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Road to improvement... and other thoughts.

/Aug/2012

Poker balance and scheduling.

By: Croyd93 @ 15:43 (EDT) / 801 / Comment ( 0 )

In my past blogs I’ve talked about improving ones game, specifically I have talked about things that I believe can further ones game. I like to blog about things like this rather than my progress as I feel that’s what a poker school should be about, learning and improving at poker. I’m not for one minute suggesting that I think in my short period of playing and learning the game I have developed some greater understanding that you should all respect and learn from. However I would hope that providing some insight into my experience learning poker will help others in some way. Following this trend, I have decided to blog about something which I hope helps you all.
           
I’m sure you have all heard the saying ‘poker takes a minute to learn but a lifetime to master’ I believe this to be so true, to explain why I’d like to paraphrase something I heard Faraz Jaka say in an interview. Faraz talked about poker being a game where so many different skills are useful, thus meaning there are so many possible edges. He went on to say that you could have a perfect math game; become amazing at reading body language and live tells; or develop incredible hand reading skills but ultimately to be the best you have to try exploit every little edge possible and develop every skill.

What he is saying is very true,  for example take one skill set such as poker math; even within this section of the game there are many sub sections such as odds, SPR’s, combinatronics and there are probably more that I don’t know of. Then go even deeper, within these sub sections there are more sub-sections for instance pot odds and implied odds. This vast expanse of skills that can be learnt and mastered to improve your game is endless.
 
Although it may seem that I’m trying to tell you to dive head first and absorb as much info about every skill and aspect of the game as you possibly can, I am not. I was merely trying to point out that even the pros acknowledge that the game of poker is so very vast and does take a lifetime to master.

As a student of the game the challenge of learning makes me want to delve into parts of the game I don’t know or fully understand. However in my opinion I don’t think that jumping into as many different areas of the game as possible; and trying to learn them all at once would be productive. To fully develop your poker skill set we need 'poker balance'.
 
By this I mean taking time to play, review and to learn new things. To help achieve ‘poker balance’ we should schedule our poker activities. For example you may wake up and think..‘I’m going to fire up some tables today and play till I get bored’.

However a professional athlete wouldn’t wake up and say to themselves...‘I’m going to go run shuttles until I get bored, then go train in the gym until I get bored.’ They would wake up with a pre-planned schedule and training regime as they know doing this and balancing out aspects of their training will help them improve much more than just doing what they want to at that moment.

So here are a few things you may like to consider when designing your poker schedule:

  • How many days do I want to play each week?
  • How many hours/hands/games do I want to play per day?
  • How long will it take me to review my sessions? Will I have time or will I have to play less to make time for reviewing?
  • What live trainings am I going to attend? (Personally I think this should be as many as you can.)
  • What video(s) am I going to watch this week, how many times am I going to watch it?
  • Could I include other things such as reading in my free time such as when on public transport?
 
I don’t want to suck the fun out of poker by adding strict guidelines and schedules to playing but as members of a poker school I think we should all strive to improve. Your schedule doesn't have to have written times for when you do each thing; but if you get through what you set out for yourself each week, then you have stuck to your schedule. By having a schedule and sticking to it we can achieve ‘poker balance’ and hopefully all improve.
 
You can see my newly posted schedule here.

I hope you enjoyed reading, good luck at the tables.
 
Oliver.

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