Probably the most frustrating feeling I've had in playing Poker is wanting so bad to win back the money that I had just lost either due to a bad beat or a bad call.

This feeling caused my initial downswings when I first began playing with real cash. I buy in for the minimum amount, lose all of it, then buy in again to try to double-up to make-up for the money lost.

De circuitu aeterno.

It was an eternal cycle that ultimately lead to a consistently diminishing bankroll.

Until I realized what was happening and finally decided to stop for a while and reflect.

For the past two months or so, I have successfully shifted from the "Must win it back" mindset to "Must become a better player". I realized that if I want to win the money I lost, I must not only have the determination but also the skills to do so. I also realized that it's probably a little unreasonable for me to expect good results that fast. I am, after all, just new to the game, and should allow myself time to become better at it.

In these past few months, I have spent an ample amount of time going through the PSO courses to learn more about the game. I went theory-practice-theory-practice-practice until I got to master a handful of strategies. In playing Zoom, I have improved my Preflop hand selection. In Freeroll MTTs, I practiced TAG. I also played in some SNGs with my notes from the SNG Course as guide. I looked funny, consulting my notes everytime I felt some doubt on how to act. But, I have to say, it helped. A lot.

It felt really great to play with the end goal "Must become a better player" in mind. I really dream of becoming a Pro someday. I should keep on playing with my eye on that long-term goal, and not just the short-term goal of winning cash.

Unfortunately, it got back to me today, that ugly feeling going through bad runs after bad runs, buying in again and again to win back cash. I ended up losing $5.

It's difficult to stop playing when your day's balance is negative, but in the long run, perhaps, it's best to cut the bad run now. Let go of playing today, and just play better tomorrow.

And stop playing cash for cash's sake. There will be profit. In time.

For now, I should focus on improving my game.

Practice more in the Freerolls.
Develop my own tournament plans.
Take the PSO courses I haven't taken yet.

Someday, I'll master the game and make it big 8)