If you are a pro or a semi-pro poker player, it's really important you think of your play in a professional manner; and this involves having some goals for the year, month and even next week, you need to plan in advance what you want to achieve. Lets say you are a winning poker player; ok, How much money are you making per year? How much money do you want to make this year? Well, that's kind of easy to answer and of course different answer for different people. Suppose you want to make $100k in 2006. Cool, now lets see how much you need to work in order to obtain that goal. Lets suppose you are having a one month vacation in the year, so that means you need to win about 9k per month; this is about $300 a day, but of course you're not working every day; lets say you work 20 days a month; so you need $450. Now, you need to ask yourself, Is this really possible? Lets suppose you play $100 dollar tourneys and you have a 50% ROI, well, that means you need to play 9 of them every day you work. Is this possible? Are you comfortable with that? Maybe you need to work more days, maybe 100k a year is not for you. And by the way, Do you know your ROI as today? If you don't even have a clue about your own statistics as today, well, it's damn hard to make a plan for the year; at least a plan that is close to reality.
Lets suppose you are just a recreational player, you have a good job, and you just want to win a little while enjoying playing poker. Lets suppose you will be happy to win 10k playing tournaments in 2006. Playing 20 days a month for 11 months, this means you need to win $45 a day; lets suppose you play $20 tournaments and your ROI is 75%; then basically, you need to play 3 tournaments a day to attain this goal for the year.
I can stress enough how important is to keep good records, so you know what kind of player you are and if you are improving or not. This game is fun for sure; but it's even more fun when you win some money.
For me, my goal for 2006 is to win about 150k. I'll try to win 50k playing cash games and 100k playing internet tournaments. I'm planning to have at least 2 complete months to vacation with my family; so, this means I need to win 10k playing tourneys and 5k playing cash games per month. I won $400 in January 2006, a little short for the 15k goal; but I think I can do it. Lets see, if I manage to win $125 per hour multitabling cash games, then I need to play 40 hours a month or 10 hours a week. I think I can do that. Now, for the 10k playing tourneys; I'll need to win 2.5k per week. Lets see, if I don't play Wednesdays and I just play 3 tourneys Monday, Tuesday and Thursday; the Party $150, the Stars $150 and the Paradise $30R (I invest about $150 also); that's $450*3 = $1350. Plus the Party $200 Friday and Saturday, that's $1750. Now on Sunday we have the $200 Stars, $200 Party, $200 Ultimate, $200 Paradise and we have the $2500 a week; so, now I just need to have a 100% ROI, which I'd have so far. If I play also the Saturday $300 Party, $300 Stars, the Sunday $100R (spend $300) and some other of the big ones, I don't even need the 100% ROI. So, looks like this goal is attainable for me. Of course all this planning it's just about my internet playing. The big WPT and WSOP tournaments are part of a different plan (I may even go broke !!; I'll probably spend about 100k in fees for these tourneys). The variance is huge in these ones and I manage them separately.
Whatever you want to win 1k, 5k, 10k, 20k, 50k, or 100k; it's a good idea to make a plan and to set goals. You need to know where you are and where you want to be and what do you need to do to be there. If you want to be a professional poker player, well you need to act professionally. Not only you need to love your job. You need to respect it.