The New Year is upon us, and this is traditionally the time to make big decisions and important resolutions. Setting your goals is important even if you don’t manage to achieve them all, as it gives you something to work towards.
I’m sure many of you reading this have a long list of things you want to accomplish in 2020. If some items on those lists have to do with poker, it clearly means the game holds an important place in your life. Whether you’re already a hardened professional or poker is a competitive hobby you enjoy, it makes sense that you would want to get better at it.
Of course, this won’t happen overnight, and you have a long journey ahead of you. As such, I’ve decided to come up with the top 3 tips to make 2020 your best year in poker.
1. Play as much as you can but don’t forget to learn
This first point may seem rather obvious, but it’s often the hardest one to achieve. If you look back at the past year, you’ll probably realize that you haven’t played nearly as much poker as you wanted (unless it’s your full-time job, of course).
If you want 2020 to be your best poker year yet, you’ll need to give it priority over some other activities. I’m not talking about your job or family, of course, but try to devote more of your free time to playing poker rather than going to movies or watching shows on Netflix.
That being said, if you only stick to playing, you won’t go too far. Often, players forget that the real improvement comes away from the table, so you should devote some time to learning new strategies and fine-tuning your game.
If you mainly play online, you can always spice things up and join a live tournament, or vice versa. This year, you can find plenty of low buy-in events on the WSOP schedule so you can have some fun in Las Vegas even without a huge bankroll.
2. Set some poker-specific goals
The best way to get better at something is to have certain goals to aspire to along the way. While your overall goal in 2020 may be to become better at poker, this process will necessarily include a variety of limited-scope goals.
Do yourself a favor and don’t make any of your poker goals tied to money. While money is the measure of success in poker, a year isn’t a very long period in the grand scheme of things, so setting monetary goals could be quite demotivating.
Instead, come up with specific, measurable goals you can control. For example, that you’ll play a certain number of tournaments every week or month. Or, that you’ll spend a certain number of hours every week watching poker videos and learning about new strategies. Maybe you’ll just concentrate on your statistics, and finally reduce your VPIP poker stat that you know is currently too high.
At the end of the day, setting these smaller goals to help keep you going is very important and it gives you the best chance at achieving your greater goal, of improving at poker.
3. Find your poker groove and stick to it
Poker can be very draining both physically and mentally, regardless of how much you love the game. It’s just the nature of the beast. So, if you want to make 2020 your best year in poker yet, I’d suggest you find the poker format you truly enjoy most and stick to it.
If you love playing tournaments, do that and don’t worry about people telling you how cash games are so juicy and you’re missing out. It may well be true from a financial standpoint, but it is much more important for you to be happy and excited about each and every session.
On top of that, if you devote your time and energy to mastering a single format, you will improve much faster and see the results that you like. It does not mean that you can’t enjoy various poker games for fun, but if you want to take it seriously, only one poker variant should be your priority.
So, let 2020 be the year when you truly master the particular poker format you’ve always enjoyed. There’ll be plenty of time to expand your knowledge later, and you may even grow to like cash games or mixed games, after all. But finding your poker groove is very important if you want to achieve success in the long run, so let that be one of your most important poker decisions for 2020!