Keeping Track of Online Players
Playing online poker is certainly a different animal than playing live poker. One of the biggest differences, one that is both a strength and a weakness to the game, is the fact that players drop in and out of games with an alarming frequency. You might start a game with ten players and end it with ten players a few hours later, but twenty or thirty or more may have passed in and out of the game by then. All the poker experts tell you to take notes on players, but how can you keep track of them when they pop in and out so fast?
The good news is that it may only take a few words on a player to give you a clue to the best decision against them. If you notice a player who folds in the big blind when raised more than once, especially in a low limit game where many players play fairly loose, then jotting that down is going to help. Later on, when the same player re-raises someone pre flop, you know that he likely has a monster. Many online poker rooms let you click on a player’s name and type in notes that follow them around, and this is a good idea, but there are other ways to keep those notes going, especially when you are in the heat of the moment.
One method is to take a sheet of blank paper, such as printing paper, and jot down the player names in a wide oval, the position of the names matching their position around the table. Then, when you make a note, you can glace down at that position when you are puzzled by a player’s action.
What do you do when they drop out? Simply draw a line through the name and the note, and be ready to add in the next player that sits down. This quick method is a useful tool, especially to visual thinkers, that will help you keep track of your online opponents when it counts.