How To Learn From Poker Videos

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The last post was about learning styles in poker, but didn’t go into great depth on how to best learn from certain poker training mediums. This article is going to talk a little bit about how to learn from poker videos, as poker videos have jumped in popularity over the last few years. First we must realize that there are way too many poker training videos to ever watch them all. And next we must realize that not all videos are created equal in terms of everything from quality, targeted student type, content, etc. So with that said, let’s get started:

Before you try to learn from a video, make sure that you are prepared to work. Too many students watch videos casually and rarely end up retaining anything of use. Set aside a block of time to watch and learn (I suggest 1hr for a 30min long video, and 2hrs for a 1hr long video). You need to be actively engaged the entire time while watching a video, from the introduction to the conclusion, you need full focus on the material at hand. I usually suggest taking notes while watching a video, simply because doing so forces you to pay extra attention (and writing notes helps me remember things!)

Videos, good videos specifically, should be watched numerous times (or at least until concepts are fully understood). Watch a video once, and while taking notes, write down questions that you gather along the way. If you are watching a poker video on Playing Draws and get confused about when to call versus raise a flush draw postflop, write it down. Then when you rewatch the video (preferably at least a day later), keep those questions in mind and focus on trying to answer them. Especially with concept videos, this should be easy enough. If you are still confused afterwards, do some reading, or even contact the video creator to ask a follow up question or so.

Another thing to remember is that concept videos are usually more valuable than sweat sessions. Watching a coach play can be useful, but there is usually too much going on to really catch everything. Plus, there will always be mistakes made while playing (that is true for both players and coaches!), and you wouldn’t want to gather bad habits unintentionally. If you can find a concept video and a sweat video focusing on the same thing, I would suggest watching the concept video(s) first…and then considering the sweat video to supplement the information. But that’s just my view point…

The big things to take away from this are:

  • Actively watch poker videos (don’t get passive or lazy!)
  • Take notes while watching
  • Write down questions that you gather while watching
  • Watching multiple times to fill in knowledge gaps
  • Focus more on concept videos than sweat videos
  • Ask questions if all else fails!
  • Hopefully that helps. If you have any questions, just let me know. Enjoy!

    SplitSuit

    My name is James "SplitSuit" Sweeney and I'm a poker player, coach, and author. I've released 300+ videos, coached 500+ players, and co-founded the training site Red Chip Poker. Contact me if you need any help improving your poker game!

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