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New Study Technique: Action First, Learn Later


Sky Matsuhashi

on August 4, 2021

Action First, Learn Later:

Take action from a trusted source, then come back later to learn more about the strategies and logic behind the action. This will help refine the knowledge you gained and the lessons you learned while taking action.

Listen to this podcast episode as you follow along below:

This concept of learning may be something others have come up with, but it’s new to me! So, I’m taking credit (at least initially) for this idea that I’m quickly falling in love with.

Of course, I have to start this podcast episode with an action step:

Here’s what you need to do…

Take action with an episode’s action step BEFORE listening to the podcast. Then come back later to learn more about the strategies involved and refine your skills.

Recent SPS episodes for you to try this with:

Now stop the podcast, take action to begin your education, then return to learn more about this useful study strategy.


Action First, Learn Later with “The Energy Paradox”

This idea came to me while I was reading a new book by Dr. Steven R. Gundry, MD called “The Energy Paradox”.

The intro and the first chapter were 23 pages long. By the end of chapter 1, I realized he was going to give a lot of scientific reasons and rationale behind his program. The explanation of the Energy Paradox Eating Program started on page 167.

That would’ve meant I would have to read through 144 more pages of scientific jargon before taking action.

I ain't waiting that long!

So, I skipped to page 167 and started the program on day 1 of getting the book. And let me tell you, I could NOT be happier with this process ????

Action First got me eating healthier right away. Why should I wait?

I trusted that the program wouldn’t hurt me, and if anything seemed dangerous, I could easily skip it. Nothing was dangerous, but I could easily choose to NOT do something.

So taking action before learning the benefits was a no-brainer. And of course, I've since gone back and learned from the beginning to gain a better understanding of his Energy Paradox Eating Program and how/why it works.


Action Step from a Trusted Source

This idea is kind of like the old saying, “Shoot first, ask questions later.”

It's NOT okay to shoot first if the person telling you to shoot isn’t reliable nor trusted. Actionable intel must come from a trusted source, especially if you’re not vetting the information first.

I’d like to think that my podcast listening audience (you) trusts the things I say and you know that the action steps I give you are good for you. So, I think that with any action step (or Challenge) I give you, you’ll be fine taking before learning the rationale behind it, as long as you think for yourself while taking action.



Think for Yourself

Don’t do anything mindlessly.

“Sky says to 3bet more often instead of calling. Great! I’ll begin 3betting with J9s and 44 and A9o regardless of my opponent or their chip stack or their range or their position or their bet size or how often I think they'll fold.”

Taking action first gets your mind working on new strategies before someone teaches you about them. This forces you to use critical thought and develop your own ideas and begin asking questions about it.

You're basically teaching yourself as you take action first, then later on you come back to the content and consume it in an effort to refine and understand the strategies better.

This critical thought is a great thing for learning. A HUGE part of learning is putting the pieces together for yourself. Somebody else can build the puzzle for you, but you get more for doing the work yourself.

And today’s strategy is like teaching yourself to fish, instead of someone else handing a fish to you.


I discuss the Action First, Learn Later concept with prior episode show notes:


Examples with Recent Podcast Episodes

The Numbers Behind 7 Critical HUD Statistics #351

Episode Challenge:

#2: I just broke down 7 stats for you.  I gave you descriptions, formulas, examples and put each into perspective with a way to exploit. I want you to do the same for these additional stats: Raise First In, Fold to Steal, Fold to 3bet, Fold to Cbet and Aggression Frequency.  Doing this work for yourself will help you exploit with these stats even better.

Giving this critical thought without consuming the episode:

Bam! You haven’t learned jack squat about any new stats just yet, but now you’ve got a mission to educate yourself then come back to the episode to refine and build upon your self-won knowledge.

Folding Is Boring And Boring Is Winning #344

Episode Challenge:

Start folding more. I gave you three tips to help you do so. Take action on them one at a time to train yourself to fold and avoid bad situations and losses.

    1. Realize that calling is not as good as raising.
    2. Use ranges.
    3. Be okay with being a nit.

Giving this critical thought without consuming the episode:

  1. He’s talking about using preflop ranges that get you to raise more often than call. Use the KISS Cash Game Ranges (LINK)
  2. Follow the ranges, don’t stray outside them with calling more hands.
  3. People hate folding too often, but he says it’s okay. Great! I have a license to fold more.

Bam! Once again, without learning anything new, you’ve given yourself a mission to get more aggressive preflop. Come back later after taking action to refine and build upon your knowledge.


Format Change when Applicable

From now on, whenever it’s applicable, I’m going to start the podcast with Action First, Learn Later just like I did above.

When this is the case, it’s your job to educate yourself through action first, then come back to the episode and refine and build upon your knowledge.


Support the Show

Join me on Americas Cardroom (and get 27% rakeback with code SPSPOD) just like Victor Knutson and G. Connor did. And if you join soon, you can play in this month's $75 Guaranteed $3.30 buy-in tournament.

Victor Knutson, James Wadeson, Markus Fredriksson, Drew, Mike Stockton, Einar Raikula and Axel Noack picked up PokerTracker 4 (get it here to support the show), the best poker tracking software.  I love it and use it everyday!  In appreciation, I sent them each a copy of my Smart HUD for PT4.  With an ever-growing database of hands to study and all the helpful features, PT4 is the go-to software for serious poker players.


Sky Matsuhashi

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