Whether you come out on top or fall prey to a shark, there are a few things every online poker tournament player should do immediately following a tournament. Once you take a few minutes to stretch your legs, sit back down and take notes on the tournament.
Review Your Game
How did you play this tournament? Did you stick to your original plan or did something happen to make you abandon your plan? Were there any surprises? It is important to take the time to review how you played the online poker tournament, and take extensive notes. Write down what cards you had and what plays you made. Be sure to include any emotional responses you may have felt at any time during the game. This will give you a record to study in order to improve self control in preparation for the next tournament.
Review The Other Players
Write down who the other players were and any and all impressions you have of them. Did you recognize any of them? Have you played any of them before? If so, did they play this game as expected, or did they surprise you? For opponents that you haven’t played previously, write down everything you can think of about them and how they played. Be sure to record any tells you may have noticed or weaknesses your opponents seem to have. It is likely you will encounter many of them again in future tournaments, and cataloging this information immediately after a game creates a more reliable log.
Perform a Poker Room Review
It is also important to review the poker room and take notes on how the tournament was run. Not only will this provide you with helpful information for future tournaments, it will also help you decide whether or not to play another tournament with that online poker room in the future. Check out online poker reviews and online poker room ratings and decide whether or not your tournament experience was on par with the reviews. If not, consider contacting the appropriate people at the poker room and providing them with constructive feedback.
Review Your Pre-Tournament Preparation
After an online poker tournament, it is important to review your pre-tournament preparation process and make note of what worked and what needs to be different next time. For example, did you drink too much coffee and find yourself needing a break between official breaks? Were you well rested and ready for a mental challenge? Did you find halfway through the tournament that your chair is uncomfortable for long sessions? Even consider the clothing you wore during the tournament. Was it comfortable or did it feel binding after awhile? Small details like clothing can make a big difference in how well you perform in a tournament.
Making note of everything related to the tournament creates a useful record to study in preparation for the next tournament. Note what things need to be changed before next time, such as a new chair or different clothes. Use these notes to improve your game and to study opponents so that you are better prepared the next time you meet.