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In just under three weeks, we will enter the New Year. Soon we will begin the annual process of coming up with resolutions we know we won’t keep, but we trick ourselves into making them because maybe ONE TIME! we will actually keep them.

With that spirit in mind, below are five New Year’s resolutions for poker pros. Two years ago, Mike Leah made a set of poker resolutions and proceeded to have his best year as a pro. Maybe some of you can do the same.

Disclaimer – is not responsible for any failed resolutions, broken relationships, or players going busto by following these suggestions. If we really knew what we were talking about, we’d be taking Phil Ivey’s bankroll and making it our own. Do any of us look like we have Ivey’s money?

Have More Sex

While most players will not cop to this resolution, I’m betting that some go into the New Year with the intention to get laid more. Some have the game to pull this off. Some have the bankroll (take this however you want). Others will have to be satisfied by alternative methods.

Barry Greenstein listed sex as a need that poker players need to meet in order to stay sharp and perform well in tournaments. Thinking about it, maybe this could be used as a selling point. Get laid – get paid.

“If you have sex before you go to sleep, you probably will be more rested and less distracted when you play. Therefore, a sex partner who travels with you can be a big asset. In theory, if your partner isn’t with you when you go on an extended poker trip out of town, a relatively steady substitute will give you a competitive advantage.”

Thank you Barry Greenstein.

Win a WSOP Bracelet

The majority of us that play poker tournaments have the ultimate goal of winning a WSOP bracelet. The good news is that there are more bracelets for grabs per year than ever before. The bad news is that poker tournaments are exponentially tougher than they were even a decade ago.

WSOP 2015 bracelet slider 2

Winning a WSOP bracelet is career vilifying for those that play poker tournaments. Money is how you keep score in poker and bracelets are one way the poker pros keep score.

Win $1 Million in a Single Tournament

Just to show how far we’ve come in just two decades, back in the 1990’s it was a major accomplishment to win six figures in a poker tournament. Payouts of $1 million were only seen in the WSOP Main Event so winning $100k or more was a big deal.

Two decades later, some players can win $100k by playing in an event as cheap as $200 bucks. The six-figure score is important to amateurs but for many pros, it just helps them tread water, especially if they play a decent volume of tournaments each year.

Now the seven-figure score is what many pros look to as a benchmark of success. Unless you’re playing a decent volume of High Roller tournaments, a seven-figure score will represent significant money to the bankroll of most pros.

That’s why the November Nine is such a huge deal. Even if you don’t win the WSOP Main Event, you are still winning life-changing, or at least bankroll-changing money.

Invest in a Gerbil Extermination Program

As we have discussed in the past, Gerbils are the bane to most online poker player’s existence. It is rumored that Phil Ivey’s epic downswing over the last two years is in part attributed to gerbil infestations.


If you’re an online poker pro looking to give yourself the best chance of winning in 2016, invest in a gerbil extermination program. Removing these regular distractions will allow you to focus more and give you the best chance of protecting your bankroll.


Pick Up a Sponsorship

While there are fewer poker sponsorships out there for successful pros, they do come up from time to time. The key is to get yourself noticed and continue performing well, or have some type of hook that makes you popular.

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It might be time for some of you to start getting your name out there more or maybe setup your own Twitch channel. Maybe you can be the next Jason Somerville. Please refrain from taking a pee on camera though. Daniel Negreanu has the market cornered on that activity.

But then again, an exhibitionist poker pro would definitely be something different enough to draw followers.!

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James Guill

James Guill began his poker career in 2006, spending two years traveling the US tournament circuit. Since 2008, he has covered the game extensively for some of the biggest names in the industry. When not writing about the latest poker news, he can be found hunting for antique treasures in Central Virginia.