Are poker players in general lazy?
How much time are poker players in general putting in to improve their game compared to other fields? I would say that the answer is VERY little.
Let’s discuss how chess players improve their skills in their game. Chess and poker has enough commonalities to make the comparison relevant. I know most of you are not playing chess but I hope you get my point anyway.
Here is how a fairly regular chess amateur with slightly above average ambition has developed his skills in the game over the years:
- Started in a chess club at the age of 7
- At the club there was a weekly theory session of 1 hour followed by some exercises and game practice
- Has spent hour after hour to memorize opening moves (boooooring – at least that’s what I think;-)
- Has practiced many variations of endgames, for example with 1 pawn, two pawns, bishop vs bishop, bishop vs knight, etc, etc
- Has practiced finding combinations on time
- Takes notes during each game
- Analyzes the game afterward with his opponent
- Analyzes the game when he comes home with the help of the computer
- Reads chess books
And a fairly regular poker player at a similar level:
- Play poker
- Play poker
- Play poker
You get the picture…
And you know what is so hilarious about this? The chess player above has not earned a cent from his hobby. And the poker player might have earned many thousands of dollars.
So you are trying to defend yourself by saying, “But everyone knows that chess players are nerds, and anyway poker is a game of intuition. I know what to do, I just feel it! And I am not a nerd!”.
Sure, intuition is a big part of poker. But so is tactics and strategies and analysis. I will not get into debate here about which part is most important, more on that in later blogs. Right now I will only argue that there are lots of things that can be studied and practiced in poker, just like there is in chess.
So now that you have realized that you have been lazy, and want to change all that – how do you do that?
Well, you can always start here. Try the different poker training exercises. And try to improve your results. And don’t just give up because it is not super-fun all the time. You think Kasparov gives something up after a couple of minutes just because it wasn’t entertaining enough? Don’t get me wrong, I certainly hope you enjoy the exercises and I know a lot of people who do. But all parts of your poker training does not have to be equally entertaining as playing is.
Good luck on your road to true success in poker!