The rain finally stopped in New Zealand today, so I've been out doing a bit of sightseeing. Went to Auckland's Sky City casino last night and played some poker. They have a nice enough poker room, but the rake is a bit high. I played NL200, the game was as soft as a sponge, but luck was not on my side. There were about 6 people to every flop even after a raise, but I didn't catch any cards. They have a weekly tournament each Sunday, so I might give that a go. I'm working while I'm in New Zealand so don't have a lot of time for poker, but I'm going to try and play about 3 hours each morning before work. I played a bit of NL100 on Pokerstars this morning and was up about $100.
Today's Topic: Keeping accurate records.
Anyone who wants to take poker seriously needs to keep accurate records. Poker is a game with such large variance that it is hard to gauge your ability without carefully tracking your performance. A lot of losing players choose not to keep record because they don't like to amid to themselves that they are losing. Everyone is a losing player to start with, but to become a winning player you need to track your performance to see what parts of your game you need to improve most, and see what games you are winning and losing at.
The tools I recommend to track your poker performance are:
- Small diary: Especially if you play a mixture of live and online games a diary is essential. It is the easiest way to keep accurate records on a day to day basis. This information can then be entered in to a database or spreadsheet later on. The details I keep in my diary are the amount of money I had on the poker site at the start and finish of the session, the start and finish time of the session, and the site or venue where I played. I then enter this information into Statking at the end of each week.
- Pokertracker: Pokertracker is an essential tool for any online poker player. Pokertracker supports nearly all of the poker sites, and is invaluable for tracking your statistics and improving your game. Pokeroffice is also a good option for anyone who only plays on the major sites, and is better than pokertracker in many areas. Its main disadvantage is its lack of support for many of the smaller sites and networks, but if you only play on the major sites then it is a good choice.
- StatKing: While Pokertracker is great for tracking the finer details of your game, it does not easily allow you to track things like bonus payments, live game play, etc. The best tool I have found for tracking every aspect of your poker money management and even general gambling is Statking. It enables you to input and customize all of your poker activities, and review your poker profit and losses in many different ways.
- 2p2 SNG Spreadsheet: If you mainly play sit n go's then this is an excellent free spreadsheet for keeping track of all your sng results.
There are various online tools for keeping track of your poker result. I've tried using a couple in the past but have been concerned at having all of my results online. If the online site goes out of business or has an error then your records could be lost. I personally prefer to keep my records stored on my own computer.
It can sometimes be hard to keep an accurate track of your poker results, especially when you are in a downswing, but it will pay dividends and help improve your game in the long run.
Sorry, but while in New Zealand I haven't had much time to search for interesting poker links, so I might not be able to post to many until I return to Australia.
Have a great weekend everyone. I'm off snowboarding for the weekend, so will see you all next Monday, and don't forget a dollar won is always sweater than a dollar earned.