This is a question that I have been asking myself lately re. my game play.

I started playing poker 3.5 years ago because I thought it was a fun and entertaining game.   Started with play money on facebook - was building up a nice stack there. thought I was getting decent at the game.   So I decided to take the plunge, made a deposit & tried out 10 cent tournys on Pokerstars.  At that point I was just happy to play - winning money was a nice plus. 

I had no idea about playing position, what TAG or LAG meant, UTG or any other poker terms.  I was playing blindly, with very little knowledge and skills that were lacking.  Even worse, I overestimated my ability.  Over about the next year or so I explored the different games, like omaha, stud and finally, badugi, which i grew to love playing.  Starting reading more about poker, became familiar with poker talk, and learned a bit abot playing position.  That was the beginning of my transformation as a player.  Subtlely, over time, I started to invest more effort in learning how to play the game better.  A mind shift had occured, and it took me a while to realize that the game was no longer just entertainment.  It had become a passion, more than just a hobby. 

I finally joined the PSO skill league in July, 2010 and it really helped my game.  Started reading lessons, posts and blogs from experienced players.  Practiced my new skills in the PSO frerolls, and started doing reasonably well, making $50 most months for leaderboard placing.  So I decided to play higher stake tournys, and tried out the cash tables.  I had some success, made a few final tables, pocketing over $1,000 in winnings over a few months - I was feeling pretty good, confident.  I rode that momentum for most of this year, until recent events changed that.

Life has a funny way of throwing you a curveball that will knock you off your feet sometimes.  This was the case for me - I was floored.  I started to use poker as an outlet, a distraction.  While I did not completely donk out, my game play was certainly affected by my altered mood.  I saw a lot of terrible results, some of which I tried to blame on the software.....but when I reflected on it later I realised that I played carelessly, which lead to my demise, all too often.  My confidence started to plummet.  Unfortunately, it took decimating my entire bankroll in one month for me to WAKE UP.   Decide - I am going to revert of my old playing ways, or am I going to pull up my socks and get back in the game.

I realise I love poker too much to let all this learning and experience go to waste, so I must refocus.  I cannot just play whenever I feel like, as before.  For now,  I need to manage my time, and only play when I feel good about playing.  Stop using poker as an outlet or distraction.  And get back to basics - apply those lessons & learnings.  Keep learning.  That is my plan for the first part of 2012.

Thx for reading & good luck to all on your poker journey :wink: