If you’ve never done this before, do it now. Sit down and ask yourself, honestly “What do I want from poker?” If you know you’re a recreational player, that’s great, move on. However, if you’re a player who wants to get more serious about the game, you’re going to want to read the rest of this piece. But first, grab a pen and paper because we’re going to create a poker log for you to use.
A poker log is a way to help you break down your game and make a battle plan. The first thing you’ll want to do is set a goal and begin to track your wins and losses at the tables to the best of your ability. For instance, when I sat down to create my own list, I’d just deposited $2,000 into my online poker account. My goal was to add $200 a week to my income, and I set a deadline of four months in the future to achieve this on a regular basis.
“Four months?” you might say. I didn’t want to feel pressured, and you certainly shouldn’t either when you make your plan. You want to make sure that you have enough time to actually achieve what you want to without falling victim to the sort of mental tilt that tight deadlines can impose on you. Let’s say that your personal goal is that you want to earn enough to buy your way into the WSOP next year. If your bankroll is currently at $4,000.00, then you’ll have to do much per math to establish how many dollars per month you’ll need to profit, how many per week, day, and even down to the hour. Once you’ve established your rate requirements and the amount of time you’ll be required to put into realizing your goal, you’ll have a plan of attack.
You’re also going to need to start keeping a very accurate log about your game. I’ve actually been using a ledger book I picked up in an office supply store to list my profits and losses and making notes about things like who I was playing against, if it was in a tournament or a cash game, etc. These notes actually help me a lot, particularly as I kept running against the same players in mid-stakes rooms and having an easy resource to use to get up to speed quickly was very beneficial.