Using new concepts – before you are ready … results might varp

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I am concentrating on playing limit hold ’em in cash games while playing no limit hold ’em in tournaments. I am doing this while reading a series of  “PokerEssays” written by Mason Malmuth. The books I am reading are titled: Poker Essays, Poker Essays, Volume II, and Poker Essays, Volume III.

I am doing this because of my desire to improve my poker skills and the results are interesting in that they are mixed. I have finished reading the first two in the series and have just started the third. What I have been trying to do is to take some of the concepts I have learned to the table while they are fresh in my mind.

Some of these ideas have to do with how to select what hands to play in what position; how to think about what you are trying accomplish with that hand and what actions you should take to accomplish it. Each idea builds on previous ones and the strategy varies as it applies to your opponent’s playing abilities.

The challenge I have run into is trying out an idea, only to find that the next unread paragraph or chapter contained further information that would have further explained how to use that idea or concept properly. But overall, I can see an improvement in my understanding of the poker thinking process. I should be able to finish the series this week and put into practice many of these concepts.

When you learn a new concept or idea, how do you test it out? Do you try it online or at a poker room? Do you test online using the play money games or do you use your poker bankroll to test the theories?

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