Welcome to the third of my monthly progress reviews for 2014. After a great January and a sobering February, I needed to get back to winning ways again in March. A few good weeks at 5nl full ring and I would be ready to move up to 10nl for the first time. It didn't quite turn out that way.

I had to take a week away from the tables to start with, so as mentioned last month, I reduced my targets for the month accordingly. When I did get started, I ran into some horrid losing sessions which tested my newfound anti-tilt defences. I kept myself on an even keel by cutting sessions shorter, and taking longer breaks. Hovering around breakeven all month was pretty depressing but I could not get any consistent profits.

So, in line with my start of year plan, I sacrificed volume, put the move up to 10nl on hold, and concentrated on studying more to help get that winrate up again. Checking my year-to-date stats I was surprised to find my postflop aggression factor was hovering at about 2. I would normally expect to see this between 2.5 and 3, so something had changed. I dug a little more and found two specific factors. My C bet percent had fallen a little as I despaired of getting fish to fold and started to check back even some quite dry flops. And I had been reduced to slowplaying big hands more as the frustration of not getting payed off kicked in. Both obviously confidence-related issues, and fixable now I had identified them.

A second problem was that my preflop 3bet percentage had slipped down again, to below 4%. I had been working on increasing this last year, overcoming my nitty nature. Again, with waning confidence I had let this slip back down again. Identifying spots to resteal or 3bet light requires a lot of concentration and mental work during play. I had been neglecting to put in this effort, distracted by outcomes and other non-useful thoughts.

So, armed with an improved gameplan, I went back to the tables and finally results started to go my way. The horror of a losing month was avoided thanks to a strong finish, and just like last month, I could look back at a winrate under 2bb/100 but feel pleased that at least I had ridden out the storm, improved my game and hopefully come out stronger than I went in.

The plan for April is to continue working on my concentration and developing my game while at least meeting my volume target, or preferably beating it, to make up for the slight shortfall last month. Also, of course, to try to get some consistent progress at a decent winrate. As soon as I can do that I will feel ready to make the move up to 10nl which is now overdue.