Player notes

Markoni88

Markoni88

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ive not been playing poker online for too long but im looking to improve my game etc. one tip ive read on these forums is that i should try to add notes for most/every player i come across.

what sort of tells do you guys look for and what type of things should i put into player notes??

help appreciated!
 
hott_estelle

hott_estelle

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Betting patterns, what types of hands a certain player plays preflop, what hands that player calls raises with preflops and how much they bet with certain big hands they show, how much they bet when bluffing, ect. Any information you think is relevant, just write it down. I never take notes live, but online, I do it all the time.
 
aliengenius

aliengenius

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[FONT=verdana,helvetcia,arial,sans-serif]Here is an article (not mine) that you might find helpful).
[FONT=verdana,helvetcia,arial,sans-serif]





Counter-Intelligence Pays..

[/FONT]​
by iceman5

How many of you take notes on your opponents while playing poker?

I know a lot of players who take no notes and other players who make note of everything. If you are only playing one table, you probably have time to take a lot of notes, but if you play multiple tables like I do then you have to limit your note taking to only the more critical things that will help you as you play the same players again.

There are a number of categories of things that I take notes on. Here are a few of them and their significance.

  1. Suited Cards

    There are an unlimited number of players who will play any suited cards.

    If I see someone showdown a hand, like
    Jh.gif
    4h.gif
    or
    Ts.gif
    5s.gif
    , then I take note of that.
  2. Flush Chasers

    Most of the time, these are the same guys who play any suited cards. If I get into a hand with a known offender, I will bet pot on the flop AND turn even with a semi-weak hand if there is a flush draw on the board.

    Also, if the flush cards hits, I absolutely will NOT pay them off. I might get bluffed off a hand when the flush card (scare card) hits, but if the opponent is a known flush chaser, he will almost always have the flush.
  3. Calling Raises

    If a player calls a raise of 4BBs or more, I want to know what cards he called the raise with. I would only make a note if the hands doesn’t warrant calling a raise (like
    Ah.gif
    8h.gif
    or
    Qs.gif
    9c.gif
    )
  4. Call raise / Lead out

    It is very important to note when a player calls a raise and then leads into the raiser. Leading into the raiser with a set is a little used play, but a very good one and I want to know who does it.

    If he leads into the raiser and then folds to a raise, I note that because obviously he will lead without a set.
  5. As.gif
    Ks.gif


    Noting how someone plays AK is very important because it is a common hand to be against in a raised pot. Most people raise preflop with
    As.gif
    Ks.gif
    . A lot of people will bet the flop when they raised preflop whether or not they flopped an ace or king.

    This is of some significance, but very few people will bet the turn still unimproved. This is MUCH more significant to note. Some players will raise with
    As.gif
    Kh.gif
    and then bet any flop. Let’s say the flop is
    Th.gif
    8s.gif
    4d.gif
    .

    The preflop raiser bets the pot on the flop then you raise the flop. It’s important to know who will continue with this hand and who will fold. Its also important to know who will play for their entire stack when they raise with
    As.gif
    Kc.gif
    and flop and ace or king.
  6. Any ace, any Place

    Some players will play any time the have an ace, regardless of their kicker. They will also usually play it from any position. This is important for 2 reasons. First, when you have
    Ac.gif
    Jd.gif
    , your kicker will usually be better.

    Second, these types of player usually make every other amateur mistake in the book. Sometimes I just type "any ace" in the note box and leave it at that. This player will be playing things like
    Qh.gif
    9c.gif
    UTG also, in a lot of cases.
  7. Raising Hands

    If a player raises with what I would consider non-raising hands, I note that also. Examples would be open raising in early position with
    As.gif
    Ts.gif
    or
    Kh.gif
    Jc.gif
    . I’m not saying that these can never be raising hands, but I want to know who is capable of a raise with a hands like these.
  8. Limp / Reraise

    If I see someone limp and then reraise a preflop raise, I want to see his cards. Most times this will be
    As.gif
    Ah.gif
    or
    Kd.gif
    Kc.gif
    , but I’ve seen a lot of guys do it with much less than a premium hand (especially a short stack).

    If I’ve seen someone limp / reraise with
    As.gif
    Ah.gif
    a couple times, and then he does it to me when I have
    Js.gif
    Jh.gif
    , its an easy fold (unless his reraise is small enough and his stack is big enough to give me correct odds to try to flop a set and bust him).
As I stated earlier, there are many other things to take note of, but these are the basic categories that I keep track of when playing multiple tables.

