Many players practice for many months, not playing in any tournaments until they feel they are completely ready. Then they enter a tournament . . . and flop. They don't understand it, so they go right back to practicing for many months, avoiding tournaments again. When they again feel ready, they enter a tournament again . . . and flop again. And the cycle continues. Others both practice and play regular tournaments, get lots of feedback on what works and what doesn't in tournament competition, practice it, get more feedback at tournaments, and their playing level spirals upward. They also become "tournament tough" - they get used to the pressures of playing in a tournament as opposed to practice, and they get used to playing new players and different styles. Which are you?