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How do you measure productivity as a poker player?

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Joeingram1   United States. Mar 05 2014 16:59. Posts 943
I've been thinking about this so much these past couple months but I can't really come up with a good answer that makes me happy about it. The idea of what should we be doing to consider ourselves being productive as a poker player. I think for a long time in my early poker years, I measured this only by did I play alot of hours/hands today, hopefully I won some money. As time went on that started to shift over to have I been winning money which gradually turned into have I been playing well/winning money.

In the past couple months I've been having really great results playing but I feel like I have been not very productive. In the months before that I felt like I was being really productive in terms of putting in the hours but with not so good results. So if you are playing 8-10 hours/day and making a small amount or playing 1-3 hours a day and making a large amount, is one more productive than the other? The only thing that matters for results in poker is making money....I haven't been able to justify working on other things/doing absolutely nothing with my time just because I am having big winning months. I think I feel more happy with myself and feel a better sense of achievement if I struggle for 8-10 hours a day playing. You could then argue, well why don't you just play 8-10 hours a day if you are winning but that is a completely different argument which is much much easier in theory than actuality.

I think you can also take into account how much time you spend working with PPT (poker equity program), reviewing hand histories, watching poker videos, talking poker with friends to decide if you are being productive but the less hours I play in a day the less hours I will work on any of this.

I've been able to be extremely productive outside of poker which could be argued has actually helped me be more productive in a shorter time at poker. There are really so many hours in the day you can spend playing basketball, working out, cooking, doing yoga, practicing dance, playing guitar/piano, stretching. I'm pretty sure I still spend hours and hours a day browsing random things on the internet but I'm not sure I should have expectations on myself to be working on something every minute I am awake. Maybe some mindless browsing is good each day.

If I was a professional live poker player and was trying to figure all of this out I would get sad. For most live players that go to the casino 5-7 times a week for 6+ hours a day... I can't imagine they feel much productivity with any part of there life. Even trying to think about having to do this makes me feel a certain type of way. You could argue that comparing a live poker player profession to many other professions where you get a similar type of feeling and make less money would even be worse. I would agree

This whole idea of productivity is something I never really have given much thought to but I know there are plenty of other poker players out there who probably have and can answer this question much better than I can. Hopefully I'll be able to take away something from someone else out there that I can incorporate into my own mindset.

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 Last edit: 05/03/2014 17:03

LemOn[5thF]   Czech Republic. Mar 05 2014 18:49. Posts 14692

yeah I dunno I don't measure this stuff.
Only quantitative measures I use is hours played hand hands played...

N.1 reason for being a poker professional is the freedom is grants you; I found it hard to stick to a monitoring regime long term ( and I tried many times, last time around it lasted for about a month)

NL5 Grinder 4Life 

LemOn[5thF]   Czech Republic. Mar 05 2014 19:13. Posts 14692

i.e. spreadsheet for hours played, exercise done, social time spent.

I mean its dumb not to monitor it it takes like 30 mins to set up a spreadsheet and 10 m minutes per day? My brain is human brain tho, and human brain is dumb

NL5 Grinder 4Life 

LemOn[5thF]   Czech Republic. Mar 05 2014 19:37. Posts 14692

id love to hear arguments for proper monitoring

NL5 Grinder 4Life 

NewbSaibot   United States. Mar 05 2014 19:43. Posts 4826

I think the measure of anyone's performance comes down to efficiency; and the definition of efficiency is the ability to do something or produce something without wasting materials, time, or energy.

BTW where's your training site?

listening to edzwoo has made u a nit... *sigh* - Zalfor 

jchysk   United States. Mar 05 2014 19:51. Posts 435

The two most important metrics are money made and time spent. Time spent should include time actively improving or training outside of actual play.

It can get complex because a simple calculation of money / hours would show that you shouldn't spend any time training, but that training may actually be going towards future win rate since you could continue to win at the same rate or gradually decrease without it.

To quantitatively figure out how much your efforts outside of direct play benefit your future game requires a different kind of modeling and over a more extended period of time.

If you could figure it out though, you would be able to chart out various projections based on your goals. For example if your goal is to significantly improve your game to reach a certain skill level over increasing a bankroll it may be better to spend the vast majority of your time on education with very little on play, whereas if your goal is to reach some monetary amount over the next 6 months then you may be better off with no education and all play.

The optimal goal is usually somewhere in the middle; to increase bankroll while increasing skill. Neither being better without the bankroll to play higher limits or having a higher bankroll without the skill to jump up are ideal.

