As a rule of thumb when I say I'm taking a break from poker on here I actually mean that I know I *should* take a break, but I rarely get away from the game completely. I've been sneaking in some poker at night and the results have been very positive. I played some turbo single table tournaments on Stars (a mix of the 60s, 114s, and 225s) and ran hot, then on Wednesday I played in the 20/180 challenge organized on 2+2. What ended up happening is 21 people (all people who post in the MTT forum on 2+2) each wagered $160 on who would have the best results over 5 consecutive $22 180-man SNGs on Stars based on a point system rewarding how long you last in each. I was chip leader with 25 left in 2 of them and mananged a 2nd place in one of those to vault me into 1st place in the sidebet. The tournament only paid $720 for 2nd but I won over $2600 (80% of the pot) on the sidebet.
I've also played about 3000 hands of $600 NL (6-max tables) cash games and am up over $4K, running extremely hot. There have been some really bad players at these tables and I've started flopping some monsters again, and I'm actually getting some action when I do. This combination was basically never happening on my cash game downswing. Moving down against worse players defnitely makes a difference since they give me more action with weaker hands but it's about time I started flopping more hands that I can play big pots with. I've also made a few good laydowns. I folded trips with a weak kicker once when I knew I had to be up against a full house (I didn't even have to think about this fold) and bottom set another time when I figured I had to be up against a bigger set or a straight (35J7 board). Both hands were 3-way pots which made the laydowns easier and I got to confirm that I was right since the other player called down both times. Understanding how/when to control pot size and recognizing when you need to be able to fold a strong hand are probably the 2 key skills in these mid-limit games.
Anyways I've grinded my way back up to only about 30K from my peak a few months ago. I won't be playing tournaments this weekend because I'm doing the family thing for Thanksgving but hopefully I can continue to chop away at my downswing if I have time to play next week.