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Entertainment 4,984 views Sep 27, 2017
Benefits of structured poker training

To a large extent, difficulties in teaching poker are due to the breadth and depth of the game. In order to succeed and improve their skills to a certain level, a poker player must be not only familiar with a variety of theoretical and practical concepts, but he needs to go beyond a superficial understanding of the ideas embedded in these concepts and to understand game mechanics to understand how concepts are interrelated.


This may not be an easy task. But at the same time, players will be extremely useful and pleased to celebrate their own development, and sometimes a deeper understanding of the new concept can arouse an immediate desire to reveal the meaning of the next key concept that will change their game at forever.


But sometimes this tide of motivation can do more harm than good, since more than enough poker novices have lost their guiding thread in the catacombs of poker training, trying to get ahead of their opponents and gain an advantage over them. If you are in the process of improving your game, read about some ways to find out how effective your training is.


Beware of information overload



Everyone wants to improve their game as quickly as possible. No one wants to wait a little while the results will be characterized by positive dynamics. It's tempting to believe that poker is more important than the mental component, not the physical form, that is, hence the improvement of your game is reduced to a simple accumulation of knowledge. But this view ignores the fact that there is a big difference between understanding the necessary actions in a particular situation in retrospect and having the appropriate mental abilities to make decisions based on your knowledge at the time of the hand.


That's why it's so easy to notice all the missed opportunities to score a goal / earn points when you watch the game of your favorite sports team. But in the field for you it did not look so simple.
Therefore, it is important to recognize that the blood from the nose to find all possible poker information is not the most clever way of poker training.


If on average a week you watch five training videos from three different coaches, place eight hands on two training forums, read three articles from three authors, finish two more articles of the poker book, analyze the three sessions of your game and watch the broadcasts on Twitch, then , probably, all this will take you up to 70% of your time.


You can not effectively absorb all this information, moreover, it is likely that new knowledge will come into conflict with other valuable information that you have mastered before.


Have you ever had situations where your memory tells you that you saw a similar rally in the training video and you just did everything the same way as the trainer in the video, without thinking about why you need to act this way? As a rule, this is because you have extracted from memory what you have seen, but have not sufficiently understood the logic of applying these actions. You remembered that you were studying something, but you did not learn the lesson. Before moving on to the next question, you need to learn what you are learning.


Learn the basics



All of the above is reduced to a simple idea - do not spray your opportunities in a single period of time, for example, do not try to learn six new concepts simultaneously. It is important here not to go into the study of any concept until you understand the basics.


It is not right to force yourself to learn the optimal poker game according to the theory of games if you are still puzzling over the concept of a tribute bluff or trying to optimize the bluffing frequency on the river before you really understand the pot odds. You must achieve success in learning some concepts before even thinking about learning others.


A good example we can take from the analysis of the poker hand. If you find that you often make bad calls on the river or get into difficult situations on the turn when you encounter a second barelle, then it looks tempting to immediately eliminate your faces in these streets.


But in fact, such faces can be caused by errors committed long before the identification of their consequences, for example, the difficulty on the turn may be because of an excessively loose range call on the flop or a difficult flop was the result of the fact that we made the preflop three-bet instead of call.


In turn, this means that preflop is in many ways the most important stage of the game for learning. If you still have not learned how to correctly define the pre-flop pre-flop ranges, but have started to investigate the question of the possibility of a check-raise bluff on the turn, then you are running ahead of the locomotive.


In addition, it is worth considering that the preflop stage is the part of the draw in which the player is guaranteed to participate. We make pre-flop decisions in every draw, so any knowledge of pre-flop play is more important than knowing about the game at other stages. Dozens of pre-flop situations can occur on each of our flops, teres or rivers, so pre-flop faces can cost us more in the long run.


The model of adult education



Jared Tandler's first book, The Mental Game of Poker, has become a valuable tool for novice poker players, which contains one of the most useful concepts of poker training. This book indicates the importance of what Tandler called the Model of Adult Learning.


This model involves four stages of learning development, starting with unconscious incompetence - the starting point, when you do not have the slightest idea how much more to learn. Then you take the next step - conscious incompetence, on which you begin to recognize your shortcomings. The first two stages can last for beginners the first weeks, months, and sometimes years of their poker career before they begin an intensive learning process.


Most people who play poker for a while are between the second and third stage - conscious competence. At this point, you have already identified some areas where you make mistakes and you are competent enough to know how to fix them, but you will have to work hard to do it right.


After you get to the point where you all do it right, especially without thinking about the question, you have reached the final stage - unconscious competence, the Holy Grail of poker. If you can get enough skills to reach this level, then you are a very good poker player.


The most important point is to have an idea of ​​where you are in the process of learning each concept. Proceeding from my above proposal not to undertake several concepts at once, the subject of study should be easy enough for you to track your progress for each current point of application of forces in the learning process.


Begin by identifying a topic or concept that is in the zone of conscious incompetence and figuring out how to change your thinking processes in order to move into a zone of conscious competence. After successfully implementing these changes, you can begin work on bringing this concept into your unconscious competence area to make yourself a perfect poker player.


Keep an eye on the competence areas in which the concepts you are studying are in, and you will gain a deeper sense of control over your development.




In principle, if you do everything possible to improve your game, then you are on the right track. Some players mistakenly believe that poker is a game in which it is simply necessary to play a large number of hands to reach a certain level. But in teaching it is important to combine vigorous work with structured effective learning processes. In short, the quantity and quality are important, but one can not replace the other. In poker, as in life, balance is crucial.