Poker Notepad: Homework, Part 1


Any successful regular player develops his game and evolves. One of the components of this development is constant work at the mistakes made. We’re speaking about live poker right now – cash games and tournament play. Hopefully, this material will help you find some clues on becoming a poker player

Professional players MpethyBridge and Spikeraw22 from 2+2 forums have started big thread where they talk about all the details of their off table work. Basically, they  share info on how to become a good poker player. There is a lot of info, we’ve read the whole thing, analyzed it and now publish the main info.

First thing’s first is motivation. Working at your mistakes is often boring but really necessary. YOU JUST HAVE TO DO IT! AT LEAST START IT! That’s the key answer on a question “How to become good at poker”

Those who have problems with procrastination should see this video (watch till you have a will for action):

The next important moment you need to be ready for. The better you become as a player, the more hard work you need to do for the further development. It is like going to the gym. At first muscles respond to the load momentarily, but later you need more and more weight and more exercise.

One more thing: when to work at your mistakes? Analysis of the session in a day, a week or even a month is usually more beneficial.  You can’t put your thoughts together right after the hand, you need to look to the situation from the outside.

What to analyze

Let’s jump to the more practical matters. We need to analyze mainly the hands, but we’ll talk of it later.

Here are some other important factors to consider:

  1. Game selection – Did I pick the right format? Maybe I should have skipped the session? And things like that.
  2. Seat selection – Was my seat good or not and why
  3. Big pots – Did I make mistakes in big pots? And if I did – what where the reasons for that?
  4. Emotional state – How did I feel myself before during and after the session? Could I hold myself under control?
  5. Time and length – At what time of the day did I play and how did it show in results? How long did I play? Did I leave too early?

The list of your strengths and weaknesses.

For starters, make the list of your strengths and weaknesses. Seriously. This sound silly but really helps. Write at least 5 of each kind. When you write something up, later during the play you think “yes, that’s what I was writing!”

It’s easier to rebuild your game this way.


WPTN Kazakhstan 2014

Don’t chase everything

At the beginning at your work on mistakes you should consider only few factors. You don’t need to analyze everything you face: was your opponent drunk or not, how many times did he order food, what is his range in 3-bet pot after midnight.

Some of the things are unnecessary and won’t help you.

Make notes immediately after the hands

You need material for your work a mistakes – recorded hands and some other information. You can use notepad in your smartphone but it is very disturbing. Topic starters recommend to use dictaphones. You can keep the hand in your head and later go out and dictate it with all the peculiarities you wouldn’t have written to your notepad.

“Voice” recordings are much more valuable and help to learn faster.

In the next chapter we’ll discuss hand analysis, what we need to look at during the game and many more. We’ll learn a lot more on becoming a poker player we need to be.

Previously on the series:

Poker Notepad: Relative Value

Poker Notepad: Pot Commitment

Poker Notepad: Live poker chameleon

Poker Notepad: Maniacs can cry also

Poker Notepad: Poker isn’t slot machine

Poker Notepad: Tournaments are fun, but cash is cash

Poker Notepad: Overbetting in live poker

Poker Notepad: Profiling


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