Thursday, April 28, 2011

Practice Makes Perfect, So Practice What You Love

"Deliberate practice entails more than simply repeating a task — playing a C-minor scale 100 times, for instance, or hitting tennis serves until your shoulder pops out of its socket. Rather, it involves setting specific goals, obtaining immediate feedback and concentrating as much on technique as on outcome."

I am fascinated by the idea that with enough desire and hard work, a person can become an expert in almost anything. I've written before about the 10,000 Hour Rule and studies like it (and was on my way to reaching that milestone in my poker adventure before the PoPo shut me down). Today I got a new (but old, it's from 2006) article on the subject (via @Lefsetz) that I wanted to post on the blog for those of you also interested in the subject. 

Bob is first and foremost a music lover. He's also a passionate writer about the music industry and usually has great advice for artists looking to break onto the scene. His advice nearly always boils down to this: desire to be good. Not rich. Not famous. Not on the cover of magazines or on a Disney sitcom. Instead, he espouses doing anything and everything it takes to be good.  And to be a good musician, you have to practice and gig and write and tour and cut your teeth over and over and over. 

So how do you do that with poker? Yes, you have to play. Pre-Black Friday, I think I would've hit 10,000 hours of playing tournament poker in March 2012. But as the quote at the top of this post indicates, there's a difference in simply repeating a task (i.e., lighting up a bunch of tables online and just playing) and deliberately practicing the task.

Now that I can't light up 8-tables and just play and try to pretend I'm deliberately practicing, are there some things I can be doing that would serve as deliberate practice? And more importantly, can I be disciplined enough to deliberately practice even with no money score to be had?

If not, I don't think I was ever really on my way to hitting the 10,000 mark because, again, repetition is not deliberate practice

So, I'm going to put some more thought into the above referenced quote and its application to my game.  I'm a big believer in deliberate practice and planning your work and working your plan. Once I get that plan formulated, I'll post it here and we'll see how it goes. 

In the meantime, I'd love to hear what you think constitutes deliberate practice toward the improvement of your poker game.  Are there any specific things you're doing to keep your game on track?

Til next time, keep keeping on, amigos!



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