The 2022 World Series of Poker kicks off on May 31 and runs until July 19.
Throughout our regular online grinding schedules, we all know how important it is to maintain a healthy study habit. But should we keep this up when playing live poker? Or should you just focus on the grind itself?
To help, we asked the pros:
How should you study poker during a big live series?
Here’s what they had to say.
Twitch superstar, BBZ Poker student and all-round poker legend
I think it’s really good to just note down some hands and then go over them when you come home from the grind. It can be a nice unwinding process to think about certain situations and look up the strategy. It can feel relaxing to put bad things to bed in that way. Maybe log into your laptop to use BBZ Charts, Odin or GTO Wizard or whatever you use to look up some lines.
Sometimes I’d see a house full of poker players who would play every day for 12 hours then come home and discuss poker strategy for hours. It can be nice to discuss a few hands, but I would rather just have a beer and get to know people socially. When you’re around other poker players it can be really motivating and you can get inspired by what others are doing. But don’t forget that there’s more to the experience than just poker.
So discuss some hands, get motivated, do some studying, but don’t make every waking moment about poker.
JON ‘APESTYLES’ VAN FLEET
Long-time high stakes crusher and BBZ Poker coach
Get the structure of whatever tournaments you’re playing and plug them into Hold’em Resources Calculator (HRC) to get good preflop ranges. Focus on deep stacks, maybe even cash games if you’re playing tournaments that don’t have antes.
MORE WSOP TIPS:
WSOP Tips for your first ever big live series
WSOP Tips: How to prepare to play live tournaments every day
Twitch streamer and PokerStars Team Pro
You can take notes on the most important hands and run them through programs back in your room. You could continue the same study routine you are currently doing.
LUKAS “ROBINPOKER” ROBINSON
Twitch streamer and GGPoker pro
To be honest, I wouldn’t. Live events are so gruelling on your mind and body, that outside of playing you just need to relax, sleep and do the stuff you actually enjoy because you’re going to be playing like 10-12 hours of poker a day. The last thing you’ll want to do is study, plus you won’t need to study during a live series if you’ve put in the work off the felt the previous few weeks or months before.
When I play online, I find the best way to study for myself is to watch BBZ content while doing 30-45 mins cardio on the treadmill. At the moment before a session, I am doing a 1-hour gym workout and then 30 mins cardio after it. During this 30 mins cardio, I am just doing a fast incline walk on the treadmill, and then watching 30 mins of BBZ content. I honestly find that this is the best way to force myself to do some poker study, but at the same time force myself to do some cardio! I find trying to do this after a session is very difficult because you’re so tired from the session. So if you wanted to try this out in the morning before you play some live poker, I couldn’t recommend it more.
JARGO “BUNGAKAT” ALAVALI
BBZ Poker coach and high-stakes wizard
I’d say just spend an hour a day studying, but try to focus on being well-rested.
BBZ Poker performance coach
During a live series, I would focus on small reviews of things you already know or are already working on. This is not the time to reinvent your game. It will simply create more doubt and uncertainty when you end up playing. So, focus on things you do well, and things you’re already trying to implement.
Where it gets interesting is how you approach the aftermath of a long series. How do you reflect on your game? How will you approach the next months before the next big series (live or online)? People often skip the reflection phase after a long series and they don’t take the time to sit down to figure out: what went well, what needs improvement, and what do I want to focus on now? They simply leave the series behind, either a success or failure but they don’t learn anything from that experience, they don’t reflect on that experience.
2021 WSOP bracelet winner and BBZ Poker student
I try to keep up with the BBZ seminars but I try to focus more on review rather than trying to learn new concepts. I focus on ICM study/review when deep in an event. But when you’re at the table, the focus should be on execution. You can look things up between hands or on breaks but there’s a ton of information available live if you focus and pay attention. So many people are playing on their phones and missing everything.