This Article is a continuation of Part 8….where Player Notes remain the primary subject matter; as they will in Part 10 to follow.
And, while it’s one task to have accurately recorded player notes, it’s a completely different task to properly make use of those notes. So, here, in Part 9, we’ll look to address the latter.
Plus, as difficult as it was to develop a coding schematic for recording notes (which was your job; not mine….I have my own set of about 225 codes), be mindful of the fact that the effort required to put your notes to sound use will be no less difficult.
Additionally, it’s going to take some time before the player notes, and their usage, evolve into a ‘semi-robotic’ component of your cash game play.
However, prior to our journey into the depths of player note utilization, I’ll use this opportunity to again present a difference between cash and free online poker play versus B &M play.
Given all the past presentations of the vast differences between the two, I’m hopeful that you’ve incorporated the ‘assumed gained knowledge’ into your game play. If you have, I’m confident that you’ve managed to attain a positive Return On Investment (ROI) at the casino or card room you’ve been visiting.
Yet, I can’t conceive of your ROI, to-date, having reached 65% or more. However, I can conceive of your ROI getting there….or going beyond there. You’ll simply need a bit more time; it’ll happen.
Now, on to the difference(s).
- It deals with your ‘Flops Seen Percentage’ and your ‘Flops Seen Win Percentage’.
- When you’re playing free poker at NoPayPOKER, remembering that ‘real money’ Internet poker sites are no longer safe gaming venues, you’ve likely experienced a ‘Flops Seen Percentage’ of somewhere in excess of 25%; possibly as high as 45%.
- Plus, you’ve likely experienced a ‘Flops Seen Win Percentage’ of somewhere below 50%; possibly as low as 20%.
- And, as a result of your ‘percentages’, I suspect that a number of pennies have accumulated in your accounts.
- Moreover, I suspect that those pennies have added up to a moderate stack of one dollar bills ($1).
Well, the growth of a ‘penny’ bankroll at NoPayPOKER, versus the growth of a ‘Hundred Dollar Bill’ bankroll at a Brick and Mortar (B & M) establishment, represent horses of a different size and color….one is a roan miniature, the other is a dark bay Clydesdale; there’s just no comparison.
And, you’re NOT going to win any ‘serious money’ ($100 Bills) at the B & M tables with a ‘Flops Seen Percentage’ that exceeds 17 to 18%, or you’re NOT going to win any ‘serious money’ ($100 Bills) at the B & M tables with a ‘Flops Seen Win Percentage’ that is lower than 60 to 64%.
Candidly, the days of 45% Flops Seen and 20% Flops Seen Wins are over.
Why? Because, we’re playing with extreme patience; and that limits flops seen.
- Because, we’re playing with a Playable Pockets Matrix (PPM); and that limits flops seen.
- Because, we’re more than willing to ‘pre-flop muck’ truly good pockets when the ‘Farm Animals’, reminiscent of a donk-infested freeroll, begin to fling chips around; and that limits flops seen.
- Moreover, we’re not remotely comparable to any of the ‘pasture dwellers’….we’re not removed from the knowledge of winning strategies….and, we’re not required to abandon the principles of our game play quality.
- Additionally, we have a complete understanding of both Positive Expected Values (+EV) and Negative Expected Values (-EV).
Also, keep in mind that we’re only playing when we believe we have an advantage. And, we’ve come to learn when, and if, we do have that advantage….like holding the current ‘nuts’ hand, or slow-playing a flopped set, or using Implied Odds to create big ROI’s, or making pot size bets as a defensive weapon, or implementing any one of the three deceits that have become a mainstay in our game.
Plus, the very fact that we’re only playing when we are in an ‘advantaged’ position, represents the principle reason for all of us to be pathed toward eventually taking down more than 3 out 5 hands (a ‘Flops Seen Win Percentage of 60% or more).
Of note, the ‘Flops Seen Win Percentage’, where I’ve indicated to you the presumption that it will fall into the range of 60 to 64%, will occur….zero doubt exists on my part that this will be true over any extended period of time. It’s been true for all of my No Limit Ring Game students, and it’s been true for me.
If you play the game in a manner that substantially parallels the ‘instructional’ scribblings I’ve presented to you, it’s inevitable that your ‘Flops Seen Win Percentage’ will end up somewhere between 60 to 64%.
And, when you’re winning with that degree of consistency, you will be experiencing a substantial growth to your $100 Bill bankroll….especially when you take into account the fact that you’ll rarely, if ever, call an all-in bet unless you hold a ‘nuts’ hand.
Clearly, at this point, I could easily visualize a whole lot of people who’d have a whole lot of interest in benefiting from a continually expanding Hundred Dollar Bill bankroll. And, if you’ve come with me this far, through Part 9 of this series of Articles, the chances are that you ARE one of those people.
This being so, it would be a good time to enter the realm of putting the player notes you’ve developed to profitable use at the felt. Quite possibly, you’ve already discovered that some of the notes you’ve recorded to-date have moved a number of $100 Bills into your wallets and purses. And, that’s great! However, I’m intent on getting you to move quite a few more….with quite a bit of regularity.
