I'm a litle giddy with the ups and downs I've been having in the last few days. Up till a couple of days ago, my PSO skill league form had simply been bad, just 2 money finishes in 14 attempts. It's been a lethal cocktail of bad beats, mistakes and long frustrating droughts when a steady diet of 72o, 94o, 63o etc make a K9, when it finally appears, look like the greatest hand of all time and one that just has to be played, preferably for a large unaffordable pot.

Progress in the micro cash games has been better, making a small but steady profit of about 20 big blinds per 100 hands. So at least my bankroll was growing slowly.

Then Poncho Bowie invited me into the Xmas White Star tourney, and things started to look up for me. This paid-for game was a really nice gesture on behalf of the organisers, good friendly fun to play in, and I even managed 3rd place for a most useful cash. Grateful thanks to Poncho and the other organisers/benefactors.

On a high from that, I then entered the UK-only Xmas Giveaway. Only it proved to be exactly the opposite.  I had already decided I didnt much like the idea of rebuy tourneys and their ability to drain much more of your capital than you at first imagined. But this one has such a generous payoff (£250 added, plus 99 tickets to a £20000  final, and a starting field of only around 500 players) that I felt I had no choice but to give it a go. It was a horrible and expensive experience.

Being turbo as well as allowing rebuys, the play was wildly aggressive and I couldnt find good spots to get into the action. In truth I felt intimidated.

Clearly there is no point entering a rebuy if you are not prepared to invest in at least some rebuys when the time comes, because if you don't you are playing for your stack all the time and at a big disadvantage. So I rebought straight away as had been recommended, but when I finally got my chips in postflop on a set of kings, I was outdrawn on the river and was reduced to rebuying again. Even with a further rebuy as my stack dwindled, I only just limped to the hour mark, and the end of the rebuy period.  I bought add-on chips, but so it seemed did everyone else. My disappointing game finally fizzled out in 120th place, close but not close enough to the ticket winning places.

The whole thing was an expensive lesson. I should avoid rebuy tournaments, and turbos too where possible, they just don't suit my style. Just because there is a lucrative prize, there is no point entering something you have no realistic chance of winning. My bankroll took a sizeable hit that will take some time to recover from. That'll teach me. My ego and confidence took a hit too, and I admit I wasn't good to be around for the rest of the evening.

Luckily the skill league provided the bounce-back that my confidence needed. Wednesday night saw my luck finally change, and a nice in the money finish that pulled me back into the top 1000. My rehabilitation continued this afternoon, as I have just stepped away from another money finish, having played really well by my standards, no obvious mistakes, nice and patient when necessary, and a couple of well-timed pushes that built me the stack I needed. If only I hadn't run into that fluke A on the river that stopped my push towards the final table..... ah but these things happen, I'm not averse to a bit of good luck myself on occasion, and anyway I am pleased enough with the 30+ points I have coming my way.

No doubt the rollercoaster will continue to bring surprises, but for the moment I am back on a upward slope, looking optimistically forward again.