If you've been accomplishing one faster than the other (bankroll increase versus skill increase), I would just adjust my time accordingly.


LemOn[5thF]   Czech Republic. Mar 05 2014 20:04. Posts 14692

money won doesnt work at all, to get any kind of monitoring meaningful you need to do it frequencty and adjust your activities accordingly.

also how does time studied work for you guys? I still enjoy the game so study/talk poker alot and most improvements come in waves that are hard to schedule rly, much less to actually quantify them

NL5 Grinder 4Life 

Mariuslol   Norway. Mar 05 2014 21:40. Posts 4741

  On March 05 2014 18:13 LemOn[5thF] wrote:
i.e. spreadsheet for hours played, exercise done, social time spent.

I mean its dumb not to monitor it it takes like 30 mins to set up a spreadsheet and 10 m minutes per day? My brain is human brain tho, and human brain is dumb

AHAH!! I just finished Moonwalking with Einstein today, and I beg to differ!! The human brain is not dumb!!

Ok, that's all I had

Mariuslol   Norway. Mar 05 2014 22:00. Posts 4741

I'm just going to guess, for you Joe, I think, the best thing is to keep playing as much as you find fun, then force yourself a little, but not too much.

You seem to be really good at it, and you're kinda ahead of the curve, and I think that's where you want to be, and to be there, I think you're fine if you keep doing what you're doing, but keep talking about all the newest trends, the best new video's, look at the best new rising stars, and incorporate whatever they are doing, steal where you can, and keep going like that!!

Oh, and I have something else you might like, I rarely remember this well, but just finished reading a pretty amazing book just a few hours ago. I'll share some of the bits I found most exciting. This book ------>

And it's actually about a Journalist, who reports some memory championships, get's really into it, and practices for a year, and then he also competes and wins the American championship (they newbs compared to Europeans, but still pretty awesome).

Anyway, in one bit, where he's been practicing for awhile, he get coaching and help from 2 people, and one is this amazing phd, chief scientist guy, who's got the leading research is researching experts. So whenever he got stuck, like, he was trying to memorize a deck of cards in under a minute, and no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't do it any faster, and he was just stuck. So he called up the doc, asked him what was wrong, if he hit his max or something.

Ok, and here comes the awesome part!!

It went a little something like this. When you first start to learn stuff, you go through various phases, till it become automatic, what happens then is that you're free to do other things. So if you're learning to drive a car, this is when "you get it", and it's easy, and you just do it.

Most people stop here, in whatever it is they were trying to learn, or get better at, this is the OKplateu, where most people stop, or feel they are stuck, give up, so forth!!

BUT!! You're not really stuck, this is where it get's interesting un dun dunnnn*

Some of the key points:

- Keep challenging yourself in any way, all the time

- Keep track of your your accomplishments, how well you do. Evaluate, rethink it, re-change things, reorganize.

- Imagine that you are someone else, who were facing whatever problem you are facing (good to picture someone who's top or best in the world in what you're trying to get better at). Find out how this person worked through the obstacle.

- Compare your own train of though with this person, or your teacher, coach, whatever (someone much better than you).

- Another secret to getting better at something is to have a certain amount of control whilst you're practicing. Force yourself to not use the autopilot.

For instance, one of the easiest ways to write faster on a keyboard is to write 10 - 15% faster than your max speed, and ignore mistakes and errors, and keep at it like that. If you always stumble on some of the keys, write it down, think about it, look at how other people click on the keys and how they click on that key, practice that key in particular, or write texts that uses that key a lot, only click that key, and keep adding speed, rinse repeat. (oops, a small digression, I get like that sometimes lol).

- Each time you run into something puzzling, difficult, or hard, write it down. Try to understand why

- It means a lot to find out what works and what doesn't work.

And one of the most awesome things in the book was this line:

"As a species, we humans have never reached the plateu in any skill".

Okay, hope any of that helps, or is amusing in some way or another xD

Mariuslol   Norway. Mar 05 2014 22:01. Posts 4741

It didn't really say skill, but like in competitions, like, running and stuff. I think the most "famous" example that probably all of you have heard about is the 4 minute mile, people said it was impossible to ever run under 4 minutes, then one guy did it, and not to long after another, then lots of people.

And today, to get into a sports college, I think the minimum requirement is to run it under 4 minute, pretty crazy. And it's like that in most things. People just keep inventing, thinking of new and better ways to do stuff.

tomson    Poland. Mar 06 2014 15:36. Posts 1982

I think deep down (often under layers and layers of rationalization) people usually know what they should do / or what it takes to get the results they want. I would measure your productivity by trying to objectively evaluate whether you are doing those things. Some people will figure out what they need to do - and then do a lot more.

