After a bout with shingles, being a new parent of twin boys and being utterly exhausted, I decided to take the rest of July off. In fact, I hadn't really known whether or not I would return to playing online poker with the same interest or focus as I had before. As August rolled around, I started to feel the itch to get back into playing some poker. My wife and I had a night nurse 3 to 4 days a week so that we could have some sleep which was crucial now that we had 3 children all under the age of 3 years old.
Most of my sessions were around 11 PM after everyone had gone to sleep and I had an hour to myself. I moved back down to .50-1 so that I could feel a bit more comfortable and 3.27 BB/100 winner over the course of 5,100 hands which gave me a nice ego boost.
September wouldn't fair as well although I still ended up a winner with a disappointing .78BB/100 after playing 7,500 hands. I had attempted to stay on the LAGier side of TAG, but not to go crazy postflop. I was also trying to use seat selection much more carefully than before. I started off October doing fairly well and by mid month, saw some opportunities to move up and play a few 1-2 FR tables with some immediate rungood. I limited the amount of tables I played when at 1-2 to no more than 3 at a time and usually only playing 2. I finished that month at 2.58BB/100 over 4,900 hands. It was obviously a more successful strategy at the time than playing nearly 10,000 hands like the previous month. Even though that plan seems to be rather obvious in hindsight, I was still expecting a lot more out of myself which was one way for disaster.
November began much like October in that I was mostly playing .50-1 with a little dabbling in 1-2. That quickly changed as once again I saw myself as shark ready to feed. Much like June and July, I was terribly wrong. Near the end of the month I saw a lot of losing sessions without many winning ones. I finished the month down money wise, but technically up as far as BB/100 goes with my .50-1 sessions helping to stave off the big losses at 1-2. You can probably see where this road is headed can't you?
December was basically my first all 1-2 month, which was most definitely a mistake given the circumstances. Surprisingly enough I had a very good month with the exception of one day in the middle when had a 60 BB downer which hurt my BB/100. All in all I ended up at 1.02BB/100 which is ok, especially taking into consideration that I was not playing A game poker.
Much like the beginning of the year I had some other high notes in poker during this time that were not attributed to cash games. In August I finished 2nd in a 180-man SNG which brought in $144 and then in late December I netted my first 180-man SNG win in NLHE which brought in $108. I finished the year with $522 in tournament winnings and $1,433 in cash game winnings, which includes all of the holdem variants. It was a roller coaster ride at times, but I learned quite a bit. Not that I would apply all that I learned right away, but at least it was stored up for the next go around.
All in all I knew that I had a strong love for poker and wanted to learn a lot more. I learned that when I stayed in my game that I could reduce my risk and pick up the skills that were needed in order to move up. I was beginning to learn that moving out one's comfort zone didn't mean becoming a crazy aggressive player overnight, but that's another story for another post.