...as far as poker is concerned, at least. I haven't been publishing any blog posts here lately, mostly because I have been either busy playing poker or working. I did have a chance to do some things with the beautiful weather and but didn't go anywhere far. I hope all of you had a great Summer holiday and did some fun things with your family and loved ones. From the poker perspective, it was a lot different for me from the offline sunshine and fun times...

Something happened over the Summer and it made me realize just how erratic and volatile this thing called variance is. Or is it? I feel that I have significantly changed my game from the beginning of Summer until now which may be responsible for my downswing.

In the beginning, I strictly played play money games and thought I was pretty good because I had built up to over a million in play money chips. I also won some real money playing in freeroll MTTs and in fact, accumulated about $8 that way. I finally got the balls (that's "nuts" in poker terms) to play with some real money .25NL 45-man MTTs, 1/2NL cash tables and freerolls which increased my bankroll to about $18 over the course of a couple of years. I was never a serious player until I made it my goal to take that $18 and work it up to over $100 by the end of the year with solid play and good bankroll management. Without much thought or planning, I grinded it out and increased my bankroll to over $50 playing mostly Zoom and MTTs. I thought, "Dang, this is actually possible!" and had ideas I would make it to my goal before the Summer was out. I studied here at PSO and read books (Brunson, Caro, Sklansky), downloaded trials for HEM2 and PT3 (I prefer HEM2, btw and both trials have since expired), talked to other people who were into poker like me, watched poker movies/videos and just immersed myself in all things poker. All of this new information changed my game. I believe my game has gotten better (shouts out to the helpful PSO members, forum mods and the coaches) but I'm still learning and know there is a long ways to go. At the height (or depth) of my downswing, I was down to less than $5. I have since worked it back up to $12 with help from the PSO Open Skill league. I placed in the top 1000 playing around 25 tourneys and netted myself an extra $2.50. I have yet to play an Open Skill league tourney this month, but one of my new goals is to get into the Premier league and play enough cash hands to get my monthly 150+ VPPs by the end of the year. By getting those extra VPPs, you can win 10x as much money as not getting them. As well, I will continue to play Zoom and work my bankroll back to the $50 I once had and then on to the $100.

On another note (and on a different site), I opened an account with some free cash ($10) given to me from a third-party promotion with the opportunity to get an additional $140 if I fulfill some requirements (if you want details, PM me please). I've been playing some "Zoom"-like games there except they are 6-MAX 2/4NL. As I was only used to playing full ring, I was losing my shirt. I guess I'll have to learn the differences between 6-max and full ring before going back to that. I switched it over to 2/4FL full ring cash tables and started to slowly get back to even. I now have 2 points out of the 60 points I am required to get over the next 70-odd days in order to receive my next installment of $10. It appears I can earn more than 1 point/day by playing as much as I am playing, so it should be relatively easy, as long as I can at least break even. I'll be sure to post my progress here on both fronts.

Thanks for reading and I appreciate any comments or feedback!