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The Importance of Keeping a Poker Journal

We highly recommend that you keep a Poker Journal so that you can track your progress as well as ferret out the areas that need more improvement. You have two options available: download a free do-it-yourself journal, or purchase Al Spath's Poker Journal that includes lots of extras.

Select an Option Below:

Click to download a FREE poker journal template
  • Download file and print
  • Collect in a folder
  • You've built your own journal!
Download Now!
Click to purchase Al Spaths Poker Journal
  • Only $14.95 plus shipping
  • Spiral-bound with lots of journal charts ready to fill in
  • FULL of LESSONS and TIPS from Al Spath
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ALSpath's picture

How to Keep a Poker Journal

First let me say you can do this on your computer, in your own book, on a piece of paper, you don't need to buy my book, but I did give you a few more reasons to purchase my inexpensive Journal (layed out for the poker player, poker tip reminders on each page, 100's more in the back of the book, a place to log your activity daily ROI, and a place at the bottom to write comments (this is the most important feature).

Each day when you play you observe others in action, your play and record results. But it's the words you put on that page each day that pay dividends, and quickly.

Journal Entry Examples
Example 1: Today I played a NL tournament, I seemed to draw a bit too much.
Example 2: Next day-I was on my game, changing speeds, but made one fatal mistake, I went against another big stack near the money spots, without a strong enough holding.
Example 3: I flopped top pair and weak kicker from the blind and check raised, which convinced my lone opponent I was actually stronger than they expected and they folded a nice pot to me.
Example 4: I need to draw with position it's killing me when out of position.
Example 5: I was able to steal many more pots with the proper bet in late position (in an unraised pot), just because of my postion, not my cards.
Example 6: I played limit today and found that limping in a pot in EP allowed my opponets to raise, isolate me, charge me to much to continue with a hand needing help, and found myself out of position on every round.
Example 7: I changed speeds well today, played without allowing my opponents to sense what I was really up to and had them make the mistakes.
Example 8: I was foolish and defended my blinds too often today, I have to tell myself, once posted, the money is not mine, but keep in mind I can't be run over by late raiser, stealing my money.
Example 9: I give up playing Ax suited, unless I have odds and positons, this is a trouble hand.
Example 10: Dang, AJos and KQ aren't very good in LIMIT poker, EP, I need to realize they are dominated at a full table, but at a short table, they must be played aggressively as they gain big time value.
Example 11: Early in a tournament I seem to do well, I can survive the middle, but I run out of chips when it counts and do not make the money. I need to find a way to amass more chips early/middle, maybe it's my style, not just the cards. Seek ways to improve this weakness.

Each day you write a journal entry, you reread it and the other ones the next day, so each day after your journal a notion, you are adding one bullet to reread. After two weeks, it takes only a few minutes to go through and WHAM, it sinks in like a Bowie knife in fresh caught salmon. You become your own analyst and start to see patterns, weak plays, strong moves and can make adjustments (you don't want to be embarrassed at the tables or when you have to write it down again-"I forgot about position again and it cost me."

These are my thoughts, enjoy your journey, keep track and improve always.

(For a personalized journal shipped directly from Al, go to


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