I have a kind of short hand that I use, since the note taking space is limited and I don’t want to have to take much time typing the notes. If you are already taking notes, then this is probably old news to you, but if you’re not, then these are some categories that you should be looking to keep track of.

--iceman5
As.gif
[/FONT]​
 
J

joeeagles

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Very nice Aliengenius, even if article isn't yours.
 
e_jenks

e_jenks

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i generally take notes on good players i see playing in tourneys so if i see them later on in the tourney i might have sumtin on them ie betting patterns or are aggressive or tight. if i see chasers who are catching regurarly i might make a note but i wont be to bothered because they will usually get kncked out quickly
 
aliengenius

aliengenius

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Very nice Aliengenius, even if article isn't yours.

Thank you sir. I am searching for another article that I read, one of the best on note taking that I have come across.

In the meantime, I should point out that pokertracker and a HUD will give you a lot of statistics that can replace some note taking chores. Obviously if someone has vp$ip of 85% you don't have to note "any suited face card, any position" anymore.
 
Egon Towst

Egon Towst

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Very nice Aliengenius, even if article isn't yours.

Agreed, that article pretty much sums up how I take notes myself.

Only one thing I might add, a tip I read in a magazine I think: any time you are at the final table of a reasonably large tourney, put a $ symbol in the notes of every other player there. That way, if you sit down at a table with a guy and find two or three $$ in the notes you made on him previously, you know immediately that he is a strong tournament player.
 
aliengenius

aliengenius

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Damn, I can't find the article I was looking for, it was so good.

One point from that article that I do remember (because I am guilty of it) was "Don't comment on what you think of the players skill in a negative way"

i.e., don't write something like "total donkey idiot" in your notes. The reason is that this is an emotional reaction, and will provoke an emotional reaction when you read the notes in the future. You want to stick with straight ahead facts about observed hand play; don't put yourself on tilt when you read your notes!

Anyway, here is another (not the one I was looking for) article for your enjoyment:

Taking and Using Notes For Fun & Profit When Playing Poker Online
by Synthesist
If you could read your cyber opponents’ minds when you are playing poker online that would be a tremendous advantage, right? If you know in advance how that person acts or reacts in certain game situations you could prepare for his or her plays and gambits and either make some money or save some money (which is just as good to my way of thinking by the way). So, how do you learn to out-think your opposition in the blink of an eye? One way is to use notes.

One of the things I like most about playing poker online is that you can jot down notes/thoughts/observations about the opponents you encounter out there in cyberspace. You can take some time and scout out a site, just lurking around and hanging out, watching people play. It costs nothing to do except some time. Maybe you’ll be smart enough to record your impressions of what it’s like at that site, how the site feels, how the interface works, anything unique or problematic that you notice, what kind of play is taking place there and so on. Eventually, if you play at the same site frequently you will begin to build quite a database about that site and its denizens. This takes time and effort. It’s an investment. As time passes this data-gathering investment will pay off big for you, because poker is a game of incomplete information. The more gaps in your knowledge you can chink up, the more money you will win as time passes.

Here’s an actual example of how notes can be used as a weapon. I persuaded a friend, who I play live with, to give online poker a try. He was a little edgy about the whole online thing. No tells to observe, no people talking, so many missing things that he was used to gathering information from. I told him not to worry, just to do it, and he’d understand what I meant about there being lots of information available if he could just learn to see it and use it. He signed up and deposited some money at a popular gaming site that I’ve played at for a long time and have a lot of players’ notes recorded on (by the way my notes file for that site resides in the site’s folder on MY machine’s hard drive). To get him started quickly I gave him a copy of my notes file (because, hey, he’s my buddy and I want him to win), which in my case is called, synthesist.ini. He replaced his empty notes file with mine by renaming mine to hisname.ini. He then began to play at that site, trying out the $0.01/$0.02 ring table games for a while, then a couple of freerolls, some cheap sit n goes and, eventually, he entered a $5 +$0.50 tournament with 200+ people in the tournament. He was doing well after the first break with a chip count well above average, when the chipleader got moved to his table and as luck would have it seated directly to his right. He was outchipped by this guy about 2 to 1. Then he noticed that I had notes on this fellow. My notes said:

