Moving up stakes and what to look out for


As a poker player rising up the stakes, it is important to analyze your play to ensure continuous improvement. With the felts getting competitive, it is important to stay ahead of the game. Here are a few ways of ensuring what you’re doing is generating positive results and is an upward learning curve.

Record Keeping

 It’s not uncommon to hear of poker players diligently recording their sessions.  From where they played to the number of hours clocked to the stakes to the format of the game and of course, how much they win or lose. While recording such data might seem tedious and unfruitful in the beginning, it definitely opens up a players perspective to smaller errs that can be fixed early and help focus on the bigger picture.


Since poker is a game of multiple variables, it is important to also dwell a little deeper on the sessions recorded. For example, MTT players have realized that by focusing their attention on multiple games, it gives them very little time to maximize their hands; they play to the best of their hand values and positions. But in today’s field, we all know that’s not going to cut it. Session recordings can help identify the fact that since players are not focused on the opponent any longer, they are unable to maximize their wins. A small insight like this can help players realize that note taking of their opponents playing style can help take them a long way. Results are bound to improve and newfound winnings can solely be attributed to this small change.

Pick elements of your game that you may feel could use some shoring up and dedicate yourself to improving those aspects. While short-term results can be misleading, working on various elements of your game will definitely pay dividends in the long run.


Winning isn’t a sure shot sign of progress as a poker player and we all know that. While your winning numbers are a telling statistic, it’s not the complete picture, it doesn’t mean no more work to be done. Never stop learning.


With online poker growing in popularity, there are multiple statistical tools that help analyze your play. They help track and report to you all kinds of statistics that can help you narrow in on what you’re doing well and where your game might need some help.

The best use of statistics is to assess trends. Are you playing more hands than previously? Hmmm, maybe I’ve loosened up too much. Has my number of pots won at the showdown decreased? Hmmm, maybe I’ve broadened my starting hand selection too much. Has my number of pots won without a showdown decreased significantly? Hmmm, maybe I’ve become less aggressive and become a calling station.

These statistics are not guaranteed to give you solid answers but they will give you food for thought to help you analyze your game. Additionally it’s not a bad tool to help bring discipline into your game.


 If all else fails, seek help! Don’t get redundant with your game; there are professional coaches available in the poker community that will help analyze your game. Along with the rising popularity of poker there also have been a number of boot camps/stables springing up which give several days to a week or more of intense learning. These certainly come at a price, but a price you’d rather not be spewing on a game of no improvement.

Your first and most important coach is yourself. If you have the desire and will to improve your poker game you will work hard to do so. Be honest with yourself, set realistic, aggressive but attainable goals and work hard to achieve them. That will be a gratifying experience.

Use any of these three methods to take a harder look at how you’re playing to assess if there are significant shortcomings in your game that need attention. The major key in analyzing your game is being honest with yourself. After all, you’re the coach!