Former Teacher Turned 888poker Pro Ian Simpson Explains the Importance of Study Habits

Ian Simpson Study Habits

After joining 888poker in May 2022, Ian Simpson has dived headfirst into his role as an Ambassador. Not only has he been winning at the online tables, but he also has been giving PokerNews readers some helpful strategy tips.

The popular Twitch streamer has a wealth of poker knowledge, and here he shares some thoughts on the importance on studying and developing healthy studying habits.


Why is Studying Important?

When and how to study can make the difference between a break-even player and a consistently winning one. From just another reg to a world-class crusher.

Everyone is different, so by no means are these words of wisdom going to fit everybody’s persona. But good study habits are essential to becoming and staying a winning poker player.

Good study habits are essential to becoming and staying a winning poker player

I view poker as an academic exercise. The tournaments are the test, and the study sessions the revision. Some people use study as a prelude to their sessions but I am not convinced this is the best approach for two reasons:

  1. Studying should be a taxing process mentally if you’re doing it right. And you want all of your mental energy to be dedicated to the upcoming decisions in your session.
  2. Sleep plays a crucial role in our memory formation, so any immediate benefit of studying before a session is lacking that crucial component.

Studying after the grind can be an option, but personally I’m exhausted after a long session at the tables, so I prefer to study on days that I’m not playing at all. If you’ve energy left after your session however then by all means have at it!


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How to Study

How to study is perhaps a more important question. Many people will watch Twitch whilst absentmindedly scrolling social media and call it study. Some will pay for expensive content and similarly fail to engage properly with the material.

Without going too in-depth into the tips and tricks I learnt as a teacher, you’ve got to actually interact with the material to get any major benefit from it. It’s no good just watching. Here are some different ways you can study:


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So next time you are consuming poker content think about how you can interact with it to get the most benefit from it. You could write a short essay about a hand from a GTO solver, and compare the output to a more exploitative strategy right you could discuss the pitfalls of a twitch streamers particular play with your study group.

What really matters is being active in your learning and not passively consuming the content and calling it study.

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  • Former teacher turned 888poker Ambassador Ian Simpson shares his thoughts on developing good study habits in poker

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