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Allen Iverson Said It Best - We're Talking About Practice.


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#1 wildspoke

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 07:13 PM

I just read an article by Dusty Schmidt's in cardplayer magazine and I wanted to get other players take on it. FROM CARDPLAYER ARTICLE: If you spent 100% of your time playing and not practicing you could improve 2 percent or 3 percent each month. If you played 80 percent of your time and practiced 20 percent of your time, you might improve 5 to 10 percent every month - but you lost 20 percent of your playing time. Is that practice going to make up for the money that you didn't make when you could've been playing?. For some the answer may be yes. But it's critical that you approach practice with that mindset. With some experimentation, in time you'll figure out the best balance for you. I absolutely advocate that 80-20 play-practice split in the early days of your poker business. This is your business and you are trying to improve its efficiency. The best way to do that in the early days is through practice. For every four hours you play, you should practice or study for one hour. By doing so, you're improving the overall value of your business, training yourself to make money five, 10, 20 years from now. As your win rate improves, you should dial back the practice in favor of more play. MY QUESTIONS: What was your percentage in the past (play vs practice) And what is it currently now.Also when you practice(d) what is it 'you actually practice?' Thanks in advance,Joe

#2 Tehtoe

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 07:52 PM

idk percentages or w/e, but "practicing" is super important at all stages as a player...I spent very little time practicing and basically all my time playing when I first started out, which led to me being stuck in micro stakes as a breakeven/losing player for longer than I should have. Eventually I started spending prob 30-40% of my time reviewing HHs, watching videos, discussing hands, and reading various strat forums which allowed me to improve quite quickly.Now I'm a reg in mid-high stakes MTTs and I still make a concious effort to read hands in the HSMTT forums on 2p2, discuss hands on AIM, watch videos, etc etc. It's super important also to review some interesting hands from each session like the day after you play to have a "fresh" perspective and also to try to see anything you might be doing that might be suboptimal.

#3 BaseJester

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 08:01 PM

This seems to me like a fairly stupid use of terminology. Playing poker is practicing. The other stuff is studying. And yeah, do some of that.
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#4 BaseJester

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 08:04 PM

To answer your questions, I used to spend about 90% playing poker and 10% studying. Now it's about 50/50, because I'm not really depending on the income. The studying element for me is reviewing hands (my own and others on the forums) and reading books.
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#5 cdipierr

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 08:23 PM

Tough question for me to answer because I don't belong to a training site or watch vids. I've read some books, etc. but should probably read more.I do play free poker a lot in bar leagues which I feel is good practice. You can try things out there for free that you might not online. Beyond that, strat forums like these are great. I love going over hands in retrospect.

#6 HighwayStar

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 08:35 PM

It's very important not to let your game stagnate otherwise your expectation in whatever you play will detiorate over time. You have to keep on the pulse. I do this mostly by reading forums like twoplustwo and talking to people. Videos help too, althugh what I learn from them is a lot less than it used to be, they are good to watch anyway just to keep your thoughts fresh.No idea what the percentages of time are. Unlike most people I probably spend way too much time not playing. It varies a lot though, some weeks I do nothing but play.
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#7 potatoman

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 05:26 AM

I think studying is a better term than practicing, since playing poker and practicing poker are very similar.An exception would be, for example, I occasionally play a Horse cash game, or HU, which I consider practicing more than playing, since it's not something I specialize in and I'm not playing with a great expectation to maximize my win rate.But back to studying versus playing. When I started out, I spent about 80 percent of my time studying and 20 percent play. That was about 5 years ago.Now it's like 90 percent playing and 10 percent studying. But during those times when I'm getting hit with a bad streak, either caused by variance, bad play or a combination of both, I will reduce my playing time and increase my studying time, say 70/30. This helps me regain focus and increase my confidence, which helps me play better.If I go long stretches without studying at all, I start playing on autopilot, which is never good when you consider yourself more of a feel player than a pure math guy.

#8 nutzzcase

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 06:20 AM

I play mostly heads up and it's hard to discuss hands since most of the decisions are based on reads. I play once in a while against tougher competition (regs) to improve my game. Overall, I think I've learned much more from playing than practicing.Now when it comes to MTTs and sit and goes, I have a lot to learn. There are a lot of accomplished players in this forum so I post hands and try to seek advice from them. I think it's much harder to correct mistakes in tournaments because sometimes you don't even realise you are making a mistake. Practicing is essential to be a winning MTT player.

#9 KingJames

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 11:52 AM

60/40 Play vs Study for meI really enjoy watching videos and talking about handsI also enjoy sweating players who are a lot better than I am
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#10 pbwl11

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 02:50 PM

My only studying comes from rereading SSHE every few months, and reading 2+2's forums since I'm just a limit specialist.I tried Doyle Brunson's idea of dealing out hand after hand and tracking the results....But I got frustrated cus I kept rivering myself!!! :club:
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#11 Mr. Sparco

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 10:05 AM

The only form of active "studying" I really do is reading strat discussions and replying to them. Very occasionally, I read a poker book or watch a video. I would say I spend 1-2 hours per week on those forms of studying. (I'm not counting the hours I spend on the "social" part of poker forums...)Besides that, I do a lot of random thinking about the game - when I'm walking from home to work, when I'm cooking a meal, when I can't sleep, etc. It's hard to guess a number for that, especially since not all of it happens consciously. I'd say that when I play a lot, this adds up to at least 5 hours per week.Depending on how much time I have, I play anywhere between 5 and 25 hours a week. However, I don't fully agree with the "playing = practicing" that some people mentioned. When I'm 10-tabling, browsing the forums while playing, watching tv, etc., I'm just playing, not practicing. When I'm 2- or 3-tabling and thinking about my decisions before and after I make them, I'm practicing. I'd say I spend about 25%-50% of my playing time practicing.Other than during the period when I was really learning the basics, I don't think any of those percentages have changed much over time. What has changed, however, is the efficiency: the better I get, the easier it becomes to think about poker situations and to formulate why something is right or wrong. So while the percentage of time I "practice" has not changed, I think its usefulness has definitely increased over the years.

