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Purposeful Practice Strategies You MUST Use Starting Today


Sky Matsuhashi

on November 2, 2022

Do you ever feel like your progress is stagnant and you're not using new strategies?

Like, you’re studying and trying to improve, your wheels are spinning, but you’re not going anywhere?

I’m giving you my top strategies for purposeful practice, for playing and studying, that will grow your poker skills.

Watch the video for this podcast:

Download this podcast episode #414 and follow along below as you listen.

We Should All Be Experts By Now

If just playing was good enough, 10-15 hours per week for 1 year = poker shark!

True experts (basketball, guitar, craftsman) learn a skill, practice/drill it, ingrain it, then move on to a new skill.

Stagnant poker players… not so much.

  • Just open tables and play
  • IF we study, it’s random and willy-nilly; no notes


Purposeful Practice: focusing all of your attention on ONE aspect of your game as you work to use new strategies.


It STARTS with Studying

Study 1 piece of content at a time

Take notes in your poker journal.


Practice what you learn before studying another item.


8 Purposeful Play Strategies

0. Pre-session Warm-up: Know your strategy focus for the session.

For example, maybe you're working to become a better flop cbet bluffer. You're focused on using any new strategies you learned in your study session.

For each of the purposeful play strategies below, we'll use cbet bluffing as the example strategy.

1. Tick sheet: Create a tick sheet idea for yourself to keep you focused. Great/Okay/Poor flop analysis:

2. Game Tape: Record as if coach watching, speak your thoughts; analyze each flop

3. Question and Answer: Asking and answering questions about strategy is great for maintaining focus. “Can he find a fold here?” or “How does his range interact?”

4. HUD Stat Focus: HUD stats help you know who to use strategies against, so focus on 1 or 2 relevant stats. Who folds to flop cbets > 60%? What about turn?


5. Sticky Notes / Journal Open: Read it between hands to keep critical strategies at top of mind.

6. Use a 5-minute timer: Are you still focused? “Who folds on flops?”

7. Invite a friend to watch (ghosting): They can help you stay focused on your chosen strategy.

8. Look for every opportunity to practice the strategies: Even when not involved in the hand.


8 Purposeful Study Strategies

1. Review many hands: Filter for a spot, review w/ strategies in mind, take notes.

2. Review tagged hands: Tag tough spots while playing, take time to review during your studies.

3. Play Simulation: Review 20-40 hands and imagine you’re playing. Go through them quickly and find mistakes.

4. Hand Reading Exercises: Assign them a preflop range, narrow the range through the streets and analyze your plays in relation to their range. Find and take note of mistakes.

5. Flopzilla Pro/Solver: Work with ranges/boards to build strategy understanding.

6. Re-watch/read/listen and revise notes: Use your experience with using the strategies to re-consume the content and gain new insights.

7. Create One-Sheet Notes: Condense your notes into just one page, like a cheat sheet. Use it for quick in-game reference.

8. Post hands in forums: Get/give feedback and help each other grow.


Take Action!

  1. Get excited for improvement!
  2. Study something and take notes!
  3. Choose 1/8 Purposeful Play tasks and DO IT!
  4. Choose 1/8 Purposeful Study tasks and DO IT!


Sky Matsuhashi

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