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Observing Players To Gather Information

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  • Observing Players To Gather Information

    Here's something I need help with.

    I'm a decent poker player. I understand a lot of theoretical concepts, strategic plays, and psychological aspects of the game. But I have one major problem at the tables: I'm terrible at picking up information about other players, especially when I'm not in a hand. I more or less know what I should be looking at. Bet sizing, bet frequency, raise frequency, fold frequency, hands shown down, and bluffing tendencies are all things that players can look at to judge other players. My problem is that my attention wanders a lot. My biggest issue is that my thoughts just wander to other things without me noticing, and by the time I catch myself, I've missed something. Most of the time though, I just don't feel any motivation to watch other players. It's weird, because I'm not lazy about any other aspect of poker, but I'm really lazy with this. Does anyone else have a similar problem, and does anyone have any ways that they deal with it? I think that not watching people is probably my biggest weakness, and I want to get better. It's especially important, because I don't use a HUD (working on getting one, though).

    If anyone can help me think of a way to improve, I'd really appreciate it! Thanks a lot!

  • #2
    I don't use a HUD. What I do is view every player the same. I assume they will play straightforward and make the standard type plays. If I notice someone doing something out of the ordinary I make a note of it. If they keep raising the button or SB every time it is fold to them, if they bet everytime I check the flop to them, if they limp UTG then fold to a raise, if they make big reraises on the turn with a set or a bluff, if they bet 1/3 the pot on the river with a bluff, shove the river with the nuts, if they turn into a call station when I raise from BB after they limp SB, what hands I see them 4-bet with, etc... etc... I don't usually pay much attention to tables I'm not involved in unless the pot gets big, then I am interested in seeing what the players were willing to get a lot of money invested with. I take most of my notes during or directly after being involved in a hand.

    I can do this very well with up to 9 tables running. I just started 12 tabling 5NL tonight and everything worked great so far. My biggest problem(I guess anyways?) is that I sometimes give people too much respect for a hand if I haven't had a chance to pick up on any specific reads on them. Also, so far the amount of players with notes is a minority. By the end of the session there's usually 1 or 2 people with notes taken per table, which makes me think I could improve my note taking.

    Anyways, just my approach and thoughts. Besides checking out the Langolier's live training about note taking one night, it is something I've worked out mostly on my own over the last 70,000 hands.
    Last edited by RockerguyAA; Mon Apr 04, 2011, 09:20 AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      I've got a question myself. When I take notes while multi-tabling, every time a table requires action it will cut me off when I am right in the middle of typing in a note. I then have to click on the table I was typing the note and continue typing, just to probably get cut off again when the active window switches to a table requiring new action. It makes it hard for me to take notes during the session. Is there any way to fix this?

      Comment


      • #4
        @Panicky
        I suffer from the same problem and found extensive note taking works to help cut down the wandering.Some thing I have decided to really work on this month.IF I cant learn to focus than I might as well give up playing poker.We need to be so aware and lately my mind is wandering a lot.
        Decided to focus in on a select SNG and study the regs for that lvl and really learn how to play it.
        Will spend the same amount playing as studying the hand histories.Set some goals and where you want to be in 3 months or even 2 weeks.

        @Rocker
        You can detach the chat box and keep taking notes on that table as other tables pop up.
        You will see on the box Chat,Notes,Stats and info and right next to it a symbol of two boxes with a arrow.Click on that and you can note away.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by PanickyPoker View Post
          Here's something I need help with.

          I'm a decent poker player. I understand a lot of theoretical concepts, strategic plays, and psychological aspects of the game. But I have one major problem at the tables: I'm terrible at picking up information about other players, especially when I'm not in a hand. I more or less know what I should be looking at. Bet sizing, bet frequency, raise frequency, fold frequency, hands shown down, and bluffing tendencies are all things that players can look at to judge other players. My problem is that my attention wanders a lot. My biggest issue is that my thoughts just wander to other things without me noticing, and by the time I catch myself, I've missed something. Most of the time though, I just don't feel any motivation to watch other players. It's weird, because I'm not lazy about any other aspect of poker, but I'm really lazy with this. Does anyone else have a similar problem, and does anyone have any ways that they deal with it? I think that not watching people is probably my biggest weakness, and I want to get better. It's especially important, because I don't use a HUD (working on getting one, though).

          If anyone can help me think of a way to improve, I'd really appreciate it! Thanks a lot!

          I have a blog on this very subject. Within that blog are a lot of good little tid bits I've picked up along the way to help simplify and clarify what is "important" to look for when formulating your "reads".

          Go check it out, it might help.