4 – FISHY Maniac chaser. Plays any blackjack hand HARD. Can’t lay down an Ace to save his life (especially a suited Ace), will go all the way to the river with it. Likes to make a BIG pre-flop bet then rapidly follow up with a pot-sized bet after the flop no matter what he is playing. Wait this guy out then bust him with a premium hand by raising him pre-flop and then again on the flop if he is dumb enough to bet into you when you have a hand. I busted him hard, out of a big blind, with T5 Spades when the flop was A T 5 (a hand he wasn’t expecting me to ever play. NEVER EVER).
He hates shorthanded ring tables. Afraid to play me H2H. Doesn’t understand that the REAL tournament money comes when the final table gets short.
Hands shown: K7s, T9, AKo, A6o, JJ, 76s, KQs, 33, A5s
My friend read my notes and, sure enough, the guy came out betting HARD one hand when my pal had QQ pockets. He called the large pre-flop bet the fellow made and when the guy raised the pot on the raggy flop, he re-raised him figuring the guy for 2 overcards. Then a Q fell on the turn. “Time to die,” my friend said he thought to himself. Sure enough, bully that he is, the guy went all-in. The river was no help to either of them and my friend doubled up. This guy then proceeded to tilt and went out in 3 hands. No rocket science in my friend’s betting but knowing the guy’s style made his bets more confident. Knowledge is power in poker.

Sooooooooooooooo, you ask what kind of notes should you be taking? Well, that depends on your unique style of play. I play kind of tight so I have time to jot things down. Some things I like to note, when I notice them, are:

Rating: My personal subjective take of a player on a scale of 0-9. 0 being a complete newbie, 4/5 being your average okay player and 9 being a KILLER, someone not to mess around with if you don’t have to.

These ratings evolve over time as I gather more insight into a given person’s play.

Style: We all know about the style grid made famous by Psychologist, Dr. Alan N. Schoonmaker in his book, The Psychology of Poker; Tight/Passive, Tight/Aggressive, Loose/Passive, Loose/Aggressive.

Here are a few of my own one-word stylistic names and the definitions I have for them including some the good Doctor missed:

Loose - (Fishy <:{{{>-<, Chaser, Rag-hag) Calls with any 2 cards. Has seen Gus Hansen do it on TV and win millions, so why not? See Prey below.

Rock/Tight - Patient. Waits and waits and waits and waits and waits, then bets and everyone folds. Hates to go to a showdown.

Passive/Calling Station - (Never, ever raises anything) Happily calls to the river then folds to a BIG river bet. Not smart enough to be scared off by a “DANGEROUS” board (one that shows straight, flush or full-house possibilities when coupled with how people are betting) just keeps on calling and calling and calling.

Aggressive - (Seems to raise rather than just calling) Always raises if he or she is going to see the flop.

Wizard – (Luckier than the law allows) Always seems to catch the cards, as if he conjures them out of thin air.

Maniac - (Berserker) Has way too much money and just doesn’t care.

Chatty Cathy/Wally Whiner - (Too busy typing in the chat box to pay attention to the table.). Has to educate everyone at the table with his or her encyclopedic knowledge of poker, mathematics, statistics, and current events while losing slowly and steadily. God help you if you put a bad beat on him or her. You will hear about it forever.

Prey or <:{{{{>-< - (Plays for fun till he/she loses the $$$ he or she came in with then leaves). Hunt for these people.

Pro/Shark - (Practicing on the smaller fish) Plays $0.05/$0.10 or $0.10/$0.20 NL for fun.

Confusing - (Someone whose style is erratic and needs to be observed to ferret out what they are up to).

Betting style: Consistent and predictable? Variable based on their hand’s strength? Pay attention to this one -> Bets small/medium pocket pairs like they are AA or KK or AKs.

Games played: Where and when they play. Days or nights or weekends (Where does he or she live? If it’s early morning or late evening they may be tired and vulnerable).

What sites do they play at? (Do they have other screen names at those sites?) Do they hang out with the same players frequently (This is worth paying attention to for obvious reasons)?

What games they play: Ring (What stakes normally?), Tournaments (Type: normal, re-buys, headhunters, H2Hs, sit n goes, satellites to bigger tournaments, Live?).

Techniques/Tricks used: Slowplayer, Checkraiser, Bluffer, Chaser, All-in out of position with a small/medium PP, Sneaky (Let’s you kill yourself when he has a monster), plays 2nd best hand no matter what, plays rags like Gus Hansenhttp://www.flopturnriver.com/Gus-Hansen.php.

Time? Does this person consistently take a lot of time to make decisions or does he or she vary his or her response time? Do they try to annoy people by taking too much time or slow rolling their hand? Do they use the auto-play buttons?

