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Every Study and Play Session Is Your Time To Shine


Sky Matsuhashi

on October 18, 2021

Every play session and every study session is your time to shine. These are your opportunities to be the player that you want to be.

Listen to this podcast episode as you follow along below:


I love the expression, “It’s your time to shine.” It reminds me of my time as a restaurant manager.

When guests approached the front door, it was one of my hostesses time to shine ???? and they would go open the door for the guests. They’d be the first one to get the opportunity to smile and greet them to the restaurant.

And when those guests were taken to a table, within 2 minutes, it was their server’s time to shine ???? and bring them utensils, tell them of the specials and get their drink and appetizer orders.

And for me, every interaction with my staff or guests was my time to shine ???? as the restaurant manager.


I LOVE to Shine on Mondays

Yep, I absolutely love Mondays. I’m planning out this episode right now at 6:15 in the morning on Monday, October 18th.

Mondays are my time to shine.

It’s the start of another work week, so it’s another fresh opportunity to be the business owner and the father and the husband I want to be:

  • As a business owner, Mondays are when the emails start coming in so I get the opportunity to put my best foot forward and communicate with people. It’s when I start planning and creating the items I’ll release this week: a new podcast episode, the Daily Poker Tips Podcast episodes for the week, a new YouTube video (there's one embedded below), videos for and I get to work on things for my long-term initiatives
  • As a father, Mondays are my opportunity to help my kids succeed. I get them up in time for school every day, help them with their homework through the week, watch their X-country races or wrestling matches.
  • And as a husband, Mondays are my opportunity to support my wife. She works a normal job, 5 days per week. So, I’m in charge of shopping and cooking dinners and keeping the house clean. Yep, I’m a work from home dad.



Mondays and Poker

Everybody studies on Monday!

I took this from a great movie called Dave starring Kevin Kline. The titular character, Dave, managed or owned a job placement company and his Monday motto was: “It’s Monday, and everybody works on Monday.”

A great scene from Dave (he doesn't say the line in this clip ????):

Well, we’re poker players so, “Everybody studies on Monday.”

Mondays are your time to shine and be the poker learner you want to be.

So, on Monday take some time to figure out what you’re going to focus on this week. Is it 3betting, putting yourself in Bread & Butter spots, maybe cbetting or floating and probing to steal pots.

Also, take 5 or 10 minutes and record your current stats and win rates to find your current areas of opportunity.

Or, if you’re a member of The Poker Forge, whip your course checklist and get to work on today’s action steps. That’s the easiest way to shine through your studies on a Monday, or any day of the week.

And to help you shine on Mondays and plan your week of studies, check out podcast episode #260 called “A Simple Poker Study Plan”: You can download the No Time for Study Plan.


I LOVE to Shine in the Mornings

Yeah, I absolutely love mornings. Mornings are a fresh start and I can again strive to be the business owner, the father and husband I want to be every day of the week.

This love of mornings comes from me being a paperboy for 4 years from the ages of 12 to 16. I would have to wake myself up every day by 5am. My alarm would go off, I would go downstairs, bring the papers in, lay out a sheet on the carpet to protect it from them newspaper ink, then fold all the papers. Then I’d drag the sheet out to the garage and load them into my bags attached to my bike. Then by 6am I hit the road and follow a path around the neighborhood, throwing the papers in driveways or on porches.

Everyday, rain or shine, 4 years straight. Yeah, this’ll turn anyone into a morning person.

And right now, my love of mornings is still going strong. And actually, my mornings start the night before.

I make sure to leave my computer by 4pm every day. Before I leave it, I’ll put a sticky note right in the middle of my monitor with my #1 task for the next day. Today’s sticky note said “361” for this podcast episode.

And I put it right in the middle of my monitor because I have a habit of opening my email first before getting my #1 task done.

Also, I’ll prep the coffee pot the night before so when I wake up, I hit the “brew” button and start my morning stretching. When I’m done, the coffee’s ready and I get to work on the sticky note. And I love doing this first thing in the morning before anyone else is awake. The quiet helps me work.


Mornings and Poker

For me, mornings were the perfect time to get my poker study on. Before I created Smart Poker Study, every morning was dedicated to improving my skills.

I would wake up early before work and watch a training video. Or, I would review my stats and win rates within my PokerTracker 4 database. Or I would do hand reading or read a chapter from whatever book I was on at the time.

I found that when I would try to study later in the day, my mind wasn’t as open to this and I would find myself mostly playing poker instead of studying poker. Playing of course is important, but I was still trying to learn new strategies and you can only learn them by studying them. Then, you apply what you learned during your play session.

Speaking of in-game application…


I LOVE to Shine During Play Sessions

Play sessions are also my time to shine as I strive to be the player I want to be.

I have a student right now who’s trying to become a better, more frequent 3bet bluffer. Every time someone open-raises, it’s his chance to 3bet bluff. I gave him 6 things to look for and when 5 or all 6 are in place, he MUST 3bet bluff. Now that’s his time to shine.

And, if he doesn’t pull the trigger, he failed to shine. The goal is to shine at every +EV opportunity.

This video will help you pull the trigger and shine for 3bet bluffs (this is what I taught my student):


So, for me, shining during my play sessions means I’m doing 3 things:

  1. I do a pre-session warm-up. This might be a hand reading exercise, or reading an article or reading my poker journal notes. I also make sure to remove distractions like closing the email browser and putting my phone on airplane mode.
  2. Focus on using one strategy as I play. So whatever strategy I’m working on, that’s my focus for the session (like my student who is working to be a better, more frequent 3bet bluffer). For me, I create my own action steps based on what I learn. To make it easy for you, every podcast I do or chapter I write or video at The Poker Forge has a challenge or an action step for you to take.
  3. I try to play the player and ask, “What’s he doing this with?” This is Poker’s Ultimate Question and it forces me to think about more than just my two hole cards. To answer PUQ, I need know the type of player I’m up against and their tendencies. I need to know their preflop range and how it interacts with the board. And I need to be aware of stack and pot sizes, and plan what I’ll do on future streets.




Here’s my challenge to you for this episode:

Develop the attitude of, “It’s my time to shine”. Every Monday, every morning, every lunch break, evenings after dinner, every play session is your time to shine.

What can you do to shine as a poker player? What steps can you take to become the poker player you want to be?

Figure it out and do everything you can to shine as a poker player.

Now it’s your turn to take action and do something positive for your poker game.


Support the Show

Bitcoin is the easiest way to deposit and withdraw on any poker site and Coinbase makes buying and selling bitcoin super easy. Thanks to Dale, Paul, James, Courtney, Hans and Jason for using my Coinbase Friend Referral link (click the blue picture to the left). For their purchase, we all received a bonus $10 in bitcoin. Thanks for the support!


Sky Matsuhashi

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