2017 Wrap Up + 2018 Goals


I had no clue what to expect going into 2017. My first child, James, arrived on 12/24/2016. I didn’t play poker at all during the first quarter of 2017 order to stay home and help him through his first few months of life. During that time, I grinded hard on my newest book Mastering Small Stakes No-Limit Hold’em. Both James and the book turned out great.

I knew I was going to play less poker in 2017 than I ever have since going pro. However, when I had the chance to play poker, it went reasonably well. I made the final table of a $1,500 buy-in WSOP shootout event and took 2nd in a $10,000 buy-in high roller event for $175,000. I also had two close calls at the World Poker Tour championship that could have easily gone differently. I profited about $100,000 from tournaments, which is a reasonable 50% ROI, given I only played about $200,000 worth of buy-ins. That said, it could have easily gone much better or much worse. There is a lot of variance in tournaments!

Since I knew I was going to travel less, I wanted to make sure I stayed productive at home, so in 2016 I launched PokerCoaching.com, an interactive poker quiz site. I uploaded bi-weekly quizzes throughout the year and hosted 12 homework-review webinars. I even learned a thing or two in the process!

Some of my students were asking for more, so in 2017 I launched my exclusive Inner Circle, which allows my most dedicated students to have short one-on-one sessions with me every other week. The response to both PokerCoaching and my Inner Circle have been amazingly positive, so I have decided to expand the number of coaches (Welcome Matt Affleck and Alex Fitzgerald!) and am also working on numerous upgrades to provide my students with even more educational content.

I continued to add videos (over 1,000 now!) and expand the offerings at my poker training site, FloatTheTurn.com. One of my best students Al Hart has been working hard to add lots of new tools to FloatTheTurn, including the free Push/Fold app that pros have been raving about as well as the Range Analyzer, which I can’t live without.

I finished up my biggest project to date, Excelling at No-Limit Hold’em. I thought Excelling would be a quick two-year project but it ended up taking about three and a half years from idea to completion. It turns out getting 17 poker players to turn in 25 pages on time and then schedule large blocks of time two months in advance to host live interactive webinars is easier said than done. The hard work was well worth it. Excelling is by far the book and webinar series I am most proud of and it has continued to be one of the best-selling poker books worldwide since its release. When I finished the last webinar, I sat around thinking “What am I going to do with all my spare time?!?”

I also had the opportunity to commentate a lot in 2017, which I truly enjoy. It is so much fun! I had the pleasure of commentating multiple World Series of Poker events, World Poker Tour events, and at Stones Gambling Hall.

Somewhat unexpected but very appreciated, PokerGo made a Pokerography episode about my life. I could not be happier with how it turned out. If you have not seen it already, use code LITTLE to get $10 off a one-year subscription of PokerGo. 


While I have achieved most of my long-term goals over the last few years, here are the goals I would like to achieve in 2018:

Help as many people as possible

The real goal here is to “Help as many people as possible improve their lives by teaching them the skills necessary to thrive at and away from the poker table”. This entails continuing to build my brand in various ways, such as forming partnerships with the biggest names in the business in order to expand my reach. Over the last few years, I have been working tirelessly to become too big to ignore in terms of developing a partnership with a major poker site, and will continue working toward that goal. Getting a deal with a major site would allow me to interact with many more people, giving me the chance to impact them in a positive way. There are a few sites that are doing amazing things in the poker space and would love to become involved with them in a meaningful way. Of course, I will keep working diligently to produce awesome and consistent content for JonathanLittlePoker.com, PokerCoaching.com, and FloatTheTurn.com. I also plan to stream a bit more, which I resumed near the end of 2017.

Win a poker tournament

I have always viewed setting goals listing specific poker results as a silly endeavor. What this goal means to me is “Study a ton away from the table and play my best at the table”. I did that this year (although I could have studied more) and it worked out well enough. That said, I understand there is tons of variance in poker, so anything can happen. Winning a tournament would clearly help the “help as many people as possible” goal.

Play more televised live cash games

I started doing this near the end of 2017 and had an amazing time. While it is difficult to find time to play cash games while traveling the tournament circuit, Poker Night in America has been hosting awesome games on a consistent basis and I look forward to playing more of them over the next year. Being on TV also helps the “help as many people as possible” goal.

Be home for at least half of the year

This is a funny goal to me, because, in the past, I have always strived to play as much as possible. Now, I am constantly skipping tournaments in order to stay home with my family. Nothing makes me happier than being home with Amie and James. I just want to be great husband and dad. Being home also gives me plenty of time to work on various projects for you, which also helps with the “help as many people as possible” goal.

Spend my free time more wisely

This may seem like a crazy goal, given get a whole lot more done than most, but I know that much of my free time is spent doing completely unproductive or even destructive things. For example, during lunch, I often watch Magic the Gathering videos. I should be watching poker videos instead. After a rough day of poker, I will often have half a bottle of wine and some cheesecake. I should have green tea and a salad. While there is certainly a time for unwinding and relaxing, I feel like I took it a bit too far over the last few years. Essentially, I want to be more disciplined. I know what I need to do, I just need to do it. Obviously, this also helps with the “help as many people as possible” goal.


So that is it! 2017 was great and I am looking forward to an even better 2018. Feel free to post your comments below and know that you can always reach out to me on Twitter @JonathanLittle. Thanks for reading and be sure to check back next week at JonathanLittlePoker.com for another educational blog post.



31 thoughts on “2017 Wrap Up + 2018 Goals”

  1. Thank u Mr. Little for this very nice article, u are an example for us, and wish all the good in the world!

  2. Thanks for all you do, particularly on Crush Live Poker. I hope to get to meet you in person at CLP’s WSOP meet up this coming summer.

    Jonathan P.