Tells: Anything unique or unusual that I notice about this particular person. Examples: Plays multiple tables/sites and uses auto-play buttons to check, raise and fold. Calls quickly when on a draw but takes his time thinking about pairs. Does he or she chat until he or she gets a big hand and then shut up suddenly?

Think about it…Not smart enough to be scared off by a “DANGEROUS” board (one that shows straight, flush or full-house possibilities when coupled with how people are betting).

Tiltable? If I notice them tilting I jot the reason why for future reference. Do they get abusive when on tilt? Can they be goaded?

Stackplay: Bully (wants to build a stack in a hurry, at the start of a tournament, so he can push people around with it. I relate to this style a lot personally), Hit-and-Runner (leaves immediately after winning a good pot on a ring table). There are others but you get the idea here.

You can develop all kinds of cryptic notes that only you can read and understand. That’s just fine. There is no right or wrong amount of information to gather and there are no rules and regulations to adhere to. It just has to feel good to you and be useful to you and nobody else. Jon Vorhaus devotes an entire chapter to what he, euphemistically, calls Data Management in his book, Killer Online Poker. He obviously has a lot more time and energy to spend on his note-taking than I do because he mentions things that he observes that are beyond my ken. When I am playing I am too busy to notice some of those things maybe I will evolve and develop that skill. Some people go so far as to use a second PC or laptop to take their notes on, others use a digital voice recorder to capture their impressions and transcribe them later because their hands are busy with the 3 ring tables and the tournament they are playing at. Now that is multi-tasking!

Anyway, once you have compiled useful notes it’s important to realize that people can and do change. These notes have a half-life. Some people work at their game just like you do. They improve. They read books. They watch instructional DVDs or poker on TV. They have good and bad days. Someone else may be playing using their screen name and account (this will drive you nuts!). So your notes are NOT the 10 Commandments or the Bible. They are not cast in stone. They do give you a starting point and a tremendous edge when you are playing someone you don’t see very often but who you’ve scouted out previously and taken the time to record impressions of. Hopefully your notes about them are still valid. That is where notes can make all the difference. The people you see all the time are fresh in your mind…but someone you rarely see, but have notes on, well, you are locked and loaded for that person and ready when they try to pull something on you and you have a hand too!
 
aliengenius

aliengenius

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Found it! Again, kindly note that none these three articles were written by me...

