Merry Christmas to all,  and a Happy New Year!

I was poking around the  PokerSchoolOnline site a bit, just remembering the last time I participated here. It was back in 2010, right after the relaunch of the site. If I recall properly, the forums were active, the league was full of all in pre flop players, and in general was the start of a community that could be great or could be a waste of time. I had been playing a bit of cash online, a bit of tournaments, but was at a point in my life where depositing $20 was a signifigant decision. Not that I couldn't afford it, but I was so unfocused in my playing that I was inconsistent and unsuccessful. Three years later (almost 4), I am still inconsistent, slightly  unfocused, but successful in a different manner than originally planned.

Like many people, I got into poker as part of the  Moneymaker boom. With Black Friday killing that dream for many, and the general increase in the capabilities of players making the dream more difficult for those who were left behind, I found myself changing my goals and definitions of success. I play because it is relaxing. I study the game enough  to understand the various game situations I face, and why  I was not a $$ winner in those situations. And I have focused on limiting my game types and trying to improve my consistency in those game types. In the last year I have played primarily 180 man  turbos, some 6 max cash, and various stakes of PLO. I found in the last year that I am ahead on tournaments, ahead on 6 max, and have lost tons of value on PLO. But PLO is fun, and it doesn't affect my  life role when I lose.

The other thing I focus on is from  mid October to mid November, I try  to win a full package to the PCA. Two years ago it would be fair to say I tried. Last year I satellited into a few tournaments that the package was the prize. This year, I made it. In a round about way, this  brings us to the topic of the blog. When I won, I didn't know what to do next.

The goal has alwasy  been to win the package.Once  I accomplished that,  I felt a sense of disconnect to the rest of the process. I realised after a few days that the problem was that my  goal needed to be reset, and reset pretty fast. I mean I didn't feel like playing, didn't know how to  take the next steps, didn't care about preparing. I was dead in the water.

So, here was the plan that I have implemmented. First, I acknowledged that I had a problem. I talked to my live poker friends. They made fun of me. I told this story to some live local "pros". They called me an idiot. Odd though it sounds, this was exactly the reaction I was looking for. Adding some adversity was necessary to refocus on the new goal. This blog is an extension of that story tellng. I am sure that anyone reading this would be thrilled to be going to the PCA, and would probably thing that I am being stupid.

The second part of the re focusing was to keep playing. I actually  raised my volume  of play. I treated the process like a batter in a slump. I just kept swinging at the ball, and focusing on sharpening the skills that got me the success over the last year. Part of this was knowing that I was playing disinterested, which did affect my  results. But I pushed through that disinterest, and kept going. It took a couple of weeks, or many thousand hands, but I think I am back to a point where I  am interested again.

The last part of the plan starts today. The tournament for me starts in two weeks. I haven't played a hand live since November, partly because of the disinterest. I am going to play some local live tournaments until I leave, just to re awaken those skills. Although I may be suffering from observer bias, I  have never had a losing year playing  live cash or  tournaments since I took up the game.

Anyway, thanks to anyone who has read this far. I will update the blog from the PCA. Good luck at the tables to everyone.