Stan’s Lists – Poker New Year’s Resolutions

[SS] “It probably won’t surprise you that one of my lists is actually a list of lists”, Stan the Stat remarked.

[RR] “I’m not sure you could surprise me with any of your lists at this point”, Roderick the Rock suggested.

[SS] “Are you making any New Year’s resolutions for next year?”

[RR] “No, I don’t really believe in them. If there’s something I want to work on, I’ll try to work on it immediately, even if it’s July 4.”

[SS] “Fair enough. I have some, mostly to do with poker, but I can’t share them with you without giving you useful information about how to play against me (at least until I break them ;-). So you’ll have to content yourself with these poker new year’s resolutions that other people have written.”

[SS] “For starters, I think you can break down poker resolutions into the following four categories:”

Studying

  • Reading books (read as much as you can, take notes, and put your learning into action)
  • Watching videos (ditto)
  • Watching poker on TV (not highly recommended, since the hand selection is highly skewed, but if you do, watch actively by trying to narrow down each player’s hand range).
  • Reviewing hands (especially easy if you play online and can analyze your hand history with Holdem Manager or a similar tool that can do amazing things like point out your worst leaks)

Playing

  • Playing against the right level of opponents (not too easy but, more importantly, not too hard)
  • Playing more (live, online, or against apps like THETA Poker Pro)
  • Having fun (if you’re a recreational player); if you’re not having fun, find another game

Discipline

  • Focusing on the game (the more you pay attention to the other players, the better; no watching TV, texting, or surfing the internet)
  • Not playing at all if you’re distracted by other issues (illness, etc.)
  • Not drinking while playing
  • Exercising, eating well, and staying away from drugs
  • Handling tilt (by walking away or at least folding the next few hands)

Bankroll Management

  • Tracking your poker earnings and maintaining a bankroll separate from your other money
  • Keeping your buyins below a predetermined percentage of your bankroll
  • Setting bankroll goals (should never be the ultimate judge, however, due to variance)

[SS] “Specifically, here are my favorite lists I’ve collected over the years:”

Poker New Year’s Resolutions

Meta-Lists (what poker resolutions should and shouldn’t be)

[RR] “So, how did you do on your resolutions from last year?”

[SS] “To be honest, I should probably start the New Year by asking for absolution for the dissolution of last year’s resolutions. But I think that last list of lists holds the solution to my irresolution!”

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