Ryan Fee: Five Goals for Poker Success

2 years ago
Five Goals for Poker Success
26 Dec

(Photo: Upswingpoker.com)

The old mnemonic in personal improvement circles is make your goals SMART, but if you don’t fancy doing that yourself, Ryan Fee’s recent YouTube video/article combo over at UpSwing has taken a lot of the work out of goal setting for you.

If you're serious about the game, these are the five things you should be doing. We all like to win, and goals are a good way of ensuring that we keep up with the our opponents, even if they are just the regs at your local cardroom or homegame.

According to Fee, the goals you should be setting yourself must be goals the outcome of which you can control. It is all but useless to set a goal of winning X dollars and Y cents per month, because God and variance laugh when humans make plans. You can play every hand perfectly and still end up in a hole thanks to a run of unlucky rivers.

Here’s a summary of the five goals every player should set themselves according to Fee.

1. Play X hands/hours per day

The best way to improve at playing poker is to play poker. So set yourself a reasonable daily goal.

It’s important to chose a number of hands that is manageable for you. Burnout is real, besides you don’t want to use all your game time play because you still need to keep time aside for goals two and three.

2. Have dedicated study time

Study daily, be it reading up on the game or going over hands with friends or on forums like 2+2. Linked to this is goal 3.

3. Have dedicated review time

As with study, set time aside to go over your own play, ideally with another player whose skills you respect.

4. Move up stakes (when ready)

This goal has no time limit set. Instead, give yourself a number of buy-ins to reach. When you hit that goal, move up and take a shot at the slightly bigger fish in the pool above.

5. Find a balance

Poker is not life, nor life is poker. Make sure you have things away from the table that thrill, engage and interest you. Even if that is just spending time with other human beings.

After all, what’s the point in living if you can’t feel alive.

Those are Fee’s poker goals, let us know yours in the comments.

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Jon is a freelance writer and novelist who learned to play poker after watching Rounders in year 9. He has been giving away his beer money at cards ever since. Currently he is based in Bristol where he makes sporadic donations to the occasional live tournament or drunken late night Zoom session. He ...Read more


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