Expression isn't just for art, it's for anything you do. The worst times in my poker career is when I didn't express myself at the table. I mean times when I tried to play in a way I was "supposed" to because that's how I seen others doing it. I'd see someone "good" play differently and I'd want to play like them. If They'd think differently I'd want to think like them.
I coached good players with vastly different skill sets. Some were good at math, some strategy, some intuition, some performance/focus, some mental toughness and so on. All of them created their own path, and whenever I tried too hard to make them play my way it didn't go well. They have to learn their way. The better I understand who the person is the better I can teach them.
To simplify it into saying everyone has their own learning style is wrong too. Not every guy I coached who had a logical or intuitive strength needed to be taught the same way. Their play style, knowledge base, outside interests, and mindset all play a roll.
If you're to really be master of your own learning process you need to understand what motivates you, what holds you back and most importantly (perhaps) when do I feel most alive at the poker table (or whatever your job is)?
That may seem like a silly question but everyone who loves or even likes poker has had that experience (I think?) That feeling of control, of interest, being in flow with what's going on, making plays you never make before. You feel unstoppable. That's you at your best, and you should strive to get to that state at least every time the pressure is on. Whether deep in a big tournament , in a big hand at a cash game table, or whatever your job might be.
What's that feeling like, how does it get there? I don't have an answer but I can tell you my experience. For me it starts with a genuine interest and love for the game and I can't get that feeling without the feeling of control. I feel in control when I know I put in more and better time than anyone else.
I don't want to win if I don't deserve it. When I feel like I don't deserve it I easily get down on myself when I lose a big pot. When I'm confident in my game I just shake it off. Confidence is everything for me and I only get that through work and preparation.
I don't play lots of tables; I tried before and always failed and never really enjoyed it. My game needs to be changing, I'm not the type of guy who can create a "winning system", use my HUD and crush 20 tables. I'd get so bored. To the guys that can do that thats cool, but it won't ever work for me.
Another thing I hate is rules (it's no coincidence that I feel this way in everything I do), I tried rules like you can't 3bet with less than 30big blinds, you can't raise with less than 15, you can't 3bet someone if they only open this %. These rules block my creativity and kill my interest, I'm playing a system now, not a game with and against people. For some people rules are good, they allow them to be more creative in other places or it keeps them from being out of line. Once again, not for me, my game at my best is pure focus, watching every player looking for the slightest subtle error, weakness or pattern to exploit. Trying to deviate from the "standard play" every hand.
I'm sure there is more examples but that's all that comes to mind. All of them( even the ones I forgot) took me a lot of money and time and pain to figure out. Play the game your way, you'll be happier and probably lose less money.
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