I've been playing a little over a month now and I seem to be making some progress. Winning at real money poker still seems a bit of a distant dream, but results suggest I am improving. I'm making sure to keep detailed records of every poker session and the results.
Playing freerolls I have built almost up to the $20 bankroll I reckon I need to start in on microlimit real money games. Meanwhile I am still reading and learning and practising on playmoney (up to 500k play chips now, though the play is harder as the chip levels increase). Sit & Go has become my preferred format anmd having cleaned up at the 2k chip level I am now moving up to 10k to see if I can sustain it.
I've also played a few PSO skill events just to see where I stand. I really can't agree with those who complain at donks ruining their tournaments with mad all-ins and suck-outs. For one thing, these PSO affairs are very tight and tame compared with most freerolls. But more important, if people playing bad poker against you and occasionally winning is enough to put you off your game then you need to tighten up your mental game as well as your technical one. Bad beats happen but if you play better cards than your opponent you will win in the long run. Its that simple. If you really believe that these maniacs "always get the card they need on the river", against you then you need to take a step back and maybe rethink what you are trying to achieve here.
I admit the buzz of winning a big pot is great and the feeling of being robbed of one is unpleasant. But either way, I always try to remind myself I am here to learn to play longterm winning poker, not for the thrill of winning a few random pots along the way. If you are excessively turned-off by losing to a lucky donk (or excited by putting one in his/her place) then maybe you are too fixated on the thrillseeking element of the game, and not enough on the longterm. Playing for kicks is exactly what the impatient maniac player does. Those of us trying to improve beyond that level have to avoid that temptation. I want to decide what to play based on my best idea of Expected Value, not based on how much of a buzz it will be to win/lose this pot. That's what I am learning. A single hand , any single hand, just doesn't matter that much.