It seems like mere days have passed since the start of the year when I set out some goals for my poker career and life in general. I remember feeling really excited and optimistic about all the possabilities of advancing my poker skill and knowledge. I set quite a few goals for my "Time Vault" challenge, some long term, some short, some ambitious and some pretty attainable. Now the year is nearly at it's close and it's time to have a look back on all that's happened and reflect on what I've learned and achieved and also what didn't quite come to fruition.

As I mentioned the year began with setting a lot of goals. Now over time some of these were accomplished and others altered or changed and a whole bunch were added as I went. I have to say I think this is where I made my first accomplishment without even realising it at the time. Setting yourself targets and doing it in the correct way is a big deal, at least in my eyes. Giving yourself long term goals to aim for is great but you also have to structure some way points to aim for also and make a plan of how you're going to go about reaching them. Doing this was my first step in the right direction of becoming a better player and becoming better at learning.

When it comes to the actual goals I set out first I think I have become a much better and more knowledgable player. My whole outlook on the game and my thought process is completely different to a year ago. I have gotten better at structing how I use my time for playing and learning. I have stuck to strict bankroll management and built my roll doing this (although I could stand to take a few more risks at times). I didn't quite make the figures I wanted or VIP status but I'm well on the way now. I also didn't win a large field MTT yet but I have had success to some degree and played in games I never thought I'd be able to. And even though I didn't reach all those goals I didn't fail because I'm still striving for them and I can see them getting closer.

As for the goals I added throughout the year I've been crushing! One was to do well in the PSO Home Games series that are run every month and well, lets just say PSO player of the year is in the bag. I also wanted to give something back to PSO and the poker community that has helped me so much and I think in some way I'm doing that by my involvement as a Team PSO member. Becoming part of the group that helps keep the cogs turning in this place is something I am very proud of, even if I am just one of the little guys on the team, I think it's awesome to be a part of. And one other goal I added may seem odd to some in terms of it being poker related but getting in better shape is something I am still committed to. I even done a whole blog about that one, inspired by Eugene Katchalov, and that's probably one of the best goals I set as it's not just about poker, it's about improving my life in general.

Then we come to the goals that were changed. Perhaps some of you will see this as a cop out, I found something too hard and gave up. Maybe that's true in a way but I think by changing my goal I kind of accomplished what it was set out to do in the first place. I'm talking about this one: "Try different SnG's to find which best suits me and which give the best ROI." Now those of you that follow my blogs or forum thread know a couple of months ago I gave up on SnG's altogether. For a while I was convinced that I was a STT player and that 9-man turbo KO's were what I knew best. And while for  some time I was doing well at them and I even had a huge high of winning Battle of the Planets leaderboard prizes I also suffered the lows of a 55 buy-in down swing. I just couldn't be consistent and it was getting to me so I've changed to being a cash game player. I happen to think it could be one of the best moves I've made but only time will tell for sure. So far though I'm on the up and up and looks like I'm having my best winning months ever.

Before I started this challenge I thought I knew how to play poker, now I realise I didn't know it in the way I thought I did. At the time I knew poker like how you say "I know my friend, Mikey" for example. But that's not knowing in the same way you know there are 52 cards in a standard deck, it's aquaintance not knowledge. It took me some time but after a lot of work I came to know the game better. But knowledge isn't enough, we must learn to apply it, this is understanding. And with time I have gained this too, to some extent. So what's next? They say a smart man knows what to say, a wise man knows whether or not to say it. My goal for 2013 was to become a smarter player, my goal for 2014 is to become a wise one.