Finding a balance between study and play


Being successful at poker means a lot more than just playing a massive amount of hands. You need to study, study hard.

Not only should you eat, breath and sleep poker but being excited and curious about the game is an absolute must. When I say curious I mean willing to study every aspect of the game.

Learning the fundamental theorem of poker, its implications, and how it affects every decision you make in a poker game is the first thing you have to study rigorously.

The best way to get familiar with the fundamentals is by reading the correct books and articles about this subject. It’s very important that you read the right materials from the start. There are hundreds of poker books and websites out there with a lot of information about poker and how the game should be played. Sadly most of this information is outdated or just plain wrong. I will make a post soon with a list of books and articles I think are must-read for new aspiring players.

Study your own game. Every time you have played poker it’s important that you re-evaluate your play and decisions you took during that session.  Don’t think that because you had a winning session you took the correct decisions. There is great software to keep track of your results and review your plays and those of your opponents. Preferably ask as many questions as you can on a reputable poker forum just to be sure you are on the right track.

Keep in mind that you are never done studying poker. It’s an ongoing process that will be very important as long as you intend to win. Poker evolves every day and not adapting will make a once winning player into a losing one.


Of course experience is crucial. The way we can get a lot of experience in a short span of time is by playing poker online. Once we have a solid understanding of the fundamentals we can play one or more tables of online poker. Someone who plays 4 tables simultaneously will be playing between 240 and 400 hands per hour. This obviously depends on what game you are playing and the speed of the game. When you play live at a home game or at your local casino you are lucky if you see 30 hands per hour. So obviously online poker is a great way to get the necessary experience. It does not matter if it is for play money or real dollars, as long as you learn as much as you can while putting in the hours at the tables.

I recommend to play a maximum of 4 tables at the same time. Don’t become a robot. Think about every possible way you can play the hand according to the information you have gathered.

Put all the puzzle pieces together and find a way to defeat your opponent.

Tagged , , ,

7 thoughts on “Finding a balance between study and play

  1. jgallardo says:

    Wow, it seems like we’re blogging about the same things (running, playing poker, reading). Good luck to you – will be following for sure!

    • I like how you post your session reviews with a video on your blog. Will definitely watch them, maybe we can help each others game. Good luck at the tables !

      • jgallardo says:

        I noticed you wrote that you’d be playing and studying many forms of poker. I’d recommend sticking to the game you’re best at and trying to get even better at it. If you’re bored of the same game, pick your next favorite one and push yourself to learn everything you can about it. If you have NL hold’em questions I’m willing to help, gl.

      • I played NL holdem 6-max for 4 years. It’s true I got bored at the game so I switched to PLO and after that I played the 10-game mixed on Full Tilt Poker. My main goal in 2012 is to develop as a poker player in general, not just in one specific game. Will definitely ask your opinion on holdem hands !

  2. […] promised in my previous post Finding a balance between study and play I’ll give you a list of poker books every poker player should read and study. Most of these […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: