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Grinding: Quality VS Quantity

A twitch viewer asked the following questions regarding poker grinding style:

“How many tables and hours do you normally play? Volume and quality is something I’ve always struggled to balance.”

Excellent question.

Poker Grinding Style

This is something I’m always thinking about.

I will use a different mix of play vs. study depending on what’s going on for me at the moment. My approach is to allocate a given mix, and then try that out for a while.

More specifically, I played less in August, as it was a slower time for poker. I timed my vacations with the industry that way. Whereas early this year, in full swing, I was playing 40k hands and was working with a coach.

My Own Grinding

Now in September I’m back to full poker grinding. And you can watch me play:

I’m streaming 4 days a week on twitch.

Generally speaking I’m far more of a “quality guy” than “extreme poker grinder” (aka quantity guy). Both styles can result in good hourly rates, but the former (quality approach) is more likely to result in a faster rate of improvement.

Regarding how many tables, I play 4 to 6 of regular tables. For fast fold, it’s between 2 and 3. Party poker tends to deal more hands per hour for the Fast Forward than the 888 Snap game, so I tend to only do 2 fast fold variant tables there.

That’s for me. For you, it could be more. It might be less. You need to pay close attention to where adding a table results in diminishing returns. Not just your ability, but your hardware/setup can effect this. If your monitor can only fit 4 tables, and 5 requires overlap, then that may be your limit.

You can use indicators such as when you start timing out while trying to make decisions. That might mean you’re playing too many tables. Or if you miss that a player was dealt into the hand. Or you miss that he’s a short stack.

Additionally you can be in different phases with your game. For example, you might be in a mass grind phase where you’re just trying to run up your roll so you’re ready to play the next level (or pay for coaching). Or if you’ve recently moved up, you might be in heavy study/review mode to make sure you can stay at that level.

A good metric is to always be able to look back 1 month and confidently say that you’re better than you were then.

What is your grinding style?

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