Online poker players have the ability to take extensive notes on their opposition while sitting at the poker tables. While this ability exists at virtually all online poker rooms, this valuable tool tends to be quite underutilized. By documenting even the most minor observations, you can create for yourself a library of invaluable information that may come in handy when you least expect it.
How to make player notes in online poker
In most online poker rooms, you simply download poker stars and then click on the player’s name or avatar, which pops through to the “notepad.” It is here that you can make notes and observations about your opposition’s play. These notes will remain on your computer, so if you make a note today on a player, and do not sit with them for a year – the note you made today will remain. Additionally, a little reminder such as an “N” or a marker of some sort will be associated with that player, which serves as a reminder or indicator that you have notes on the player.
What to document when writing player notes in online poker
When writing player notes, the first thing I like to do is to make a quick note of the date and game type. For example, I would note today’s date, and if I were playing 5-10 no limit, I would write 5-10NL. If it were a tournament, I would note the tournament buy-in and the level I am making the observations. The level is important to note because players tend to shift gears based on where they are in the tournament. Additionally, in tournaments, I make note of their stack size, relative to the blinds (the M of the player).
When I first sit down and observe at the PokerStar table, regardless of game, I try to make a one or two word overall observation on each player. I might use words such as loose, tight, or optimistic. I may even make notes such as “total moron,” or “tough player.”
Additionally, if a player makes a big fold, or shows a bluff or does anything that stands out, I detail it. For example, if I see a player make a big raise preflop, fire out a continuation bet, and then fold to a raise on the turn, I make a note of that – using details such as the board, his position, etc. If a player calls an all-in or shoves all-in, I will note the hand and the situation. In addition, after every showdown, I open up the hand history and note everyone who has shown down a hand, as well as how they played the hand. This is important for predicting hand ranges, as well as identifying playing styles.
Note taking is a powerful tool in online poker that everyone should be taking advantage of. When used correctly, player notes will give you a huge edge in online poker.