Skip to content


Playing The Perfect Poker Session – Smart Poker Study Podcast #484


Sky Matsuhashi

on April 10, 2024

I'm going to help you set yourself up for success and play perfect poker sessions, every single time, from this point forward.

Watch this podcast #484 on YouTube:


Or, listen to episode #484 as you follow along below:


My Recent HORRIBLE Poker Session

I played a session of Poker yesterday and it was one of the worst sessions EVER!  At the end of that terrible session, I took a little time and analyzed why it went so horribly. Here are the 4 conclusions I came to:

  1. I was tired and cranky. Things didn't go as planned through the day and I wasn't necessarily in a bad mood, but I wasn't in a calm, ready-to-play-poker kind of mood.
  2. I didn't do a pre-session warm-up. So, I didn’t prime my mind for playing solid poker. I just sat down at the computer, clicked “Get Hands While Playing” in PokerTracker 4 and opened up Ignition.
  3. I immediately jumped on four tables. 
  4. I started by playing too aggressively and didn’t think through my decisions. I had an Ace, I 3bet. I flopped a TP, I cbet and barreled. I truly was just looking at my hole cards and the board, and that lead to terrible plays and a crappy, money losing session.

After the four conclusions I came to above, I realized that I DID NOT set myself up for a perfect session. And and all the clues that should have alerted me to a terrible session, my mind just skipped over.


What is a Perfect Poker Session for YOU?

Yours could look different from mine:

  • I’m present and eager to play and to pit myself against my opponents.
  • I’m playing more than just my hole cards and the board. I’m using position, bet sizes, stack sizes, actions, HUD stats, board cards and range interaction to make my reads.
  • I use my reads to devise and make exploitative plays.
  • I take both losing and winning hands calmly, and don’t get angry when things don’t go my way. 
  • I end the session up even 1¢.


What LEADS to a Perfect Session for YOU?

Think back to your most recent perfect session. What elements would you say were in place for such a great session to take place? Were you…

  • Warmed up?
  • Not distracted?
  • Well rested?
  • Playing 2 tables instead of 6?
  • Using your HUD to make reads?
  • Thinking through your decisions and taking opponents into account?


What Leads to a CRAPPY Session for YOU?

  • Drinking while playing?
  • Playing tired?
  • Watching the 6th season of Supernatural while playing?
  • Dwelling on all the stuff that went wrong earlier in the day?
  • Thinking about all the important things you could be doing instead?


Set Yourself Up For Perfect Poker Success

Now that you have an idea of what a perfect session is and what leads to it, and the things to avoid that lead to crappy sessions, let's set you up for success. 


What are the 3 things that you can do pre-session that lead to perfect poker? 

Write these on a sticky note and attach it to your monitor. Here are mine:

  1. Give myself permission to only play poker right now, and ignore everything else in my life.
  2. Do one hand reading exercise with a hand related to a poker leak I'm working to plug.
  3. Close my web browser and shut the office door if my family's home to minimize distractions.


What are the 3 things you’re focused on as you play a perfect session?

Write these on another sticky note. Here are mine:

  1. Who my opponents are and their tendencies.
  2. What their preflop range is based on how they entered the pot and their tendencies.
  3. Making exploitative plays to steal more pots or gain more value.


My two perfect session sticky notes.


Take Action

If you watched this video on YouTube, please like👍, subscribe and leave a comment.

  1. Create sticky notes with your answers to each question above.
  2. Pre-session: DO YOUR 3 THINGS for perfect sessions.
  3. In-game: FOCUS ON YOUR 3 THINGS for perfect sessions.


Sky Matsuhashi

Don’t Miss Out!

Get expert tips and strategies straight to your inbox each week!