Poker Journal – A Way to Manage Bankroll, Track Progress and Stay in Control

poker journal

Intro to a Poker Journal

A journal is something few people are interested in doing. I get that, but keeping a poker journal is an effective way of monitoring lots of areas of your overall poker game (detailed in this post). If you keep an open mind and want to make poker a success story, read this article to understand why keeping a record will help you as I’m going to detail the advantages, and then briefly explain how you can keep a poker journal too.

Write Down What You Learn

I’ve discussed how to study poker before. Suffice to say studying is an integral part of poker in the 2020’s, there’s no getting around that. But studying alone without note taking and revision is pointless. You may comprehensively learn a subject once but then fall into bad habits and make mistakes. It is then that you need to track back and revisit what you learnt. This is where a poker journal can help you.

If you write down what you’ve learnt it will be a great tool to call upon in the future. By the way, it also helps you learn the first time if you write it down too.

Keep Note of Mistakes

Mistakes are can be repeated over and over again, particularly when one plays online poker alone. But, if you are writing down mistakes you make in poker, there more accountability. You will feel it from yourself.

If you are committed to keeping a poker journal, knowing you have to write down the same mistakes again over and over may in itself be a deterrent in the future.

Tracking Sessions & Bankroll

One of the golden rules of poker, which you can find on most no limit poker sites information is bankroll management. How you document it is up to you; some use apps, we love spreadsheets but a poker journal works fine too.

Any time you play a session, enter the key data you find most relevant. This should include how much was won or lost, the number of hands played and the setting (live or online). Having this documented in a journal is brilliant and in conjunction with the next article point will significantly help your overall game and tilt control.

Managing Tilt

Keeping a regular updated poker journal can be very therapeutic.  You can write down anything you want as you are likely to be the only reader. Many players who keep a journal find the best advantage to having one is their ability to control tilt goes up.

By writing down a bad beat or how they felt, how the hand played out it can be stress relieving. Furthermore, if hands lost were a result of tilting they will recognise the signs in the future as they’ve relived it through their journal.

Keeping an accurate record of significant hands or times you went on tilt will serve as a lesson for the future, otherwise these poignant hands will have no purpose and fall into your sub-conscious.

How to Keep a Poker Journal

There are several ways of keeping a journal; pen and paper, word file, notes on mobile or a blog online. Whilst all of these can serve their purpose my personal favourite is word file. You can write it easily, there’s no fees involved and they take up very little space. If you share a computer and want privacy you can buy a USB memory stick.

If you’re learning toward pen and paper, we recommend buying hardcover notebooks. They last well and cost very little.

On the other hand, if you want readers and attention, you can buy a domain easily and write a WordPress blog. This can be more costly as you need to pay for domain and hosting then you will need to spend time uploading to the website and any marketing involved with getting interest.

poker spreadsheet

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