          (I think this link will work)

          http://www.pokerschoolonline.com/blo...2&preview=true

          If the links dont work, just search my blogs.
          Last edited by JDean; Mon Apr 04, 2011, 10:07 AM.
          Double Bracelet Winner

          Comment


          • #6
            I'll take a look in a minute JDean. Gotta grab some cookies out of the oven right now. Btw, has anyone ever tried bacon cookies? I just thought about the idea now. Sounds yummy. If bacon can go in donuts, then they must work in cookies, too...
            Originally posted by Deleted user View Post
            @Panicky I suffer from the same problem and found extensive note taking works to help cut down the wandering.Some thing I have decided to really work on this month.IF I cant learn to focus than I might as well give up playing poker.We need to be so aware and lately my mind is wandering a lot. Decided to focus in on a select SNG and study the regs for that lvl and really learn how to play it. Will spend the same amount playing as studying the hand histories.Set some goals and where you want to be in 3 months or even 2 weeks.
            Alright, back from cookies. I don't know what goals I can set in the way of note taking. I guess I can think of something... I know! I'll play a game. Each session, I'll make mental notes about each player's stats. I'll start with just one stat for each individual, like VPIP. After the session is over, I'll check my hh's and compare my impression with the actual stats. If my estimate of their tight/loose level is correct, then I'll treat myself to a congratulatory listen to Rebecca Black's 'Friday'. Love that song. Makes me laugh every time. umbup:

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Deleted user View Post
              @Panicky
              I suffer from the same problem and found extensive note taking works to help cut down the wandering.Some thing I have decided to really work on this month.IF I cant learn to focus than I might as well give up playing poker.We need to be so aware and lately my mind is wandering a lot.
              Decided to focus in on a select SNG and study the regs for that lvl and really learn how to play it.
              Will spend the same amount playing as studying the hand histories.Set some goals and where you want to be in 3 months or even 2 weeks.

              @Rocker
              You can detach the chat box and keep taking notes on that table as other tables pop up.
              You will see on the box Chat,Notes,Stats and info and right next to it a symbol of two boxes with a arrow.Click on that and you can note away.
              Get ure lazy d-gen butts into the Mzone- the note taking clinic is very cool-- wicked actually-- gl all monk...

              Comment


              • #8
                No idea what the M-zone is, and I have missed all of Dave's note taking sessions, unfortunately. I should watch one of those as soon as he runs another, or it gets upped on the site.

                Comment


                • #9
                  You need a HUD
                  >Dem

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I too have a wandering mind , be it tv/porn/random chaos in the house .....

                    One exercise I found that helped me on focusing and developing hand range skills is quite simple. Instead of trying to develope ranges on your entire table, focus instead on the two people to your right and the one person on your left. Really pay attention to their patterns and bet sizing and try to get a feel on what type of board texture they like to get aggressive with. Every single hand that one of these three go to showdown, try to predict what they have.

                    As you feel comfortable with the three and start getting your hand ranges consistently close, add another seat left, then right and so on until you are comfortable reading entire tables.

                    Anyways, good luck out there
                    You might be a king or a little street sweeper, but sooner or later you'll dance with the reaper.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      great advice Sens umbup:

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        or choose the most active 2 players at your table,,,work on them, see how close you can get...good luck with that one. It's really difficult to put the donkeys on a hand, they are ATC kind of players.
                        But then that's called fishing.

                        >Dem

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think I'll try that. Thanks.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Da Sens Fan View Post
                            I too have a wandering mind , be it tv/porn/random chaos in the house .....

                            One exercise I found that helped me on focusing and developing hand range skills is quite simple. Instead of trying to develope ranges on your entire table, focus instead on the two people to your right and the one person on your left. Really pay attention to their patterns and bet sizing and try to get a feel on what type of board texture they like to get aggressive with. Every single hand that one of these three go to showdown, try to predict what they have.

                            As you feel comfortable with the three and start getting your hand ranges consistently close, add another seat left, then right and so on until you are comfortable reading entire tables.

                            Anyways, good luck out there

                            I really like this suggestion. I tend to struggle with focus and attention sometimes too, and this sounds a great way to narrow the focus down and get some good quality reads.

                            Another thing I like to do after sitting at a table for a while, is to look round the table from player to player and ask myself what I can say about each one, based on what I have seen. I may find I have a general 'feel' about a player, but if I can't express it succinctly its probably not very valuable.

                            On the subject of HUDs, I used a free trial version of PT3 until it expired. It is a great tool, especially for self analysis, but beware of becoming too dependant on it. If you are not careful you will find yourself paying even less attention to the table and relying on the HUD too much. In retrospect i am very glad my trial of PT3 ended, as it is only since then that I have started to make any progress at observing and reading players. Although if I start multitabling to any extent I suspect a HUD will become pretty much essential equipment again.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Da Sens Fan View Post
                              I too have a wandering mind , be it tv/porn/random chaos in the house .....

                              One exercise I found that helped me on focusing and developing hand range skills is quite simple. Instead of trying to develope ranges on your entire table, focus instead on the two people to your right and the one person on your left. Really pay attention to their patterns and bet sizing and try to get a feel on what type of board texture they like to get aggressive with. Every single hand that one of these three go to showdown, try to predict what they have.

                              As you feel comfortable with the three and start getting your hand ranges consistently close, add another seat left, then right and so on until you are comfortable reading entire tables.

                              Anyways, good luck out there
                              Very Very Interesting

                              Gonna give that 1 a try

                              Thanks

                              Comment

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