Aside from the mental aspect that goes into the game, poker players should also possess excellent money management skills.
If you want to succeed in poker long-term, you need to have a strong bankroll management game. Having useful data, you can sort through and use for comparison will let you tweak and improve your poker game as time goes by.
And for this to be true, keeping a detailed record of all of your results is imperative. Read on to learn how to keep track of your live game results.
Why It’s Important to Track Your Live Game Results
If you’ve ever owned a business, you know how important it is to understand where your cash flow comes from and how you spend the money.
As a professional player, you should think of poker as your business and think of your buy-ins and tournament entries and wins as expenses and income.
Although you don’t have to calculate your average hourly rate and go into all the nitty-gritty if you don’t play poker professionally, tracking your progress is key to success.
As a recreational poker player, you might not deem this so necessary. But, no matter if you’re spending a few hundred or tens of thousands of dollars a month on poker, it’s always useful to keep track of your results.
You should start with making sure that you separate your Texas Hold’em bankroll from all of your other payments and expenses.
Make sure to have a set bankroll you’re comfortable with and always stay within those limits. This will prevent you from overspending and getting into any financial problems caused by a string of poor poker results.
Biggest Benefits of Tracking your Live Game Results
Knowledge is power. And in a highly-strategic game, such as poker, every bit of information can help you get the upper hand.
There are no disadvantages to learning more stats about your game, while the list of advantages is quite long. The most significant benefits include:
- Direct Data on How Much you’re Winning or Losing – Undoubtedly, the most prominent reason why you should keep track of your live results is that you’ll be able to see how much you’re spending and, more importantly, how much you’re getting in return.
- Insight on Any Patterns or Trends – You’ll be able to notice if there are any patterns of behavior you fall into when faced with a particular outcome. Even the most successful players spending their time at high stakes casinos in Las Vegas can benefit from this practice.
- Helpful Info on Your Long-term Improvement – You should continually be improving your poker game. If you feel like you’re stagnating, keeping a record of your results will allow you to see the long-term data and apply any advice you might get from a friend or a poker coach.
- Information on Preferred Betting Stakes– How does moving up or down in stakes impact your game? Where you are actually winning more?
How to Track Your Live Game Results
The simplest way to track your live poker results is to do it manually whenever you post a win or suffer a loss.
This is a very effective way of keeping track of your success and progress. Not only that, but it’s also a handy way of maintaining a record for tax purposes.
When talking about the best plan of tracking your results, there’s no universally “right” way of doing so. With that in mind, you should stick with whichever method you find to be the most effective.
A straightforward but practical way of tracking your live results is to use Microsoft Excel. Create a streamlined table and make sure to note the following info:
- Total Buy-in – How many buy-ins, the amount of each buy-in.
- The Result – The net profit/loss based on your buy-in and cash-out.
- Time Spent Playing – Start time, end time, date of play.
Excel is the most common tool for tracking such stats. It can be instrumental in calculating your results, as you can create complex formulas to apply across the board.
That said, if you don’t have extensive experience in using this program, you will have to put some time into learning all of the important functions, conditional equations, and IF statements.
If all of this sounds like too much hassle, you can simply use a pen and paper to write down information.
Alternatively, you can use a stat tracking site or app. If you opt for this, keep in mind that most of such services often come with a monthly subscription fee.
Create Long-term Poker Reports
From a statistical perspective, the possibilities are limitless in terms of the data you want to record. Depending on how much you’re into stats and how much information you want to learn about your live poker sessions, you can also create poker reports to track your progress on a more long-term basis.
When you get used to tracking your results, developing poker reports won’t take you much time to do and will provide you with tangible results you can analyze and compare month to month.
This includes creating specific, focused reports based on dates, limits, and time-frames.
Track Your Poker Results and Maximize your Success
Although all of these stats don’t help you directly, they are essential to improving your poker game. The purpose of doing so is to get a broad and clear view of your poker-playing pattern instead of focusing on individual games.
Understanding how you spend and earn your money will indirectly help you make more profitable decisions.
The most notable change you’ll be able to make directly pertains to your decision-making and your profitability with all of the poker hands. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses will help you avoid tough spots costing you the most money and focus your strengths on maximizing your success.