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S.M.A.R.T Golas in Poker

S.M.A.R.T is a mnemonic that stands for Specific, Measured, Attainable, Relevant and Time Bound. It is a term used in the poker news to describe goals that are set in the business world and, over the years, they have crept into people’s everyday lives.

If you play poker for a living, then you are effectively a business, and S.M.A.R.T goals are going to be a crucial component for your win rate.

thinking about the concept of S.M.A.R.T goals, it is interesting to see how they compare to the types of goals that poker players often set themselves.

Example #1: I will win x amount of money this year.

This is your typical poker goal so let’s examine it under the S.M.A.R.T magnifying lens. It’s certainly specific, it’s measurable, it’s relevant and time bound, but it’s not very attainable in as much as your fate is largely dictated by a combination of luck and skill. A year in poker is short term, and in the short term world luck is king.

Example #2: I will reduce major mistakes that lose me 50bb or more by 10% this year

This is a much better goal as it focuses on something you can control and that’s the number of mistakes that you make. The goal is specific, it is measurable if you use online tracking software, it is attainable, it is relevant, and it’s time bound.

Players who are new to setting goals must prepare themselves for a few hiccups along the way, especially if you play Omaha Poker. 

Hopefully, you are setting goals that are going to challenge you. They aren’t going to be easy, and so you will make mistakes and often have to take a step backwards to take two forwards. 

The point here is to not give up and accept that failure is just part of the process of achieving greatness and you will do fine.


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