BY Julius Pinson
 First I have to say thank you to all those that have been reading what I have to share and the kind comments that you have left for me to read.  I have, in the live poker rooms all over the country, made some friends for life.  In addition to that, I have made many new friends online and with many more added on a daily basis. 344 in just a few weeks.
This is what the Pokerstars Blog is all about, sharing information between friends and those who want to learn more about our Job. Yes this is a job to me I am a Play to Live Player. (If you’re not sure what that means then read my earlier blog on that subject.)
I also want to thank my very special friend and a new Pokerstars Member Player. She is my Co-writer for my book and now re-writes what I type and spell on the blogs that I share with you. You may notice that there are fewer misspelled words and the flow of my content is much better. That’s not me. Sure the thoughts and ideas and lessons learned are mine. She just makes it easier for you to digest. Sort of the difference between eating a slab of raw meat and a one that makes your mouth water as you slice into it. All the writing I did in the past was so that I could graduate school and I have not had to use any sort of writing discipline in my life till now. I am a Pro Poker Player not a writer. However, I guess I will have to improve my grammar so it does not distract from the content of what I have to say.  Come to find out this is how it is done in the writing world. Who knew? I think it is cool that my Poker life has exposed me to yet another new adventure in my life. Well back to Poker friends.
RED-YELLOW-GREEN is an old school system to rate players you play at the tables. It is not used as much on cash tables anymore, old school players used it, but I know of a few players that use it all the time. Employing this rating tool kind of dates me in the poker world or at least has shown me a technique that has helped me get a head in the game. On the online tables it seems to give me a leg up on the competition and I use it more and more. As fast as we move from table to table during tournaments it allows me to quickly take notes on the players I come up against and rate them. I have blow off the dust from these old pages and breathed fresh life in to this method and share it with you now.
START TAKING NOTES ON PLAYERS THAT CROSS YOUR PATH. Use the notes feature to your advantage. When you’re at a table on Pokerstars the “notes” tab is located right above the chat window labeled notes. It’s not hard to find and easy to use.  Use the drop down tab to locate the player you want to tag. Any notes you take on a player stay with them so when you come across a particular player again your previous notes will come up. Donks you played before and took money from can be easily spotted thereby perhaps allowing you to sweeten your stack quickly.  Another way you can take notes on a particular player is to double click on the player’s avatar or right click the players screen name then notes feature will come up instead of the chat window on the lower left of your screen. As fast as we play on line or on many tables at one time you may just have time to type in RED, YELLOW, or GREEN. (What I mean by Red, Yellow and Green players I have covered below.)  Of course players that took your hard earned winnings in the past can also be recognized and thereby avoided unless you’re dealt a hand that would allow you to re-coup your losses. There are several handy features available to use on Pokerstars and if at any time you find yourself bored or need something to do while waiting for a folded hand to play out explore a little.  Perhaps a change of table theme might just brighten your mood after a really bad beat.  Taking notes on other players even if done the old school way of pen and paper (yes they still make those) will give you yet another edge at the tables.
Yes my friends there is more to poker the odds percentages, good starting hands, table position, bets, excreta. These are tricks and tools Pros use to raise to a higher level of play.  Yes, new players, it is not all about hand odds or pot odds or even Lady Luck being kind to you on any given night. Poker is as they say a easy game to learn but it takes a life time to master.  A true professional knows all his tools and knows how to use them well.  There are many tools available and taking notes on the other players is just one of them. Hopefully information contained in this blog will raise you up a level or two in your day to day play while you move up in ranking as you watch your bank increase in size.  Not bad for free advice from a Pro. That is the great thing about PSO blog. We as players can share information. Pokerstars also have Tons of info in the Library as well, you should already have checked that out. I do everyday to help my online game. I have not played on line till now in all my years of Poker. This information is what works for me now to help me get better as an online player it may not work for you.
In the blog about PLAY TO LIVE-LIVE TO PLAY-PLAY TO PLAY Players I wrote about poker players motives for playing. This blog ties into that blog so read them both.
A Red Rated player is a Play to Live Player. You do not want to get involved in a hand with him/her unless you feel you have a very strong hand. They will have the nuts or out play you after the flop. They have a wealth of knowledge and weapons to use against you. If there is one or more Red Rated player(s) in the hand use extreme caution or learn the hard way. Not a hard choice, after you have had your stack reduced a few times by a Red Rated player.  I have found the players I have rated red are the very players that are in the top two hundred ranked players in the league. I am not saying to run from them, however the best defense is a good offensive. Use caution and odds are, if you don’t get donked out by a low rated player due to luck, you will get busted out by these players. If you are new to poker and not sure why or how to rate a player just use the information off the leader board to help you rate a player. The top two hundred players are RED, use caution.  If you spend just a few extra minutes to put in some work and leave notes on these players you can find yourself going deeper in the tournaments just by knowing who you are playing against and folding earlier thereby saving your chip count to live another day.
A Yellow Rated player is Live to Play Player who may have as much knowledge as a Red Rated player but has a lose style of play. He may have any starting hand at any giving time, strong, weak or just plain garbage. A Yellow Rated Player is a loose cannon, you never know if he has a strong hand or is just trying to bluff you out of your winnings.  You can play more hands against them if you have position on the table and a chip stack to take them on. Their swings are hung on the leader board and in their chip stacks. If they fall from a higher rank spot they may be more aggressive at the table to regain their position, so it may help to know that as well.  I flag a Yellow Rated player at the 200-1000 rank mark on the leader board.
The Green Rated player is in most cases a new player, a PLAY TO PLAY Player, A Just for Fun player. He probably will play nearly every hand hoping to get “lucky” at every turn.  You must use caution playing against this player as well. The best method to knock this player out is a trap. Caution: If they have a low chip stack they tend to go all in a lot. A Green Rated Player is a favorite of mine and I will gladly take his chips all the way to the bank. They know they are new and will get out played. They will go in with low starting hands hoping to win big. This is the same player that can have higher rated players pulling what hair they have left out of their heads and saying words like “bleep” a lot. I myself have a shaved my head due to the fact I have gotten blindsided and taken out by some lucky Green Rated donk players. True, my shiny dome may or may not be due to this type of player but that is my story, this is my blog and I am sticking to that.
I hope this will help you rate players on the online tables in tournaments or any table for that matter. You can add to your notes on these players as you go, build up a profile of play on them and how they play their hands as you run across them more and more. When a player bets then pushes the pot stack higher and higher and his past play shows him to have the nuts 80% of the time you know to fold a weaker hand (that may or may not be beat) and save from getting busted out. It can go the other way as well, if a player raises or places a bet then pushes all in and only has the nuts 30% of the time then you know that is his bluffing pattern and you have a good chance to win hand when you call.
So those of you that read my last blog now know why I wrote it along with this one. Hopefully between the two you will have the information needed to keep from getting busted out early in the game, go deeper into the tournaments and possibly win a few. If you found this blog useful please feel free to rate it (by clicking on the stars at the top left of this page) and/or leave me a comment about it (or others you would like to see). Be sure and check out my other blogs as well.  I have boxes of notes to share with you to help you and others like you become a better player. The book my co-author and I are writing will contain many of the tips I am sharing with you now however you can be that much further ahead in the game with potentially a very large chip lead with the blogs I post. And hey, who would turn down a chip lead  in favor of a short stack. Not me, that is for sure, I worked quite a while to build my bank up, only to have it take a hit and then have to build it up again. Hopefully with my few words of wisdom you won’t have to work nearly as hard.