If you are idle when it comes to taking notes or if you have an aversion to using tracking software then you at least need to classify the players in other ways. Failure to do any sort of classification in online poker is a recipe for disaster; you cannot just spin your wheel anymore and hope that you make money. I have played a lot of full ring NLHE over the past four years and it became my bread and butter poker games. However there are several key things that will help you in your path towards making money and I will explain how you can spot good players and poor players in your games.
As a rule then whenever you see someone with a middling stack size then this is usually indicative of a weak player. It is not a given but there are mainly two ways to make money playing cash games and they are to play a short stack or a deep stack….. not in between. Skilled deep stack players will top up when they fall below 100bb and skilled short stack players will not allow themselves to play deep and so they tend to leave the table when their stack reaches 40bb as a maximum or if the buy in is larger then 50-55bb. But if you see a player with say 50bb to 80bb then this is usually indicative of two things….. namely that this player is not a reg and that they are likely not a winning player.
This is not an absolute but it a pretty good place to start when you are table selecting in the lobby for the best games. Also you need to pay attention to how many tables your opponents are playing. If you see a player who is on at least eight tables and has at least 100bb on all of his games then rest assured that this is a player who will not provide you with value because they will play the game very well. Likewise if you see a player on six tables and who has between 20bb-35bb on them all….. clearly a short stack reg and your strategy needs to adjust for that fact.
Carl “The Dean” Sampson
Carl “The Dean” Sampson is an online poker pro, coach and poker writer with many years experience in the poker and gambling industry. Carl has three published books and has written for many leading poker magazines like the WPT and Poker Pro Europe.
Carl plays poker online at PokerStars, not only the largest online poker room, but also the best!