Note taking

    • TinoLaan
      TinoLaan
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.10.2011 Posts: 6,411
      I'm frankly not sure how often this has been discussed already, but this is something I've been playing around with for a bit lately.

      I've watched a couple videos/read some articles/posts about taking notes and what's best or what you shouldn't be doing. Basically everything I've seen or read suggests a different approach :f_biggrin:

      For example, I've seen a video by Bogdan (one of his earlier videos) where he suggests doing a session review and writing down for example the exact lines villain took, then drawing conclusions from that.

      My question is, what is the real value in doing this? I have tried this, and I can see how it is useful, but how often is a specific situation really going to happen again to make such notes useful? Are they more used as general guidelines to get an idea of an opponent's playing style? I think I might be completely misunderstanding how to use this information optimally, so it's probably a fault on my behalf.

      Right now I'm trying out completely different notes. For example, if I see someone bet/3bet shove on the flop with top pair, I'll just make a note on him that he stacks off with top pair, rather than writing down his entire line. I feel like by writing down entire lines, I am using up a lot of time that I could've spent differently, possibly on something more useful.

      What would you say is a good, basic yet effective approach to taking notes, either during the session or during the session review? I'm personally having a tough time taking notes during my sessions because I'm playing fast fold poker. Maybe that means I just need to cut down on the amount of tables I play (currently 4), but on the other hand I feel that taking all the notes during the session review actually works pretty good for me.

      Any ideas and input are highly appreciated! When and how do you take your notes? How much detail do you put in them? What kind of things do you make notes of? Etc.

      Thanks in advance! :)
  • 2 replies
    • DrDunne
      DrDunne
      Bronze
      Joined: 29.12.2010 Posts: 3,376
      hey man. i agree that everyone seems to suggest a different method and what this means to me is that we just need to simply find a way of note taking that works for us.

      i think the value of note taking is found in how relevant the note actually is and also (mainly) in what that note implies about villain's play. so yeah i agree that while a note in itself might seem pretty useless if you just take the specific line, board texture and bet sizings etc etc, the real value is in stopping and asking yourself what exactly that means about villain's game.

      ive been pretty lazy with this until recently and now i really can't imagine not taking notes simply cos it just has so many benefits:
      1) learn so much about villain's game
      2) learn so much about the majority of people on your limit after you see some patterns
      3) learn how to exploit things after thinking about the notes you take
      4) keeps you focused and thinking about the game! (this is huge for me because i get bored quite easily)

      so imo just think about the articles/vids you've seen and take on board their advice but just get into the practice of making the notes and eventually you'll develop your own style.

      when i make notes i tend to do it in session just cos im lazy and rarely do big session reviews, but when i take notes i always start with the line villain takes and then i give it some thought and write the basic summary/conclusions/questions above it in a shorter form. that way if i wanna see the details i have it but also i have a quick guide. i also use abbreviations that ive slowly got used to and i think it makes the whole process much quicker and intuitive.

      e.g.:
      didn't cb TPTK IP on tt flop HU...
      --
      -----
      did not cbet TPTK AKo on K95tt IP, called 5r turn, called ~PSB 2f river.
      --

      might seem not very necessary to do it like this but i just sit out (playing zoom) and i find that writing the whole line out makes me pay attention to bet sizings and the exact details and just makes me think more deeply about what just happened. so after i have the whole line i just conclude it above the long note. i normally also include month/year and stake but probably not too important.

      so this note tells me that just because this guy checks back the flop IP as PFA doesnt mean he's giving up and he isnt capped to a hand <TP. normally i'd expect people to bet something decent for value/protection on a 2tone (tt) flop so i'll just start firing on the turn expecting a fair few folds. but i know not to do this vs this guy.

      this note might be quite old cos i've changed a few things to include bet sizing but meh. bottom line is as long as you can interpret your note in a way that means something for you then it should be helpful. the problem with my way of taking notes is it's quite long and painful and probably not very good for that reason. and i also tend to take really pointless notes :D but whatever, good practice lol.

      hope that helps.
    • TinoLaan
      TinoLaan
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.10.2011 Posts: 6,411
      That definitely helps, thanks for the great post! :f_thumbsup:

      You definitely said a bunch of things worthy of taking into consideration.

      when i take notes i always start with the line villain takes and then i give it some thought and write the basic summary/conclusions/questions above it in a shorter form.
      I think this sounds like a pretty reasonable thing to do. You write down your conclusion, but still have an example of it as well just in case you need it.

      the problem with my way of taking notes is it's quite long and painful and probably not very good for that reason. and i also tend to take really pointless notes :D but whatever, good practice lol.
      Yeah, that's the one thing I'm a bit worried about, the fact that it takes relatively long to do. But I'll try it out regardless, compare a few methods of taking notes, and seeing what works best for me :)

      And yeah, I tend to make some pointless notes as well. :facepalm: