Videos are one of the most powerful ways to learn anything, and poker videos are no different. That being said, I hear students all the time say “I watch a ton of poker videos, but I haven’t improved enough yet.” The problem typically stems from the way in which they watch videos…which is what inspired this guide. I want to explain how to get the most out of any poker video you watch, using 5 easy strategies:
Turn off your email, lock yourself in a room, and prepare to learn something. If you want to get the most from a poker video without having to watch it 40x, make sure to turn your brain on and turn off the social media and other distractions.
- Set aside a time slot to watch your video
- Turn off distractions
- If you zone out, rewind and focus again
It’s not sexy taking notes with pen and paper (or jotting into a Word document), but this method helps you organize what you’ve learned. Taking notes also ensures that you are actively watching the video (hint hint), so stay vigilant here…
- Start a new document/sheet for each video
- Write down new plays that you learn
- Write down new concepts/terms that you learn
Ask Questions (& Find Answers)
When actively watching a video your brain is going to develop a ton of questions. “Why did the coach do this?” “What does this term mean?” “Why did he assign that range of hands?” Write these questions down and look for answers through the rest of the video. Poker is a non-stop series of asking and answering questions…and you can practice that skillset while watching videos.
- Ask yourself questions while watching the video
- Write down questions that seem important
- If you have a question on a term, pause the video and Google it
- Look for answers throughout the video and write them down
- If you don’t find an answer, share the question in our poker forum and we’ll help you out
Look For The Logic
Even though poker is vastly complex, all good plays are based in logic. Good players assign logical ranges, use math, and create lines that logically exploit their opponent’s weaknesses. When watching a video look to understand the logic the coach is using given the assumptions the coach is making. Understanding this will allow you to build a logical and profitable framework for both analyzing and playing hands better.
- Ask yourself WHY the coach made each play
- Ask yourself WHAT assumptions the coach may have been making
- Ask yourself WHEN one line is better than another
Great communities create great results, and poker is no different. Even though poker is a solo-focused game (it’s you vs the world), discussing and growing with poker players is one the best ways to improve faster. If you get stuck on a certain concept, or if you get a new idea that you want feedback on…we’re here to talk about it! Create a forum account and let’s help each other out (plus, the same guys and gals who make our videos post on the forum…which is pretty awesome if you ask me ♥)
Do you already do these things when studying? Do you have any other tips that you use when watching videos? Leave a comment below and let’s get nerdy!
For hand history videos:
Sometimes I watch a video once without sound, and jot down some notes; then I watch again to see what the coach had to say and see if it matches up with my thoughts.
Sometimes I just try to debunk what the coach says, plan counterstrategies to the coaches advice, and basically ask myself if I were playing against someone who is playing like the coach, what would I do?
That’s excellent! You’re training your brain to think creatively and to visualize different lines/applications…which is exactly what you’ll need to do as you move up.
I’m relatively new to using videos as a learning tool, but I find it is incredibly useful to use reading and video material to reinforce, and to get different perspectives on, what you are presently learning. I’m just about finished with SplitSuit’s chapter on playing big hands in “Dynamic Full Ring Poker” and watching a video or two (from him and another coach I respect) will be a great way to really help my thinking and to help (begin to) allow concepts to settle in my mind.
It is also very useful to identify leaks in your game, spots that confuse you (a good sign that it’s a leak!), and then seek and watch videos (and books, chapters, articles, blog posts, and of course the forum) to really focus in on that part of the, and your, game.
(As an aside, it would be great if you guys collected and categorized, on this site, all of the videos you coaches here have made; copyright issues may be the reason this hasn’t been done though, and that makes sense)
Sounds like you have the right idea =) And yea, organizing all of our videos (even ones we have complete copyright to) is a HUGE task =)
Well, had a hard time finding any other good, and free, videos on this topic, so more SplitSuit it is, which is not a problem at all! =)
So long as you are OK hearing my voice, there are tons of videos to choose from lol
I tend to keep replaying the video over when I’m in the bath or listen to the audio in the car. But I should do all of the above also.
Do the above to improve efficiency and retention. But nothing wrong with rewatching some videos as well =)
I have found that quizzing myself is useful. Basically I just pause the video right before there should be a decision to be made, and make the play myself, then resume playback. This works in almost any kind of video, even FT commentary videos. Also, I’m contemplating on writing out the best parts of an audiobook I bought. I figure it would make me think more about what is said in the audio, and it would be much easier to find a specific spot later on when I want to recap. Also, it would be a great typing excercise. =)
That’s a great plan!