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Poker Notes

A little advice for online poker players looking to play live

While I was never a world-beater as a poker pro -something I managed to pull-off being for about five years-I did learn many valuable lessons in those years, and perhaps the most important lesson I learned was either stick to live poker or online poker! If I played a lot of online poker my live game suffered… A LOT!

Although it’s alright to “dabble” in live poker if you’re an online poker player, or vice versa, the reason I would advise against trying to do both is that the games are light years apart when it comes to executing properly. Sure the rules and game-play are identical, but adjusting to live poker after being a hardcore online poker player is like being switched from first base to third base in baseball, or from wide receiver to defensive back in football -the game is the same, but there is going to be an adjustment period.

The good news for online poker players looking to become live players is that it’s a lot easier to flat-out switch from first to third base than it is to shuffle back and forth between the two - something very few baseball players are able to do which is why utility infielders are always in-demand, even if they are lifetime .220 hitters.

So what is so different about live poker? Here is a list of the major differences that will give online poker player fits:

1.       The patience factor is much higher

At the live poker tables there will be no opportunity to multi-table, and the dealers will seem like they are stuck in slow motion when you first start playing. Everything at a live poker table is slower, and if you let this frustrate you than you’re going to be in big trouble!

2.       The cost of playing is much higher

At the live poker tables you can say sayonara to your rakeback deal, bonuses, and promotions, oh yeah, and that sweet VIP program that’s gone too. In their place you will find a higher rake, more expenses –travelling, eating, and so on, and that whole pesky tipping thing.

3.       Once you’re there, you’re there!

One of the unsung joys of playing online poker is the option to quit 30 minutes into a session, go out to eat, come home and take a nap, and come back to the tables three or four hours later. At a live poker table you have to travel to get there, sign-up on a waiting list, and if things go south fast you’ll have to start the process all over again if you want a three hour break. Once you’re there, you’re there!

4.       How you move and act matters

Finally, the ability to see your opponents is a huge difference, and not just for the obvious reasons like tells and so forth. You’ll also be wearing your emotions on your sleeve, and people know things about you like if you are tired, if you are or have been drinking, even seemingly insignificant things like if you’re a scrawny young punk with a big mouth.

So why does this matter? Well, imagine you are that scrawny young punk berating someone from behind your computer screen. Now imagine you are that same scrawny young punk and are going to berate the 6′2″ 240lb gorilla sitting next to you. Even if your tirade is directed at another player, imagine the effect just having the gorilla tell you shut your mouth might have on your psyche.

While online players can be a bit socially awkward, live players need better “table manners”.

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  • Posted in: Fun Stuff, Poker, Poker Strategy & Tips
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