTMs, COTWs, PAHWMs, etc. My goal was to just read and soak up the information. Then I would go back to the OP and try to formulate my own line/response. Did I agree with the consensus? Why or why not?
2. After I got comfortable and determined who some of my favorite posters were, I decided to start grunching (before I even knew what it was). I wouldn’t necessarily post, but I would read an OP and come up with an answer. I would then read the responses and see how my answer compared with others on the forum. If I seemed way off, which a lot of times I was at this stage of my playing, I would re-examine the OP to see if I still agreed with my original response or if I changed it.
3. Starting to post my own questions! I would create my own threads. I think this is one of the most important steps in my development. This helped change the way I looked at the game. Posting my own hands made me look even deeper into the analysis of picking the best line. It made me wonder if I had a plan as I played the hand. Did I develop a range for the villain and did I tell a story? A lot of times the answer might have been no! I am too afraid to look back at some of my old(er) threads, lol. The two most important things I have improved upon because of creating these threads and watching (participating) as the discussion unfolded:
1. Range your opponents
2. Make a plan!!!!!
Side note-a book that was instrumental in my development of properly ranging opponents was Harrington’s 6-Max NL Online book. Unfortunately I lent it to someone and they never returned it…
4. Poker Stove- I have to admit I no longer his this on my computer, but it can be a huge help and if you know how to use it properly (ie better than my basic abilities) it can be amazing. It is really greta for developing ranges and seeing how you play against that range. I used to use it to help figure out which line to take. This was more back in the online days though. Now I hae a quick app on my phone that I use after some hands to determine my equity vs a hand or range at the table.
5. The one I do most. My drive home from the casino or card games range from 20 minutes to 90 minutes. I almost always use this time to go over hands that I played while the information is still fresh. I don’t necessarily think about a winning hand or losing hand or the biggest one. I will literally think through every decision, re-range opponents, determine if my line or their line(s) made any sense and try to see what the best way to play it next time.
6. Make a poker friend. This one is huge. I have a friend who played HS and I talk about hands with him all the time. Sometimes just saying it out-loud is helpful even if they don’t have much of a response.
This seems like a good place to stop…GL
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:06 PM   #7
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Re: Studying Poker

My $0.02

1) The PAWHM series is great, but probably not for the reasons you might originally think. Dont think about the actual way the hands end up running out, but the thoughts made to plan out a hand.


For example we raise 55 in LP and get 3bet. We call, flop KQ5 they bet, we raise, they jam.

Poster ABC says you have a set, call the all in.

Poster XYZ says you have 55, we can play it preflop for set value because our stack is XXbbs, they have XXbbs and various other factors, and then on the flop if we assume they shove QQ-AA and a discounted AK we beat just overhalf those hands and lose to half (3 combos QQ, 3 combos KK, 6 combos AA, discounted AK or whatever). This info is great, even though both are saying the same thing in that we should call.

Basically, dont look for information about the exact hand, but how to play similar kind of hands for planning hands, future streets and certain broad "types" of hands in types of scenarios.

2) Ignore a lot of small, couple of response threads since generally there is a good correlation between how many posts happen in a thread, and the amount of good discussion within it.

3) Expect to have some of the better posters disagree with you sometimes. I cant remember the exact hand, but there was an arguement with AintNoLimit I had where I was convinced I was right, but eventually he said something that once I got my head around, it blew my mind*

4) Post, particularly if you can get in first in a thread. There is a big difference between thinking you know something, and actually being able to do it, not dissimilar to reading over a complex maths/science problem with the answers attached and thinking you know, vs actually spending the 20 minutes to answer the question.

5) If you not feeling up for playing, as said by Tommy Angelo, it can never be a huge mistake to not play. Whether you use that time studying or doing whatever doesnt matter.

Other then that, its just a matter of putting in the time and effort, and the results will follow

Good luck...

Last edited by ashley12; 08-01-2012 at 01:09 PM. Reason: hand combos
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:15 PM   #8
Rusty Bumwaters
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Re: Studying Poker

I think the thing that all good study techniques have in common is independent critical thinking about a given decision.

Since determining the most profitable way to play a hand depends heavily on situational factors, the best approach to understanding these factors and how they affect our decisions is to analyze a real hand. This analysis should involve "independent critical thinking," i.e., you should try to figure it out for yourself.

In the case of threads posted in these forums I think you should analyze the hand once through for yourself, struggle to determine the best way to play the hand (taking as much time as you need), then use responses from other posters as feedback to see if there are any factors you left out when weighing the options.

