What if it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill and after the 10,000 hours you still have not mastered it? I've had this happen with numerous things in my life, where I am swimming upstream. I did quite a few hours (close to 10,000?) hours of improv and public speaking (stand-up), but "mastering" it really translated to "competence". Perhaps I am setting the bar too high, but I expected to be a grand-master poker player by now, and Sunday I played the sloppiest poker in years (ever?).
Hand review was crucial in this determination and I realize I have not done nearly enough of that in-depth review over the years. But more importantly, I had 3 leaks that accounted to 80% of my lost pots. Just Wow. Poker is brutal in that results are immediate and quantified. But it is forgiving in that each session is an opportunity to close leaks.
1. Don't open pots just to lose them. This is something DannyN13 told me yesterday that made such a good sound bite it might actually stick. If you open a pot, determine your plan and execute on it. Looks for viable options, like double barreling when the flop looks like it is trying to tell you that it will most likely work. Really, take the line that will most likely work is the best way to say it.
2. Use a players stack size (# of blinds) to help determine their ranges. That is the advantage you have in an MTT environment vs. cash. Don't play your hand like it is a cash game, if it isn't. You are omitting an important piece of information. Further stated, don't act on each street until you range your opponent. NEVER go into auto-pilot mode which is what I did Sunday.
3. Understand what you are trying to accomplish with your bet. This dictates Bet Sizing, Whether or not to bet at all, how you will react to your opponents reaction, and what you want to accomplish on the next street. This USED TO BE simple "lines", but in today's poker realm, it isn't enough.
and just as a bonus statement, and there has been much written about this, but it's brutally true.
A-Game or FAIL. No A-Game = No results.