Live Poker vs. Online Poker


May 2010

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Online poker players like to make fun of live poker players. Live poker players like to make fun of online poker players. So which one is right? The online players of course! Live poker is, without a doubt, infinitely easier than online poker. Where online poker can take hundreds of thousands of hands before any profitability is seen, live poker is like printing money. Maybe you think I’m joking, maybe you think I’m exaggerating, but I am not. Years ago, online poker was just as easy as live poker. Maybe not quite as easy, but it was not a challenge to make tons of money. Today, however, online poker is the definition of a challenge. Few players actually make money, despite what many think, and dedication is a pre requisite for success. So why do people still play online poker if live poker is that much easier? There are many reasons, though some make more sense than others.

Online Poker

Online poker remains popular primarily due to its convenience. You don’t have to drive to a casino, get on a long waiting list, buy chips, and go find a table when you play on the internet. Once you log on, you are pretty much ready to go. Anyone with a shred of common sense can see why online poker is favored by so many. Because of its convenience, however, many players have gotten much better at the game. Poker used to have a steep learning curve that took a long time to grasp, because playing in a casino or in live games was not a speedy process. With online poker, players are able to get many more hands in per hour, can play multiple tables at a time, and have access to all kinds of tools that will make them better players. Online poker is still a viable option for poker, be it for casual or advanced players, but the games are certainly much tougher than most people would expect.

Live Poker

Live poker was popular before online poker, and it remains popular after online poker. Nothing can replace a game where players actually get to sit and converse with their opponents. This is something that the online poker experience is void of, though some players don’t mind. The skill sets are a bit different when you play live. You can’t steal as many pots in lower limit games, if only because no one ever folds. Continuation bets are often times a waste of money, and live players generally hate folding. If you can value bet, you should be able to crush live games. You won’t get nearly as many hands in per hour as you would playing online, but the dramatic drop in skill level typically more than compensates for this. Live poker can get boring for some people, especially after long sessions. There are some people who just prefer to be left alone and play by themselves, this is who online poker is great for. Online success does not always translate to live success, so tread carefully if you are a first time live poker player.