Booking steady profits playing online poker comes from staying focused on profitable activities and avoiding unprofitable ones, exactly like in business. That really is the secret to success in either venture – keeping your focus and using your time wisely. Fortunately, online poker rooms provide you with all the tools you need to do just that.
You don’t need off-site software. I know that many players are in love with these programs, but I would strictly advise students of the game to ignore them. The most popular of these is Poker Tracker. And it is one heck of a piece of software keobd.com. But don’t use it. Why? Because it is a great distraction and can easily be the cause of losing your focus on what really matters.
In No Limit Hold’em, the game currently offering the best opportunity to make steady profits in by far, there are only two things that are really important. They are: 1. Playing against somebody who is willing to put all their chips in with only one pair after the flop, and 2. Not playing a losing game the remainder of the time. This is assuming that you are a good player (and therefore would never put all your chips in with just one pair after the flop) – and it is further assuming that “all your chips’ constitutes a large stack, much bigger than the size of the pot.
The most effective tool to help stay focused on these two objectives is the buddy list. When you run across someone who is willing to put their large stack of chips in the pot with one pair after the flop you should buddy-list that player immediately (before they disappear). Your primary goal in this game is to find these players and play against them. If you are in a game where nobody would do that, you are just spinning your wheels because that is where the profits come from, and there are always other tables going with an opponent or two who are willing to do that. So every single time you see someone put all their chips in the middle with one pair, buddy list them! Make it a habit, so you don’t even have to remind yourself to do it.
Now, it does absolutely no good to accumulate a good-sized buddy list if you are not willing to use it! Every time you log in, go to your buddy list first thing and try to get in a game with one of those players. This is the most critical thing you can do to start your session.
Let’s talk about number the second element now, which is not playing a losing game the rest of the time. To help in this quest, you should use the other terrific tool provided by the poker room: Player notes. Always take good player notes that will actually help you make quality, information-based decisions in the future. Do not waste your time making player notes that won’t help. For example, just writing “fish” or “maniac” or “call this idiot” are not going to do much for you two weeks from now when that person may be in a completely different mood. Contrast that kind of note with something like “called a large preflop raise with AJ” or “called a large all-in bet on the turn with a flush draw.” Do you see how those types of notes are much more likely to help you down the road? You need to be detailed about the situation your observation occurred in, because with a more general note you probably won’t be able to recall the context in which you were writing it.
All Poker Tracker software really does for you is to help you categorize the different types of opponents you encounter, plus give you good data by which to study your own game. Yes, those can be good things. But if you get caught up in that instead of taking notes that are actually useful and concentrating on building a list of easy-to-find customers, your efforts will likely become derailed. And your results will suffer accordingly.