The problem in poker is there are people who do a shitload of good things and don't get results. And then there are people who seemingly don't do anything and get amazing results. To be completely honest I don't know why that is. I don't think it's because of talent, I think talent is overrated. All I know is that I recently realized that at the end of the day the only way for me to be happy about my poker life is doing the things I feel I should be doing to get the goals I want to get whether in the end I achieve those goals or not.

Peace of mind cant be bought. 

cariadon   Estonia. Mar 06 2014 16:35. Posts 4007

Mariuslol sweet input man ! Much appreciated, i'll try and read up, looks interesting.

My 2cents is merging short-term goals with long-term goals and making them meet in the middle somewhere.

Do whatever makes you happy. Reward yourself. Enjoy life.

traxamillion   United States. Mar 06 2014 21:34. Posts 10386


1st world problems

flounder44   United States. Mar 07 2014 20:16. Posts 916

tldr, but talk to the wh00s

RaiZ   France. Mar 08 2014 00:40. Posts 1502

Why do you care so much about productivity ?... You have all the time to spend doing others things while winning more money than your average joe, isn't that productive enough ? Hell, I'm not even sure if the average joe are being productive with their salary's job or if they think they're satisfied with their day's work...

Does that help ?

I think you're trying too hard with that subject really.

Shin-il : Yeah it was very very very good for me too. Rekrul : YOU MOTHER FUCKING FUCKING SON OF A BITCH 

JosephCalgary   Canada. Mar 09 2014 11:22. Posts 285

Joe what would you be if you weren't a poker player??

What is the crime for apostasy?! 

MysticJoey   Poland. Mar 09 2014 14:09. Posts 1430

what's the fullname of that PPT program you mentioned joe?

Mariuslol   Norway. Mar 10 2014 08:55. Posts 4741

  On March 09 2014 10:22 JosephCalgary wrote:
Joe what would you be if you weren't a poker player??

I don't think he'd be one thing, first he'd try hard at something athletic, but he wouldn't do too well in that arena, but he's not unhappy, got fit, and did well with the chicks. Then he hit his crazy phase, and he started doing male stripping, and at the worst a little male giggoloing, but felt ashamed, and decided to drop that for new adventures!!

Next he started studying in college, but lost focus, and started partying too hard, but in his endeavours he met a lot of people, got a lot of connections, so he started in an off sea shipping company, and did surprisingly well there. After awhile got some jobs on one of the ships, and got to travel around and drink and party in new places, to finally stop in Thailand, and snooze around there for a few years!!

Then I imagine he'd get bored of that lifestyle, and want a change of scenery, and he decided to write a book about his crazy life, but the book didn't do as well as he planned, and he was starving for cash, so he had to get a job. He still wanted freedom, but he didn't want no low payed shit job. So he took some offshore courses, and got planted on a really awesome oil rig, with a kind of deal, where you work for 3-4 weeks, then you're free for 3-4 weeks. + You earn a lot of money, and also when the Helicopter comes to pick you of, he hit it off with one of the pilots, and he would let him off in different places!!

I reckon he'd keep that job for 5-6 years, since he kinda enjoyed the hard labor, and being paid around the clock!!

After that... Hmm, let's see... Hard to tell, maybe he'd get a less grease monkey job, or get inspired to learn how to fly Helicoptors... Yes, that seems plausible. Time to maybe, get some kids, do that whole gebang!!

And there you have it!!

 Last edit: 10/03/2014 09:00

bigredhoss   Cook Islands. Mar 10 2014 12:14. Posts 8631

marius start blogging again plz

Truck-Crash Life 

Joeingram1   United States. Mar 13 2014 09:04. Posts 943

marius honestly I read your original reply to my post right after you did it, started reading the book you mentioned, had a conversation about what you said with someone else and my original question became so much clearer to me that I spent the last 10 days barely online and decided to have some more fun (rage) with my life instead of stressing myself out

Thank you very much for your post, seriously it was fucking awesome and was just about exactly what I was hoping for when I made wrote my blog

As far as your adventure for me if I wasn't a poker player if i did life like 10 times I think that is probably pretty fucking close to how one of them goes

I'm pretty sure I'm moving to Oslo in the summer time as well, where do you live at?

 Last edit: 13/03/2014 09:05


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