Effective learning. Not really that complicated.
You learn, analyze and study your opponents and still don’t make any progress? You don’t really feel like you have an edge on your respective buy-in level? You can’t really put what you’ve learned into practice? You consistently repeat the same mistakes over and over again? What’s causing this? How can one really learn effectively?
I’ll show you how you can learn effectively and achieve staggering results by applying simple methods and techniques. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to employ effective learning. Keep it simple are the three magic words. How do you distinguish between a successful high-stakes grinder and a low-stakes grinder regarding his/her learning behavior? Unfortunately, I’d have to disappoint you if you thought high-stakes regulars utilize highly-complex techniques and methods. No, in fact they get by with very simple methods. It’s just that they realize how effective these simple methods are. Which methods I’m referring to I’ll specify below.
Missing the wood for the tree
Many poker players miss expensive leaks for the trees.
It starts with finding leaks. Many times, poker players set utterly wrong priorities to plug their leaks. Other times, they simply do not exhibit sufficient attention to detail and/or expertise to detect severe mistakes in their game. They attempt to eradicate weaknesses that merely have marginal ramifications on their win-rate. They remain unaware of the major errors within their game and keep wondering why there is no progress.
I highly recommend you record one of your sessions and show it to one of your poker-buddies or your coach. Look through your session together. They (poker-buddy/coach) already possess a certain eye for those severe leaks that you do not yet have. Don’t fall into the trap of only looking through marked hands over and over again. Why? Since those are your own marked hands, which, hence, likely do not reveal your actual points of weakness. You may gauge certain hands as “standard”, which were possibly played completely wrong. You need to be willing to disclose 100% of your game to others. Only in this way can you improve.
In the following section I will introduce some of the most effective methods.
Some guidelines first: quality above quantity. Don’t blast yourself with too much content. Anyway, you won’t be able to remember everything. Some of you will think that these methods aren’t effective enough due to their simplicity. The power is in their continuity. From today, consider them as your bible.
- Finding “correct” leaks. As was mentioned above, find yourself poker-buddies or a coach to whom you can show your game without reservation. No marked hands at first. Otherwise the effect will be wasted. One of the biggest leaks of most of the poker players is setting wrong priorities to eliminate leaks.
- Note down leaks. After each session review, coaching or hand analysis, specifically write down what you did wrong. Also, note down how you can avoid these mistakes at the tables. What particular plays must be used at the tables to avoid this mistake? This may, for instance, look as follows: I overplay my value-hands post-flop too often. I should rather check back flops with hands that I can only play two streets for value. You can create this for any conceivable spot.
- Setting goals. Prior to each session, note down two to three points, which you would like to integrate into your game. These may also be mental goals. Optimally, these are leaks that you have noticed from your previous review. You should try to place particular emphasis on these spots. When do I know that these leaks are eliminated? Keyword “subconscious knowledge“. When you have reached this stage, the leak is eliminated. What this means is that you identify these spots subconsciously. It’s the same as if you open-raise with pocket aces. You simply know that it is the correct play without further consideration.
- Session reviews always prior to the session. After the session you are still too emotional. You cannot view certain spots objectively enough. Instead, you’d better relax and focus on other things. You can use the review perfectly as a warm-up for the next session. Your brain will switch into “poker-mode”. So from the first hand on, you’ll be a hundred percent focused.
- Blogging. For effective learning, this is considered the holy grail. A properly managed blog can accomplish unbelievable results. You introduce structure into your learning behavior. You will have an overview of your weaknesses, goals and results. You’ll receive input from other poker players and you’ll have the opportunity to convey your knowledge to others. In our forum, you have the unique chance to create your own blog and enjoy mentoring from our coaches for free.
Use your time effectively
Use your time to learn effectively.
You watch a 60-minute training video and are finished after 60 minutes, too? Bullshit. After seven days you will have forgotten almost everything again. Congratulations, you’ve wasted 60 minutes of your life. Passively watching videos just shows that you are not in it with heart and soul. Not a good foundation for becoming a successful poker player.
Training videos exist to work with them. Pause and note down the most important insights and concepts that you wish to integrate into your game. Take note of everything that you deem important. Then, write a summary in your blog. Select two to three points that you want to implement in your next session.
The same applies to session reviews or user-to-user coachings. Take notes! Basically, written notes are remembered easier than type-written notes. A combination of hand-written notes and a clear summary of these notes in your blog or diary is the most effective method.
Taking notes is one of the most underestimated tools to study effectively. Studies have clearly shown that we can remember learned things longer by writing them down. When you watch poker videos or review sessions with poker-buddies, use your time effectively. Neatly sum up the notes in your blog or diary afterwards. Let others examine your game to identify the really expensive mistakes and always review your session prior to the next session.
By the way, my word document containing notes regarding leaks and goals is now 45 pages and 14.730 words long. Quite a lot of leaks, right?