Optimization - Life and poker
Since humans have been around we have been in a never ending process of optimising our lives and our activities to streamline the work in more efficient and effective ways. Through technology and improvements in methods we have found ways to improve our lives in various respects and decrease workloads while increasing pleasureable time. In poker however the best players keep to a rather well thought out schedule and their activities away from the table often increase their online earnings as well. So this blog entry is gonna be rather broad and slightly offtopic but i think its also important to mention the things you gain from this in life across all areas will be quite valueable.
Since i began my goal of finding ways to optimise my life iv began reading multiple self-help books and looked to improve in every aspect i can (this includes poker too).
My first suggestion would be to start with reading a book about investing, as a player i know hundreds of guys who are in the poker scene but almost all of us are backed! For some this is a good financial choice as they are starting out and want to attack stakes without the risk, some of us are just broke, and some of us are too degen on our own roll. Educating yourselves on the proper ways to invest makes you smarter with your money and if your hard working you will quickly understand that theres more money in backing yourself then there is in being backed for limits twice what you can afford. But more importantly by learning investing you will also understand more about keeping money aside, and not blowing huge upswings on whatever you desire. You will stretch your money further and if you amass enough you will learn how to grow the money exponentially without working hard to do so.
This ones important because of the amount of information you can learn to intake, it greatly increases your ability to learn which is in my books very important. It automatically gives you an edge over everybody slower being able to cover more material and gain a greater understanding at a much faster rate. And before you tell me speed-reading you don't take in the information properly im gonna tell you there are books that teach you the art of increasing your words per minute. As well as retain the information just as well if not better! This will also extend into your everyday life in various respects and really is a skill they should have taught in schools in highschool.
Learn about Diet
Diet controlls so much of our lives but it doesn't just controll how long we can stay energized it also has an effect our sleeping hours, mood swings and health issues. Seems like a no brainer then that we should all be looking to optimise our diet ot work longer hours happier and spend less money on health related bills. This is a topic that you can't really try and force somebody into, if they want to change they can, but THEY have to want to.
This ones not as relevant as all the others but i thought id throw it in here. When i set out to maxemise life productivity i thought to myself how can i prolong the hours in which my body operates? At first i looked to diet to intake more energy driven foods and reduce things that expend energy but overall sleep while it can be reduced in hours by diet conditioning and exercise can also be a useful too while your asleep. Lucid dreaming is basically the skill of realising your in the dream and being able to manipulate the dream at your will. This can be used for practising whatever you wish, facing some form of anxiety in a controlled and safe enviroment or even just adventuring and breaking away from the office space. While this is something not many people will ever learn about or actually study into its probably one of the most exciting things you can really do in life and id highly advocate people to read up on it.
Again a no brainer, it helps our sleep quality improve, our health and happyness levels go up and also increases how longevity. This one everybody knows but a lot of people still opt against (im guilty myself). But exercise doesn't have to be as boring as going for a run, or sitting in the gym for hours doing the same repetitive patterns of lifting. By splitting your activities up into various fun things such as rock climbing 1 day, swimming another, soccer another, surfing another. We can gain an impressive amount of skills while constantly teaching ourselves new things and being fit for the duration. How you set up this is up to you thats just an example of ways to break the boredom barrier.
Another handy tip is getting a standing desk, it improves your health while you grind!
If you were to tell me you had a bad memory id tell you i could teach you how to have a good one. 3 months ago i was bad in that department but now i can remember a full deck of cards in order with suits if you give me 15 minutes. You can also aquire the same level of memory you just need to educate yourself on the topic. Memory isn't about remembering 15 numbers and repeating them over and over, its about learning the order in the way your brain actually wants to, the fun way.
Now some of you may respond negativley to this word, but i can't stress enough how much meditation can help you if your a high-strung miserable person. @sentin has a great video pack on husng.com that helps on the topic.
It doesn't have to be something that involves crossing your legs and humming in the middle of a forest, it can be as simple as getting in the right mindset via the methods he shows at your computer desk in under a couple minutes.
Substances- drugs and alcohol
If your a professional you will find yourself around these things a lot. While its up to you whether you do them or not at least educate yourself on them! Don't ever do anything you don't know a fair bit about that messes with your brain chemistry and health unless you know the effects and side effects and consquences and have measured the value of doing them vs not doing them in your head. We can't stop people from using them but this thoughut process should be used as opposed to ....YOLO
Now onto the poker optimisations!
Get a HUD
I expect the vast majority of readers here to already have one, so this is to those who don't. Are you seriously still trying to make it without this ability to gain additional information at minimal cost? It costs a small investment to your lifetime poker career and provides an abundance of information for a proplonged period of time. Nobody HS really plays without one.
Get some additional side software
Such as table ninja or Stars helper. These will interact with stars and make it run way smoother and easier to increase table count thus hourly goes up.
Construct a schedule
This should be approached from 2 angles. Firstly what hours does your brain operate best in? Theres no point grinding in the am if ur exaughsted when you wake up and just want to sleep. You will not only perform sub-optimally but you won't want to play.
Secondly where is most of the value? I construct my games around the juciest hours available in terms of fish to reg ratios, or the biggest prizepools in MTTs. I normally break my day with 2 sessions, 1 around mid day when i wake up, and then the second one around 7.30-8.30pm at night through to about 1-2am.
Get a Coach if your bad or wanting to improve
And if a coach isn't affordable get a training site, coaches will improve your game faster then you ever could, they're people who have better constructed ranges, better hand reading, and overall better understanding. The amount of time it could take a micro grinder to reach highstakes MTTs would astound you if they got coached by somebody good.
If your still in the micros go for a card runners subscription
If your not in the micros go for a run it once subscription
Books relevant to topics
-Memory: Derren brown's audio book on tricks of the mind: memory
-Speed reading: Break-through rapid reading by peter kump
-Investing: starter book can be rich dad's guide to investing by Robert Kiosaki
more advanced : the intellegent investor by Benjamin Graham
-Diet: Grain Brain is interesting im yet to come across a book that was particularly useful
-Lucid Dreaming: Exploring the world of lucid dreaming by Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D & Howard Rheingold
-Other awesome readS: the organized mind by Daniel J. Levitin
-For drug/alcohol realted information i suggest wikipedia and youtube documentaries
- 23306 users
- 32 supernova Elites
- And players who actually win pre-rakeback
- They all share their poker lives on TiltBook