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If you're serious about winning ...

By: ollierye @ 17:39 (EST) / 258 / Comment ( 0 )
Take notes.

As I mentioned in a previous blog, I made a commitment to this month's PSO. Among the many things I was going to do and/or do differently was make use of notes. I had entered notes in the past on players in certain situations ... usually just for the heck of it. But this time around, if there was anything I deemed important, I took "note". 

I also found that taking notes and/or analyzing play via the replay helped pass time in between hands. If I go card dead for an extended period time, I have a tendency to open up my range and donk off chips. This way, I keep myself occupied but unlike watching a movie, you keep yourself in tune with what's going on in the game and the players at the table.

Until recently, though I knew about notes and the ability to use them, I didn't realize you could color code them. I had only noticed that option in Doyle's Room and wondered why PS didn't have the option. Apparently they did have it the whole time. 

Anyhow, whenever I get a chance I take time to go back to certain hands, see how it unfolds, paying attention to bet sizing, the hands that get shown down, etc. How much did someone raise with AA UTG? I make note of that. Did someone value bet a strong hand? Tries to steal from the BTN alot? A guy plays 72o, that goes into the notes. Things like that. 

In addition to that and probably the most important, is the use of color coding. If nothing else, I will color code just about every player I've ever played with. For the sake of this blog, I will downsize the categories I have to 4 .... Nit's, TAG's, LAG's, and Passives. Each have their own color. A lot of the players at the top of the leaderboards are nitty. Premium hands, nothing else. I stay away from them. Perfect example recently, wasn't paying attention. Player I have labeled as nitty pushes AI and I called. He has KK. I lose. These players aren't going to risk their tournament life with > AJ or a small PP. The TAG's, tight aggressive, keep me alert to the fact that they are solid players and I proceed with caution. Again, this makes up a big portion of the top players in the PSO. LAG's, loose aggressive, are exactly that. I reserve that for the ATC players and AI PF players hand after hand, calling down with mediocre holdings, etc. Lastly, passive. These players play scared, limping any big hand (AA, KK, AK, etc)  and very cautiously play post flop even though they have big hands. I love these players when I play live because I can push them off their hands by betting into them. Same goes for online play. 

If you pay attention and actually use your notes, you will find yourself going deeper into tournaments, imo. You can't label someone a nit then call his AI with your QJo. Again, at the very least, associate each player with a color based on what you've seen and that should go a long way.

I've used Pokertracker in the past and while I thought it gave me great insight into every type of hand I played and the statistics were fun to go over ... I never felt like it helped me vs the actual opponent. If anything, I thought the numbers distracted me more so than help me. Afterall, I was making decisions based soley on numbers derived from a small sample. Over time, I could see it helping, especially in cash games. In the meantime, I'm a-ok doing it the old fashioned way.
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