Player Note Examples



player_notes.jpg
player_notes2.jpg
I'll start off by saying that everyone should take player notes at party poker. Don't know how to take notes? Just right-click on the avatar (picture) of the target player and click "Player Notes" - it's that easy. The hard part is figuring what to take notes of however. So that's where I'll try to help.
Here is a template of my player notes:
(Tricky/Good/Ok/Poor) :: (Tight/Semi-Tight/Loose)/(Maniac/Agg/Solid/Caller/Passive) :: (PSER / NO PS) :: (BLUFFER!)
(Tell descriptor)
Bets: (Draw / Top pair / TP weak kicker / Mid pair / Low pair / trips, etc)
No Bets: (Draw / Top pair / Mid pair / Weak kicker / Low pair, etc)
PR: (Cards) NOPR: (Cards) TRN: (Cards)
p: (Cards)
(Tricky/Good/Poor)
This is my overall view of the player when I need to take a quick look and figure them out. You should usually only note this down after many hands, when you have got a good sense of whether or not this player is a complete moron (poor) or card shark (Good/Tricky/Solid). This is most useful actually after you've left the table and meet this person again somewhere down the road. This piece of information alone will give you a good idea of how to deal with this person.
(Tight/Loose/Maniac)
A very important note to take down when you need information. Tight players are those that are selective about their hands and won't see too many pots or showdowns. Loose players are the opposite and will play many hands. So for example, when a tight player is in the pot with you and is raising what seems like rags on the board, you should start to get a hunch that they're either holding complete crap or have a monster like trips waiting for you. For poor players however, they could quite likely have paired the rags. If there are high cards on the table however, a tight player will more likely to have paired, while the poor player is more likely to not have paired, or is holding a weak kicker.
(Maniac/Agg/Solid/Caller/Passive)
This is the demeanor of the player, which combined with how Tight/Loose they are, should tell you *a lot* about their hand strength. Maniacs are people who bet everything under the sun and bluff at all sorts of pots. Agg means aggressive, which doesn't necessarily mean bluffer, but this person will bet with any kind of strength, be it a draw, low pair, mid pair, Ace high and so on. Solid is a player who plays the game straight up, meaning they'll bet strong cards and fold when they are weak or have nothing. Callers are those who don't bet often, but will call many bets and raises to the river. Passive players are Callers who just never, ever, ever bet. So, an example combination would be Loose/Caller, which should tell you this guy is going to be in the pot with you with just about anything, so you shouldn't always be afraid if he calls your raise. If you have a Tight/Solid player however, then any bets or calls from this guy could be a warning sign for you.
(PSER / NO PS):
Short for "Pot stealer" or "Pot shooter". This means this person will bet at the pot when it's been checked to them and they are in late position. I find this specific piece of information very useful, because while many players just don't bluff, many players do like to try and steal the pot in this situation. Players who consistently do this, you can setup with a check-raise trap or even a check-raise bluff. A lot of times when you also want to make a call, this is important information when you want to know if someone is just trying to steal the pot or actually has strength.
(BLUFFER!):
This is an optional tag that I don't use often, but when I do, it means this player is a major bluffer and needs to be called down when there is ANY shred of doubt. A number of players will *always* raise/re-raise a trip or flush threat (among other things) to try and scare people out. These players need to be called or raised if you have any kind of strength (although that said, watch out for players with stronger hands calling the bluffer too).
(Tell Descriptor):
I don't have anything written for this field for most players, simply because in my opinion, tells are a bit overrated than what they actually are. Especially in online poker. That being said, some players *do* have tells that will give their hand away. The most common descriptors you'll see in my notes are simple and to the point:
  • PAUSE = MONSTER (a drawn out delay means this person has the nuts or close to it)
  • AUTO = MONSTER (auto means they use the 'Raise anything' button that bets out immediately)
  • CR = MONSTER (cr = check-raise)
Note that I will only write these tells when I'm pretty darn sure after seeing this behavior enough times. If I'm not sure, I'll add a (?) to the end of it and verify it later. Otherwise, I don't want to fold a hand when I'm not really sure if they have the nuts or not. But otherwise, when I do have this tell, I know to basically fold when the person does this. Bets: (Draw / Top pair / TP weak kicker / Mid pair / Low pair / trips):
This is getting into the fine details of this person's behavior. This is where you specifically write down what kinds of hands this player bets with. Does he only bet with top pair, or with low pair and mid pair too? What kind of kicker does he bet with? (very important!). By tracking these, you can then figure out what category of player this person falls into (Agg/Solid/Caller/Passive).
No bets: (Draw / Top pair / Mid pair / Weak kicker / Low pair, etc):
Exact opposite of the above, you can also tell a lot about a player by what they're *not* willing to bet. Are they the type to just check on the flop if they have trips? Do they not bet their flush/straight draw? Will they not raise with a King high flush? Little notes like these can give you a fine aspect of this person's game.
PR or PF (Cards):
Short for "pre-flop raise". Also referred to as PF. What I list after PR is the actual hands I see this person pre-flop raising with. This is usually very important information, because you will always stand to lose the most money when you hold a dominated hand. And most of the time, you won't know if you're dominated until you flip those cards over. Because most people only raise strong cards pre-flop, you can tell with varying degrees of success how powerful your opponents' cards are. A large group of players will only raise three hands: AA, KK and AK. If you can catch onto this and note it down, the next time they PR, you'll know to fold your hand quite quickly, even if you're holding a hand like AJ or possibly even AQ - which will save you lots of money in the long haul. Versus a hyper-aggressive player, if you notice them raising pre-flop with K2o, you'll also be well prepared to call their PR if you hold ATo or another moderately strong hand.
NOPR or NOPF (Cards):
Short for "no pre-flop raise", the exact opposite of the above. Why mention this? Sometimes, there are players who never raise AA, KK, AKs, QQ, JJ or many other strong hands. Then suddenly, they'll bite you on the flop with some unexpected raises. By recording this information down, you can possibly tell if that person is hiding something strong that they didn't let anyone know about pre-flop.
TRN (Cards):
Short for "Train" as in the locomotive. I use this metaphor when someone will pretty much bet these hands to the river without any hesitation or thought; when they've already decided before the flop what they plan on doing. This is not a compliment. What this usually indicates is that this person will over play certain hands because he/she thinks they are strong and can just force people out of the pot. A common theme is marking people as "TRN: AK", which means they will bet big-slick like there is no tommorow, even if they don't pair on the river. I also use it when they train a draw, like "TRN: flush draw", as many people seem to fall under that category.
p (Cards):
Short for "plays". This is a listing of what kind of cards this particular player will play. An example would be "p: 95o,A5s,23s.." and so on. This is useful because a quick look at your notes will tell that this player is a garbage collector, as opposed to another player with the notes "p: ATs, KQ, AJ, TT..". An important thing to mention is to ignore the players in the big and small blind when taking notes on what hands they play, since they'll automatically be playing those hands for the most part.
Other acronyms I use when taking player notes also:
  • RR: Raises (Example: RR top pair)
  • RRx: Re-raise multiple times (Example: RRx flush draw)
  • (Cards)*: Usually this means they'll play this hand when it has been raised (Example: "p:TT**" means they'll play TT even with two raises pre-flop)
And finally, some pointers when taking notes:
  • Don't directly insult players in your notes, it'll make you play worse against that person
  • Following the above, don't take notes after a bad beat, calm down and make a note later
  • Don't be so excessive about your note taking that you miss out on the action
  • Don't always take notes when people play good cards (KQ, QJ, KJ, etc). Everyone plays good cards, it's a given.
  • If it can't all fit on the notes screen, it's not going to be useful in a pinch.
  • Don't worry about keeping your notes neat and tidy. I try but often fail. As long as it's useful, it's good.
Anyhow, that's pretty much my system of player notes. Don't think of this as a defacto standard; this is just what I use and what works for me. If you have no system, hopefully this will get you thinking to what kind of things you want to jot down when you play.
 
