Here's a mental exercise to plug leaks

February 03, 2018, Mark Brement  

I enjoy receiving emails from players, so if you happen to be reading this column while at the table, make a mental note to shoot me an email. By the time players see this, it might be four or five weeks after we have made our
poker resolutions.

There’s a strong chance that if you’re an aspiring player or even a high-stakes pro, there are resolutions that were made that, after two or three weeks, you started to get back into your old habits.

Remember my last column that focused on old habits dying hard? I have a few fresh ideas on how to go about changing a few habits that will prove effective.

Imagine we have five resolutions and while we have made some headway, we know that in our heart of hearts, we could be doing better and our promises are turning in to empty ones. This will be a profitable exercise even if you didn’t make resolutions.

IDEA 1: Many of us start the year with a whole bunch of ideas and, while our plan looks great on paper, when we’re over-tasked, we tend to get paralyzed. It’s sort of like tilt. Our brains simply shut down. Let’s organize our “needs improvement areas” into a top five.

When we have our notions bullet-pointed, show them to your poker peers or mentors at an appropriate time and ask help in ranking these items in order of importance.

Don’t forget to make a case for each area being identified as the most crucial leak to eliminate in 2018. Sell each idea hard and make sure all are given equal consideration. Ask peers to order the leaks in which they think are most important. After you get votes tallied, resolve yourself to tackle each leak one at a time. If you perform this task, your hourly earn rate will improve, maybe even skyrocket.

IDEA 2: Send me your list and remember to sell each point as if it were a matter of life or death. I’d like to be part of your team to help yourself prioritize which leaks come first. Happy hunting and may 2018 bring you lots of stacks.

— Mark Brement has spent 15 years teaching and coaching all facets of poker, including at Pima CC. Email him at brementmark@gmail.com.