Studying in 2022: Schedule Your Poker Time

By Sky Matsuhashi
February 03, 2022

Ed. note: This is Part 1 of 4 in Sky’s “Studying in 2022” series of articles. See the other installments at the end of this article.

I know it’s hard to build your poker skills with life getting in the way; full-time job… kids… softball… knitting… Netflix… even playing poker!

Studying poker takes a back seat to more important or “fun” things. That’s only natural.

But if one of your goals for 2022 is to become a better, more profitable player, you must find the time to study and play. Without doing so, it’s essentially impossible to properly improve.

You’ll be more likely to “hit the books” or play poker when you build 30 to 90 minutes of dedicated time into your weekly schedule a few days per week.


Building time into your schedule means that you dedicate blocks of time for study and play, and you don’t let things interfere with your blocks. Treat them like appointments that you must keep.

Many of us have a repeated daily schedule:

  • Wake up at 6:30 am
  • Get to work by 8 am
  • Lunch at noon
  • Leave the office at 5 pm
  • Dinner with the family at 6 pm
  • Hit the sack by 10 pm

You must find and block time for poker. Given the schedule above, I would fit poker in here:

  • Wake up a little earlier, at 6 am, make coffee then do 30 minutes of study.
  • Alternatively, instead of 1 hour eating lunch at noon, bring lunch to work, eat for 15 minutes, walk for 15 minutes then study for 30 minutes.
  • After dinner, play poker for 1 hour from 7-8pm, then relax with Netflix or a book before hitting the sack at 10pm.

I’m sure you can imagine many ways to fit in 30 minutes of study and 1 hour of play a few days a week.

When something’s important to you, you always manage to find the time. The trick is forcing yourself to prioritize poker study time.

The critical part of this is to block the time in your schedule to help ensure you get it done. It doesn’t have to be a massive block of time, either. As illustrated above, finding small chunks of time throughout the week is entirely manageable.

Take Action!

Here is a blank weekly schedule. Fill out the “Current Schedule” column, then find blocks of time where you can incorporate 15-30 minutes of study and 60 minutes of play a few days per week (or every day if you’re gung-ho on putting the time in).

Current Schedule Where can I fit time for study & play?
Daily M-F 6 AM
7 AM
8 AM
9 AM
10 AM
11 AM
12 PM
1 PM
2 PM
3 PM
4 PM
5 PM
6 PM
7 PM
8 PM
9 PM
10 PM
Saturday Afternoon
Sunday Afternoon

In part 2 of the Studying in 2022 series, I help you find your areas of weakness so you know where to focus your study efforts.

In part 3, I help you prioritize your weaknesses so that you can improve most efficiently.

In the fourth and final article of the series, I’ll give you my simple weekly plan for study and play that will help you fix your weaknesses one at a time.



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Sky Matsuhashi poker author
Written By.

Sky Matsuhashi

Sky Matsuhashi is the creator of the Smart Poker Study Podcast. He has authored 4 poker books including ‘How to Study Poker Volumes 1 & 2’, ‘Preflop Online Poker’ and ‘Post-flop Online Poker’. As a poker coach, Sky is dedicated to helping his students play more effectively, earn more money and be 1% better every […]

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