If 2020 was the year where COVID-19 became an unwelcome player at the world’s poker table, we’re about to enter 2021. With everyone’s least favourite infection station – namely the virus – still hanging onto chips, what can we do to help you, the healthy poker player, make the most of the next 12 months whatever happens on and off the felt?Start as you Mean to Go On Kick off you year in style by playing with positivity, holding your nerve and making the kind of plays you want to. However you did in 2020, it’s time to start 2021 with a bang and in modern poker that means bringing your A-game. Don’t turn up at the felt unless you know that you can give your best.Prepare for the Best, Expect the Worst Make preparations for each game or session that you play. What are you hoping to achieve at the tables, and what is your cash out or stop loss amount if you’re playing cash games? If you’re playing tournaments, keep a ruthless track of your profits, positions you finish and why you went out – be honest!Put a bankroll together, no matter how small and make sure you have a plan to deal with even the worst of downswings. When you do better than that, you can then push on with plans to step up or take shots in other events. In short, under promise and overachieve.Travel Even if it’s From Home Let’s face it, making travel plans for 2021 is a fool’s errand. It’s highly unlikely that you’re going to be able to gad about the globe like James Bond playing tag with Jason Bourne. Instead, set reminders, network and then connect with players from other countries online and try to build your worldwide community as a poker player.Learn about another culture in the world with the common ground of poker to fall back on. It’ll be an incredibly rewarding part of your year, we promise.Mix It UpWe know that you guys love No Limit Hold’em (NLHE) but this year could be your year in any number of different poker formats. From traditionally popular poker variants such as Pot Limit Omaha (PLO) to newer games such as Short Deck Poker, there are several different games for you to get your teeth into.If you’ve never played a slightly different version of poker, you never know if it won’t suit you even better than NLHE and provide the springboard for major success. Just ask players like Matt Ashton, who has a long list of WSOP and SCOOP titles to tell you about.Go Back to School Training should always be something that you factor into your poker game, and virtually every player we know could use more. From YouTube strategy videos such as this to online study packages, it’s a great year to really amp up your poker learning.From the latest poker literature to online courses, there’s no shortage of material for you to dive into and sometimes it can really boost you before a big tournament series or series of sessions at the cash game felt. If you have a learning gap before gameplay, put in the hours and you’ll get a lot more out of it in more ways than money.Tick off a Target What would Daniel Negreanu advise you to do in the next 12 months? OK, possibly eat some vegetables and get ripped. That’s not the point. The old Negreanu would tell you to declare your intentions and then you’ll achieve your goals. We’ll get a bit more practical than Kid Poker and tell you to declare steadily more ambitious goals.Imagine if your only ambition next year was to cash in a $5-entry online tournament. OK, now let’s assume you go ahead and achieve that. How about a Top 10 finish? What about the win? How about winning a major tournament ticket from satellite entries? What about cashing in the Sunday Million? Your ambitions can escalate quickly if you make it easy to reach the next step. It’s all about declaring achievable intentions and patting yourself on the back a little at each stage. Damn, we’re doing that one.Be Kind to Yourself and Others Above all, in many different ways, 2021 is going to be a tough one for billions of people. We sincerely hope that doesn’t apply to you, but whether it does or doesn’t, be the kind of hero you aspire to be and treat others with kindness all year round. If you’re on the wrong end of any kind of treatment or cards yourself, smile, walk away, return to the game smiling and be good to others at all times. You’ll feel like a million dollars and get yourself in the right frame of mind to get closer to winning the same.Make the next 12 months yours, play well, dream big and be yourself.Have a great New Year.