- First and foremost, stay away from a $1/$2 No Limit game.
- Generally speaking, the opening bet in this low stakes game is in the area of seven times the big blind (that would be $15).
- And, there are only two pockets that we could be dealt that would give us cause to call a seven times the BB raise: A/A and K/K (and, for the record, we’ll find ourselves holding pocket A/A or pocket K/K only once in approximately 110 hands).
- Plus, there are way too many different players, countless players, who will join this low stakes game.
- Over the period of as little as three months, you could easily be witness to well over six to eight hundred different people sitting down at a $1/$2 table.
That fact, for certain, will place our note taking task in jeopardy; we’ll never have enough room in our notebooks for all the ‘BananaHeads’ who come to play, and, we’ll never have enough free time to successfully record accurate notes (I’ve yet to meet a single individual who could successfully record notes on 800 or more players).
- Additionally, the cost to play, the rake, will be way too high; likely in the area of 7% to 10%.
- Plus, the same is true for a $2/$4 game; too many different players, and too high of a rake.
- Why would we want to compromise our ability to win by holding insufficient notes?
- And, why would we want the ‘house’ to be garnering more of the pot than what would seem equitable? Answer! We don’t.
Additionally, we’ll be well advised to avoid the $10/$20 games, and the $20/$40 games.
- Both attract extremely good players, and an assortment of professional players.
- It would be most infrequent to find a ‘BananaHead’, or an easily readable player at these high stake games.
- For sure, by my judgement, we have no reason to be putting ourselves in the most challenging game play settings.
- More importantly, avoiding these games allows us to place ourselves at the tables where the pickings are the easiest.
This being the case, our starting game, and, much more than likely, our constant game, is going to be a $5/$10 No Limit cash game.
- It attracts a fairly consistent group of players.
- Some are good, some are bad, and most are very predictable.
As an example, the games I play in, one a 70 minute drive away, the other a 2 hour drive away, each attract about 5 dozen ‘regular’ players, and a small, but continual flow of tourists, businessmen, oil platform workers, and ‘traveling’ poker rounders.
For the most part, the tourists, businessmen, and oilmen, are all major ‘turkeys’ in the games. Often, however, a rounder will prove to be a very good player. And, rarely, will I end up labeling any one of the rounders I’ve met as a bad player.
Interestingly, as an aside, it’s always fascinating for me to talk with any number of these rounders post-play, at the bar, or at dinner. I usually make every attempt possible to get one of them to join me; many of these guys can offer up all sorts of ‘words of wisdom’, and, often, there are worthwhile lessons in their words.
Plus, just about every rounder plays at the $5/$10 level. And, whenever they speak to the reasons for their decisions to play the $5/$10 game (vs. a higher stakes game), they almost unilaterally talk about the rationale I presented to you two paragraphs earlier.
In the end, I have notes on approximately 160 active players in my book, 160 pieces of paper.
- At any one time, no more than approximately 240 note pages are in my 8-ring binder.
- And, from time-to-time, I purge the book of player pages for the people that I haven’t been at the tables with in a defined period of time.
- For me, the purge occurs when the player has been a ‘no-show’ for approximately 3 months.
- However, while I remove the purged pages from my notebook, I don’t toss them into the garbage can.
- They go into a file in my desk at home. The file currently contains more than 500 pages, and it has been built up over a period of more than seven years.
The reason behind the ‘page saving’ action should be obvious; the player could return to the felt at some future point in time. And, if he does, the saved notes go back into my book with the ‘amount of time absent’ notation added to the page.
The ‘time absent’ entry is very important. Since, as is the case in everyday life, people change. The player who has been away for a while could have adjusted his method of play. Essentially rendering a few, most, or all of the notes on his page useless; possibly bringing forth the necessity to start the note taking process anew….as though he was a brand new player to me.
Additionally, as mentioned above, people change. And, it doesn’t have to be the result of an individuals absence from the felt. He could be changing his method of play because he has learned from experience, becoming a better player.
Or, he might have learned a whole lot more about the game because of his time spent reading some really good poker books. Or, he could have recently completed one of the ‘classroom’ type of NLRG courses (not an Internet class). Therefore, no matter what the cause for his improved play at the table, the notes as recorded on his player page must be adjusted.
And, those notes, plus all notes, for all players, can never be thought of as ‘concrete’; they can only be thought of as ‘dynamic’.
- When the players’ game changes, your notes change.
- As the player demonstrates new methodologies at the table, as the player puts forth new ‘tells’ at the table, your notes have got to change.
- Don’t get caught up in a ’100% labeled’ frame of mind, your notes will always be changing.
- Only a small number of players maintain an absolute constant in the way they play the game.
- So, you best be using a pencil to record and update your notes and, the pencil better have an eraser; you’re gonna’ use it much more often than you might currently imagine.
The maintenance of your notes, as addressed in the preceding paragraphs, is only one of three goals that Articles 9 and 10 are meant to discuss.
- Control is a second. And, it’s not about the control of your notes, it’s more about control as it relates to your personal attachment to your notes.
