Monday, June 05, 2006

Poker Notes

Having slowed down in the amount of time I've spent at the tables lately, a resent session reminded me of just how important note taking is when it come to online poker. With players coming and going so frequently, taking notes is a must. A player that I have developed a good profile on, might disappear for a month or two. When he returns, it might ring a bell but I'm not likely to remember his complete style of play without my trusty notes.

Sure, I know you don't take notes because it distracts you from the game or you have some super human intellect. You might even have a pornographic memory like I do, but the truth is, if you were to place note takers into one category and non-note takes in another, you would find the note taking category to be mostly winners.

I can't tell you the number of times my notes have been crucial in helping me make a correct decision in a difficult situation. Once you have advanced past the big hand go, bad hand fold stage of poker. you will find that it is the small edges that make the difference in your winning ability.

When I first started playing online it was at a site that didn't have a note taking feature. I started by creating a database in MS Works. I set it up with pre formatted descriptions such as Loose, Tight, Aggressive or Passive and I could just place a "X" beside the characteristic that applied.. This saved me a ton of typing as I only had to enter the players nickname.

As most sites added online note taking, I reluctantly abandoned my database for the easier search function of online player notes. The main problem with this was, I was now had to type in all my observations. This problem was tackled when I discovered a short hand system on the 2+2 forum. (The Post) This system was largely based on feedback from Poker Tracker but it did give me some good ideas in developing my own shorthand system. I'm not going to give away all my secrets or deny you the fun of creating your own system but I will give you a brief look at a typical player note of mine:

Just kidding, but I have been accused of being a bit anal with my record keeping. My system is patterned after what you have seen above in the 2+2 post along with some of the suggestions I've found at these sites:

The bottom line is that you want a shorthand system that is easy to remember yet provides you with a method of tracking patterns in a players game. The amount of detail you incorporate is up to you but I guarantee if you will start taking notes, you will see a day when it wins you a big pot you wouldn't have won otherwise.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just gotta say that taking notes on your poker opponents can really give you that extra edge. Lots of top pros have admitted that they keep poker notes.