As another year rolls into view we are all supposed to stop for a moment, take stock of our lives and decide what we should be doing better. It’s usually, “Spend more time with friends and family”, “get fit fast”, “quit smoking (really this time)”, “learn a foreign language” or “get a pension”, but let’s be honest about this – you won’t do any of these, same as you didn’t last year. So what New Year Resolutions SHOULD we be making? Here are your New Year Resolutions for Poker.
Calm down, don’t panic. I’m not saying play less poker – heaven forbid! I want you to play more Online Poker but play smarter Online Poker. A good adage to remember is that the measure of a good player is the hands he doesn’t go after, rather than the ones he wins. Winning with a full house is easy and obvious; knowing when to let the card go is more tricky and more rewarding. A simple rule is that if you’re staying in for over 50% of the hands you’re dealt, you need to rethink your starting hand requirements.
Similarly avoid avoid AVOID playing hands just because you’ve already put money in. Unless you’re bluffing, your odds don’t improve if you put in more money. Remember, any $$$ you’ve already put in is no longer yours; it belongs to the pot.
Again, don’t think that you should make an art of smiling and saying, “Well played there…that was a good hand…no I don’t mind giving you my hard earned cash…shall we play again?” A good loser is still a loser, but what you should do is look at what it was that cost you the hand. Obviously it was the cards’ fault, but think: what could you have done differently; what should you have done better? Learning from your mistakes isn’t a free lesson, it’s a lesson you’ve already paid for.
Don’t be too smug and don’t rub their noses in your brilliance. Yes you’re great, yes you are a prince amongst men, you’re hot so you think you’re the ruler of this table, oh, what a big man you are! But if you go too far, a bunch of guys you can take money off won’t want to play your reindeer games anymore. A quiet winner is a popular winner…and a popular person gets invited back.
We’ve all had one of those evening when the bourbon-coloured angel on our shoulder whispers in our ear, “You’re great you can’t lose this hand, bet more, they’re scared, they’re on the ropes, bluff they can’t tell…all in…go on, go on…” It’s soon followed by your voice in the same ear that says, “What were you thinking?” You don’t have to drink milk all night, but don’t let Jack Daniels tell you how to play. There’s a reason Mr. Daniels is a famous distiller rather than a famous gambler.
By the way, a recent scientific study shows that while over half the participants in a resolutions study were confident of resolution success, only 12% actually achieved their goals.
Happy New Year!