Let's begin by getting something out of the way. I do not claim to be a pro or and expert so if you are going to flame at least have a valid point with your argument.

Once I have grasped the basics and developed good self control my mind naturally started focusing on strategy.

Being ambiguous throughout a game is invaluable. What does this mean? Never letting other players fully grasp or label the type of player you are. Adapting, feigning weakness, being decisive, playing tight, playing loose, mixing up your play. An experienced player may see through these tactics because there are certain aspects of the game you cannot hide easily such as playing position and exploiting obvious opportunities.

When you play, it is important to initiate the play by raising as subconsciously this will implant fear in your opponents mind. Be the aggressor most of the time you play by raising. Triggering an opponents "fight or flight" response is a powerful tool and can cause your opponent to have a "brain fart".

Calling a reasonable bet on occasion is also a way of keeping your opponent off guard. Don't do this with complete trash and be aware of the game dynamics. When you call have a plan. At this point you should be able to make a play based on the flop. You must control the situation. If you think you are beat, give the pot to your opponent. If you are curious, buy some information buy placing bet. If your opponent re-raises and you are weak, fold. If he does something rash such as shoving all in and you are not holding a monster hand, give him the pot and use the information later to possibly exploit him. The better you maintain control, the stronger you appear.

If you can manage, pretend to have a brainfart. Everyone here knows what a brainfart is. If your stack can support it, allow a loss that appears stupid. Make a bad call. Sometimes you will get lucky by winning the pot and still appear stupid which is win win. Sometimes you will do this unintentionally and if you are lucky to survive, use the image to build off. Brainfarts can be a powerful tool to lure unsuspecting victims into a trap. This isn't an easy tactic to consciously play, but powerful if done successfully. Spending chips on conveying an image is an investment that can yield great returns in the future.

How do you know if players has a read on you or not? The later stages of a game will reveal much. Do players appear fearful by respecting your bet? Do they try and steal your blinds often? At this point, if you played well you should be able to dictate the pace of the game. You can manipulate a game greatly at this stage. Punish everyone who won't stand up for themselves. Call a bet if somebody is trying to steal your blinds. Pressure the small stacks by taking their blinds and then forcing them to turn on each other. Be unorthodox, be decisive. You can build your stack easily at this point if you have control. If you successfully played ambiguously, players will want to avoid confrontation with you which gives you the control.

Lastly, if you know you played well and lose by "dumb luck" then be happy with that result and move on.