There is something refreshing about the start of a new year. As a professional poker player, it’s like a new season, a new opportunity. With the GPI (Global Poker Index) statistics now you can track your personal progress in the overall GPI world rankings, as well as, the Player of the Year race.
This allows you to make goals that are tangible and a way to be held accountable or measured if you will. On the cash game side; you get to reset the books and set goals for how far into the black you would like to end. I know from personal experiences there are times that I feel as motivated as ever when playing poker and times where I feel emotionally and physically drained. Generally, the very start of the year and around the start of the WSOP is where I feel the most motivated and excited about Poker.
I am a firm believer in writing down goals and declaring your intention. There is something powerful about putting your ideas and motivation out into the universe. Some of the most successful people I know write down their goals and make them very specific. When this happens, it is amazing how often it seems these goals find a way to fruition. I have had a very solid last few years of playing professional poker, but this year there is something special that I feel in my bones, deep in my core. I feel I have turned a corner in my playing ability and am more motivated and focused than ever. I am lucky that over the years I have never burnt myself out with poker.
I love to play whenever I enter into a table online or live. If I am playing $1/2 NLH live with my dad or friends or my weekly $200/400 NLH home game or a $1,000 MTT or $100,000 MTT I bring the same level of desire and focus. This I have noticed is not the case for most players, being able to bring their “A” game at all times and all stakes. I have a new fire lit with Twitch and coming back into the online poker scene. I play in a very juicy cash game as well as the biggest tournaments on the live stage and I am ready to make a move this year on the poker spectrum.
Over the past few years, I have found myself working hard but working hard periodically. With being engaged now and looking to start a family, things have begun to get more serious and I’ve begun to put more into perspective. I am not saying I won’t have fun anymore, but time seems more precious and I also realize that things change. For example, having a child would make it exponentially more difficult to travel the tournament circuit for example. I have always wondered how I would do if I really aggressively went after tournaments for one year and traveled to the majority of the stops. This feels like the year that it just makes sense and everything is falling into place, I am going for it!
I have three major goals in poker this year and I will touch on two of them in great detail since they are measurable publicly. The one I will not go into detail on is my cash game goal. This will be personal and something I will grade myself on at the years end but it is a very solid and clear goal as well. The first goal I will declare is in regards to Twitch. Twitch is something that I believe will save poker, it is the future. If you have not heard about this yet be sure to check out my channel, twitch.tv/jeffgrosspoker.
I gave this a test run in December doing about 15 “shows” and getting some positive feedback, it made me decide that Twitch would be my primary focus in 2016. Twitch is great in that you can do it portably. I plan to play primarily on Pokerstars; which is only possible from select countries (not possible in the USA) but my plan is to spend the majority of the year outside the USA. While I am in the USA I can still twitch and play on Bovada or ACR. There are some incredibly talented poker streamers already, so I want to be careful with my words and intentions. Jason Sommerville, Jamie Staples, Kevin Martin, Elky, Nanonoko, Gripsed, Maria Ho and Tonkaaa are some of the many very talented ones that do it on a regular basis.
I want to make my statement quantifiable and specific, however, at the same time fun and in good taste. It would be easy to say I want to be the number one streamer on poker for Twitch in 2016 but what does that mean exactly? Jason has laid the foundation for the industry and has a pretty big head start. This is something I will take from my best friend and roommate from 2009-2015 the most decorated Olympian of all time; Michael Phelps who is a phenomenal goal setter, which should go without saying. He once told me, “when I make my time goals for races I make my own marks, I can’t control what the other swimmers do.”
Basically, he sets his marks and focuses on this 100%. If someone beats him, that it is out of his control. The same thing could be said here on Twitch. I don’t want to say I will be number one and beat Jason Sommerville and the other streamers. I will say I want to have X number of viewers on the year, X number of followers, X number of Subscribers, X number of donations and X number of hours watched. This to me is motivating and if I hit my marks, I know it is a successful year. If the other streamers beat these marks, more power to them.
If that would be the case, it would very likely mean Twitch is really doing well and in turn, the poker world is heading in a very positive direction. As I am writing this I have not set these exact numbers, but I will put some serious thought into and at the end of the article, come back and plug them in, and then at the end of the year do a review of how I faired. In my second part of 2016 goal setting, I will touch on the live tournament goals, as well as, identify what I would like my Twitch numbers to amount to.