I've been playing poker seriously for about six years now. I got into poker before poker was cool (one of the few times I might actually be considered a trend setter!). I started with $100 and have never put another dime of my own money into playing. So I like to think I am a pretty decent player, though I dont typically play anything higher than $10/$20 and typically much less than that. Pretty much strickly a ring player as well, though I do to the occassional tournament.
Poker is a game of skill, but luck still plays a part in the short term. And sometimes the short term can seem like an awfully long time. I actaully ran so bad for a while that I quit playing. It would have been worse if I had been losing "my money", but I have built up a big enough bankroll that it deosnt affect my finances when I hit one of these streaks. But this last time things got so bad, I cashed out all my online accounts and took a break. Didn't matter what I did or where I played, I was losing.
Well, after a six month hiatus, I finally grabbed a couple hundred bucks and headed online again. No sooner did I start playing than did I start losing. I'm playing low limit stuff ($1/$2) so while not a lot of money, it was just as frustrating. Poker for me is just as much about the money as it is about the competition and beating someone. Its just that money is used to keep score. But alas, it looked like my bad streak was continuing.
Fortunately, the tide may have finally turned. I am up overall for this buyin and I seem to be playing pretty well. I see now I was probably not playing at my highest ability before, but there was still a lot of bad luck as well. Now I just need to remain vigilant and not start getting sloppy with my new found success and confidence. So to all you aspiring poker players out there, just remember - if you are a good player, you will win in the long run. If you are losing after playing for a year, you are just not a good player.
Oh yeah, poker advice, for what is worth, available upon request.