April 25, 2011
You know when you come across something for the very first time and you think "that's really interesting, I can't believe it is common knowledge"? And then subsequently you read or hear it all over the place. Well one of my favourite reads over the last few years is "This is your brain on music" by Daniel J. Levitin. Almost inconsequential to the general tenet of the book was a section on genius that talked about the number of hours the Beatles spent playing live in Hamburg, and the number of hours Mozart would have studied and played music before he truly became a genius:
...ten thousand hours of practice is required to achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world-class expert -- in anything. In study after study, of composers, basketball players, fiction writers, ice skaters, concert pianists, chess players, master criminals, and what have you, this number comes up again and again. Ten thousand hours is the equivalent to roughly three hours per day, or twenty hours per week, of practice over ten years. Of course, this doesn't address why some people don't seem to get anywhere when they practice, and why some people get more out of their practice sessions than others. But no one has yet found a case in which true world-class expertise was accomplished in less time. It seems that it takes the brain this long to assimilate all that it needs to know to achieve true mastery.
So I can't wait 10,000 hours to stop losing money. But I do probably have twenty hours a week to play and study. At the moment 90% of that time is spent playing. And the 10% I study is fairly passive, reading forums or articles and thinking "that makes sense" without really thinking about it. I intend to change that and aim to spend at least 10 hours a week properly studying.
To help with this initially I've come up with a structure to follow.
For each position in the 6m games I play I will take a range of hands and post them on the PLO forum for help and advice. I'm looking to explore where I lose the most, but also where I miss value.
As I can't expect to just take advice from other people I am going to balance my posts equally with commenting on other people's posts.
In addition i'm going to practice note taking. This is an area I really struggle with, both spotting the pertinent pieces of information and, even when I do, writing them in a concise and digestible format is a struggle.
The first step though is to record my current statistcs for posterity: