As we welcome in the New Year, and all our promises to better ourselves and/or our situation, let’s lay a realistic groundwork for improving our poker games. I don’t want to hear any, “oh I’ll study more”, or “I’ll get some coaching”, or “I’ll win a WSOP bracelet”, etc… I mean real goals to improve that are realistic and achievable.
When I first started playing poker on a serious level, I honestly thought I may have a shot at being one of the best players in the world. I was winning tons of money, the game came easily, and I had a top winrate in high stakes online cash games. I was successfully flying under the poker radar with lots of success. Then came a lot of major life events. My girlfriend got pregnant. My goals and focus changed pretty quickly from that point, and I shifted into finding a more stable income that I could be successful at. So out popped Ace Poker Solutions. A great way to stabilize my income without having to depend on grinding into the late night hours. I could spend more time with my new family, which was my top priority.
Now, two kids later and married, that priority hasn’t changed, but I still want to be a top tier player. So I asked myself, what can I really do right now to improve my game? The games have gotten more difficult in respect to players understanding ranges better. There are less fish at the table. What can I do to improve that’s realistic within my own personal life goals? So I wrote some things out, and I think they might be helpful to others as well.
- Recognize and own one of my current weaknesses and resolve to change and improve it. Notice I said, ONE and own. Both of those are important. I don’t want to overwhelm myself. My current weakness, and something that really wasn’t an issue earlier in my career is subtle tilt. I used to outplay everyone with such ease. Now, people are folding less and finding narrower calls. Players are balancing their ranges better. I need to not think I’m entitled to any pot I play. I need to meditate more and get more centered on the fact that I’m going to lose more pots. It sounds almost counter intuitive, but in essence, I need to work on the acceptance of how things ARE, and not how they WERE.
- I need to post more hands. I got into this space where I didn’t think feedback was very helpful anymore because I understood the game on so many levels. But I need to let that go an allow more feedback and criticism. I developed an awesome tool in Leak Buster that will literally throw the hands I should look at right in my face. I should utilize it more myself. I added a new feature in Leak Buster 4 to grab the specific hands related to the leaks you have, and allow you to right click and save them into a forum posting format. I should use it more myself! 🙂
- I need to talk more poker with my poker friends again. I went through a big gap where I stopped doing this. I didn’t want to hear about the bad beats, and the “I should have quit” stories anymore. I need to move past that and talk to my poker friends that have world class poker minds.
- I need to look for a coach again. The last coach I had was Tom Bentham (tjbentham), who at the time was a top 10 cash game player in the world. He better have been at $1250/hr. 🙂 I need to dig back in and find someone I can work with that can open my mind to some new approaches and applied reads.
Now I think that’s a realistic list for 2015. Notice I didn’t set any, I want to make $150k in cash games this year or something of that sort. I don’t think setting dollar totals in poker is a good idea personally. I just want to focus on some realistic goals that will make me a better decision maker and player. The results will come as they will.
Here’s to a great 2015 everyone! Share your goals below and we can track our progress.