Poker is a game that is in constant state of change. Either the site is changing or the demographic of the players or the actual players’ skill levels. However we also change and if you think that you play the same poker game all the time then you would be very much mistaken. This is why I think it is very important to have a debrief after every session in the same way that members of the military do after any operation. In fact the term “debrief” is in fact a military one.
This is something that I used to do some years ago and then I became careless with how easy I was winning at the levels that I played. A session de-brief analyses the actions and thoughts of the individual and then plans can be designed for future action. So your de-brief and your next session briefing are in fact linked together. For example if in your poker debrief or your session analysis you spotted several things that you did wrong then have a debrief and reveal them to yourself.
Make notes and then study these notes as part of your next briefing session. I highly recommend to any player to have a list of strategic objectives plotted out that they can study and read before a poker session. It is a great way to start the session in the right frame of mind and to do the right things straight away. Only the other night I had a losing poker session, it wasn’t all that much of a loss and was only $33 but I made mistakes that I wouldn’t have made had I briefed myself before the session started.
This is the entire purpose of the briefing and debriefing……they act as preparation and learning exercises. I think it is even more important in online poker for the simple reason being that you can log on and play online poker in a fraction of the time that it takes to play a live session. Your briefing notes can be the same for every session based on two criteria. These are your overall session objectives and lessons to be learned and corrected from your last debrief and previous debriefs.
Doing this helps you to become more military in your play and it places a lot of extra internal discipline on your poker. Also having a briefing and a debrief helps you to become answerable to someone even if that someone is yourself. It is amazing just how much information and data you lose or forget to execute when you play poker.
We all do things that we know full well we shouldn’t have done and it can be very frustrating to do such things. I find that a briefing and a debriefing session helps to prepare me for the session and to turn mistakes of the past into strengths. When you play poker with military type discipline then you evolve into one tough opponent for your enemies.
Carl Sampson is an online poker pro and poker ambassador for 888poker