- Certainly, I recognize that you’ve done a great deal of work to establish the ‘player note’ codes you’ll use.
- And, I recognize that you’ve done a great deal of work in the process of establishing player pages, each containing player notes.
Yet, while mindful of the dynamics of note taking, you’ve got to realize that there will be a multitude of game play situations where those very notes will be completely useless.
- On average, in every 6 to 8 hour session that I play at a B & M, where approximately 170 to 220 hands are played, my player notes have become a valuable resource about 2 dozen times.
- Plus, in the last Article, you should have noted that I shared with you the fact that my notes are responsible for 2 large pots to come my way in almost every session at the tables.
- Moreover, my notes are responsible for occasional instances of folding premium pockets pre-flop, folding good cards post-flop, folding solid cards post-turn, and folding excellent cards post-flop.
- Also, I mentioned, given time, the same will be the case for each of you. Yet, in most hands, the notes simply sit idle in my notebook, or in my head. And, at this point, you would be suitably justified to ask “Why?”
And, I’ll be suitably forthright in answering the question. Basically, a vast number of hands are played by tourists, businessmen, oil workers, and rounders for whom I possess few, if any, notes.
With this being true, it’s awfully difficult to be in a position where my notebook has any value, simply stated, I barely know these people. And, I need time to record accurate notes about the way in which they play.
But, nothing guarantees me that I’ll reach the point of establishing ‘good notes’ about these players during the B & M session that I am currently playing in.
Sure, I can start the process, however, I’ll need at least 5 or 6 sessions with each of these ‘new’ players before I could begin to use my notes with any degree of confidence. Again, as has been highlighted so many times before, patience takes a front seat to all the skills and assets I, you, or anyone bring to the felt.
Well, if there are limited opportunities to remove cash from the players we know very little about, how do we generate the stack of $100 Bills? Good question!
- And, there isn’t just one answer, there are multiple dimensions to the answer.
- However, all of the dimensions are founded in a single commonality.
- And that commonality relates to the third goal of Articles 9 and 10 – The proper utilization of the notes we’ve recorded.
- Yet, concerning the players that we’re not acclimated to, the tourists, the businessmen, the rounders, and the other strangers, don’t lose sight of the fact that you’ll get to take quite a few $100 Bills from them whenever you’re in possession of a ‘nuts’ hand.
- Especially when the ‘nuts’ hand has been held by you in a staged deceit.
Last, while it may have taken a while, we can now move on to our third goal; it being the utilization of player notes.
For sure, the notes do nothing for us if we can’t take full advantage of them while we’re at a B & M poker table. And, no matter how organized, or how comprehensive, or how accurate, our player notes have become, if we don’t use them properly, we have about as much chance of attaining a 65% ROI as does a ‘pinhead’ who’s playing tiddly-winks.
Clearly, there can’t be more than a few ‘Farm Animals’ reading this Article. So, for just about all of you who have taken up this Brick and Mortar journey with me, and are reading this Article, I can confidently tell you that the note taking process will move rapidly toward the pleasant job of stacking your newly acquired $100 Bills.
And, thus far, in these Articles, you’ve read about a few instances where my player notes have been responsible for the movement of a handful of these Bills to my wallet. But, as good as that may have been for me, it hasn’t moved any of the Bills to your wallets.
The latter, the lack of money movement in your direction, is what I now need to rectify.
Plus, at this stage, even if you’ve only identified somewhere in the area of 100 ‘player note’ codes, I want you to know that you’ve navigated the first four steps on my nine step ‘player note’ ladder. In time, your codes will expand, who knows, you might even end up with a 12 step ladder; you could ultimately be playing with 250 to 300 codes (vs. my 225). Which, if your memory can handle it, will put you in the position of playing the game with approximately 11% to 33% more player data than my memory can handle.
And, the issue associated with ones ability to use their memory is not to be taken lightly.
- Remember, you’re not playing the game like Greg Raymer, you’re not openly exposing your player notebook to the other participants at the felt.
- No! You’ll enter the game through a buy-in with the floorman, you’ll extend a greeting to all the people you know at the table, you’ll identify the people you don’t know, you’ll introduce yourself to the unknown players, and then you’ll excuse yourself for a minute.
- And, during your brief absence, well hidden from the table, you’ll take the time to memorize everything your notes can tell you about the players you know
- Be attentive to detail, skip nothing, and pray that all of your brain cells are functional; you’re gonna’ need them!
Best of Luck at the Tables
(c) copyright 2009; no reproduction, all rights reserved by D. M. Vadnais
(DETAILED PLAYER NOTE UTILIZATION WILL BE PRESENTED IN ARTICLE 10)
NB – Over your head a bit for now? Don’t worry! Read the whole series by D.M. Vadnais on the NoPayPOKER.com blog then go practice your free texas holdem poker online on the main NoPayPOKER.com site. As our maestro says in previous articles, you can win real money playing real free poker on NoPayPOKER.com and with that fund your bankroll for the real deal when you go up to the B&M bigs.