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Poker New Year Resolutions 2014

I’m a fan of new-year resolutions. For me the start of a new year is a great time to put your energy and focus into new projects, getting healthy and generally improving myself. Sure, not all plans work out, but hey, as long as I gave it a genuine best shot!

This post covers 10 possible new year resolutions you might want to make as a poker player. Doing them all might be a bit much to ask first time round… If you pick 3, and stick with them for a couple of months until they become routine, you’ll be ready to come back for more.

Each one is designed to make your game more fun and more profitable, either directly or indirectly. I

Poker New Year Resolutions 2014

poker new year resolutions blog post#1 – Tool Up Your Game

If you are playing without a HUD then you are in one of two categories of people…  Either a beginner who does not know about how important they are, or a ‘purist’ who thinks they can do better without one.

Sorry folks, you are wrong. A HUD / database will give you info to make better decisions against your opponents and it will help you discover (and the fix) your own leaks.

US Players can get a free one at, outside the US you can get a free copy of Holdem Manager 2 Pro (the best available) at (choose promotions, then look at the bottom of the left hand side list).

#2 – Do Not Play When Drunk / Tired Or Unwell

I do this, and know I need to stop… after a couple of beers I fire up some Zoom Poker and start acting like a crazy fool. My trick is to do it at the penny buy-ins, which saves a lot of money, but has no obvious effect on my morning headaches.

On a more serious note, I have seen playing drunk or unwell devastate bankrolls – killing off all that good work players did building it up in the first place. Make it a resolution to play some ‘fun’ or arcade type game instead when you get in from the bar.

#3 – Find Yourself A Study Buddy

This might sound silly, but it is one of the most useful things you can do in poker. Find someone at a similar level as you, who is into the same types of game. You can then review each other’s hands, and discuss unclear situations. If nothing else you will soon find that things you thought you were doing ‘correctly’ have different ways of looking at them. You can find someone locally, or try on popular forums – don’t be embarrassed to ask, there are a lot of people out there who would welcome the idea.

#4 – Bankroll Management

Ugh, this is like a curse word in poker nowadays… yet without it the chances of going broke increase massively. I always like to suggest taking shots at the next level. The real pros out there did not all grind their way slowly through the levels. You can easily do this in the context of disciplined bankroll management though… just have 20 buy-ins (cash games) safe, and take a shot when you win some money above this.

#5 – Move To A Softer Site

Sometimes I feel like I am banging my head against a brick wall with this one. Nobody questions my logic (that there are plenty of soft poker sites out there) yet they all play on PokerStars anyway… The biggest difference is between sites linked to sports betting brands (think iPoker) and those who are only really well known among people who already play poker (think Stars). Make it a new year resolution to at least open up the games side-by-side and see the (huge) difference for yourself.

#6 – Exercise / Eat Healthy

I smoked for years and was not conscious of my eating… ugh. Running, not smoking and eating fresh food makes it feel like to have a brand new body. You’ll wake up refreshed, focus better and win more by making better, clearer decisions. Don’t take my word for this one, look it up online, you have 1 body (well, unless cloning tech drastically improves over coming years), make sure you look after it.

#7 – Cut Down On A Table Or Two

These days, the quest for volume is hot hot hot. If you are a recreational player then why not ask yourself whether playing 12 tables is really necessary? After all, you play the game for fun as well as profits, right? How much more fun would it be to play just a few tables, enjoying those extra reads and insights into your opponents and making some extra profits from them.

Even if you are an aspiring pro, you can cut down some of your tables – you’ll have the chance to try out some more moves and strategies without being continually interrupted.

#8 – Actively Table Select

A majority of players still sit at the first table with an open seat, regardless of whether it is filled with nitty regulars or fish. Table selection can increase your profit by 10% easily, and 20%+ is possible with some active focus on this area. No excuses in 2014, you should be playing at sites with sports-book cross over traffic and you should be actively selecting the softest tables.

#9 – Specialize In One Game

Stop scattering your play between cash games, SNGs a tournament or two and some PLO. The most profitable players in each game are those who find a format they enjoy and work hard to understand and then beat it. I think Sit N Goes are a great starting point (then again, I do run Sit N Go planet, hmm).

#10 – Hit The Qualifiers

Playing in a huge tournament (the Sunday Million / other site’s Sunday Major or even a live event) is a great way to freshen up your poker. Qualifiers to this kind of event are some of the softest poker games you will find anywhere online, with a ton of first time and novice players attracted to them. If you take a shot every week or two, eventually you’ll be playing in the big game – where you’ll have the opportunity to make a score which could really make a difference to your poker career.

GL At The Tables In 2014


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