Taking Notes and Finding Fish Online
One of the biggest opportunities ignored by many online players is the ability to take notes on individual players for reference at table selection time. This simple step can make a huge difference in the profitability of your online play, and all you have to do is remember to follow through on it.
Every online poker site provides some sort of note taking system, this is step one. When at a table, every-time you notice something that you feel could be of value, jot it down in the note section for that particular player. However, this is a fairly common tactic, and it isn’t where most players miss the boat. Where most online players are losing out is failing to keep an external list of notes, particularly of player names, for them to cross reference for game selection.
When you sit down and turn on your favorite online client, you’re presented with hundreds, maybe thousands of options for which game to choose to sit in. Far too often players just go to their favorite game and stakes, and sit down seemingly at random, or perhaps at a table with conditions they like, such as last seat open or large pots. This is very short sighted though and game selection is where note taking really comes into play.
Just for an example, when you’re at a table and you notice JoeMama2009(an online poker player at your table) is consistently making poor plays, along with the note box for JoeMama2009 provided by the poker room, you should be writing his screen-name down on a ‘Fish List’ that you keep either as a hard copy or in a text file on your computer. Do this with every player you deem to be fishy enough to profit from regularly. Once you have such a hard copy, the first thing you do when you go to choose a game is click each game you’re interested in and look at the players sitting. Cross reference those players to the players on your list and look for the fishiest table. If you’re lucky you might find a table with four or five of the names of your list sitting together.
This method might take a little more time than just clicking the first available seat and going, but remember, sharks don’t eat other sharks, and even when it comes to prey, smart sharks don’t attack the able and healthy. Sharks attack the sick and weak, and that’s what you should be doing too. If you aren’t actively looking for the weakest table every time you sit down to play, you’re costing yourself money.