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Reviewing a Session After Playing

dpbuckdpbuck Posts: 1,655Subscriber
One of my goals for 2018 is to spend more time reviewing and analyzing my sessions after playing. During each session I jot down in Evernote every single hand I VPIP. I also periodically make notes of my mental state for my tilt profile (a la Tendler's "The Mental Game of Poker"). Even though I literally have every hand I've played since the start of 2015 saved in Evernote, I do not use them enough. I will typically a day or two after a session run through my notes quickly, maybe post a hand in the forums, or chat with a friend about a hand, or maybe put a hand in Stove to make sure my equity calculation was correct, but otherwise that's it.

How do you guys review hands/sessions after the fact?
How long after the session ends do you wait before digging in?
For every hour you spend playing, how many hours are you spending reviewing sessions?
What situations are you highlighting?
What tools do you use to review (Stove, FlopZilla, etc)? What are "must haves"?
Do you ever go back to sessions from 6+ months ago and re-review?
Any other tips and tricks?

For reference, I only get 250-300 hours in per year, and my average session is 5-8 hours. Not sure if that volume should change my perspective. Any insight is appreciated.
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Comments

  • SuperDonkyCrusher Posts: 100Subscriber
    I'll give this a go. For reference I'm not a professional. I play about 400-500 hours a year.
    How do you guys review hands/sessions after the fact?
    I try to write down any hand that I see a flop with and I will usually bookmark hands I have questions about when I catalog them.. for example, I'll write down a hand I'm unsure about in bold font. I usually start with those hands when I review. Also, when you review older HH's you can see the kinds of hands that give you trouble (previously bold/bookmark'd) and you can see if there's a pattern or if you're improving on certain concepts/situations.
    How long after the session ends do you wait before digging in?
    I generally try to review my last session some time before my next. But usually its within a week.
    For every hour you spend playing, how many hours are you spending reviewing sessions?
    maybe 5 to 1.. play to study.
    What situations are you highlighting?
    I usually know which hands I had trouble with or wonder about right after I played them.
    Generally, the most common situations for me are :
    high spr scenarios
    hands oop
    defending against raises pf, (MDF)
    What tools do you use to review (Stove, FlopZilla, etc)? What are "must haves"?
    those are great, I use PokerCruncher but you can accomplish the same with FlopZilla
    Do you ever go back to sessions from 6+ months ago and re-review?
    Yes, it's a great way to track your progress
    Any other tips and tricks?
    I try to write down some hands that go to showdown that I'm not involved in. Generally, I pick the ones that involve two regs or when I see a reg do something that seems "non-standard". This is especially true if it's someone who's game I respect.
  • CycleV Posts: 359Subscriber
    I used to note every vpip like you do, not any more as I feel like I miss too much stuff. I did get what I wanted out of it, in that I made a huge Excel and broke down hands into categories based on how I played them. Preflop I was calling or limp/calling way too much (in a 1/3 300 cap game).

    If a hand stymies me I use Equilab (same as the others basically) to get a sense of what equity I had vs the range I put him on. I do not do this enough; I'd wager no rec and almost no live pro does.

    Tendler 2 (I think) recommends doing a write up right after every session. I now go with this and even though I hate turning on the computer after midnight if I get home late. I have problems falling asleep after a long session if lots is running through my head, and jotting everything down helps me unwind a bit before bed.
  • dpbuckdpbuck Posts: 1,655Subscriber
    CycleV said:
    I used to note every vpip like you do, not any more as I feel like I miss too much stuff. I did get what I wanted out of it, in that I made a huge Excel and broke down hands into categories based on how I played them.
    Oooooh. I like this idea...
  • pokertime Posts: 2,121Subscriber
    Already mentintiend in another thread but I try to review a hand right away if possible. If I’m screwing up I want to fix it right away. Usually you’ll have a run of bad hands you are folding and can quickly plug a hand into poker cruncher. That’s the only program I use and would consider it a must have or any equivalent odds calculator that lets you do ranges and mumtilple villains etc. This is for a quick check so I don’t spew the rest of session in a spot I had iffy math in my head or something. If I take a beat I can go for a walk, clear my head and sometimes find out I wasn’t as big a fav as I thought. Or I was so far ahead I want that action everytime!

    If I’m on a heater and need to keep playing I make a quick note in my phone for review later.

    Regardless, I still go back after the session and review hands with poker cruncher and think them through while it’s fresh. Then I can focus on sizing and did the V do something I should have picked up on where I’m missing some value or I should have slowed down/folded.

    I would say I spend anywhere from 30 min to an hour after a session reviewing which may include posting hands for feedback. This is in addition to watching videos, reading forums etc. I don’t track every hand I VPIP as many are super standard. Mainly hands that played out and could have gone a couple different ways or hands where I maybe shouldnt be playing it at all!

    I may think over a hand for a couple weeks if I feel it’s a common spot I need to get right but that’s about it. I’m not going back too far as the game is always changing and I like to think I am too!

