re: Poker & Mistakes you made starting off poker
My best advise to beginning players would be to learn from experience as you say you are. Probably the worst mistake a beginner can make is to try emulating what they see on TV. The hands they show on TV are selected from many other hands there are, for a lack of a better word, standard. Folding 7-2os out of position, to a 3x raise doesn't make for good TV.
Books and tips from pro's can be helpful but they can also be situational. In other words, sometimes their advise isn't relevent. What they suggest in some instances may not work in a play money game or free roll because a lot of those players aren't playing the same poker as the players in a $10-$20 NL game. Which brings up another piece of advise: success at a certain level does not always guarantee success at another level. You may kill them at play money but that same poker would be unsuccessful in a real money
One last important thing to remember is to not play over your head financially. When you are afraid to lose the amount you are playing for it can affect your decisions.