I apologize for not reading all of this thread or all of your past threads, so if I say something that has already been said or if I am misstating something, that's why. From what I HAVE read, at the heart of your roadblocks I think are some pretty simple concepts related to focus and bankroll management. You don't need to do any experiments. You don't need any advice from your friends. You don't have to figure anything out. The work has already been done. It's proven. It's solid. It works. I get the impression you've NEVER tried it, but if you REALLY want to succeed, I'll spell out the steps for you. If you're more interested in gambling, keep doing what you've been doing and you'll continue to get the results you've got.
Step 1: Decide what game you want to play. Live, online, cash, tournament, NL, PLO, Limit, Stud. Whatever. Just decide and STICK with it. Don't move to any other game, structure, or type. You don't want to be a jack of all trades and a master of none. You DO want to be a master of one game. Trying to play tournaments AND cash games makes about as much sense as trying take Calculus I before you've had Algebra. Until you've proved you CAN do one thing, don't TRY to do another. I personally chose online NLHE full ring cash games and I recommend it to everyone who wants to make money at poker. I chose online because I can play it anytime I want AND multi-table. I chose NLHE because it's the most popular game with the most players and most fish and the game that you can best leverage your skill imo PLUS it's the Cadillac of poker. I chose full ring because it's EASIER than 6m or HU. I chose cash games because there's less variance, more consistent results, more freedom, and less frustration than tournaments.
You don't have to choose my path, but you DO need to choose ONE path and stick with it. If you play tournaments and cash games or NLHE and PLO or anything except ONE game type, you've failed step 1 and aren't serious about success.
Step 2: Bankroll Management. If you went busto, you obviously haven't been following bankroll management. You will NEVER succeed until you follow bankroll management. Bankroll management is MUCH more important than skill. Skill cannot overcome lack of bankroll management. The rules are pretty simple. For CASH games, you need AT LEAST 30 NLHE buy-ins (one buy-in is 100bb) of cash in the bank or your account to play. For SNG tournaments, you need 50 buy-ins. For MTT tournaments, you need 100 buy-ins. Those are MINIMUM requirements. You might be wise to have more, but NEVER less. For Limit Hold'em, you need 300 big bets. For PLO, you need 50 buy-ins. For any other game I didn't mention, you need to do the research to find an equivalent bankroll. If you don't have it, don't play it. Simple as that. But, let's say it again for dramatic effect: If you don't have it, don't play it. Simple as that. Once you have it, you can play down to 20 buy-ins cash game, 35 buy-ins SNG, or 70 buy-ins for MTT's, or 200 big bets for limit. Basically, you can lose a third of your full bankroll taking a shot up. If that happens, you need to move DOWN stakes IMMEDIATELY. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Do not move UP again until you have the full 30 buy-ins or whatever your the requirements for your game.
So, to play $1/$2 in a casino, that's a $200 buy-in. You need 30 buy-ins before you can even have a seat or play a hand. That's $6,000 MINIMUM. When you said you recently went busto, you were playing $200NL with far less than $6,000, more like 2 to 3 hundred. That's completely unacceptable.
"But, Jason, live games are easier than online"
"But, I'm better than those players."
"But, I've been really working on my game."
You need 30 buy-ins MINIMUM at all NLHE cash game stakes live or online. If you're busto and want to play LIVE, you need to get second job, save up a $100 and start a home game with 1 cent 2 cent blinds. Or, save up $300 and start a home game with 5 cent 10 cent blinds. Or, save up $1,500 and start a home game with 25 cent 50 cent blinds. That's pretty much the highest you can play live until you prove you're a winner somewhere. You can NOT go straight to the casino unless you have $3000 AND they spread 50 cent a dollar OR you have $6000 and you play $1/$2.
Not very glamorous, is it? Not something someone with a gambling problem would want to do. A person with a gambling problem needs the rush and excitement of REAL money, not the embarrassing, meaningless money of literally playing for pennies. There's no rush getting it all-in for $2. However, someone who REALLY wants to succeed in poker and has the patience to pay their dues and learn the game WOULD do exactly that. Myself and many others have done EXACTLY that. I started with a $100 bankroll LITERALLY playing for pennies with ONE table online. I stuck to my rules though and slowly moved up adding tables VERY gradually. Click on Donkey Kong below for the back-story if you're interested. I went from 1 table for 1 cent 2 cent to being on the verge of playing 7 tables $400NL with a $16k bankroll in a relatively short time.
Unfortunately for me, PokerStars changed their cash games in a very negative way last year and I had to take a step back. Then, I got burnt out at poker, took a 6 month break, and had to take ANOTHER step back once I was ready to play again. But, I'm back at $100NL and winning and making decent money and both ENJOYING poker and SUCCEEDING at poker. To date, I've never had to move down because I lost 10 buy-ins. To go busto, I'd have to lose 10 buy-ins at 6 different stakes in a row while I move down with each 10 buy-in loss. I've made over $20k at poker and hope to be on track to make well over $10k this year. All of that's possible if you stick to the rules. None of it's possible if you don't. Any "success" you luck box breaking the rules will be gone if you continue to break them. It's not an opinion. It's a mathematical fact. You just have to play long enough to realize your failure.
Step 3: Learn to beat the game. Poker is like a video game. There are levels that get progressively harder. Online $100NL is tougher than $25NL. There is no one, LONG TERM, who is a winner at $100NL who could not ALSO beat $25NL. So, if you're a long term LOSER at $25NL, you are also a loser at $50NL, $100NL, and any game higher up. The same applies to live. So, you have to start from the bottom and PROVE you are a winner before you can move up. Both because you need the money AND because you have to prove you are a winner. This is critical. If you don't prove you are a winner, then how will you know you're ready for the next level? Simply having the bankroll is not enough, you have to EARN the bankroll from the tables and PROVE you can beat the level.
When I came back from my 6 month layoff, I had near a $10k bankroll. Did I jump into $200NL games? Hell no. I started at $25NL. Won 10 buy-ins and when Stars announced they were getting rid of their terribadfail 50bb max games, I then moved up to $50NL. I just recently completed winning 30 buy-ins @ $50NL and have again PROVED I can beat that level. Now I'm ready to tackle $100NL again. If you can beat the games, it doesn't take long to move up. If you can't beat the game, it takes forever ... literally. Winners graphs always move from Southwest to Northeast. Losers graphs always move from Northwest to Southeast.
So, step 1, focus, step 2, bankroll management, step 3, beat the levels, and step 4: move up and profit.
That's all you or anyone has to do. You may make it to $1kNL or you may only make it to $10NL. Who knows? But, start from the bottom from scratch and figure it out if you're a REAL poker player. If you're a gambler looking for a fix, keep betting on black on the roulette wheel or playing $1/$2 PLO on a $200 and some change bankroll. The choice is yours. Good luck and have fun no matter what you choose.