It works the same way when watching a training video. As soon as the action is on "us," pause the video and think about what the correct play is and why. Then play the video and use the coach's reasoning as feedback to see if there were any reasons for making a particular play that you didn't consider.

The same thing repeats itself when discussing hands with friends, reading a poker book, or analyzing hand histories in poker tracker/HEM. You will absorb much more by engaging the source. This is in contrast to reading the threads in this forum like you would read a book or watching a training video like you would watch a tv show, both of which are passive activities.

My favorite approach right now is studying situations posted in threads. I like to treat each thread as an isolated opportunity to improve my game. I consider each posted hand a complete entity. I assume that all information provided is correct, and that it's the only information I have to make my decisions. We lose nothing by assuming all of the information is correct, since we aren't interested in whether our decisions are correct given the results. The information provided in hands posted in this forum is much less complete than what we will have available to us when we're actually at the table (if we've been paying attention), but I like to pretend it's the first couple orbits so I don't have detailed reads on villains.

In order to further simulate the environment we face at the table, I like to read through the hand and pause at each decision without looking at future action. Then I stop and think about what I would do and why. I don't type anything out, use any calculators, or use pokerstove. I attempt to do everything in my head just as I would have to at the table: tracking pot size, effective stacks, villains' ranges, how the hand might play out, etc. People sometimes complain about pot size or effective stacks not being posted on each street, but I prefer it that way as it's more realistic.

After analyzing the situation in my head and arriving at a decision, I then turn to the computer tools I have as I analyze the situation further and write out an explanation of the decision so I can post it. I find that the writing process forces me to further clarify my thoughts, as it's impossible to communicate unclear thoughts clearly. Oftentimes when people say they can't put their idea into words I think it's actually because they don't understand what they're talking about. Einstein said you don't really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandma.

Spoiler:

Anyway, I proceed through the hand this way, decision by decision. It's not something that I've mastered yet, as I still have my moments on "autopilot" where I will accidently read right past a decision or make a decision without considering an important factor like stack sizes or a hand/hand type that is in villain's range. I prefer studying hands posted in this forum because they are real LLSNL hands so they approximate the situations we face at the table better than a book or online training video. Plus they're free and you can get feedback from any one of a number of professional players who post in the forum.
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:41 PM   #9
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Re: Studying Poker

I think the most beneficial studying technique for me right now is the one that is most painful to my brain. So I will take interesting hands from a session and work out the possible hand ranges for my opponents, and calculate my equity versus their ranges. It is painful but after doing it several times, it becomes more instinctual so that at the table, I have a good idea where I am in a hand without actually doing the calculations in real time.
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:49 PM   #10
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Re: Studying Poker

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pay4Myschool View Post
To start off, results oriented thinking/studying is poor. Their will be plenty of feedback later In this thread I'd think w better details on this...

Alot of people don't like pahwm hands BC they are spread over more than a day, but I think they are great for the interesting hands BC they provide more feedback and detailed street by street lines
I wish they didn't have to be through the mods though, I have a few interesting hands but it's just alot of work to ask for permission!
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:51 PM   #11
Pay4Myschool
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Bumwaters View Post
I think the thing that all good study techniques have in common is independent critical thinking about a given decision.

Since determining the most profitable way to play a hand depends heavily on situational factors, the best approach to understanding these factors and how they affect our decisions is to analyze a real hand. This analysis should involve "independent critical thinking," i.e., you should try to figure it out for yourself.

In the case of threads posted in these forums I think you should analyze the hand once through for yourself, struggle to determine the best way to play the hand (taking as much time as you need), then use responses from other posters as feedback to see if there are any factors you left out when weighing the options.

It works the same way when watching a training video. As soon as the action is on "us," pause the video and think about what the correct play is and why. Then play the video and use the coach's reasoning as feedback to see if there were any reasons for making a particular play that you didn't consider.

The same thing repeats itself when discussing hands with friends, reading a poker book, or analyzing hand histories in poker tracker/HEM. You will absorb much more by engaging the source. This is in contrast to reading the threads in this forum like you would read a book or watching a training video like you would watch a tv show, both of which are passive activities.

My favorite approach right now is studying situations posted in threads. I like to treat each thread as an isolated opportunity to improve my game. I consider each posted hand a complete entity. I assume that all information provided is correct, and that it's the only information I have to make my decisions. We lose nothing by assuming all of the information is correct, since we aren't interested in whether our decisions are correct given the results. The information provided in hands posted in this forum is much less complete than what we will have available to us when we're actually at the table (if we've been paying attention), but I like to pretend it's the first couple orbits so I don't have detailed reads on villains.