J

joeeagles

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Wow Aliengenius, these are all 3 very interesting articles that everyone should give a look at and possibly print out. They are just a great example of how online poker can give alot of info that is commonly underestimated by players who only play live and think its impossible to spot tells behind a computer screen.

Taking notes on players is definitely a good practice since you quite often find yourself playing against opponents that you have faced before, and that happens not only in ring games but in tourneys just as well, as seen in the 2nd article.

For players like me who have never taken notes and are unsure of what exactly to track down, these 3 articles offer an opportunity to start doing so in different fashions. Perhaps it's better to refer to the 1st article in the beginning since its skinnier (it has only 8 categories of which the 1st 2 are similar and the 8th doesn't present too often). Simplicity is the key there and I believe it is the best approach with anything new. Later on move to next 2 once you become faster in processing more finer aspects. These last 2 offer many ways to add significant details w/o flooding your notes with pointless info.

So far I've taken notice mostly if a player is loose or aggressive but as these articles clearly reveal there is much more that is worth to know and store about other players.

Also, I find it irrelevant that you didn't write these articles. What matters is that you took the time to post them. These articles, together with D. Malorkus's thread on pokertracker are the best I have read on this forum so far in terms of "tools" that can improve your game.

Thank you very much.
 
Markoni88

Markoni88

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cheers Aliengenius, some great tips there. its given me a good insight into what to put into notes!!
 
palmer2000e

palmer2000e

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yeah, great articles Alien, I'm glad this got bumped cuz i missed it... Thanks for posting them :icon_thum:icon_thum:icon_thum
 
N

NoMem

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Being pretty new to poker, I had no idea of what was a good way to take notes. I've heard a lot of ways, and was using the an adaption of the one Phil Hellmuths' book, the animal descriptions for the various loose, tight, passive, and aggressive combinations. Not bad for a starting system, but information in this post will help me figure out a way that works best for me. Thanks for posting these articles.
 
tnt72

tnt72

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Thanks Aliengenius...once again you've out done yourself. Good stuff.;)
 
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YouplaBoum

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Great Post! I m sure a lot of people will find useful information here:icon_thum
 
CaptnDaveCoulthard

CaptnDaveCoulthard

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Cheers Aliengenius, The Articles Really Helped Us Out
 
North_Bank

North_Bank

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Thanx a lot for those tips and the article. I don't do it enough and I really ought to make a lot more notes
 
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cheesepie2k7

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Nice post! I am going to print them all out (as I cant read that much text on screen) and keep them by my desk for regular reading!

I do write things like "total donkey idiot" and thats about as far as I ever go regarding note taking currently!

Cheers aliengenius!
 
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kevsterf65

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takin notes

alien ty very much that article is way sweet, thanks bunches:)
 
Stu_Ungar

Stu_Ungar

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Thanks AG

Just started reading this, I will have to come back as I dont have the time to fully digest it right now.

Its something that I have been meaning to ask for a few days now.. note taking.

