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Home > Poker Training > Keeping Records

Poker Training - Keeping Records Tutorial

Now that you've decided you're going to be a texas hold'em winner, what kind of records should you keep? Use your own imagination and the time your willing to dedicate to record-keeping. Make your records as detailed or as basic as you wish. I have made the following list of suggested categories to put in your poker records:

  1. Where did you play? If you are fortunate enough to have casinos near you, make note of the casino you played at and it's address.
  2. What game did you play? Was it Texas Hold'em, 7-Stud, Omaha? Another poker game? Write it down.
  3. What limit did you play? There are many limits, but you most likely will be entering something like a $3-$6 or $1-$4- $8-$8 since you'll be playing lower limits starting out.
  4. How long did you play? Note the actual time you spent at the table, in the game. Do not count your time out for lunch, or other short absences from the table. Try to narrow it down to tenths of an hour. Accuracy now will help you analyze easier later.
  5. Calendar date. This will be a number between 1 and 31 for the day of the month you played. It will be useful for later analysis.
  6. Day of the week. M, T, W, R, F, S, U.  "R" is for Thursday and "U" is for Sunday. As you will see later, this is a very important note to keep.
  7. Time of day. Record the time that you started playing and the time you quit playing. Be sure to keep this number separate from the total number of hours played in #4, above. These statistics are very different.
  8. How much did you win or lose? Although this may be the bottom line number that you focus on after each playing session, it is by no means the only statistic you should use.
  9. Your win/loss converted into # of big bets. Experienced poker players talk about their wins and their losses in terms of how many big bets they won or lost. This is because it's really the best way to communicate all of the relevant information. Otherwise you don't know the facts of the matter. For instance, a player may have told you he won $200 last night. Did he play $5-$10 for eight hours and win it just on the last hand, or $1-$5 for two hours and was extremely lucky?
    Speaking in terms of big bets also makes it easy to compare your success in different games at varying limits.
  10. Hourly rate for this game. Here you will divide your win or loss for this session by the number of hours you played. If you played eight hours and won $120, then your hourly rate would be a positive $15 per hr. If you were playing $3-$6 limit, this rate would convert to 2.5 big bets per hour.
  11. Hourly rate for all games and totals. This is the calculation of all the poker games you've played, regardless of the type of game or limit, divided by the total number of hours you've played poker.

The above items are the bare minimum of your records. How much more information you collect is entirely up to you. In theory, the more information you have with which to make decisions, the better your decisions will be.