I recently started working on my General CoS (Intermediate) and was very impressed with Rolf Slotboom's lessons on what skills are needed and their importance in making you a good poker player. I went over each of the skills from the Extremely Important, down to the Unimportant and what I found was... well... I was lacking in every area.
After all this time at the Poker School (well since late last year), I know I've improved and I know I still have a long journey in front of me, but I didn't expect to be as far behind as I now realize I am. It was one of those moments that made me go... Hmmmmmmm... But it was also a moment where I didn't get discouraged and I know I won't give up.
So, based on Rolf's lessons... two of the (many) areas where I need improvement are 1) Knowing the Sklansky Hand rankings, and 2) Knowing some of the odds. I think that this is a good area to start with overall, and especially since I feel I'm a better Limit player, than pot- or no-limit.
Well, I started working two days ago on the Sklansky Hand rankings and the first thing I learned about them, is they are not set in stone when it comes to Limit, Pot-, and No-Limit Hold Em. You can slide up and down the scale based on which game you are playing, who your opponents are, and it even depends on if you are in a cash game, or tournament. Is this a revalation for me? A moment of clarity? I don't know, but I do know that I am a part of the way towards memorizing and using the hand rankings to my benefit.
So far, I have Rankings 1 to 3 down and am struggling a little through 4. It's not just about putting a range of hands in a ranking, it's about the EV that each of those hands hold. For example, Group 1 is easy and goes AA, KK, QQ, JJ, and AKs in that order. Then in Group 2, it starts TT, AQs, AJs, KQs, and AKo... and in the other groups the order gets even stranger to me... But, basically, what (I think) I've learned is that even though some hands seem to be higher or stronger, sometimes what appears to be a lesser hand, has more value and positive expectation. AKo is a strong hand, but KQs is higher up the food chain in the same group.
I hope to have the entire rankings memorized from 1 to 8, hopefully in the next month or two. Will this put me ahead of some of my opponents? Maybe... Will it help me make a few better poker decisions? I think possibly. Either way, the Journey Continues...