In order to further simulate the environment we face at the table, I like to read through the hand and pause at each decision without looking at future action. Then I stop and think about what I would do and why. I don't type anything out, use any calculators, or use pokerstove. I attempt to do everything in my head just as I would have to at the table: tracking pot size, effective stacks, villains' ranges, how the hand might play out, etc. People sometimes complain about pot size or effective stacks not being posted on each street, but I prefer it that way as it's more realistic.

After analyzing the situation in my head and arriving at a decision, I then turn to the computer tools I have as I analyze the situation further and write out an explanation of the decision so I can post it. I find that the writing process forces me to further clarify my thoughts, as it's impossible to communicate unclear thoughts clearly. Oftentimes when people say they can't put their idea into words I think it's actually because they don't understand what they're talking about. Einstein said you don't really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandma.

Spoiler:

Anyway, I proceed through the hand this way, decision by decision. It's not something that I've mastered yet, as I still have my moments on "autopilot" where I will accidently read right past a decision or make a decision without considering an important factor like stack sizes or a hand/hand type that is in villain's range. I prefer studying hands posted in this forum because they are real LLSNL hands so they approximate the situations we face at the table better than a book or online training video. Plus they're free and you can get feedback from any one of a number of professional players who post in the forum.
Rusty bumwaters ladies n gentleman, great post. Its really all that needs to be said
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Old 08-01-2012, 02:41 PM   #12
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Re: Studying Poker

Lots of good advice ITT. Might belong in the "best of" link, tbh. I just have a couple of things to add.

1) Don't try to add too much new stuff at once. Work on one concept until you are comfortable with it, and then pick another. Trying to add to much at once just blocks synthesis. The brain can really only keep, on average, three new concepts juggled at a time.

2) In addition to the COTMs here, read the COTWs (things go faster in OL) over in the micro-stakes full-ring forum. Don't read them all at once. (see above) Read three or less and don't move on or try to add them to your game, if new until you thoroughly understand all of the theories and opinions in the thread.

3) Write out hands for posting here. Even if you don't post them, the effect of writing them out makes you think through everything and be brutally honest with yourself.

4) Post here often, and make sure every post includes why, not just what. Don't defend your strat. Question it constantly, especially if posters you respect seem to disagree.
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Old 08-01-2012, 03:25 PM   #13
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Re: Studying Poker

Quote:
Originally Posted by playertee View Post
I wish they didn't have to be through the mods though, I have a few interesting hands but it's just alot of work to ask for permission!
Yeah, that extra 2 seconds it takes after typing up the hand for 10 minutes is a lot of work...

No need to ask permission from us... however we won't promise it is stickied unless you ask us to, and you agree to play by the rules (wait between 15-24 hours before the next street).
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Old 08-01-2012, 03:28 PM   #14
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Re: Studying Poker

CLIFFNOTES: Keep a poker journal and record key hands in your sessions

https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/26...ge-you-638780/

My contribution to this thread will be the importance of data accumulation and analzying key hands after the session.

The one area where online play is SUPERIOR to live play is data accumulation. You have a 100% accurate recording of all hands, cards, stacks, etc. etc.

One of the biggest reasons/factors into why so many live players just don't get better is human memory.

What you have to understand about the brain is that it is hardwired to forget things that don't fit into a certain paradigm but remember things that do. IN terms of poker, what this means is you will forget the mistakes you made (or lots of key factors involved in a mistake) yet remember all the good things (or lots of key factors involved in that good thing.)

Let me give you an example.

A player has KK bets all three streets and then villain shoves all-in on the river for 3 times the pot. KK calls and then V shows a gutshot on the river. KK blows up and berates V for being a super donk.

That is the extent of what he will remember. However, how does this change if we add some details.

eff stacks 200bb
3 limpers, Hero CO raises 4bb, SB, BB, EP, MP, and LP call, 5-way action

Flop(20bb) Ts 4s 7d
Hero bets 5bb, BB and LP call, everyone else folds

Turn(35bb) 2h
Hero bets 15bb, BB folds, LP calls

River(65bb) 3d
Hero bets 25bb, LP shoves for 175bb, Hero calls
LP shows As4s

WOW!!! What a difference key details make. If Hero had these details in his post hand analysis he could accurately figure out what he is doing wrong and adjust. But instead, he relies on memory and then later recalls that those super lucky donk luckboxes keep sucking out on him...

So, what is the fix?

Keeping a Poker Journal CLICK HERE

I used to bring a pocket sized notebook with me to the casino. I'd write down "key" hands (mistakes and good plays) that I would make. I would record anywhere from 3 - 10 hands in an 5-8hr session. Normally I'd just scoot away from the table and scribble real quick after the hand. I'd note position, chip stacks, V description, table dynamics, my percieved image, and action.

