How to Track Your Own Play by Taking Notes

One of the keys to improving your poker game is to incorporate a regular and systematic method of continually reviewing your own play. There are various techniques that are effective in doing this, and the key is to never let yourself become too complacent as to not devote enough effort to looking to analyze your game and seek out potential improvements. In this lesson I’ll discuss some proven approaches and also point out some of the things you need to be thinking about here.

At the foundation of any successful program of self-analysis is a comprehensive system of note taking. We’re not talking about taking notes on your opponents here though, as these notes will instead be on you. I’ve found this to be extremely helpful over the years and it’s not something a lot of players do well.

There are two phases to this, notes written during live play and notes collected away from the table. The live notes do not need to be very long or comprehensive. What we’re after here is making note of situations that you either could have played differently or a good play that may not be standard for you that you want to reinforce. So in a nutshell, you’re noting both your good and bad plays, with the object of looking to eliminate the bad or questionable moves and reinforce the better ones. These notes can be directed toward a certain category of opponent, but they also need to be general enough to be useful on a broader scale.

Taking live notes will present the advantage of having the hand and your current thinking very fresh in your mind, which is why you want to take them as the hands actually occur. The notes you write after your session will increase your ability to reflect on the situations more and look at the bigger picture. While tracking software can be very helpful in providing analysis and insight, they are somewhat limited in their scope and we also want to use our own brains to spot things to change as well. In fact our own observations, unaided by software, can be considerably more powerful in discerning potential improvements.

So by combining both these forms of note taking, we will be constructing a poker diary of sorts, and we can add all of our poker insights to it. It’s important that we edit it frequently though, and this is best done by organizing the minutia by topic, organized around a set goal. Then, once the goal is consistently achieved, you can then archive the detailed notes on the topic, although it’s a good idea to keep your ongoing and completed goals in a prominent place so that they can be easily reviewed.

If you want to do this properly, get a copy of Mindjet MindManager. It’s free to try for thirty days. MindManager is organizational software that will let you quickly group your thoughts by category.

Related Entries

Related posts:

  1. How to Play Like Gus Hansen Without Going Broke
  2. When to Play Optimally vs Exploitively
  3. Examples of Good Out of Position Play
  4. Expekt Instant Play – Expekt No-Download
  5. Differences in Online Poker and Live Poker