You can have a lot of fun watching poker pros on Twitch. There are crazy moves, life-changing pots and all kinds of excitement. However, you should not focus solely on the fun part. Casino streaming via sites like Twitch affords players unprecedented access into the world of poker. You can learn a lot and improve your game by turning the Twitch sessions into study sessions if you take it seriously. This article will highlight a few techniques that will help you get the best out of poker streams and boost your poker strategy.
What To Do Before The Twitch Session
There are a couple of things you should do before even opening Twitch:
Prepare your mental state
Mental state could be one of the most important things. Do not start your Twitch session with the idea that you will just sit there and relax. Set your mind in a working state so you could focus and be productive. Even more so, be ready to make some notes and try to understand the reasons for every decision. A lot of the time, streamers will explain it, and give you an option to see not only how they play, but to understand how they think as well.
Therefore, be alert during the stream and try to find spots that could help you improve. This will require some effort at the beginning, but will become your natural state at some point in the future.
Pick the correct streamer
“Streaming allows experienced players who’ve spent hours playing poker to share their knowledge with other passionate players” – Casinos.co
You should spend some time picking the stream that brings you the most value in terms of the specific poker knowledge you seek. Watching someone play a bunch of tournaments with high buy-ins might be fun, but it probably won’t be very useful to you if you play cash. The same can be said about nosebleeds and high buy-ins. There is not much point to seeing someone play much higher limits because it is very unlikely you could implement a lot of their knowledge into your games.
The good news is that most channels on Twitch have a description that will help you in this regard. And you can easily see what is going on simply by watching few minutes of the stream. Find a suitable streamer that is likely to play formats and limits close enough to where you play to get the most relevant information.
Moreover, I recommend you to follow more than one channel. The more angles you cover, the better. Also, do not be afraid to try new streams and do not underestimate people with fewer subscribers. They might not be attractive as the Twitch stars, but a lot of the time, they will be doing more to stand out, and you can get your questions answered much easier and faster.
Set specific goals
Try to set some goals for the coming Twitch session. They could be related to specific hands or situations you have been struggling with. Alternatively, you could set a target to learn new techniques to try later on. Either way, knowing what you need to learn is the first step in learning it.
What To Do During The Session
Once you prepared, start watching and make sure to pay attention to the following:
Use the chat actively
Twitch channels have a real-time chat, and it is a good idea to take advantage of it. Ask questions, share your opinion and be a part of the discussion. Both the streamer themselves and other viewers participate in the chat, so you can gain a lot of valuable information. Many different hands and situations are broken down to the tiniest details, and this will help you understand them better. Moreover, you could find some poker buddies or enter a new study group.
In bigger channels, there will be many people asking different questions so you may go unnoticed. The best option is to make a small donation or subscribe to the channel. Twitch streamers tend to pay more attention their subscribers. Supporting a streamer is often like a mini-coaching session, as you will get the opinion of a professional player but won’t have to spend a little fortune for that. Furthermore, there are various promotions and special tournaments for subscribers only. You could earn a buck or two while having fun with the pros.
Since everything is happening in real time, sometimes things might be going too fast. In addition, some sessions have so many valuable information that you should not rely solely on your memory. Try to make notes of the interesting spots so you can review them later. This way there is no danger to forget helpful information. In fact, some of the top Twitch streamers like Jonathan Little believe this is the best way to study while having fun. You could also use screen video capture software to record sessions for later study.
What To Do When You Finish Watching
You might think that the study process ends with the Twitch session. That is not exactly the case, and there is a lot more you can do:
Review your notes carefully
If you followed my advice, you should have some useful notes. This advice is from the Captain Obvious notebook, but many people find it boring: go through your notes right after your session, when you still have everything in your head and remember the play, will allow you to make the most out of it. It will confirm your impressions and what you’ve learned during the stream. Also, you will be able to carefully review the situations that confused you at the first place. You will have the time to dig deep and draw the necessary conclusions. Therefore, I strongly recommend you to review your notes right after the session.
Watch the streams again
The best thing about Twitch streams is that most of the sessions are uploaded on YouTube as well. This gives you the opportunity to go through the crucial moments again, skip the boring parts and even pause whenever you feel like it. You can review each useful situation and watch it again until you understand it completely.
Evaluate the session
If you are serious about studying poker by watching Twitter streams, you should be honest with yourself. Did you manage to achieve the goals you set for the session? Was the stream useful for you or was it more about the fun?
Answer to yourself, did you discover a new spot that you could exploit in your game? Maybe you discovered a good spot for a bluff? Maybe you spotted something else? List down all the things you managed to learn. Discipline is essential in all aspects of poker, and Twitch study is not an exception. Try to stick to a routine that will benefit you in the long run.
To get better results of your Twitch session, make sure to learn poker strategy and prepare yourself for even more advanced information. The whole thing might sound a bit boring but you need to be ambitious if you want to succeed in poker.
Of course, that does not mean you won’t have fun by watching poker pros playing on Twitch. Once you build the proper habits, the pragmatic part will not take much effort, and you will be able to enjoy the action.
About the author:
Tadas Peckaitis is a professional poker player, author of the free poker book “Play ‘A’ game and be the boss at your poker table”, and the owner of mypokercoaching.com. He is also a big fan of personal effectiveness and always trying to do more. Tadas shares his knowledge about both of these topics with his students and deeply enjoys it.