Studying poker : playing poker = 1 : x ?

  • 18 replies
    • verneer
      verneer
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.08.2009 Posts: 366
      Originally posted by Avatars91
      How much time should one dedicate to studying his game in relation to how much he is playing? Is it healthy for one's poker career to study considerably more than playing?
      Your ratio should not be constant. The more confident you are at the tables, the more that ratio should shift towards playing. The less confident (for example - you just moved up to a new limit and have limited reads on the regulars) you are, the more you should devote to studying.

      For me, the pattern has been:

      Lowest limit that I beat: 80-90% play, 10-20% study.
      Move up: 60% study, 40% play. As I start developing reads, this goes to 20-30% study and 70-80% play.
      Repeat.

      The higher I play, the bigger % of the time I'm studying because the edges are smaller and thus my A-game, B-game, and C-game all have to be much better.
    • Alllex1703
      Alllex1703
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.01.2012 Posts: 153
      I would say, that it depends on you..

      I myself like to have a ratio of about 3:1 (playing : study)
      but then again i mostly only do reviews on my hands and organise the player notes and stuff. On top of that i try to dedicate at least an hour a day and watch viedeos/read articles or watch some of the coachings ps offers..:)

      i guess if i would find any major leaks in my game i would drop down to 2:1 till i fix them.
      but i think that if u are at the early phase of still learning the different concepts or things like calculating odds and stuff than i would def study a bit more than playing.

      but as i said i think it depends on you. if u would rather aproach it in a learning by doing way than i would say play more than what you study. or you could read a ton of material first and realy get the basics in and than "test" your skills at the tables..

      hope my answer helped a bit.. :)

      Alex
    • Avatars91
      Avatars91
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      Joined: 18.12.2009 Posts: 2,689
      Sounds fair enough.
      But perhaps I should ask a different question that I find very relevant to me regarding this issue – is it a bad idea to choose a rather radical proportion such as 90% studying and 10% playing if I consider myself as a player whose game could profit very greatly from making improvements / preventing mistakes? Would such a proportion not backfire in the sense that it would not be the most productive way to spend one's time because much of the knowledge gained might actually be rather hard to implement during playing all at once and without much experience? Just for the record I must say that I indeed am motivated enough to choose such a proportion and still enjoy the game.
    • verneer
      verneer
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.08.2009 Posts: 366
      Originally posted by Avatars91
      Sounds fair enough.
      But perhaps I should ask a different question that I find very relevant to me regarding this issue – is it a bad idea to choose a rather radical proportion such as 90% studying and 10% playing if I consider myself as a player whose game could profit very greatly from making improvements / preventing mistakes? Would such a proportion not backfire in the sense that it would not be the most productive way to spend one's time because much of the knowledge gained might actually be rather hard to implement during playing all at once and without much experience? Just for the record I must say that I indeed am motivated enough to choose such a proportion and still enjoy the game.
      This is ok for shorter periods of time.
    • TwiceT
      TwiceT
      Black
      Joined: 15.07.2007 Posts: 4,796
      playing = learning

      don't underestimate how much you actually learn by playing many hands. and playing them focused to the max.


      never set a static ratio imo. when you feel on top of your game continue playing a lot. when you have problems with certain regs/spots, sit down and analyze their game/those situations as long as you need to.
    • ThatGuyMatt
      ThatGuyMatt
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.12.2010 Posts: 3,758
      On top of the great advice already given, do you post hands for Evaluation?

      Posting hands is so underrated by many players.

      This way you're playing more and getting Coaches to "Study" your game ;)
    • Avatars91
      Avatars91
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2009 Posts: 2,689
      I fully agree that playing = learning provided you focus as hard as you can but still, given the fact that I still have not read all the articles here on PS that I have access to, as well as the fact that there are quite a few particular situations that I have difficulty playing in and that I am aware of, it seems to me that I would gain considerably more from preparing myself with the necessary theory before hitting the tables on a constant basis. Do not get me wrong, I have played my fair share of hands since I first started playing poker but I have really, really neglected studying up until now.

      Regarding hand evaluations – the reason I am not posting hands at the moment is that before doing that I have a feeling that I should have read most of the articles at the very least. I used to post many hands until I realized that the attitude towards my excessive posting from the coach is becoming somewhat negative because of all the questions I asked, most of which could be answered with proper studying of at least the relatively basic theory. That is something that I will start using again in the very near future, but some articles + practice in applying the theory is still to be read / done.

