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Taking player notes while playing poker

The Importance of Taking Player Notes in Poker

The Importance of Taking Player Notes in Poker

Getting a read on your opponent when you are put to a tough decision is an important part of playing poker. When you are playing live poker, you have the benefit of using physical tells such as facial expression, hands shaking, etc, but when you are playing online poker you don't have this benefit. This is not to suggest that you can not develop reads with online poker.

Your opponents are giving away a lot of information with every action they make at the table. If you are being very observant you can pickup information based on bet sizing, betting patterns, timing tells, etc. One small read may not give you the full picture, but combined they will give you a much more accurate read on your opponents so you can make better decisions at the table.

If you are multi-tabling to grind out a larger win rate playing online poker, obviously it's not possible to observe every player at the tables all the time, you are always busy in a hand. In addition to using poker tracker software like Holdem Manager or Poker Tracker, it's important that you understand the power of player notes taking. You see, one of the common misconceptions new players make especially when they start familiarizing themselves with HEM/PT is that loose pre-flop stats translates to players also playing very loose post flop.

This can be a costly assumption to make because it is not always the case. Some players will play way too many hands before the flop, but will tighten up considerable on the flop and later streets if they don't have a hand. You could have a hand like second pair and be facing a double barrel from your opponents, thinking you definitely have the best hand because the loose fish is playing loose post flop as well, when in fact they typically only bet the turn when they have a top pair or better hand.

Winning players understand they need to take in-depth player notes and use it to their advantage. Knowing if your opponents is a losing, break even, or winning players is not enough. What does knowing that your opponent is a losing player tell you about their betting tendencies, bluffing frequency, etc? Nothing!

So what is the best way to take player notes you may be asking? I will always leave a player note when I see a hand get to showdown, whether I am involved in the hand or not, and one of the players did something which was not a normal action I would expect a player to make at those limits. For example, if I see a player make some stupid triple barrel bluff on a dangerous board then I know they are a huge fish and will not give the bets and raises any respect. Generally passive players will play very straight forward and they are not difficult to play against, so you want to be able to identify the aggressive players (especially the bad loose aggressive players) and take extensive player notes on how they player after the flop.

If they are always aggressive with strong draws or weak flush draws then you definitely want to take note of information like this. If you were to surrender every time they show signs of aggression you would be making a huge mistake because they are always looking to put pressure on their opponents.

In summary, with detailed poker player notes you will be able to get better reads on your opponents and build your chip stack at the table.

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This article is written in Poker Strategy.