A Tough Opponent

Poker Breakthrough

You're Different

Not So Fast...

What was the big poker breakthrough?

Poker Breakthrough

When I struggled to recall the poker hands, I was bogged down in the wrong pattern.

The rows and columns looked good, and were even easy to memorize, but it wasn't in a form I could use. By restructuring the data to fit my decision making, my mind was released from some kind of endless search.

Decision-Based Format

Shifting to a decision-based format made the difference.

My mind was like the grocery store. By memorizing colors-codes and creating neat rows, the layout looked presentable and well organized, but I couldn't find the can of peas.

By reorganizing my mental store with the right categories, I could go right to the canned vegetables section and find the peas. It was quick and effortless.

Matching the right pattern to the goal was the answer.

The fact that an incorrectly formatted chart could cripple my playing so severely was amazing. And to experience absolutely smooth responses with such a minor adjustment stunned me.

You're Different

Back to your situation.

At this point, you are no longer the same as when you started. You now have the ability to identify restrictive teaching material and the insight to understand its impact on performance. That's huge.

The next time someone presents you with a beautifully designed chart that makes your head spin, you'll know why. The next time someone blames a failure on market factors, you'll want to examine their training material.

You'll also begin to recognize exceptional training. When you hear, "Why couldn't the teachers just say it like that?" you'll want to see this instructor's material; when you hear about great coaches, you'll guess that their training is tied to game-time decisions.

Sometimes the patterns will jump out at you. Other times, the subtle structures will gently tug at your awareness. Like it or not, your view of the world in now different.

Not So Fast...

Before you get all mushy on me and head off to change the world, there a few realities you should know.

First of all, anti-learning is formidable opponent. Just recognizing problem material is not enough. Here's what you're up against:

  • Appearance. Most anti-learning material looks good. Your boss will listen to your complaint, look at the material and think you're crazy.

  • Understandable. Anti-learning material is typically easy to grasp. As your boss pages through the material and actually understands it, your argument for another format is in trouble.

  • Defenders. Someone created those presentations, and you can bet they'll be defending the material.

  • Yourself. This might be the toughest. If you've had any experience using the material, most likely you have come to accept it. However enlightened you are, it's difficult to see things differently.
  • Take a deep breath. You can handle this.

    Remember, pretty material doesn't mean solid performance. A store can be stylish, but if you can't find the peas, what good is it?

    Armed with insight, honesty, and persistence you can handle these obstacles.

    What's next?

    Sometimes you can start with a clean slate. The next section looks at designing training material from scratch.

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