June 01, 2011
How would you like to remember everything you ever learn?
Sounds too good to be true, I know, and probably impossible. Besides, I don't wanna remember some of the random stuff I see on the internet.
But there is a way to remember most or at least way more of the stuff you want to know.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Hermann Ebbinghaus did some major research into memory and more specifically, retention. What he found, and what has since been confirmed, is that consistent review is the key to memorization. But he also discovered that there is such a thing as too much review and too much memorizing. He discovered something called the 'spacing effect' which determined that the best time for review in order for optimal long term memory retention is right at the moment you are about to forget. And he came up with this, the forgetting curve:
It differs from person to person and on complexity of material, but optimal review seems to be as follows: 1 hour, 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 3 years, and so on.
So what I am doing with my videos and books I am studying is biting off bite-size chunks (thanks Jay), reviewing my notes an hour after I watch them, and then they go into a 7 compartment cardboard folder I created for each day of the week. 1 month from 1 day after I am finished the first video series or book I will review all the notes and then 3 months and so on. I've always had a fairly strong memory but hey, any edge you can get right?
Something else I want to touch on is recently I was made aware of the plethora of different reasons even knowledgeable players have for playing poker, and how I think every single one of them is -ev. I got into a discussion with someone who berated me for 'only caring about the money.' This baffled me. What else is there to care about? You can enjoy the game and have fun doing it ( we all do) but the ONLY reason for playing this game is money. Maximizing your edge...maximizing your profit. Every other thing you do regarding this game is a means to an end. Money. And if something that you bring to this game does not maximize your ev, it's a leak...period.
This game is kill or be killed. You should be willing to skin your grandma if she is at the same table as you. That's right, your sweet ol' grandma who made you ice cream cones and sang you to sleep when you were a baby.
Also, it's probably a good idea not to focus your life around poker. It's a complex
and interesting and fun game...but it's not all there is to life. If
you get into the mental space where it is, it's not only
a leak, but a sign of something much more unhealthy. You will improve much more rapidly if you are well-balanced.
That's not saying it can't be a career, it can be a very lucrative one. However, nothing should be the center of your life except your own principles and values. Too often we have things fall out from under us due to reasons beyond our control.
To center your life around anything so fleeting as poker is an egregious mistake.
Update on my current sitch. I'm running hot as hell. Very quickly moved up from 4NL and through 10NL and I'm a buyin or so away from taking a shot at 20NL. The players I am playing are terrible and I am playing very well, so hopefully I will continue to run good and shoot up the ranks as quickly as possible. May all your forgetting curves be flattened!