    GL!
  • MonadPrimeMonadPrime Posts: 696Member
    pokertime said:
    Already mentintiend in another thread I try to review a hand right away if possible. If I’m screwing up I want to fix it right away. Usually you’ll have a run of bad hands you are folding and can quickly plug a hand into poker cruncher. That’s the only program I use and would consider it a must have or any equivalent odds calculator that lets you do ranges and mumtilple villains etc. This is for a quick check so I don’t spew the rest of session in a spot I had iffy math in my head or something. If I take a beat I can go for a walk, clear my head and sometimes find out I wasn’t as big a fav as I thought. Or I was so far ahead I want that action everytime!

    If I’m on a heater and need to keep playing I make a quick note in my phone for review later.

    Regardless, I still go back after the session and review hands with poker cruncher and think them through while it’s fresh. Then I can focus on sizing and did the V do something I should have picked up on where I’m missing some value or I should have slowed down/folded.

    I would say I spend anywhere from 30 min to an hour after a session reviewing which may include posting hands for feedback. This is in addition to watching videos, reading forums etc. I don’t track every hand I VPIP as many are super standard. Mainly hands that played out and could have gone a couple different ways or hands where I maybe shouldnt be playing it at all!

    I may think over a hand for a couple weeks if I feel it’s a common spot I need to get right but that’s about it. I’m not going back too far as the game is always changing and I like to think I am too!

    GL!
    Great advice.
  • CycleV Posts: 359Subscriber
    dpbuck said:
    CycleV said:
    I used to note every vpip like you do, not any more as I feel like I miss too much stuff. I did get what I wanted out of it, in that I made a huge Excel and broke down hands into categories based on how I played them.
    Oooooh. I like this idea...
    So if you use Excel or Libreoffice, I had one sheet that was the master, with all the hands. Then a whole bunch of other sheets: PF monsters, PF premiums, etc. Also sheets based on PF play: pfr, l, l/c, etc. Finally one based on final pot size. I'd then highlight a hand, and copy/paste it into whichever sheets were relevant. That's how I determined that I was l/c too much (amongst other leaks). I also found that over my first 2-300 hours, literally all of my money came from pots over 100BB; when the money went in I was almost always a fave, but on small or medium pots I was completely breaking even. I was def more of a nut-peddler when I first started, but I realized some spots I neded to change my style. Going through what was admittedly a lengthy process was worthwhile in the end for me.
  • pokertime Posts: 2,121Subscriber
    CycleV said:
    dpbuck said:
    CycleV said:
    I used to note every vpip like you do, not any more as I feel like I miss too much stuff. I did get what I wanted out of it, in that I made a huge Excel and broke down hands into categories based on how I played them.
    Oooooh. I like this idea...
    So if you use Excel or Libreoffice, I had one sheet that was the master, with all the hands. Then a whole bunch of other sheets: PF monsters, PF premiums, etc. Also sheets based on PF play: pfr, l, l/c, etc. Finally one based on final pot size. I'd then highlight a hand, and copy/paste it into whichever sheets were relevant. That's how I determined that I was l/c too much (amongst other leaks). I also found that over my first 2-300 hours, literally all of my money came from pots over 100BB; when the money went in I was almost always a fave, but on small or medium pots I was completely breaking even. I was def more of a nut-peddler when I first started, but I realized some spots I neded to change my style. Going through what was admittedly a lengthy process was worthwhile in the end for me.
    Wow. If you created that I’d be selling it. I’m assuming it’s doing all the math for you kind of like leak finder?
  • CycleV Posts: 359Subscriber
    edited January 13
    No, I had to do all the math. It wasn't a program, just a spreadsheet. I come from online so I'm used to/spoiled by being able to call up every spot imaginable and see how I'm doing. But due to both the time involved, and the lol small sample size, I just went with the obvios categories, and almost all preflop. Just not enough data for post flop dbl barreling, etc.

    A friend was thinking about making an app that would do this for us, we input the hand and it gets categorized. Theoretically it would be as easy as taking a HH. Never got it off the ground, in part cuz idk how much of a market there would be; he was thinking to make it worth his time it'd be $5-10/mo sub, I said idk how many cheap azz LLSNL players would pony up for it.
  • pokertime Posts: 2,121Subscriber
    True. Would be cool but a lot of effort and little return. Anyone trying to get better is likely playing online and using all those analyzers with way more hands.
  • maphacks Posts: 1,859Subscriber
    edited January 14
    I talk hands with my friend as soon as possible after the session. some take two minutes, some take up to 15-20 minutes. very occasionally I check equities vs ranges in equilab. I don't make notes during playing. I think reviewing the hands weeks/months later doesn't make too much sense because oftentimes there are so many other things going on at a live table which you can't remember by then.
    my friend sometimes blugs in some ranges into PIOsolver which I find quite useless. sometimes you find out something interesting/get new ideas but usually the conclusion is that it's not applicable especially in a live game.

    writing down every hand you VPIP is a complete overkill since dynamics change so much and most plays can be justified in most situations.
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