I was reading Chris' blog and Ante-up! and saw where he was dissapointed in himself that he could not think through hands like he can while he is watching tv...
I posted this reply:
Here is my 2 cents on this subject. It's one that is VERY important to me...
When you are AT the table, you lack the prospective necessary to think out the hands like you do after the fact. When you are watching on TV, or watching 2 OTHER players at the table, the analysis is much easier because of the 3rd eye view.
As you become an intermediate player, you LEARN from these experiences in addition to your own and often times they will steer your behavior correctly.
Additionally, when you are not in a hand, you have no RISK and thus think very clearly. Much more clear than when you heart is pounding out the national anthem.
As you move from intermediate to pro, you are able to do what Lederer calls "being in the moment". Or what Daniel Negreanu does, which is perform it casually, like an actor playing a part. Its HARD. It comes with YEARS of experience, coupled with patience and an ability to filter out the noise. Every hand tells us something about someone. But its hard for our brains to categorize and store the information, much less use it.
That comes with time... or a raw talent for that sort of thing. Since I have zero raw talent for anything, I always have to go the experience route.