Any serious live poker players here? Mnemonic questions

Hey everyone,

I was wondering if there are any serious live poker players on this forum? I play at least once a month live and am looking into developing a mnemonic system that helps me remember how players play certain hands and categorize their style. I already have a pretty good natural memory for situations at the table, but I believe with mnemonics I can take it to another level so to speak.

My first order would be to link a key image with certain styles. For example, if they are a passive player maybe link a turtle to a facial feature. If they are aggressive maybe imagine their hair is red and on fire. Then after that I want to link more information to how they play specific hands, but I’m really not sure about the best method on how to do this because the amount of information can be quite detailed and large.

I know this isn’t a normal question, but maybe some other live players have thought of something like this and have a good system. I believe that observation and memory are the keys to winning in a poker game. Just like leopards we can’t change our spots so most people play in repeatable patterns.

Also if someone does not have a system per se and wants to brainstorm some ideas on how to best go about doing this let me know!


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I just created a new group called Poker Players. It should have some signups soon.

Are you going to memorize cards and hands or just playing styles?

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Would be immensely interested in learning how to count cards using mnemonic techniques, especially for Blackjack! :slight_smile:

Should I expand the group to blackjack too, or make a separate group for blackjack?

Everything’s fine the way it is :slight_smile: I was just voicing possible sub-topics, if there is a lot of activity around this trend, then yeah expand :slight_smile:

Hi Vindogg,

I realise the date of this post so is this still an active thread, as I too am interested in your thoughts in the matter?

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.

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 :wink: ) 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.

I would have thought that blackjack and poker would be treated differently as one depends on the other players, the others are more independent of the other players.

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Hi Okiol,

Wow certainly a lot to take in from your last post. I’ve just read Harrington on holdem so I’m starting to get the idea of all the terms.

Just to keep it simple and you can expand of course. In my games I use a 9 room palace/place to represent the players around the poker table.

At my stage I am just working out if they are playing (L)oose or (T)ight, §assivly or (A)ggressive

For the benefit of non poker players;
Loose - plays a lot of poorly ranked cards
Tight - plays only premium cards like a pair of kings
Passive - tends to check a lot as opposed to raising the stakes
Aggressive - raises a lot. Often players will fold around them and their cards are not shown

I imagine a;
PoT for Passive and Tight players
PLant for Passive and Loose
ALf for Aggressive and Loose (Fury Alien life form character from a few years back)
ATm for Aggressive and Tight

and place them in the room to suit the player at their relevant position.

If someone opens the pot with a raise and I see what that was I assign the 2 cards and place them in the room at floor, table or shelf height for early middle and late positions.

Jack Ten suited raise from middle position would be (Jack) Nicholas playing with a Ken doll - (Ten) Doll on the table.
If they are clean and shiny it’s a suited JT
If they are dirty and coved in mud they’re unsuited JT.

That’s all I’m putting in at the mo. What other stuff would you recommend?

Played semi-pro online myself.

For fun about a year ago I considered how I might apply mnemonics to poker. I experimented with detailed specific hands using my PAO card system with other marks for various situations. I found it a bit too detailed to work but I only tried it once for a two-hour live session at Canterbury Park here in Minnesota.

I found, however, that I could categorize players well enough by paying attention to how they played. Keep in mind I have the background in over 500,000 hands between online and live to make categorizations and adjust my player models on the fly.

I like your experimentation with player types. Pay attention, too, to key events that occur at the table that may alter a player’s player type. These can be profitable moments for you.

Let’s keep the convo going.


Thanks for the feed back.

I prefer the live poker and the fun of trying to read & freak people out with bluffs but I am impressed with the number of hands you’ve played online. I don’t think I could do what I described above in the online world due to the speed of the hands played & lack of time spent shuffling & dealing.

I’m still brand new with under 10 live games played (for free) but still managing to get consistently to the final table with about 50 - 60 players and had my first win to boot. I’m entering my first paid event $100AUD in a couple of weeks so I’ll be interested in the different styles of play which I imagine gets a lot tighter with bigger plays for the pot.

Do you use a specific chart for opening hands & positions or one that you would recommend.
I found the Harrington book good but with no tables just long list of cards to play in certain points.
I have tried to put into table format, but then it seems to contradict itself which is annoying.

All so what online poker forum do you recommend for low stakes say $5 for a sit and go comp?



After 3 years playing poker, I finally start to profit on this game. I moved down my Buy In levels (from insane to freerolls) and treat my bankroll with love. There are 2 years I profit, instead my profits arent enough to provide me, they are there, they exist.


In poker I dont need a super memory to determine what kind of player I am playing against, but I think I really need an athletic memory and proccessing to do the same calculations that PioSolver, Holdem Resources and HUDs do. A lot of professional players say it is not necessary but in my opinion, poker live is headind to mental calculations.

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