So, the last week of February, I'm taking a week off from poker. After the past week, I need to get my head cleared a bit. Also, I need to figure out if my running bad is actually running bad or if I'm just seeing it that way. Either way, the end result is the same: where I had a nice $60 profit going for me, that is now a net loss of a few bucks. Even after a week, one particular hand still haunts my dreams. Well, not literally, but still. When you get a guy with bottom pair on a 3,4,8 rainbow board to call your all-in bet with pocket Kings and he sucks out on the river, it hurts.

So in the coming week I've set aside some time to use my newfound wealth (free copy of Holdem Manager 2) to analyze some of my hands. Particularly, I'm going to be looking at how my big pairs did. Did I really run so terrible with them or is that just a matter of remembering the bad times and not the good times. I'm hoping for the second, as the first would really suck. I'll also try to find some leaks in the game, despite the relatively small sample size. I'm thinking it has something to do with me. I had suckouts before, and I still manage to rack up a nice profit. Presumably, I changed something in the way I played which was not the smartest of things to change.

I've also set up an Excel worksheet to track progress. That is, I took the one I was already using and changed it around a bit. As such, when March begins, I will start from scratch. I have plenty of bankroll left, so I just set aside a starting bankroll. I've emptied my worksheet (I did save it though you never know) because the sight of my graph up until now is depressing. Better to start clean and not be distracted by the past. Aside from this, I've also set myself up with some bankroll management rules. It's basically the same rules that I saw in videos by PSO trainer xflixx, but I modified it a bit. I increased the bankroll needed to take shots at a higher level a bit, and added the 16NL that PokerStars offers. The plan is to pretty much stick to it, with the reservation that reaching a certain bankroll does not mean I have to go up in limits. If I took a shot at the next limit and it didn't work out, it might be best to stick around on the current level a while longer. We'll see how it goes by the time I reach the first marker. Basically, my starting bankroll for a certain level will be 40 stacks (50+ stacks if I ever reach 100NL), with a shot at the next level when I reach around 60-70 stacks.

Although a good bankroll management scheme is nice, it's not going to make me a better player, just one that needs a whole lot longer to go broke. As such, I've also identified some areas where I need to study up some more. Well, a lot of areas, but let's start simple by making the list and then working my way through it. Areas of interest are table selection, bankroll management, starting hands, continuation betting and value betting, when to continue on the turn, reading and labeling opponents, and most importantly, get less upset at people sucking out.

Now the bankroll management part is easy, and done. The getting less upset part is probably the hardest. And although I know the theory about it (be happy they're putting their money in the pot with by far the worst of it, you'll get them next time), there is a distinction between knowing it and accepting it. The knowing it, check. The accepting it, well, not so much.

All in all, I have my work cut out for me. It's going to be a long week just reading and thinking about the game instead of actually playing, but it can't hurt, can it...