Sunday, July 13, 2008

The importance of taking notes

I have occasionally taken notes on tables where poker tracker works, but really haven’t made anywhere near enough so I am probably missing some player weaknesses that I should be exploiting. My main experience in note taking is on cake poker, where pokertracker is not really supported, so I need to rely on my own reads of my opponents rather than the automated heads up display. Interestingly enough, I probably have my highest win rate on Cake, so I guess taking notes really is worthwhile.

Now that I’m also playing on Bodog, where I don’t have the software to import statistics into pokertracker, I’m finding that it is extremely useful to take notes on my opponents. Problem is though, since I’m not used to it, I can only really have one table open to concentrate on the game and take notes as well. I figure over time I should be able to increase my table numbers, but for now I’m just getting used to the note taking side, and watching and remembering all plays by my opponents.

At the moment a players note might read something like:

ol utg 73s, ol button
callr 64o BB
cb F, no cb T
cd 3rd pair F

which would translate to:

open limped under the gun with 73s. open limped on the button
Called raise with 64o in the BB
Continuation bet the flop, but gave up on the turn.
Called to river with 3rd pair on flop

So this would be a reasonably loose and passive opponent (possibly a calling station), that I would love to have position on. I’d be interested to know if anyone out there has some other shorthand they use for note taking, or if there is any kind of standard out there for representing the various plays.

How did the weekend’s play go? Well I managed to get in a little under 2 hours of play in total. Played on a super loose and maniacal $3/6 table on Cake and had a terrible, terrible run of cards.

My VPIP was 8% over about 90 hands. I just received nothing at all preflop, and the few times I did get something, I won about 50% of the time. All in all dropped about 20BBs in about half an hour. I even had one guy three betting me with 64o and bluffing to the river v my AA flopping a set, but since I was rarely playing a hand, the blinds were gradually eating me alive.

Bodog however turned it around after a very slow start where the $1/2 fish took me for 25BBs when I could not hit a flop. I then found some players on the $4/8 table that I had some good notes on, and took some more notes. There were at least 3 fish on the table, and it was just a case of value betting my made hands, and folding when I missed. My opponents were calling me down constantly with dominated hands, or hands where I had flopped the nuts or near to it. I did suck out a couple, however, they were hands like where I had QQ preflop, but villain had 44. Flop came JT4 all clubs which matched my Qc. The flop was bet into me which I raised. Turn was a blank which got bet into me and I raised again, but got reraised. Made a crying call and a club hit on the river. His set of 4s was no good and I took down a big pot.

Another hand of note when I had QQ again, I was up against 2 runners who called my preflop bet. Flop was T98r so I’ve obviously bet out and got called again by both. Turn was a J. I bet out and get called. River an A so again I bet out hoping not to see KQ. My opponents showed 77 for the bottom end of the straight and AJo for top pair, giving me another nice pot.

Of course there were a few suckouts along the way, but I took down over 50BBs all up for the sessions.

Current Bankroll: $9,900 (+360 Aug)

1 comment:

nemo said...

I definitely understand what you are saying about taking notes. I don't own PokerTracker software as I'm a cheap poor bastard and can't/won't afford the damn thing for awhile. I take notes on every site I play on and it seems to be working flawlessly as of late. I have gotten it down to 2-tables at a time with complete concentration of all actions taking place and it helps with my live game performances as well.

Keep up the good work m8. You are just about to cross the $10,000 threshold! I keep praying for the day I get to that point.