In my last article Poker Improvement Comes AFTER Making a Plan, I gave you the simple 4-step plan I use for my own poker improvement. Along with these 4 steps, I think it’s critical to track your progress with relative metrics as you work to improve your game.
I used to work in the corporate office of a steakhouse and my boss taught me that “you can only improve what you measure.” It was quite obvious to me the truth in this statement.
If you don’t measure something, how can you determine whether or not your efforts are having a positive result?
For the restaurant industry it was important to track these items on a daily and weekly basis to gauge the health of our business:
- Total sales broken down into food, alcohol and merchandise categories.
- Food sales broken down into dine in and take out.
- Total labor costs and percentages.
- Total food and liquor costs and percentages.
We would also track metrics related to current initiatives. If we were promoting a special limited time item, we would track the sales of that item by location and against the marketing used to gauge the effectiveness of our efforts.
As poker players, we must track our progress in the exact same way. Some metrics should always be tracked, like number of hands played, total win rate and currency won, VPIP, PFR, 3bet, Cbet, Fold to Cbet and other critical statistics. If you’re a Sit n’ Go (SNG) or tournament player, you’ll keep track of your hours played in tournaments, winnings (or losses – eek!) and your finish places.
It’s also important to track metrics related to your current studies in order to gauge the effectiveness of your work off-the-felt.
For example, maybe this week you’re working on your preflop calling decisions. So, you’re focused on making better hand choices, targeting opponents, utilizing preflop HUD stats, looking at stack sizes and planning for post-flop play.
You’ll want to start your week by recording relevant stats such as VPIP and PFR, Call Preflop 2bet and 3bet, Fold to Steal and 3bet Resteal. You’ll want to record your win rates when entering pots as the preflop caller, raiser, 3bettor and blind defender. You’ll also record your Won When Saw Flop win rate along with Facing Cbet win rates.
At the end of your week of study and playing 3,000 to 5,000 hands, you’ll re-record these numbers to see the direct effects of your studies on your play and results.
Here are the statistics and win rates you must record on a continual basis:
Statistics That Highlight Your Tendencies:
- # of Hands
- My Currency Won
- BB/100 Hands Win Rate
- Isolation Raise
- Attempt to Steal
- Fold to Steal
- 3bet Steal
- Cbet Flop
- Cbet Turn
- Cbet River
- Fold to Flop Cbet
- Fold to Turn Cbet
- Fold to River Cbet
- Won Money at Showdown (W$SD)
- Went to Showdown (WSD)
- Won When Saw Flop (WWSF)
- Won at Showdown after River Call (WSD after R Call)
Win Rates Related to Specific Actions
- Total Win Rate by position (BTN, CO, MP, EP, BB, SB)
- 2bet Preflop
- Call 2bet Preflop total and by position
- 3bet Preflop
- 3bet Resteal
- 2bet/Call 3bet Preflop
- Cbet Flop
- Cbet Turn
- Cbet River
- Call F Cbet
- Call T Cbet
- Call R Cbet
- Call Any River Bet
Watch me find and record these statistics & win rates:
It might seem like a lot to track but once you get used to finding these numbers, it’ll take 5 minutes. Tracking your metrics like this allows you to see where you’re at now compared to where you used to be and it highlights your areas of opportunity.