I am taking a pause from from play (although I shouldn't, my mission is to earn 150 VPP this week!!).  I want to review my goals, and how I've fared.

Here was what I set as goals in January (and my thoughts):

I guess a part of the reason my game is not improving, is I have never really set a goal for myself. I've played ring games, MTT, Heads-up, and the Pokerschool freerolls. Last year I was in the premier league, and maintained my status there for several months until I went on vacation for a month. Since, I have not been able to get back in. I enjoyed getting to know some of the players in the league, and gained a lot of respect for some of the top players.

So here is my shot at setting up some poker goals:
1) Win my ticket into the premier league through the open league games.
2) Either build my bankroll enough, or satellite in to the Sunday Million.
3) participate more in the live training sessions to pick up tips to hone my style of play, and gain better success.
4) earn at least 20 FPP per month.

Now the analysis:

1:  I have not gained my ticket to the premiere league.  And to be clear, my goal required me to gain the ticket via the open league.  I specifically wanted this to learn better patience, and to play position better.  I have some thoughts on why I have failed to date:

- I need to play late at night (9PM) during the week, and when I make it deep, I am playing well past midnight.  Not a great situation when I have to get up at 5AM.  It works for one night, but not 5.  So I need to play more on the weekend, and that didn't happen.

- I was still getting frustrated  with the game play.  I would make a good pre-flop decision, and get sucked out by the crazies.  I thought after 1-2 hours of play, a lot of the crazies woudl be out... but that is not my experience... so I still have some to learn here!

- probably the most impactful, I didn't play all that often in the league.  I can't even say I played more than 10 tournaments in any one month.  You can't get your ticket with so few tournaments.   If my results were poor after 5 or 6 tourneys, I gave up trying to make it up...

- I never earned a big bang ticket from the game play ( I did come close, with 2 consecutive tournaments inside 400, but the third... nowhere close!!)

Could I still make this goal happen at the last minute?  Not  a chance, as I am not planning on playing in the league tournaments.  But this doesn't mean I haven't learned anything here... and I have some other ideas of how to work with the leagues as a training tool...

2: I going to call this goal as achieved!  I had a pretty fantastic year this year from a bankroll basis.  I managed to build it up to $300 +.  Saying this, I can't say that I maintained that bankroll.  As of today, I am back below $100, but still ahead of the opening bankroll of under $30.   I learned that my bankroll management was very dangerous... and I have since become more conservative with my funds (but not yet to the 100x rule...).  I played in the 800 million promotional tournament.  I will consider this as an achievement, but a cheat, because it is not the regular weekly Sunday million tournament...  I tried to satelite into the $5 million tourney, but didn't quite make it.  I will be attempting to satelite to the $1 million Storm next week, and also for the standard Sunday million.  I can still complete this goal without my "cheat"!

3:  I have achieved this.  I have participated in live sessions, including the relevant tournaments where possible.  I've participated in the chat and got to learn quite a bit.  As everything else I do, I don't do enough of it... I continue to want to participate more... and so I shall.  Ideas for next year... setting a more specific goal...

4: I will blow this out of the park.  I reached this goal back in September.  Now I would go so far as to say I want to earn more than 20VPP per week.  This has got to be where I learnt the most this year.  I understand the VPP system a lot better, and a lot of the Pokerstars promotions through the year have been great inspirations (Thank you Pokerstars).  I am thinking I could set a goal to try to earn over 10,000 VPP points in one year, what a drastic difference from the beginning of the year...

So, three out of 4 goals achieved, pretty darn good.  I am looking forward to next year, and new goals.

So what's left for December... I played many sit & go last week to try to hit a Golden SNG (no such luck unfortunately), and at the same time, try to satelite into the $5 million tourney (no such luck again).  This week, make 150 VPP (I never tried to do this before) and I am leveraging the ring games (and zoom rings) to get it done.  At the same time, satelite into the $1 million storm.  Next week, more ring games to try to get dealt into a milesone hand.... so much fun to be had.  Do all this without bankrupting myself!!  I am also looking into the WCOOP challenges... but I haven't decided if I will give that a go too.  I am planning a break for Christmas... No work and no poker, just family and fun and games...

If you read this far, I am impressed and I am thankful.  I wish you a happy holidays, and look forward to see you at the table!!