After a couple of weeks worth of entries, certain patterns would jump out.

For instance, I noticed that the VAST majority of my big losses were coming from the blinds, straddled pots in which I limped in EP (or the blinds), and ego pissing contests with horrible ego maniac spew monkeys.

So, I adjusted my play and instantly noticed the results...

Now, instead of a pocket notebook I use the voice recorder feature in my Android. I just speak quietly into my phone (much faster) and most players just think i'm talking on the phone. Later, I transcribe my notes.

In the beginning, I recorded a TON of hands, probably close to 10+ hands per session. But as I eliminated my mistakes, over time the # of hands I recorded decreased. Now, I record around 1-4 hands per session.
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Old 08-01-2012, 03:42 PM   #15
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Re: Studying Poker

Quote:
Originally Posted by dgiharris View Post
CLIFFNOTES: Keep a poker journal and record key hands in your sessions
If I'm playing in the underground game I play at often (and at this point I always know at least 2 other people at the table), I will keep more in-depth notes about player tendencies. I give each player a nickname, note their tendencies and any tells I pick up. Especially make notes if I played a big pot with them, and how the action went. Basically make note of anything they did in big pot situations, or if they took down lots of small pots, played really tight, loose, etc.

This has definitely come in handy a number of times at this particular game. I doubt it would be as useful for when I play at a big room, but when there is a recurring cast at a smaller game, totally worth it.
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Old 08-01-2012, 04:17 PM   #16
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Any studying methods of actually playing hands or getting more hands? Obviously going to a casino and playing would be optimal but highly inconvenient for my situation. Internet poker could be bad I live in USA, if there are any other sites that offer a good format to play on let me know.
My problem as of now is I've studied poker and only played live once. My problem lies more with the fundamentals of the game. Once I can get those basic fundamentals it will be easier for me to focus on labeling villains, calculating odds, keeping track of the pot better etc.

Prioritizing things to do during live play, what would you recommend are a must do?

1. Know my own stack
2. Other stacks
3. know how much is in the pot
4. Know villains

I know many of you this is muscle memory and comes naturally however you guys have tons of hours and hands on me. These things aren't natural to me yet.

How would you guys prioritize what you do at a table if you can put it in a list of importance?
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Old 08-01-2012, 04:23 PM   #17
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Re: Studying Poker

Quote:
Originally Posted by dgiharris View Post
CLIFFNOTES: Keep a poker journal and record key hands in your sessions
Do u just keep the journal to yourself? I feel like publishing mine would help get feedback...inb4 2p2 is not your personal blog
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Old 08-01-2012, 04:25 PM   #18
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Re: Studying Poker

The reality is this: to be good at poker you need to be obsessed. One of the key problems with poker is that you need to be well above average to not be a loser. For myself, I need to be one of the best (if not the best) in my player pool to make it worth my time.

Being obsessed allows for you to study poker because you want to become better. How often you study/how you study is slightly irrelevant because it will be different for each person. The only thing that really matters is that you are studying good instead of studying bad.

Studying good = asking questions and listening to advice.

Studying bad = giving opinions and not listening to advice.

The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem and in that same manner the first step to become an excellent poker player is admitting that you aren't very good. Once you admit you aren't good and that you should listen to others is the first step (and the most important) to being good. This is the cornerstone to studying well.
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Old 08-01-2012, 04:56 PM   #19
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Re: Studying Poker

'studying' is so wide a term, that it really encompasses an infinite amount of different approaches.

one thing that is peculiar to poker is that actually playing and putting in hours doesnt automatically 'make you better' like some are deluded into believing. If anything, it makes you worse, if you don't actively study away from the table. Its not like a sport, where practicing makes you improve.
studying can mean a lot of things. studying can be anything from grinding through Bill Chens 'Mathematics of Poker' with a notebook, to day dreaming, and thinking about how you are going to stack a certain player, based on tendencies and recent history, ect...
I guess you can say you 'study' your opponents when you are at the table, and are therefore improving in a way, but thats semantics, you are just aquiring the tools and data to study later on (if you play w/ regs).
like 11t sez^^, its a matter of being obsessed, and thinking about it more, and more constructively than your opposition. like anyone who excels at what they do, they are thinking about it 24/7. a dentist drives to work listening to ebooks concerning his field, don't kid yourself. they dont quit studying.
ya, cuz its not a zero sum game, you really have to excel to win at all, and make the most wide-ranging array of superior decisions you possibly can; and that requires checking it out from every conceivable angle, down to nutrition, tilt, mindset, rest, ect... In other words, studying poker even encompasses more than the study of poker. It really ties into so many different things; recording/ remembering and analyzing hands is key, and is something i used to obsess over, and ive way slacked off on that. but its just one thing.
I do think its possible to over-study, but not in terms of the time you put in, although you may burnout on anything if you do it enough; its more like the snare of getting too involved with the minutea of a subject, and missing out on the macro view after a while, and before you know it, you've buried the fundamentals by being too busy. Its possible, but, you just start over, and that time you put in studying will eventually pay off, as you piece together different areas of study into the whole. any bad effects from over studying are temporary, meh.
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Old 08-01-2012, 05:17 PM   #20
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Re: Studying Poker

Personally I have benefited immensely from this site, frankly from several posters in this thread.

There is lot of information on 2+2, so I’d suggest beginning at reviewing hands (threads) that give you problems, e.g. “over pair facing a raise OTF”. Go through the posts, analyze the input but don’t implement blindly. You need to fully understand the strategy beforehand, for example, the reasons for betting. Most was not intuitive, but with time and thought, strategies became much more sensible (and profitable) to implement.

Second, work at understanding one or two concepts at a time, but not more. Current items on my list (which is long) are maximizing value with TPTK type hands. What are the best lines to take, and when to deviate from them? Another is playing small/mid-pps based on their equity value as opposed to purely set-mining.

Third, don’t be afraid to stay in a tough game. I turned a corner last year after a couple of sessions with really superior players. From a results standpoint I actually showed a profit, more importantly however was the value I gained from simply watching.

Fourth, do additional reading/studying from other sources. There are a lot of free articles, book excerpts available. Digest as much as you can.
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:22 PM   #21
stampler
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Re: Studying Poker

it occurred to me that 'over-studying' of itself isn't a problem;
it's the rote appllication of newly learned advanced concepts to unadvanced situations, because we feel obliged to try to use them, even though they don't apply to the game conditions at hand, and that you normally run into at LLS. If you study a lot, then its easy to get overwhelmed.
a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing, and FPS is spawned by being over eager to apply new ideas, without fully understanding the contexts, and bigger picture of which spots, for example, to semi-bluff, or not, and exactly why.
we tend to go on autopilot with newly learned skills, which is only natural.
all the more reason to study the subject as broadly as you can.
I think poker, much more than other games, requires higher levels of critical thinking; the ability to piece it together on your own/ have independent thought.

Last edited by stampler; 08-01-2012 at 07:30 PM.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:19 PM   #22
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I went back through all of pay4myschool and djiharris posts and read every single one of them. Not just read, but studied. Some of the things these guys talk about has helped me tremendously. Whoever said you have to be obsessed is right, you have to want to get better.


Great posts in this thread.
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Old 08-02-2012, 02:01 PM   #23
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Re: Studying Poker

Good thread, reopening due to request.

OP remains banned.
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Old 08-02-2012, 03:19 PM   #24
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Re: Studying Poker

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garick View Post
Lots of good advice ITT. Might belong in the "best of" link, tbh.
As requested. And I agree.
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Old 08-02-2012, 03:56 PM   #25
daniel9861
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Re: Studying Poker

Touching up on what 11t and stampler have already said, I think skill, practice, obsession, and emotional control are necessities for anyone wanting to be great at their choice of competition.

For poker, skill is related to intelligence (as in IQ not booksmarts) because the more intelligent a person is the faster they can pick up on patterns, figure out what a person is thinking and why they are thinking that way, be able to critically think and figure out the most optimal solution based on how their opponents are playing, ect, and thus the more intelligent a person is the higher the skill threshold that person has.

Although skill is important, it's necessary to practice to learn from one's mistakes and improve on their thought process in similar situations in the future. Practice can come in many forms, like reviewing sessions, figuring out maths of equity and such, but the most common form of practice is hand experience. The more hands one plays, the more situations they see, and thus the more chances they have at improving their mistakes in those situations they encounter.

Obsession takes a person's practice time above and beyond anyone else's. An obsessed person thinks about poker hands literally 24/7, not because they have to but because they want to. On the flip side, this obsession can be harmful in other areas of life (relationships, priorities, ect) but is a necessity to become a great poker player.

Last but not least we have emotional control. If a person becomes too emotional then it doesn't matter how much skill a person has because at that point emotions are affecting their decisions instead of analytical reasoning.

IMO these the defining qualities of poker player. How much better or worse these qualities are for a person will determine how much potential they have against the rest of the field.

Last edited by daniel9861; 08-02-2012 at 04:08 PM.
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