April 30, 2010

How to become a better player

I just wrote this regimen up for a friend of mine who doesn’t really have any AFT (away from the table) study habits. He wants to start focusing on studying more and playing better. Don’t we all? Anyway, I designed this regimen which mimics my regimen pretty well and after writing it, I realized many people could benefit from it. So here ya go :)

This is a 3 step regimen that will inevitably help you have a better mindset while playing, focus more on learning/getting better, and just provide better overall habits. I think designing this regimen will help me as well because I don’t do these EVERY time like I should.

Step 1 – Design and follow a pre-session routine.

Mine goes something like this:

Make sure I’m not tired.
Finish any tasks that are on my mind (feed dog, take out trash, etc.).
Go to the bathroom.
Get a glass of water.
Close all browsers, AIM, and Skype.
Review pre-written notes about leaks I’m trying to fix or any helpful mantras, such as THEY ARE BLUFFING LESS THAN YOU THINK THEY ARE.
Open Pandora and PTR.
Open HEM, FT, and TableFinder.
Take a few deep breaths and clear my mind.
Play.

Step 2 – Design a post-session routine.

Mine goes like this:

Review all of the hands I marked during the session.
Decide if I played them well, if I know how to play it better, and if I should discuss it with a friend, my coach, and/or post to DC.
If necessary, post hand(s) to DC with reads and such.
Review the pre-session notes to assess if I improved upon my leaks.

Step 3 – Utilizing DC

Part 1 – DC Videos

Find a series that you want to watch (suggestions – Ghost Ship, Thin Red Line, The Riddler*, or anything by Baluga or jk3a).
Find time to watch 2 episodes each week, and ONLY watch the video, no internet surfing, messaging, etc.
Take notes on the video and think about how you can implement anything useful into your game. Also, if it’s a live play/video review, try to pause the video while watching when a spot comes up and think about how you would play the hand, and then listen to what the coach says.
If it’s a current series (as in you are watching it as it’s released each week), then post questions in the episode thread.

*I haven’t watched The Riddler yet, but the reviews seem to be good.

Part 2 – DC Forums

Make a point to respond to 1 hand each day on the forums. It only takes 5 minutes and each difficult hand posted will make you think about poker while not playing. Look at them as daily quizzes. Don’t read anything but the OP before responding.*

*If you don’t feel like actually responding due to laziness or being uncomfortable that you don’t know what the “answer” is to the hand, then just respond in your head. Read the OP, formulate how you would play the hand and why, and then read the rest of the thread to see what other people posted and why.

Posted By TecmoSuperBowl at 04:26 PM

19 Comments

19 Comments:

Mykill posted on April 30, 2010 at 16:58 PM

Deadpool061ir

Good entry! thx all!


jonathanjcr posted on April 30, 2010 at 17:17 PM

Avatar

Good stuff. The only thing I do in addition before playing is in line with making sure I'm not tired... grabbing coffee, tea or energy before my session. That seems to help with my focus, but then again I'm a caffeine junkie. Haha.

I definitely don't do step 3 enough. I'm going to start doing that more.


TheGeek posted on April 30, 2010 at 17:29 PM

Meanwhile

Good post Tecmo. One question, what is Pandora?


TecmoSuperBowl posted on April 30, 2010 at 17:31 PM

Tsbbadugi

MyKill - why did you thank "all?" It's just me here :)


TecmoSuperBowl posted on April 30, 2010 at 17:32 PM

Tsbbadugi

Pandora allows you to see your opponents' cards. Or it's an online radio that conforms to your interests by the way you rate songs. Definitely one of those. Either way, it's helpful :)


aumorgan posted on April 30, 2010 at 18:32 PM

Elk

mykill is from california, he doesn't know any better :)


belikewater posted on April 30, 2010 at 18:33 PM

165877-29144-marvin-the-martian_large

great post, good stuff as always Tecmo, looking forward to meeting you at a wsop meetup this summer


fpalattao posted on April 30, 2010 at 19:32 PM

Images

Awesome info!


Mykill posted on April 30, 2010 at 19:52 PM

Deadpool061ir

Definitely don't know any better! <3 @ Aumorgan

The "all" is just part of the slang my friends and I use. For example, thx all, grats all, hi all. And I'd say these are mostly used in 1 on 1 conversations.

For example my friends IM to me this morning

[11:04] Mykill: welcome to work sir
[11:04] crim: thxall

Oh and sir, can't forget how important sir is.


nienie23 posted on April 30, 2010 at 21:45 PM

Montréal-..

I do more or less the same. A few differences: I always review my sessions just before playing the next one so every mistakes is fresh in my mind.

I have an in-session routine. Every 10 to 15 minutes I ask myself:
1- Am I in my A, B or C game.
2- How is my mind set? Pissed, concentrated, thinking of something else?
3- Is my table still worth playing?


TecmoSuperBowl posted on May 03, 2010 at 20:19 PM

Tsbbadugi

Thanks for all the love :) Hope it was helpful!


Ribsauce posted on May 04, 2010 at 03:35 AM

Avatar

Great tips. I need to work on my post session, usually when I finish I just get up and go for a walk, which is fine, but I need to review all my hands afterwards. I do the exact same presession except I have cut out music. I find I focus 100% without anything but the poker client and HEM running. Probably personal preference but I would recommend trying it a couple of times.

"I have an in-session routine. Every 10 to 15 minutes I ask myself:
1- Am I in my A, B or C game.
2- How is my mind set? Pissed, concentrated, thinking of something else?
3- Is my table still worth playing?"
I def do this as well. If I am losing I try to step back and think is it because of me or variance. I just need to start being honest with the answer lol


omgmyhurrr posted on May 28, 2010 at 15:58 PM

Avatar

Very helpful and informative. Thank you Tecmo. Will apply these methods NOW! Lol


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