New Year’s resolutions are as trite and predictable as a CBS sitcom. But the Poker PIlgrims are not immune to the pull. In fact, every year we usually go away (often to play some poker) for a few days. We always spend part of that end of year trip planning for the coming year. These trips always yield a poker resolution or two. We often end up in Montreal. The Playground Poker Room is still our favorite room on the east coast. This year we traveled to Burlington, VT.
Burlington proved inspirational, as it generated 5 key poker resolutions for 2024.
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Poker Resolution #1: Improve Our Poker Skills
When I started playing poker it seemed pretty simple. Following some beginner’s luck, I was well down the road of “I know I can be really good at this”! Cut to a decade or two later and I am a humbled player. Variability caught up to me, players got better, and the more I learned, the more I realized the complexity of this game. Sadly, finding the time to properly train always seems like an impossibility.
In 2024, I want to spend more time away from the felt improving my skills. I will read new poker books and reread sections of those I have found valuable in the past, like Arnold Snyder’s tournament poker books. There are so many great training videos and vlogs these days that I’m sure I will find some useful tips. Those content opportunities are endless.
One resource that Heather and I both love (and also have enjoyed working for) is Advanced Poker Training. APT, with their simulated players, allows you to play such a high volume of hands in a short time that it really accelerates your learning curve. They have so many different training tools that allow specific skill focus. We have both been members for almost 10 years now. So getting on APT and focusing my training on my weak spots (see below for how 2023 went!) is key.
Poker Resolution #2: Enjoy Poker More
Poker should be fun. Yes, it’s a competition and there is often money on the line, but still, it’s a game. However, poker can be maddening as well. Our results from 2023, were, shall we say, not spectacular. Many untimely bad beats sent us unceremoniously packing from tournaments. We never got positive momentum this year.
In 2023, poker became a frustrating enterprise. We had the desire to play both in our local New England rooms and in new rooms when we traveled. But sessions often ended with “Why do we do this again?”. When you are on a losing streak, you start to doubt whether you are playing well. Is this variability, or am I making too many mistakes?
And, as primarily tournament players, the options in New England have decreased and become more expensive since the pandemic. Finding tournaments that fit our schedule has become more challenging, and losing streaks are more expensive.
So for 2024, we want to find ways to focus on enjoying the game more, even through the tough runs and lack of local options. First, Resolution #1 will help with the frustrating outcomes. If we can focus on “Did I play well?” (and hopefully answer “yes”!) and less on outcomes that would help.
Second, there is a lot to be gained socially from poker that is uplifting. There are some great people to play with, and we need to focus more on enjoying the social aspect of the game. Third, new experiences always help revive our interest in poker. That brings us to poker resolution #3…
Poker Resolution #3: Play in 20 New Poker Rooms
Heather and I are all about increasing our poker experiences. We have played at 82 different poker rooms in our travels over the years. We want to get to 100 by the end of 2024. If we target about 20 rooms this year we’ll break that benchmark.
Our first venture out will be this winter. We’re jumping in the car in January with Texas as our ultimate target. There are an amazing number of rooms in Texas, both big and small. We hope to spend about 3 weeks there, mostly in the San Antonio/Austin area, but also hit Houston and Dallas. We aim to hit 8 to 10 Texas rooms in all.
But this poker resolution has even wider aims. Our mode of transportation offers many more opportunities. While specific locations are still being debated, we’ll likely visit rooms in Biloxi and New Orleans going down. On the way back, we have our sights on Tulsa, St. Louis, and Cincinnati. Maybe we’ll even hit one of the new poker rooms in Virginia.
That entire winter trip should get us close to 20 on its own. We are then eyeing a Midwest venture to the Michigan area, and perhaps a bit further to Wisconsin as an end point. If we get that far, we can also achieve Heather’s decade-long desire/obsession to visit The House on the Rock! There are also a couple of East Coast rooms we still have not hit that we may loop into a short journey.
But it’s 20 new rooms or bust for us in 2024!
- The Best Poker Training We Have Found
- Map of US Poker Rooms
- 5 Best Places to Live if You Love Poker 2023
Poker Resolution #4: Write a Poker Book
In 2023, we (well, Heather and her friend Tina mostly), put together the Poker Player’s Life List. The purpose of this book is primarily to allow you to track and record your experiences at different poker rooms around the United States. While not text-heavy, preparing this book was an immense amount of work (mostly for Tina), but we were very pleased with how it came out.
In 2024, we’re tackling another book. This one will be about maximizing your enjoyment of recreational poker. It will cover a wide range of topics including where and what to play, how to manage your poker finances, how to improve your skills, how to create a healthy poker-life balance, and, of course, how to best travel to play poker.
We have been building to this particular book for several years. Over time we have gathered information from our own experiences, talking with others, and reading extensively. So the time has come to make this book a reality. By this time next year, we hope our new book is published and fully available for all to enjoy.
Poker Resolution #5: Enhance Resources on Poker Pilgrims
2023 was a major year for this site. We did a complete redesign and organized our content in a more accessible way. We continue to get lots of traffic to our Poker Room Map. Our pages of Cash Activity and Tournament Activity are growing resources to help players decide where to play.
We evolved the current resource-rich website from mostly a strict blog in 2018 toward a full-service poker resource site. This is a journey we want to continue in 2024. We intend to continue to collate key data, updating existing resources and developing new ones. Our articles will continue to focus more on how to help our readers navigate the world of poker.
We are also open to new ideas. If you have any, please feel free to drop us a message about what resource you would like to see on this site.
We are optimistic about accomplishing all five of these goals. But that’s generally the case at the setting of resolutions. The challenge is taking a poker resolution and attaching habits to it to make it an eventuality. We are up on our SMART goals, and will be outlining them shortly to create a roadmap to success. Then it’s time to start executing!
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