If you’re an online poker player, one huge key to improving your game is to identify flaws and fix them. With all of the information that is available nowadays, there’s no excuse for you to not be tracking your play and breaking it down after every session. You can do this through a variety of methods, including your own poker spreadsheet, using online tracking software, or buying special software used for analyzing your actual poker play. We’ll break down the most common methods for analyzing your online poker play, and let you know why it’s beneficial to do.
The easiest way to track your online poker play is simply through an Excel spreadsheet. If you decide to do this, make sure to have columns for all of the important information, including the date of your session, the hours of your session, what poker site you played at, what stakes you played at, how many buy-ins you used, and the total profit or loss for the session. Then, you can have another cell that will automatically total your profits/losses to give you a running total for the money you’ve made/lost so far. The reason to track things such as the hours you played or what poker site you played at is to detect trends in your game such as playing better during the day, or playing better on PokerStars vs. Full Tilt.
Besides just tracking your wins and losses, you can also track your actual play at the tables to identify holes in your game. Every online poker hand you play has a text history of it called a poker hand history. These may seem like boring recounts of pointless hands, but in actuality they are extremely important when it comes to improving as a player. The reason for this is because you can download all of your poker hand histories from the poker site, and feed them into software that will analyze your play and point out flaws that are losing you money. An example of this software is PokerTracker. You simply put all your poker hand histories into one folder, and the software analyzes the hands and tells you what you’re doing wrong, be it playing too aggressive, playing too high of stakes, etc.
There are actually online poker forums dedicated to deciphering the numbers that PokerTracker throws back at you. It can be a little overwhelming and confusing for a first timer, so make sure to check out any of the major forums like TwoPlusTwo.com to learn the basics about PokerTracker. All of the players at the major online poker sites are using this information, so you may as well use it too if you want to keep up.