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Poker Resolutions

by Linda Johnson |  Published: Mar 11, 2020


We are already well into 2020. If you are like most Americans, you had good intentions (goals/resolutions) for the new year. Of course, by the time you read this, many of your New Year’s resolutions already will already be broken. Fortunately, there’s still plenty of time on the poker calendar to get things right.

Here are some things that we should all strive to accomplish in our poker lives in 2020.

1. Become (or remain) a winning player. The good news about poker is that it is a game that can be beat. There are thousands of professional poker players in the USA. This can’t be said of all casino games. For example, there are no professional roulette or backgammon players, because these games have a built-in house edge. While you might get lucky and win for a while at these games, you do not have a positive expectancy when playing them. The bad news is that it will take a lot of time, study, and experience to become a winning player. Make up your mind to put in the work and preparation to become a winning player in 2020. Read a new poker book(s). Reread old poker books. Subscribe to an online poker training site. Discuss poker with friends. Listen to podcasts and watch poker shows on television that feature accomplished commentators.

2. Exercise good game selection. Play in games in which you can “outplay, outwit, and outlast your opponents.”

3. Have fun at the table. We all need to keep poker in perspective. It should be a game that enhances our lives, not one that impacts our lives negatively. If you aren’t enjoying yourself at the table, ask yourself why you are playing.

4. Try to make sure that your opponents have fun at the poker table. Include your opponents in conversation. Don’t spend too much time on your cell phone or reading a book at the table. Don’t berate opponents for making bad plays and getting lucky; that will make them want to play better or even cause them to leave the table. Be sociable!

5. Take a poker “vacation” this year, or perhaps travel to a new poker venue and stay there for a few days, or travel to play in one of the poker tour events in a place you’ve never been before. Take a poker cruise; Card Player Cruises has lots of exotic destinations in 2020. Treat yourself to an amazing poker experience by checking out the itineraries at I escort every cruise and look forward to hosting you on the trip of a lifetime.

6. Play your best game at ALL times. Most of us play well at the start of a session. However, most of us also have a problematic “tilt” factor when we are losing. What good is it if we know how to play well and make good decisions if we don’t play our A game all the time? By the way, this is probably the hardest goal to keep.

7. Play limits that are within your bankroll. Many players play too high for their budgets and as a result, other parts of their lives suffer. Stick with limits that won’t affect you financially and mentally when you lose.

8. Be a “good citizen” at the table. Help the dealer. If you see a mistake about to me made, stop the action and point it out. Play in a timely manner. Don’t tell bad-beat stories… the reality is that no one cares how many flush draws in a row you have missed. Don’t slow the game down by constantly taking longer than you need to make a decision. Don’t play out of turn. Don’t ask for new set ups… there are deuces in every deck!

If you can adhere to the goals above, 2020 will probably be your best poker year ever! ♠

Linda JohnsonLinda Johnson is a WSOP bracelet winner and member of the Poker Hall of Fame, the Women in Poker Hall of Fame, and WPT Honors. She is available to host tournaments, seminars, and charity events. Please contact her at with questions or comments.