      The point is – am I too radical with this approach?
    • SPeedFANat1c
      SPeedFANat1c
      Gold
      Joined: 04.01.2009 Posts: 5,061
      The more confident you are at the tables, the more that ratio should shift towards playing.


      that way I lost a lot of money at NL20 :D now I am playing nl20 more carefully - mixint it with NL10 because still not feel that I can beat it after I lost a lot
    • matel17
      matel17
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      Joined: 11.07.2010 Posts: 1,278
      I hate to state the obvious but you clearly believe that you should study more than play at the moment so just do that. If you want to learn on paper first, do it. I myself am spending a week or two studying 100% or close. I assume that the ratio will eventually go the other way, like 90% playing, 10% reviewing.

      Go go go!!!
    • Avatars91
      Avatars91
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      Joined: 18.12.2009 Posts: 2,689
      Lol, it indeed might sound obvious, but surely you must agree that a merely theoretical approach might in some cases not be productive as one must reread and reread and reread all of the theory periodically if it has not been strengthened by practice via a healthy balance of both playing and studying.
    • matel17
      matel17
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      Joined: 11.07.2010 Posts: 1,278
      Definitely! In my case I'm going for 100% studying for some days because I absolutely need to. Of course the goal is to get to the tables and crush. I gues you're going through something similar.
    • Avatars91
      Avatars91
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      Joined: 18.12.2009 Posts: 2,689
      Exactly my situation. Glad to know I'm not alone in this.
    • noisecore
      noisecore
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      Joined: 12.04.2010 Posts: 5,221
      Originally posted by matel17
      Definitely! In my case I'm going for 100% studying for some days because I absolutely need to. Of course the goal is to get to the tables and crush. I gues you're going through something similar.
      I think this isn't good.

      You'll get an overload of information in a couple of days that your brain won't be able to process all at once. The key element to studying poker is putting theory into practice you can't do that if you only study. And If you only study without playing you'll have to think of everything at once that u have learned when sitting at the tables again after a period of only studying and you'll forget I'd say rougly 70% of it. Much better to do it in steps, 100% studying is out of the question because you won't learn as much as 50/50 or 60/40 , for those numbers it is easier for your brain to process the new information you have learned and bring it into practice step by step.

      my 0,02$

      PS: Compare it to reading a pokerbookon holidays with alot of new concepts and info you have never heard of. You won't remember much of it once you come back because you haven't been able to put theory into practice thus allowing your brain to soak up the information in a context which leads to better memorization.
    • Avatars91
      Avatars91
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      Joined: 18.12.2009 Posts: 2,689
      Excellent post. This is exactly what I am afraid of with this approach. Just want to know what others think about it.
    • matel17
      matel17
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      Joined: 11.07.2010 Posts: 1,278
      I agree Noisecore but I don't intend to memorize everything. I am familiarizing myself with the concepts and strategies and taking notes. When I get to a more balanced ratio of play:study I'll have these notes to revise concepts which are already familiar.

      How does that sound?
    • noisecore
      noisecore
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      Joined: 12.04.2010 Posts: 5,221
      Originally posted by matel17
      I agree Noisecore but I don't intend to memorize everything. I am familiarizing myself with the concepts and strategies and taking notes. When I get to a more balanced ratio of play:study I'll have these notes to revise concepts which are already familiar.

      How does that sound?
      It's is ok but even then you'll miss out on alot of actually important details and you'll want to try new things too much resulting in less efficiency, or at least that's my opinion.

      I think it's better to focus on one concept at a time. This won't be as fast but definately more efficient.

      Myself I'd never play less than 50% or 40%. When I first tried to move up to NL50 and beat it I spent like 60% playin 40% studying. Just watching a video or reading an article and taking keynotes and then I started playing a session trying out the new things I had learned. After the session I'd post alot of hands here.

      So my process was:

      1. Learn
      2. Practice
      3. Evaluate
    • shichibukaii
      shichibukaii
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.06.2009 Posts: 48
      When I started playing I didn't really have any book knowledge of poker so I learned from my mistakes along the way. But picked up a book midway of my poker "career" and it did enlighten me in some points, so I'd suggest you read enough to get you started and then practice on small stakes and learn from there.

      No book will give you as much knowledge as the experience from playing.
    • CHARMANDER06
      CHARMANDER06
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.08.2010 Posts: 301
      Hey,

      A few months ago I didnt have a bankroll and I studied maybe a few hours a week just looking at hands and reading articles/books. So 100% study. Now Im back and im crushing the limit im playin at (3$ + shots at 5$ SNG) so im playing 100% just because I want to get up to playing the 5$ games constantly. Once I get up to 5$ I will restart studying.