How to Cut Learning Time by 90%+

The cost of learning by yourself

Learning something with others creates an insurmountable advantage over people who learn on their own.

Learning a pure jump shot

Here is a hypothetical example to convince you of my point.

Say you are trying to learn a jump shot in basketball. You find a hoop and a ball. After watching basketball on TV, you think you know what you need to do and start practicing your jump shot

The results are uninspiring - but you can't understand why you aren't getting the same results you see on TV. You continue to practice with mediocre results.

One day, an NBA player walks by you practicing. He says "Hey you need to put some backspin on your jump shot". You had no idea this was the proper method for jump shots. You change your jump shot and start over. You struggle for a while, but eventually you see results.

Now, what if you had asked a professional before you started practicing how to properly shoot a jump shot? The time spent between when you started and when the NBA player fixed your form would be productive.

Paying the price in poker…

Let me give you an example of how I paid this cost early in my poker career.

After putting myself out there on training site forums, I made my first few "poker friends". This is the part of the story where many poker players careers take off. Mine stagnated.


I didn't put myself in a position to benefit.

My poker friends who were more successful than me played a specific poker game (HU SNGs) along with some tournaments. I also played tournaments - and was looking to add a game I could play consistently.

What would you add? Obviously, you would add Heads Up SNGs right?


I decided to play Pot Limit Omaha cash games. I knew 0 people who played these, but it was what the "cool kids" were doing. So in our group Skype chat I was the only person playing PLO. I watched videos, read books and forum posts, and reviewed my hands. I tried really hard to learn the game - and learned a law of physics.

Effort pointed at the wrong thing doesn't produce outsized returns. Effort pointed in the right direction is unstoppable.

I became okay at PLO. This is the most dangerous skill level in gambling (especially for a full time player). You are good enough that you can win a bit against weak players. You may even be able to scratch out just enough money to get by. But you never make outsized returns.

Predictably, I became strapped for cash. I went to my friends asking for backing. They said of course - but you have to play our games and we will coach you. At that point, I was a beggar - not a chooser. I accepted.

In a few months I was one of the best HU SNG players in post-Black Friday US poker. I was getting coached by the best - so it wasn't a fair fight. I was also discussing hands daily now with a group of specialists.

The amount of learning I was able to shortcut was insane. My confidence shot up along with my hourly. I finally felt like a "professional" instead of someone who was "pretty good".

I urge everyone reading this to take stock of their network. Where can you leverage them? Do you need to add people to your network to pursue the challenge you find most interesting? Do you think you should pursue something else more in line with the expertise of your network?

These are questions I wish I asked myself earlier...

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