If you were trying to become a professional baseball player, you would probably spend much of your time working out at the gym, at batting practice and at your position as much as you could, well gambling requires the same dedication and practice if you want to be the best.
The first thing you must do to improve your poker skills is to play as many hands of poker a day as you can. This means instead of watching television, or hanging out with friends you should be in an online poker room or online casino playing poker.
Using the internet you can find many online poker rooms that will allow you to play poker online against live opponents. Playing live players instead of the computer is always better, because when you play against the computer it will always respond the same in any given situation. The computer just goes thru an algorithm which tells it what to do, but a person has to make a decision and given the same situation two hands in a row there is no telling what a person is going to do.
Besides playing poker as much as you can, it is also important to watch the game as well. I would recommend watching poker on TV, going to the casino and just watching and many online casinos will give you the option of watching a game. This will give you the chance to practice your skills of reading people. The more you watch the better you will become at noticing those small involuntary things we all do that tell others what we are thinking. An example of this is taught to the police when they are in basic training. When trying to come up with a lie most people will unconsciously look up and to the left. This means if you ask your child if they did their homework and they look up and too the left before telling you they had no homework there is a good chance they are not telling the truth.
When you can not play poker against live players or spend time watching it you should read about it. Reading about poker will not give you the experience that you need but there are many useful things you can get from reading. One of them would be the odds of any 1 card being dealt to you. Knowing the odds against you making the hand you are going for may influence your decision and save you a lot of money in the long run. There are many books written on the subject of poker and any book store will carry a good selection of them. I recommend only reading books from mathematicians and those who have made a name for themselves playing poker professionally.
Study psychology. You may not believe his but learning psychology will give you an advantage over the other players, you can learn how to overcome involuntary reactions to good news and bad news, making it harder for your opponents to read you and figure out what cards are in your hand. it will also teach you to mislead others into thinking whatever you want them to think. This skill can be extremely helpful in helping you win games and increase your wealth.
Ask any player who is a "winning player" about the psychology of poker and they will tell, cards do not matter. Hand strength (of your cards)is one of the LAST things to consider when you are playing. Position, game flow, and psychology are way more important than cards. One of the best resources that can help you can be found here. Good luck and see you at the tables!