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Studying vs Training: Which is Better?

Updated: Jul 18

When it comes to learning about anything, not just poker, we often hear two terms used interchangeably: studying and training. However, these two terms have different meanings and implications, and understanding the difference can help you optimise your poker development.

Studying typically refers to the process of acquiring knowledge and understanding concepts, theories, and principles. In poker, this often means watching training videos, reading books, attending webinars and running your own sims to gain a deeper understanding of a particular topic or concept.

Training, on the other hand, is typically focused on developing skills, abilities and behaviours. It often involves hands-on practice, repetition, and feedback to improve performance in a particular task or activity.

One of the most challenging aspects of poker is finding a way to receive constructive feedback. When we play, often times the only feedback we have is if we won or lost the hand, which isn't helpful when it comes to understanding whether you played the hand well or poorly.

But if you use software like DTO Poker Trainer, you can receive instant feedback that is objective rather than subjective. Couple a training session with DTO and a coach watching you play and listen to your thought process, and you'll receive specialised, focused feedback that will help you improve.

The main difference between studying and training is the intended outcome.

Studying is focused on gaining knowledge and understanding, while training is focused on developing skills and abilities.

Studying is more theoretical and conceptual, while training is more practical and applicable.

When Dr Tricia Cardner and I wrote 'Purposeful Practice for Poker', we wanted to layout the process for improvement that is focused, structured and goal-orientated. Purposeful practice involves engaging in tasks or activities that are designed to improved specific skills, receive feedback and continually adjust and refine your performance.

It's not just about repeating the same task over and over again, but is instead a systematic approach to improving your skills or abilities.

So it's important to consistently review your training sessions (and your play) and not just blindly play 50 hands a day without any thought.

In conclusion, studying and training are two different approaches to learning, each with its own focus, methods, and outcomes. Understanding the difference between these two terms can help you choose the most appropriate approach for your own learning needs and goals in poker.

Whether you want to gain knowledge and understanding or develop skills and abilities, both studying and training are essential components of improving in this game.

If you would like to learn more about how I can help you create a clear roadmap for your own development, develop effective study habits and routines, and ensure you have solid MTT fundamentals, join the next cohort of 'Train & Play Like The Pros' by clicking this link.

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