  3. Enjoyed reading your wrap up and goals. You are well rounded and grounded. Thanks for being an inspiration and imparting your poker knowledge and skill to all of us who love poker. Wishing you and family the best in the New Year(s) ahead! Reddevillady

  4. Christopher Stack

    Thank you for the work on the blog and YouTube. It is helpful for a casual player like me. I don’t see a forum where we post our “hands” for analysis. I apologise if this is the wrong spot. I think I played too fast with a good starting hand typifying my causal player/donkey status.

    I was playing $1/2 NL game full table. I had $250 behind and looked down at Kh-Kd UTG+3 with 2 limpers ahead. I raised to $15. I got 3 callers (CO,Button, BB). Flop came 9d-10s-3d. BB opens all in $80. I reraise all in thinking BB range is draws (straight or flush) + 10-q or better, two pair, set . CO folds. Button tanks for a minute then calls (I had him covered by $5). BB turns over 9-10 off and button 10d-Ad (no idea why he tanked, I would’ve snap called). Board ran out 7c-3c so I won it all but I think overall my fast play was likely negative EV. I had a read on the BB range but I didn’t even consider the players behind me. Better to be lucky than good I guess. Would value your insight on this situation greatly.


    1. I would have either called (looking to call an all-in by anyone else) or pushed all-in as you did. Your K-K is much too strong to fold, given the wide range of draws the leader could have. Sometimes you are just going to get it in bad.

  5. I am one of the inaugural enrollees on the Pokercoaching site. Still look forward to the new quizzes, now almost every day with your new contributors. My New Years resolution will be, win a tournament (small stakes live, of course. I am not a pro like you). Spend more time with your son. You never get enough time. My particular vocation takes most all my time and I regret not spending as much time with my family as I could have.

  6. Hello Jonathan.

    You’re a great dude! It isn’t a given that a career doing a zero-sum game will translate into a positive force in the world, but you’re making that happen. Zig Ziglar said that it isn’t what we get by reaching our goals that’s important, it’s what we become. And Henry Miller said “When one gives close attention to any thing, it becomes a mysterious and magnificent world in itself.” What I’m getting at is, when I read your books (and Ed Miller’s) I really feel like I’m engaging the analytical part of my brain that loves to do math, and the competitive part that likes to be respected by other men as a strong opponent. Poker also makes you take a really hard look at your lifestyle– are you emotionally balanced, are you taking care of your body, are you confident enough to take your time and play differently than the others at the table? Poker forces you to be mindful in this way. So that’s what it’s done for me, and you’re a big part of it.

    I have a poker goal too: I want to donk bet Tom Dwan. I don’t need to win the hand. I just want to donk bet him for some ridiculous sum relative to the pot. I hope that by working hard and studying your material, I will eventually be able to stack enough people at the local 1/2 for me to hunt down my quarry at the Aria, and fulfill my poker destiny.

    Congrats on your kid!

  7. Thanks very much for all the free educational content you put out. I’ve bought your book and a few online seminairs also. One of the things I appreciate most about your content is your honesty. I want to thank you for helping me be a better player. I am getting ready to retire so I am devoting more time to studying and playing poker with the goal of being a more than a rec player. I wish you and your family the very best.

  8. Jonathan, you are a class act and a benefit to the poker community. I have read several of your books and follow you online. Great job having such positive goals. Very nice to see such positivity in this ever crazier world. Keep up the great work and good luck in 2018!!

    -Robbyn G.

  9. Jonathan thanks for all the great content you put out there. My two daughters asked me what I want for Christmas. I requested 4 of your tournament books. I am semi retired and working on finding a way to make more time for poker. My results for the last several years in cash games has been on average about $90 per hour however I am only getting about 350 hours in per year. My goal is to get over $100 hourly consistently and put in over 500 hours plus play at least 14 tournaments and cash in 4 and win one. That may be a little aggressive. Another goal is to study more away from the table. Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I wish you the best in 2018.

  10. Your commentating skills are excellent!
    Blessings to you and your beautiful family for a bright and successful new year.

  11. Thank you Jonathan I learn so much from your webinars ! You have a beautiful family wishing you all the best in 2018.

  12. Hey Mr. Little,
    at the 24th of december its my daugther`s 4th birthday too. Wish you and your Family all the best, merry Christmas and a healthy future.
    Thank you for all the nice poker Content you publish.
    Best regards

  13. James is so cute happy holidays to you and the family and enjoy his first birthday!

    You’re a great coach and an outstanding player it’s been a pleasure to read your material

  14. It’s great to see a poker pro that has good priorities!! My view at 73 years is that wife and kids should be higher on our lists. I worked/traveled way too much at HP. Thanks all your teaching! Had my 3rd profitable year in small tournaments. It’s great to be good at a new hobby in my retirement!!!

  15. Do you have any 2018 plans concerning your weekly home game? It’s been tons of fun.. Thanks for all you’ve done for us..

  16. Hi Jonathan,

    I’ve really been getting a lot out of the books that you have authored. The practice book is great, as breaking down actual hands is helpful. I am currently studying your most recent book, as this is the kind of games I play, and I hope that it will help me to improve my game even more.

    2017 was the first year that I have played live $1/2 and while having so much fun I have taken it real serious, trying to discuss hands with friends the following week.

    I hope to continue playing live when I can, even if it is only once a month (I have a wife and 22 month old daughter as well- it’s awesome!) and like you, spend more time studying with whatever spare time I get as opposed to wasting the time on something less productive.

    I appreciate your desire to help others find success! Thank you!


  17. Jonathon thank you for always being so willing to share your openness and your knowledge. I especially admire the fact that as your view and perspective on the game changes you’re willing to share that also. Keep up the good work. Nancy Todd

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