One solid tip for poker beginners is to take notes in poker tournaments. Many players fail to do even though it is a very good way of increasing your win-rate and it’s completely free. There are a couple of reasons why players don’t take notes. Either because they are playing too many tables or they rely on poker tracking software instead.
Those who play MTT (multi-table) poker tournaments are the ones who really should be taking detailed notes on their opponents. Even more so than in cash games. The reason I say this is because you will play against cash game players more regularly than tournament players.
As a result, you will have a larger sample size of logged hands. But you may only meet a tournament player again on a rare occasion. So any extra information you have at your disposal is extra welcome.
So what sort of notes should you be taking when playing in a tournament? Thanks to a number of websites that track tournament play every player’s results, for most of the big sites, are available to view. If you are deep in a tournament check these websites. See if the players on your table are winning players or not.
Make sure that you record the right information. Note what size stack the players in the hand had and what position they were all in. What hands were revealed at showdown? And how close to the money places you were at the time.
This detail forms a picture of how the player you are taking notes on plays at certain stages of a tournament. You should also note the tournament buy-in amount. Some players play a variety of stakes so it is good to know at what stakes you saw them make a play.
Some players start off by playing tight. That means they don’t play as many hands. Gradually they play more loose and aggressive when they have a certain sized stack or are close to the money. Others will isolate short-stacks with marginal hands. Whilst others will only isolate them with premium holdings.
The more information you have to hand the better as it will allow you to avoid dangerous confrontations and also allow you to win some vital extra chips in the right spots.