Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Note Taking and Cash Game Hand Reading...

Watched the latest Rizen Cash Game Videos over on PokerXfactor yesterday - they are excellent once again. Rizen's videos are becoming worth the membership price alone. He has a relaxed yet informative style and manages to explain some important factors one should consider without coming across as egotistical or patronising.

(Quick side note here: Sheets' videos are also excellent, as are some of the earlier JohnnyBax videos - Belowabove always sounds stoned but his vids are certainly worth watching for his different style (LAG))

Anyway, I noticed over the course of a few videos that Rizen takes very detailed notes on his opponents play. He often goes as far as to write complete sentences on what play from what position after what action with which holdings... it made me think about my own note taking and realise that this is actually rather poor in comparison!

Personally I always note the following (more SNG based):

- Bubble Calls in SNGs, quick note of holding and whether blinds were high (big difference between BB600 and 200 on whether a call was justified)
- I note anyone raising Ace-rag or K-x suited in the early rounds (they generally call lighter at bubble time).
- Any really bad plays get a "doooonnkkkkeeeyyy' or something similar.
- Calling stations, bluffers and over-aggressive players get that mentioned.
- People who play often (esp. multi-tablers) get their sharkscope numbers noted.
- Later in MTTs I look people up on the pokerdb.com and note their numbers / levels.

Its a fair start but has loads of room for improvement. Compare my 'Limp A7o ep bb50' with something that actually explains someones play over several streets...

Here was the latest gem Rizen opened my eyes to - make a note of what people are leading into pots on the flop with. Simple right! Some players lead with strong hands, others with their draws and yet others lead meduim strength hands. Knowing which player leads with what can make / save you some $$$ over time. Add to this whether a player fires 2 barrells with weak holdings and you are even further down the right road.

What I learned here may sound obvious, but the key is I have not been doing a good enough job of watching my opponents - this info is out there for anyone who cares to make use of it... so time to change my ways as far as notes / reads are concerned.

Plan is to think about this subject some more over the coming days and weeks - will report back right here!

GL at the tables,

Mark

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