When a mixed-martial-arts fighter or a boxer loses a fight, they usually sit down a day or two later with their coaches and watch the fight a couple of times and carry out a post-performance review. It helps them see holes in their game and put in place a new strategy to fix their weaknesses before their next fight.
Poker pros have been using a similar post performance strategy over the last few years to examine their game and look to improve their skills and strategy, ultimately finding the right winning formula.
Post-Performance Review Process
New research has discovered a new way of monitoring a player’s performance which can effectively help improve their poker strategy. It involves a structured review process that enables self-monitoring and promotes self-awareness, resulting in better self-correction and more effective results.
Here are the four major steps involved in this process:
Rate Your Performance
First and foremost, take note of the important details of your past sessions — the venue, date, and the duration of your session. Then, from 0 to 10, try to rate your overall performance, giving 0 for poor, 5 for acceptable and 10 for excellent. Then, reflecting on your score, try to identify areas for improvement, and review your session to find out what was it that ruined your game.
Analyze the Positive and Negative Aspects of Your Play
This time, try to go deeper by reviewing the good and bad aspects of your performance. You can categorize the important elements of your play and rate yourself according to these elements, such as whether or not you did well in terms of preflop opening ranges, betting, and aggression. Again, rate yourself from 0 to 10.
Identify the areas where you did great and reinforce them in your future sessions. Spot the bad moves and avoid them the next time you play. Choose a maximum of two areas that you’d want to put in extra effort and formulate a plan to deal with these flaws. Try to come up with a specific plan of action to work on these weaknesses.
Assess Your Mental Ability and Physical Energy
Poker is a mind sport. Therefore, it is important that a player possesses a strong mindset and not be easily carried away by potential downswings. Again, rate yourself from 0-10 in terms of your mental strength. In rating yourself, you may want to consider some mental game skills such as self control, confidence and emotional control. After that, make a plan as to how you’ll work on the areas that need further improvement.
Physical energy is also equally important in the game of poker as you will never be able to deliver your best performance if you lack energy. Score yourself once more in terms of energy and again identify specific ways on how you are going to improve your overall energy or stamina.
Overall Reflection
This serves as the final part of the review. You may now reflect on the things you learned from yourself and from the session, and evaluate if there is more that you need to do to improve your game.
The best tip we can give you when you carry out your overall reflection is to never rush the process as this will cause you to overlook a number of areas of improvement and weaknesses which impact your game.
Things To Keep In Mind During Post Performance Reviews
You can do your post-performance review by yourself or you can also team up with another poker pro and get a second set of eyes to help you with your game and vice-versa. You need to decide whether you prefer an individual post-performance review or if you are comfortable breaking down your game in the company of another poker pro.
Players need to develop a habit of implementing a timeframe of reviewing each game. This can be done at the end of each week or every 5 days, determining on how frequently you play and how busy your schedule is. However, it is important to do this religiously as if you skip a few days, you will not have a robust post-performance review process!

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