Online Poker Success Secrets from the Pros

Boring but true - Keeping detailed records of your online poker play is a quite simply a major secret of success part of poker be it for money or simply fun (both for most of us!). It does not matter if you are in pay-for-play sites like NoPayPoker, online cash sites, a weekly club game or your local poker room, keeping record of your play is critical.
The first, and maybe most important thing it does is keeps you from lying to yourself, and others, about how good you really are playing. You can fool yourself in to thinking you’ve been playing well or that you’re making good profits. But you can’t do that then the proof is documented. Sadly it’s often the case, when you look in detail, over time you see you’ve been losing more than you thought. It’s human nature to remember and emphasize the good and minimize the bad. Record that data though and you can see the real picture. Learn from it and truly improve.
The key things to track are the time you start and end playing, the game type, stakes, cost of entry, your winnings, the amount of your stack at each level and the outcome of key hands. A spreadsheet program is a great way to record this data and, once you learn how use the data you can do all sorts of useful calculations to further refine your performance and see what works well and not.
For example - The time of day you play is often very important; this can tell you what times of day you play best. Track game types and stakes to see what ones you do best and worst at. This is critical at online poker sites where you’re paying for every game you play!
The cost of entry and your winnings are the truest track of how much you are winning and losing. By tracking your chip stacks at each level, you can see at what level in a tournament you are obtaining your chips. It you are losing big amounts of chips early, it may well mean that you’re being too aggressive early on. In later stages you see low chip growth, then maybe it’s time to test being more aggressive at these stages.
The result of the last hand in a tournament is the most critical one to track. You do this to discover what kinds of hands are knocking you out of tournaments. If you see a trend in such hands you should look at those hands more closely. As an example, you may see that Ace - King is ending your tournaments far more often than it should when you’re all in. If so then you can combat this by betting Ace - King and not going All In. If you lose you’re still in the tournament.
Such record keeping and analysis may seem tiresome at first but believe me once you get used to it and start to see things in there you can action then you’ll change your mind. And if you have any ambition to play online poker for money fulltime then you simply must start keeping and using record keeping.
This may be a bit much to take in at first. A good way to get started to is read up on it some more. As a first drop off have a look at the poker forum. See especially the article sections. You’ll also find many of the players there very helpful and willing to give a helping hand on how to build your record sheets and make use of the info you collect.

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