Poker as a Videogame
I can honestly say I've come a long way as a poker player, mostly thanks to this very site, but I've had a hard time getting my head around the big picture. I constantly flit between stakes and back and forth from ring to SNGs, depending on my BR or how I'm running. I lack focus and direction.
A couple months ago, I joined in on the monthly goals thread, and I think that was a big help. I may have still been sailing in the dark, but at least now I had a compass. Then, after re-reading the article on this site about setting mini-goals, I struck upon the thing that just might turn me into a profitable long-term poker player.
I initially added a few mini-goals to a text file. Things like bankroll milestone levels. ($250, $500, etc) Then, I decided to add more specific ones: "Post a monthly profit at NL($0.10) in a minimum of 5,000 hands." for example. I'd keep track of these goals, aim for one or more, and post the date I achieved any of them.
Now, I've gone mad, and added every goal I can think of. Much like video game milestones that keep me playing some games for months until I can get 100%, I've got tons of poker milestones, and I'm adding more every few days. Some, I will achieve by the end of the month, and some will take much much longer. Some, I will likely never achieve. I've even got wishlist goals like "Reach a final table in an MTT with 2000+ players." And the best thing is, for every goal I reach, there is another one right behind it. Posting a profit at NL($0.10) leads to posting a profit at NL($0.25), and so on. And when I hit a wall, or suffer a downswing, I can fall back to the games I know I can beat because I've got the stats to prove it.
For someone like me, who loves micromanagement, and requires constant affirmation that he can play good poker when he sets his mind to it, this gives me achievable, specific targets to aim for. Now, I've got a compass, map, and destination. All aboard!