I think the problem is an inexperienced player knows he should take notes, but dosnt know what he should take notes on.

The thing here is the word note. everyone is capable of writing an essay of what just happened.. but if you include too much info when notetaking, its as bad as not taking notes at all, because it then becomes impossible to pull out the relevent pieces of infomation when it is needed.

AG would you be able to post some of your real notes on people.. I just want to see what 'real' notes look like.
 
Irexes

Irexes

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Just to note that Stu did't hellabump this, it was a spammer.

The spammer is no longer with us.
 
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potman1250

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wow, some really good info here. kinda glad i joined this site!
 
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nykel88

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Wow thank you for that nice article. I surely would keep that in mind during my live and online games. ^^, I should bookmark this post! Thnx alot!
 
aseablom

aseablom

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Found it! Again, kindly note that none these three articles were written by me...

Player Note Examples


player_notes.jpg
player_notes2.jpg
I'll start off by saying that everyone should take player notes at Party Poker. Don't know how to take notes? Just right-click on the avatar (picture) of the target player and click "Player Notes" - it's that easy. The hard part is figuring what to take notes of however. So that's where I'll try to help.

Here is a template of my player notes:
(Tricky/Good/Ok/Poor) :: (Tight/Semi-Tight/Loose)/(Maniac/Agg/Solid/Caller/Passive) :: (PSER / NO PS) :: (BLUFFER!)

(Tell descriptor)

Bets: (Draw / Top pair / TP weak kicker / Mid pair / Low pair / trips, etc)

No Bets: (Draw / Top pair / Mid pair / Weak kicker / Low pair, etc)

PR: (Cards) NOPR: (Cards) TRN: (Cards)

