Hi, I used to be a semi-pro online poker player until fairly recently.
I’m not quite sure at what level you are, so pardon me if it’s too simple/difficult.
It would be cool if you as a live player could interprent some of the advantages of having technology.
The speed of live playing is slow, so it’s probably doable.
There are two different ideas that I come up with. You can judge how plausible they seem yourself.
A very common tool for professional and strong amateur online poker players is using stats.
For this to work you’ll have to: a) Have a system for continuus counting. b) Be able to approximate-count percentages in your head.
These are the two most common stats. They are used by everybody to describe players: VP$IP and PFR.
VP$IP = Voluentarily Put money In Pot %
PFR = Pre Flop Raise %
to calculate these two stats you’ll need to count 3 different things:
A = Total amount of hands dealt
B = Total amount of voluentarily putting money in the pot (Any time any of their money enters the pot besides ante and blinds)
C = Total amount of raises preflop given the oppurtunity.
VP$IP = B/A
PFR = C/A*
- <I’d advice you to ignore this paragraph> To be perfectly correct, the PFR will be a little bit less exact than usually calculated on computers, as it also usually counts with the reaction to other people’s raises. Either way, the bulk of the stat is just doing this calculation. In live games it is usually even more so.
These stats are usually enough to get a good picture of how the player plays. The same kinds of style that a player has preflop often translates to post flop.
For 6 player game; 20/25 (written as: PFR/VP$IP) is probably a player who knows what is he doing. Generally there should be a small gap between the PFR and VP$IP. It is very common amongst beginners or live players (no offence ) to have way passive stats.
Something like 20/40 is almost definately too passive.
40/50 means that the player is trying to run everybody over.
9/10 means that they only play very strong hands.
Obviously for more players around the table you should play less hands and vice versa.
I also like to take notes of specific hands or behaviour, something like: “Called down three streets with low pair” is usually enough information. Then if you see something like that a second or third time I like to put “confirmed” afterwards.
Specific marks for strong or weak player, maybe a shark vs a gold fish?
Other than preflop stats, it’s very difficult to get a good grasp of how people play without actually seeing “case studies” of some hands that have went to showdown. Especially live, where you get to see very, very few hands.
To help with the case studies it could be a good idea to download a program that shows ranges and %, and memorize some typical ranges. For example if you have stats on a player that says that he plays 20/25, but then you see him raising from the first position with what turns out to be A5 offsuit. That means that he either don’t understand position, have had really bad luck with what cards he has been dealt so far, or overrate A rag hands very much.
Another use for memorizing some ranges is looking at someone with 60 VP$IP: Just look at all of that garbage in that range.
If you’re playing no limit it could also be interesting to note weird bet sizes, or weird reactions to weird bet sizes, like being more inclined to call big bets than small (very common mistake).
So… Something like; A room for each player, a system of counting 3 different “stacks”, story telling and assigning objects to card values to remember the lines, tells, other weaknesses, assesments of player’s styles (maybe mouse for player who folds too much, and a phone for players who call too much, if you want to just make simpler ideas like this) etc.
I didn’t really give you the specific methods, cause I’m a memory fish. Hopefully you got some ideas for what you could have use for! Good luck at the tables, and please let me know if you used any of this and in that case how.