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OTB #037: How The Protégé Effect Can And Will Improve Your Tournament Poker Game

In an ideal world, when you want to improve your tournament poker game you find poker players who are better than you to work with.

But in practice, this is challenging because they probably fear that they won't learn much from you as a weaker player.

Similarly, you might believe that it's not worth studying with a poker player who's weaker than you.

I would argue the opposite.

Today I want to discuss why mentoring a weaker player can lead to faster progress for both of you.

Let's dive in...

"While we teach, we learn." - Seneca

The protégé effect, also known as learning-by-teaching, is a method coined by Jean-Pol Martin in the 1980s.

The idea is simple: you'll put in more effort to learn something because you know you have to teach it to someone else.

The best way to learn... is to teach

When learning any poker concept, it's obviously important you understand it well enough to apply it in game.

However, when you're forced to teach it to someone else, your level of understanding will improve as you now need to be able to explain it in a way that is accessible to the person you're teaching.

You'll also need to be able to answer any questions as they come up and clarify concepts as you go.

Similar to the Feynman Technique I discussed in OTB #010: How To Learn Any Poker Concept On A Deeper Level, by using this technique you'll identify gaps in your own knowledge, which in turn helps you form a deeper understanding.

This means that the student isn't the only one to benefit from this process.

How to do it

Here are 3 ways you can use the protégé effect to improve your own tournament poker game:

1: Learn the topic or concept as if you're going to teach it to someone else

You want to reach a level of confidence in the topic where you would feel comfortable teaching it to someone else. Try to pre-empt any questions that could come up.

2: Pretend that you're teaching it to someone else

Practise teaching the topic and again pretend that you're being asked specific questions about it to show a deeper level of understanding.

3: Actually teach it to a real person

Find a player or players to teach in either a one-on-one or group setting. This step requires the most effort, but also leads to the greatest rewards.

Teaching is the ultimate learning experience

Very often the best people to learn from are those just one or two steps ahead in the journey.

So today I want you to reach out to someone who you think you can help and offer to coach them for free.

I promise that you'll both get something out of it in the end.

That's it for this week.

See you next time.


Whenever you're ready, here's how I can help you:

The Final Table: Play your best poker when the most is at stake. Detailed analysis of over 100 hand examples at different stages of play. Learn how to make great decisions every time and set yourself up for daily progress.

Poker On The Mind: Listen to my podcast with Dr Tricia Cardner as we discuss peak poker performance and tournament poker strategy.

Train & Play Like The Pros: Join the next cohort of my flagship program that will take you from amateur to training and playing like the pros in the next 8 weeks.

Purposeful Practice for Poker: Gain a clear theoretical understanding of the science of purposeful practice and how you can apply it to your poker study & training. Includes specific exercises designed to create an infallible plan for poker improvement.


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