PokerOrg’s new year’s resolutions: Maria Ho, Faraz Jaka, and more

Dave Woods
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Posted on: December 31, 2023 11:59 am EST

2023 has been an epic ride on and off the poker tables. Now it’s time to reflect, to look ahead and hope that 2024 is bigger and better (and that Series 2 of Game of Gold is released before the year is out).

Are you looking for a spark to ignite your 2024 ambitions? We’ve talked to players from PokerOrg’s Player Advisory Board and beyond, gathering their invaluable lessons from 2023, and exciting plans for the upcoming year.

Whatever you decide to do, we hope you have a brilliant new year. We’re already excited about what’s to come in 2024. Stay with us for the ride!


Maria Ho

Maria Ho

My new year’s resolution

⁠I’m not usually a big new year’s resolution person because tomorrow is as good a day as any to start making changes. If I had to say one thing in particular, though, it would be to be more present. Staying mindful and being in the moment is difficult to achieve when there are so many distractions around at all times, but focusing on what is right in front of me has always led to more meaningful moments and interactions.

Biggest learning from 2023

⁠An important lesson I learned this past year is setting better boundaries. I’m a bit of a people pleaser at heart, and I hate the idea of letting anyone down, but learning how to say no to things that don’t serve me has made me a much happier person. 

What I’m most looking forward to in 2024

⁠⁠I’m looking forward to taking an epic vacation in 2024. It’s been a while since the last time I traveled somewhere that didn’t involve any poker at all. There are a couple of places on my bucket list I would love to fit in this coming year.


Faraz Jaka

Faraz Jaka

My new year’s resolution

I’m going to sign off from work at 5:30 p.m. sharp from Monday to Thursday and at 4:30 p.m. on Fridays. Since my wife and I both work from home on our business, it’s very easy for work time to bleed into family and personal time without a hard cutoff!

Biggest learning from 2023

I was just two days away from undergoing back surgery (after trying nearly everything and waiting a long time), when things worsened to the point that I needed emergency assistance. The paramedics had to administer ketamine at my house, which miraculously reversed some key symptoms I was dealing with. This turn of events allowed me to catch the last half of the WSOP, an event I hadn’t missed a single day of since I turned 21. I ended up finishing 219th in the WSOP Main Event and won my first gold bracelet a few days later. I learned how quickly things can go downhill and, just as swiftly, turn around!

What I’m most looking forward to in 2024

I’ve moved into my permanent home, which I was renting out for years while traveling and living on the road. Although being a nomad was fun, I’ve been eager to invest time and resources into setting up my home exactly how I want it, something that never seemed worthwhile when I was constantly on the move. I’m looking forward to finally building out my home in a way that will maximize productivity, comfort, and health for myself and my family.


Andrew Moreno

My new year’s resolution

⁠It’s kind of a big one for me. I’ve been drinking alcohol all of my adult life and it’s served a great role in my life. It’s allowed me to have some great times with friends, with my wife and with the family. I think that relationship with alcohol has evolved a lot over the past 20 years, and as a family man and a father now, what I’m finding is that I’m much happier when I don’t have alcohol in my life. I’ve been sober for about four months now and I’m really looking forward to continuing this path in 2024 and giving up alcohol completely. I don’t know if it’s something that I’ll be done with for the rest of my life; I’m not ready to make that sort of statement. It’s more about taking 2024 and seeing how that goes. 

Biggest learning from 2023

In conjunction with giving up alcohol, working out and eating healthily is something that’s really provided a lot of joy and peace in my life. I learned a lot about myself – my unhealthy habits and my healthy habits – through exercise and diet. What I’ve found is that I get a lot of peace and joy by being healthy…coming home, looking my wife in the face and knowing that she’s proud of me, what I’m doing and who I am, and reflecting that kind of energy into my son and my daughter who will be entering this world in a few months. It doesn’t really matter how poker’s going or what’s happening in the stock market. If I’m staying healthy, being true to myself and making good decisions, I just find I have so much inner peace. In 2023, it’s the first time in my life I’ve had a long consecutive streak of living that healthy lifestyle and I’m really looking forward to continuing that in 2024.

What I’m most looking forward to in 2024

The thing I’m most looking forward to is, on a personal level, welcoming my new daughter into the world and extending my family. Having two children is something I’ve always dreamed of having, and doing it Kristy my wife… I’m so excited, I can’t wait. On a professional level, expanding my coaching business, continuing to push myself, expand, create new material, study more and play more… to really go deeper than I’ve gone before in terms of studying, coaching and playing. Poker’s such a beautiful game and I’m so grateful to have it in my life. I’m looking forward to pushing the boundaries of that in every sense in 2024. 


Conrad Simpson

Conrad Simpson at the WPT Meet-Up game

My new year’s resolution

What is poppin’ everybody, happy holidays, happy new year! My new year’s resolution for 2024 is to keep it poppin’. I’m going to build off what happened in 2023 and see where it takes us. We want to have some fun.

Biggest learning from 2023

I learned it’s not only about poker. There’s a bunch of other things I can do in life. I’ll still be playing every tournament I can, but I’m also going to be grinding other ways. 

What I’m most looking forward to in 2024

I’m really excited to see what happens in 2024. I want to dive into content and build up more of a presence there. Let’s get it poppin’! 


Jennifer Shahade

My new year’s resolutions

  1. More volume in poker (watch out!!).
  2. Finish Thinking Sideways (my next book).
  3. Spend less time on X (which will help with the first two resolutions!).

Jaman Burton

My new year’s resolution

I don’t really do new years resolutions as I tend to just try to change the things I want to change immediately. Currently, though, I’m definitely working on sleeping more; I’m currently getting maybe five hours a night. 

Best things from 2023

The best thing that happened in 2023 was definitely buying a new house, focusing on poker study and taking shots at bigger stakes…all have netted positive returns.

What I’m most looking forward to in 2024

In 2024 we will hopefully continue climbing the “Cash Poker Mountain” and being well-rested as we do it.


Jeanne David

My new year’s resolution

Every year I decide on a word for my New Year’s resolution. For 2024, I picked ‘prioritize’, And here’s why…

Biggest learning from 2023

In October 2023 I took a break from poker to travel back east and visit friends and family that I haven’t seen in a very long time. It was one of the most fortunate and grateful experiences I’ve had. Poker is still such a big part of my life, but I have to prioritize what’s important to me: family friends, and trying to be a bigger person…a better person, a more forgiving person.  

What I’m most looking forward to in 2024

What I look forward to in 2024 is holding onto those values…on and off the poker table. I hope you have a wonderful new year!



Additional images courtesy of WPT and Above the Felt