p: (Cards)
(Tricky/Good/Poor)
This is my overall view of the player when I need to take a quick look and figure them out. You should usually only note this down after many hands, when you have got a good sense of whether or not this player is a complete moron (poor) or card shark (Good/Tricky/Solid). This is most useful actually after you've left the table and meet this person again somewhere down the road. This piece of information alone will give you a good idea of how to deal with this person.
(Tight/Loose/Maniac)
A very important note to take down when you need information. Tight players are those that are selective about their hands and won't see too many pots or showdowns. Loose players are the opposite and will play many hands. So for example, when a tight player is in the pot with you and is raising what seems like rags on the board, you should start to get a hunch that they're either holding complete crap or have a monster like trips waiting for you. For poor players however, they could quite likely have paired the rags. If there are high cards on the table however, a tight player will more likely to have paired, while the poor player is more likely to not have paired, or is holding a weak kicker.
(Maniac/Agg/Solid/Caller/Passive)
This is the demeanor of the player, which combined with how Tight/Loose they are, should tell you *a lot* about their hand strength. Maniacs are people who bet everything under the sun and bluff at all sorts of pots. Agg means aggressive, which doesn't necessarily mean bluffer, but this person will bet with any kind of strength, be it a draw, low pair, mid pair, Ace high and so on. Solid is a player who plays the game straight up, meaning they'll bet strong cards and fold when they are weak or have nothing. Callers are those who don't bet often, but will call many bets and raises to the river. Passive players are Callers who just never, ever, ever bet. So, an example combination would be Loose/Caller, which should tell you this guy is going to be in the pot with you with just about anything, so you shouldn't always be afraid if he calls your raise. If you have a Tight/Solid player however, then any bets or calls from this guy could be a warning sign for you.
(PSER / NO PS):
Short for "Pot stealer" or "Pot shooter". This means this person will bet at the pot when it's been checked to them and they are in late position. I find this specific piece of information very useful, because while many players just don't bluff, many players do like to try and steal the pot in this situation. Players who consistently do this, you can setup with a check-raise trap or even a check-raise bluff. A lot of times when you also want to make a call, this is important information when you want to know if someone is just trying to steal the pot or actually has strength.
(BLUFFER!):
This is an optional tag that I don't use often, but when I do, it means this player is a major bluffer and needs to be called down when there is ANY shred of doubt. A number of players will *always* raise/re-raise a trip or flush threat (among other things) to try and scare people out. These players need to be called or raised if you have any kind of strength (although that said, watch out for players with stronger hands calling the bluffer too).
(Tell Descriptor):
I don't have anything written for this field for most players, simply because in my opinion, tells are a bit overrated than what they actually are. Especially in online poker. That being said, some players *do* have tells that will give their hand away. The most common descriptors you'll see in my notes are simple and to the point:
  • PAUSE = MONSTER (a drawn out delay means this person has the nuts or close to it)
  • AUTO = MONSTER (auto means they use the 'Raise anything' button that bets out immediately)
  • CR = MONSTER (cr = check-raise)
Note that I will only write these tells when I'm pretty darn sure after seeing this behavior enough times. If I'm not sure, I'll add a (?) to the end of it and verify it later. Otherwise, I don't want to fold a hand when I'm not really sure if they have the nuts or not. But otherwise, when I do have this tell, I know to basically fold when the person does this. Bets: (Draw / Top pair / TP weak kicker / Mid pair / Low pair / trips):
This is getting into the fine details of this person's behavior. This is where you specifically write down what kinds of hands this player bets with. Does he only bet with top pair, or with low pair and mid pair too? What kind of kicker does he bet with? (very important!). By tracking these, you can then figure out what category of player this person falls into (Agg/Solid/Caller/Passive).
No bets: (Draw / Top pair / Mid pair / Weak kicker / Low pair, etc):
Exact opposite of the above, you can also tell a lot about a player by what they're *not* willing to bet. Are they the type to just check on the flop if they have trips? Do they not bet their flush/straight draw? Will they not raise with a King high flush? Little notes like these can give you a fine aspect of this person's game.
PR or PF (Cards):
Short for "pre-flop raise". Also referred to as PF. What I list after PR is the actual hands I see this person pre-flop raising with. This is usually very important information, because you will always stand to lose the most money when you hold a dominated hand. And most of the time, you won't know if you're dominated until you flip those cards over. Because most people only raise strong cards pre-flop, you can tell with varying degrees of success how powerful your opponents' cards are. A large group of players will only raise three hands: AA, KK and AK. If you can catch onto this and note it down, the next time they PR, you'll know to fold your hand quite quickly, even if you're holding a hand like AJ or possibly even AQ - which will save you lots of money in the long haul. Versus a hyper-aggressive player, if you notice them raising pre-flop with K2o, you'll also be well prepared to call their PR if you hold ATo or another moderately strong hand.
NOPR or NOPF (Cards):
Short for "no pre-flop raise", the exact opposite of the above. Why mention this? Sometimes, there are players who never raise AA, KK, AKs, QQ, JJ or many other strong hands. Then suddenly, they'll bite you on the flop with some unexpected raises. By recording this information down, you can possibly tell if that person is hiding something strong that they didn't let anyone know about pre-flop.
TRN (Cards):
Short for "Train" as in the locomotive. I use this metaphor when someone will pretty much bet these hands to the river without any hesitation or thought; when they've already decided before the flop what they plan on doing. This is not a compliment. What this usually indicates is that this person will over play certain hands because he/she thinks they are strong and can just force people out of the pot. A common theme is marking people as "TRN: AK", which means they will bet big-slick like there is no tommorow, even if they don't pair on the river. I also use it when they train a draw, like "TRN: flush draw", as many people seem to fall under that category.
p (Cards):
Short for "plays". This is a listing of what kind of cards this particular player will play. An example would be "p: 95o,A5s,23s.." and so on. This is useful because a quick look at your notes will tell that this player is a garbage collector, as opposed to another player with the notes "p: ATs, KQ, AJ, TT..". An important thing to mention is to ignore the players in the big and small blind when taking notes on what hands they play, since they'll automatically be playing those hands for the most part.
Other acronyms I use when taking player notes also:
  • RR: Raises (Example: RR top pair)
  • RRx: Re-raise multiple times (Example: RRx flush draw)
  • (Cards)*: Usually this means they'll play this hand when it has been raised (Example: "p:TT**" means they'll play TT even with two raises pre-flop)
And finally, some pointers when taking notes:
  • Don't directly insult players in your notes, it'll make you play worse against that person
  • Following the above, don't take notes after a bad beat, calm down and make a note later
  • Don't be so excessive about your note taking that you miss out on the action
  • Don't always take notes when people play good cards (KQ, QJ, KJ, etc). Everyone plays good cards, it's a given.
  • If it can't all fit on the notes screen, it's not going to be useful in a pinch.
  • Don't worry about keeping your notes neat and tidy. I try but often fail. As long as it's useful, it's good.
Anyhow, that's pretty much my system of player notes. Don't think of this as a defacto standard; this is just what I use and what works for me. If you have no system, hopefully this will get you thinking to what kind of things you want to jot down when you play.
OMG thank you! this is the perfect template for me!
 
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