#12 HighwayStar

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 11:10 AM

Right now I'm a groove for grinding lots of hands during the week and I spend around 2 hours a day watching videos/reading 2p2 and 8-9 hours playing (usually 3 sessions with an hour or so break). I usually do the reading /watching at the start and end of the day.
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#13 grindkid

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 07:55 AM

I deal lots of hands to myself aswel, over and over and over whilst at work. This is a good way of practice/study, definatly recommend it. I also read alot of books and watch some videos. But I play around 30 hours a week live cash (3x 10hrs) and trying to get same amount of online play in also.

#14 BenRobbin

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 02:25 PM

Whats the range of pocket pairs I should play in the micros cash game? All of them every position even when raised? Not early position? Play sevens or greater? Defend Blinds with pocket pairs?

#15 grindkid

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 02:58 PM

View PostBenRobbin, on Tuesday, March 16th, 2010, 10:25 PM, said:

Whats the range of pocket pairs I should play in the micros cash game? All of them every position even when raised? Not early position? Play sevens or greater? Defend Blinds with pocket pairs?
for me its all abot the price, i will play in early position depending on what the table is like, loose or tight etc. Every time you sit at a table it is different, so very hard question to answer.

#16 Manign

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 04:57 PM

Would it be wrong of me to consider NLHE .01/.02 stakes as practice?

#17 wildspoke

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 07:24 PM

View PostTehtoe, on Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010, 8:52 PM, said:

idk percentages or w/e, but "practicing" is super important at all stages as a player...I spent very little time practicing and basically all my time playing when I first started out, which led to me being stuck in micro stakes as a breakeven/losing player for longer than I should have. Eventually I started spending prob 30-40% of my time reviewing HHs, watching videos, discussing hands, and reading various strat forums which allowed me to improve quite quickly.Now I'm a reg in mid-high stakes MTTs and I still make a concious effort to read hands in the HSMTT forums on 2p2, discuss hands on AIM, watch videos, etc etc. It's super important also to review some interesting hands from each session like the day after you play to have a "fresh" perspective and also to try to see anything you might be doing that might be suboptimal.
Thanks so much for the response. I appreciate it. When you say you review your hands after you've have some distance. What are you looking for? A better way to play it or just to see if you took the correct line and got unlucky.Was there a point where it finally 'clicked' Was there a turning point in your practice that was decisive or did you just stop making as many mistakes.Also, when you watch a video is it more to see how someone plays, the way the think or just to see how they play a certain situation? Thanks,Joe

#18 wildspoke

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 07:28 PM

View PostHighwayStar, on Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010, 9:35 PM, said:

It's very important not to let your game stagnate otherwise your expectation in whatever you play will detiorate over time. You have to keep on the pulse. I do this mostly by reading forums like twoplustwo and talking to people. Videos help too, althugh what I learn from them is a lot less than it used to be, they are good to watch anyway just to keep your thoughts fresh.No idea what the percentages of time are. Unlike most people I probably spend way too much time not playing. It varies a lot though, some weeks I do nothing but play.
So would say your real teacher is volume?Also, have you been more successful when you play more volume VS to study and playing?

#19 wildspoke

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 07:31 PM

View Postpotatoman, on Thursday, March 4th, 2010, 6:26 AM, said:

I think studying is a better term than practicing, since playing poker and practicing poker are very similar.An exception would be, for example, I occasionally play a Horse cash game, or HU, which I consider practicing more than playing, since it's not something I specialize in and I'm not playing with a great expectation to maximize my win rate.But back to studying versus playing. When I started out, I spent about 80 percent of my time studying and 20 percent play. That was about 5 years ago.Now it's like 90 percent playing and 10 percent studying. But during those times when I'm getting hit with a bad streak, either caused by variance, bad play or a combination of both, I will reduce my playing time and increase my studying time, say 70/30. This helps me regain focus and increase my confidence, which helps me play better.If I go long stretches without studying at all, I start playing on autopilot, which is never good when you consider yourself more of a feel player than a pure math guy.
Love your last point. I think that's a big problem with me lately. I've been doing it 'by the book' instead of considering the situation. thanksWhen you 'study' I agree, much better than 'practicing' is there anything you specifically do?

#20 wildspoke

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 07:33 PM

View PostKingJames, on Friday, March 5th, 2010, 12:52 PM, said:

60/40 Play vs Study for meI really enjoy watching videos and talking about handsI also enjoy sweating players who are a lot better than I am
What vids do you watch. I'm a member of Poker X Factor. Lately, it's been hard for me to get into it.




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