How much time should I put into hand analysis compared to how much I play?
Hello guys, this is an area I thought would be good to touch on as it effects pretty much all of us and if it doesn’t then it should!
I would like to begin with hand analysis. This could be done on your own, with partners or even with groups. So lets get into how individually it helps your game to study on your own, in pairs or even in a group!
To study on your own has its benefits and can help curb frustration at the end of a session or help motivate you going into a session so I think prior or post session it can help for both reasons. At the end of a session if you have lost money or even won money you can find out, ok why have I lost money? You can study your hands see where you potentially might have made some mistakes and how to fix them. You could also learn how to improve certain win rates in different areas of your game.
On the flipside “Wow, I had a really great session today but how can I make even more money?” This is an absolute great mind set to have whilst being a poker player because without a doubt no matter how good you think you are there is always room to improve, that is a beauty of this wonderful game we like to play!
To study in pairs is also a productive way to improve your game alongside a friend/peer of yours, and you can study with anyone because what I have found during my time as coach and a player, it does not matter how talented you are at the game you can learn something from pretty much anyone. I would generally say pairing with someone of similar or greater ability will of course have its benefits but is not a necessity.
To be able to bounce theories and ideas and also point out leaks in each others games constructively and not negatively will be a huge
boost in getting to the next level of game you strive to achieve and what I would also strongly recommend is to make sure that you mesh well personality wise with your partners because if you find you are clashing and disagreeing a lot on certain subjects then it can become a hindrance to not only your learning but also your partners and this is often overlooked.
Finally, onto the suggestion of working in groups. I would say this is very similar to studying in pairs and making sure that you all mesh together from a personality and constructive criticism standpoint and also to make sure that every single one of you is on the same page. I go by the theory when teaching in groups that there is no such thing as a stupid question because its only easy if you know how.
Generally if I am doing a group session I will set the tone straight away that if there is any mocking or ridiculing someone else for their game and their thought process they will be kicked out the session immediately. Of course this is not to get mixed up with light banter and a bit of fun and laughs as that is always good for the atmosphere of the session also!
All in all I think personally there isnt really an amount of time you should set yourself to study and analyse hands but if you schedule yourself to study prior or post X amount of sessions per month to stay sharp this will be the most productive. Also studying in small blocks and having small targets is probably the most efficient way of doing this so it does not become a chore or an effort, and you will continue to enjoy doing something that is very important not just for the development of your game but also a factor that is also overlooked greatly and that is the maintenance of your game.