The Importance of Keeping Records by Kristy Gazes

It’s not a sexy subject, but we all know how vital bankroll management is to your poker career. A great way to help out with managing your roll is to keep records of your play.

Accurate records not only help you keep track of how you’re doing, they also allow you to analyze your game and keep you honest with yourself. We all like to believe that we’re winning players, but that’s not always the case.

Here are a few key categories/stats to keep track of every time you play:

  • Overall bankroll (so you never play over your head in games that are too big)
  • How long you played
  • What game/limit you played
  • How much you made (how many big blinds or big bets won per hour)

Keeping records of these basic elements really helps put your game in perspective. Personally, I like to dive in even deeper, so I keep track of my emotions as I play. How you feel when you play and what frame of mind you’re in are vital to the outcome of your session – don’t ignore these factors.

Keep track of things like when you get tired and how long into a session you are when you start to get tired. When you play bad or below your standards and make mistakes with your play, note when they happened and what factors contributed to these mistakes. Whether you admit it or not, poker is a game of emotion; it literally pays to keep track of yours – and hopefully keep them in check.

Keep these records on a daily basis and go back through them each month to analyze your play. Be honest with yourself about what you see. You’re looking for patterns: I lost again while playing this game at this limit for this many hours; I lost again when I played for an hour too long or I won more than normal when I played a shorter session.

If you notice a pattern and see that you’re losing at one particular game or limit, ask yourself: “What am I doing wrong here?” The truth hurts sometimes, but don’t let your ego get in the way of becoming a winning player. When the records show that you’re not doing well, it’s time to move down to a lower limit, reassess your game and start over again.

Seeing these records laid out in front of you allows you to be honest about yourself as a poker player. The numbers never lie, and that’s why it’s so important to keep accurate records of your play.

Kristy Gazes