Well, it's been a while since I've posted, and for good reason.  I'm lazy!!! Ok, maybe that's not such a GOOD reason, but it's a reason none the less.

If you've read any of my blogs (of which there are only a few,) then you might notice I was on a bit of a down streak.  Killed my minor bank roll several times over, was getting AA's crushed at seamingly every turn, and just a general slump.  At one point I was SERIOUSLY considering giving up on poker all together.

So, I started focusing on my game.  Learning as much as I could from the Live training here, and by playing the PSO.  It was slow progress, and as far as the PSO goes, I didn't even realize how much I was learning from it untill I was able to sit back and reflect on my two months of regular play.  I made the money my first month of really playing, cashing in a cool $2.50! lol.  Seems like nothing, but hey, it's in the money right?!?! Then I did it again my second month (December) and bumped up my rank to make $5 and earning my first Premier league ticket for Jan!!

In the mean time I was playing different MTT's and finding that i was enjoying (and doing better in) tournements where the buy in was between $4 and $11.  It seemed there was less of the "Shove monkeys" and more people who were actually "Playing" at those levels.  Not to say everyone was a GREAT player, or that there were NO shove monkey's, but they were fewer and easier to deal with.  I came in the money more often.  Usually min cashing, or a little more, but nothing too big.

Then I sat down last weekend and really started to focus.  I bought into several tournaments on Friday and Saturday, and came in the money (still min cashing mind you) in more tournements than I didn't.  My play in the premier league was going well too, with a couple of top 18 finishes and even a final table. 

Then Sunday morning I decided I wanted to try one of the larger tounements.  I signed up for The Bigger $5.50 (30K Gtd) about an hour into registration. I managed to keep my focus and make it into the money.  Then I started  setting some limited goals.  "Double my money,"  then "Make $50,"  then "Make $100."  As I hit, then exceeded each one of these goals, I was excited, but fought to remainded focused. So then I started making  new, bigger goals. 

Beat my biggest poker win of $200.  Done.
Make it to the Final Table.  Done.
Earn more money in one day of Poker than I do in a week of work.  Done.
Make top 4.  Done

By the time I made it this far both my wife (who basically spent the whole time sitting next to me and encouraging me,) and I were ecstatic.  Every break I paced around the house just talking myself into staying focused.

When we reached 4 players left, I started talking deals to the other players.  I was in the chip lead by a good amount, but I also know how easily a cooler or a bad beat can pop up and crush you.  A defeatest attitude?  Maybe, but for now, we'll call it "Leveling Varience."  Has a nicer ring to it! :-D

When we got down to 3 players, a deal was struck.  We used an ICM to determin the chip devision (Don't worry, I didn't know what it was either! lol.  Thankfully one of the other players did, because i was willing to just split the pot three ways!!  With the ICM, I ended up taking the largest percentage of the chips.)  Then we each pulled $200 from our cuts and used that to play for first. 

When I got heads up with the other final player, I became more focused than I think I've ever been at a poker table, virtual or otherwise.  The chip lead went back and fourth a couple of times, but in the end I won the tournement.

$5.50 Buy in
12500 Entries
Nearly 14 hours of play.

After the deal, and the $600 side pot, I walked away with nearly $6K. 
Previousl Largest Cash: $200

Yea, I was pretty happy.  It also took my lifetime (as in, the 6 months I've been seriously playing on Pokerstars, or anywhere else for that matter) ROI from around a -45% to just over %250 (according to OPR, not sure just how accurate those counts are.)

I have to give a lot of the credit of my win to both the Trainers here and to the exsistence of the PSO.  I learned so much from both over the last couple of months.

So now, on to the next Challenge.  I would really love to win the Member of the Month Prize here at PokerSchoolOnline.  In addition to that I'm also very excited to think that I might be in a position to actually help out some newer players, and share some of the limited knowledge that I've picked up over the last 6 months.

So I'm going to be more regular with my blog, and to start I want to know what you want me to write about.

Here's some started Idea's:

How the PSO helpped my game, and how it can help yours!
When NOT to play poker!!!  How distractions are costing you MONEY!
Why it's MORE than ok to fold those medium Poket Pairs! A lesson it took me a long time to learn!

Or, YOU make a suggestion.  I'm looking forward to hearing from you, and looking forward to writting the next blog.!!


Here's the last hand of the BIgger $5.50