Every winning poker players makes decisions based on the information at hand. How they go about processing the information varies from person to person. Often, exact methodologies may be inconsistent from session to session, or even hand to hand. While quality decisions may be arrived at with a great frequency, without a systematic and precise process, optimal performance would be difficult to achieve. Think of a golf or bowling routine. There is a reason players do this, it's to reset their mind and focus at the beginning of every action in order to make sure they are staying true to fundamentals and building "muscle" memory and optimizing everything they do.
I am guilty of this from time to time. Sometimes I'm lazy, tired, or both and find it hard to focus and have definitive structure on my decision making process. This leads to auto-piloting, which is detrimental to anyones win-rate. After years of falling into ruts more often than I care to admit, I decided to invent my own systematic way of thinking through hands that consistently has me thinking of the correct things in the most efficient way possible. I call the process the DPS method. DPS is an acronym for Dynamic, Plan, Sizing. It's similar to the REM (range, equity, maximize) process that you can read about in the book "Professional NL Hold'em". And, while I feel the REM process was groundbreaking at the time, I think it is a little bit difficult for average players to implement. Thus, the DPS process.
The major difference is that my process forces you to assess the table dynamic before forming a plan. The plan can include deciphering the ranges and equities, but some situations don't require you to go that deep, some do. My process allows you to always factor in other players into your decision making process, which alone, will make a huge difference in anyone's play. Once you have the fundamentals down, adjusting to your table is what 90% of your focus should be on. The end game all comes down to being one step ahead of your opponents. Become both technically good and master reading situations and you become a dangerous beast of a poker player. Now let's talk about the process in detail.
1. Dynamic- All current factors that affect the strategy which you will implement, based on the opponents at the table and any recent history as well as a focus on keeping in line with general winning poker fundamentals.
2. Plan- The best tactics to attack your opponents based on the dynamic.
3. Sizing- When betting or raising, the appropriate amount to bet or raise that best carries out your plan.
The beauty of this process is that it works with any action on any streets. It also allows you to account for contingencies, or new information, that might arise through an entire hand or series of hands. It is also the ultimate weapon to combat complacency, or auto-piloting. If you find you are timing out on tables while using this process, you are playing too many tables. Now that you have the process to keep your thoughts on track, now you can focus on forming strategies and tactics to attack every different dynamic you might face. Hopefully, the game just got a whole lot easier (and maybe even a lot more interesting). Enjoy.