Review/studying/analyzing vs. Playing

ChuckTs

ChuckTs

Legend
Furthering your poker game isn't just about practice (playing the game), it's also about reviewing your play, analyzing your hands and studying the game. Say you have a leak in your game, and do nothing but play poker. You're not going to realize you actually have a leak, nor are you going to fix it without reviewing and analyzing those pots you've been losing because of your leak.

My theory is that this is why some people have a 'losing streak' (due to leak), and when they take a break, they often find themselves playing better than they were before they took that break. This is because they get the time to come down from the tilt of the losing streak, clear their mind, and are able to review their play effectively, and pinpoint what it is that is wrong with their play.

I'm only starting to realize the true effectiveness of the balance between practice and review, having realized with my recent small break that I do have a leak, and I've identified it. If you're curious, my leaks are my impatience, and my lack of emotional control in the game ie tilt.

My question for all of you is what is the perfect balance between studying/reviewing, and playing? 50/50? 0/100 (which is 100%)? Maybe you just play until you find yourself in a losing streak and decide to break and review your play until you've realized your leak?

Another thing that made me think about this was this question in the interview we have in the articles section with Dave ColClough:

Q. Which single piece of advice would you give to a player starting out and hoping to be a pro?
A. Patience patience patience..sit, watch, learn and only play occasionally.

Your thoughts?
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

euro love
I try to divide the time around 70/30 - play for two hours, study for one. On average.
 
Kenzie 96

Kenzie 96

Legend
Awards
9
Doubt that there is any perfect formula Chuck. FP's 70/30 seems reasonable. Really would seem to me to depend on how much you play for enjoyment & how much you play to win & improve, also you have to factor in how you best learn. As with everything poker related the answer is, it depends. Seriously analyzing your play is, it seems to me, much more likely to bring you out of a funk, losing streak than playing your way out.
 
Four Dogs

Four Dogs

Legend
Awards
1
I'll go along with the 70/30, but I'm flipped the other way. I spend much more time reading, writing and thinking about the game than I do playing it. But, I do have a very long commute.
 
Arjonius

Arjonius

Legend
I think a key factor in this regard is how a particular person tends to learn better. The balance that's optimal for one person isn't necessarily the best for another. That said, it's likely that a mix of study and play will be better than either one alone. Also, it's probable that playing will improve your game faster if you're working on specific things rather than just playing.
 
stretch833

stretch833

Guest
I agree with arjonius. I think playing and keeping certain things in mind while you play can help with the leak you had, too. I also realize leaks in my game when I read things here.
 
joosebuck

joosebuck

Legend
i dont study my hand histories often enough. i sometimes take a look at my long-term losing hands (that aren't hands like 2-7o) and see how i tend to play them vs. how i would preach to someone else on the best way to play them and make sure i stay disciplined. the majority of my "study" time is probably reading though. i would have to say that im still about 85/15 in regards to play/study though. need to study a lot more.
 
gord962

gord962

Legend
I noticed since I started keeping a blog that I was able to spot my mistakes quite easily as I review the good and bad points each day. It has helped my fix my leaks as well as stay on track as I have a lesson learned summary at the end of each session. I try to review the lessons learned weekly to remind myself of mistakes I am prone to making if I don't keep myself aware of them.
 
cascat

cascat

Enthusiast
I should probably analyse my game more frequently to improve as a player. Right now I spend about two hours each weak going through different sessions and situations in Poker Office.
 
medeiros13

medeiros13

Rock Star
This is a very interesting topic Chuck! I happen to fall on the play much more than study side of this. A lot of my study time (as crazy as this sounds) is watching poker on TV. I know you see all the players cards but I try to put myself in the shoes of each player and look at the flop and decide what I'd do. I think reading a poker book with examples (like HoH) is a better tool but this works okay for me.

The biggest reason why I play a lot more than I study is that I've gotten pretty good at doing a self evaluation. I play a lot of SnG's so I do make it a point of figuring out why I did well/poor before I move on to the next one. If I'm not able to assess myself at the time and keep on playing, I'll sit down later on and figure it out. (I'm typically on tilt when this happens)

I think posting here on a regular basis helps too. Before I took a little hiatus from the site, people were posting hands with flop/turn/river step by step and asking people for opinions. That was pretty eye opening just to see how different players view things. IMO, it almost doesn't matter how off base you think somebody may be because that viewpoint maybe shared by one of your opponents one day.
 
O

Obsidian

Guest
Interesting topic indeed. I am a beginner, so I tend to read a lot of information on this site and I just started reading a book aswell. I spend 90% of my time reading and 10% playing. After I will have read several books I think it will change to playing 90% of the time. I just want to get a little bit of knowledge first, before I can start learning from playing a lot of hands.
 
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