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View Full Version : the importance for live players of playing online


dilanesp
01-20-2015, 09:33 PM
Almost every winning poker player I know played extensively online for real money. I think that is no accident. Playing online for real money, even if it is just at micro-stakes games (often all that is available to Americans post-Black Friday), is hugely beneficial to poker players.

What is so great about playing online? Well, simply put, it gives a player a needed perspective to address typical live leaks, which almost always involve short term thinking.

Here are the key differences between live and online play:

1. You play many more hands online. Even at one table, you play about 100 hands an hour in limit (versus 35 live) and 60 hands an hour in no limit (versus 25 live). And you can multi-table. Back in the day, some players played up to 24 tables at once, but even if you play 4 tables, you could be playing 400 hands an hour, almost SEVEN times as many as you would play live.

2. You don't see the people you play against. You don't get to hear them gloat over their suckouts. You don't get to hear them pontificate against poker. You don't see the smug looks on their face. You don't smell their BO.

3. You have statistical tracking. You can relate your reads to actual statistics, and be ruthlessly efficient and honest with the ranges you put players on.

4. You also have statistical tracking of your own winrate, which you can measure to the last penny, and can review the hands you played at any time.

5. You are usually playing for much lower stakes.

Put these things together and you have the ideal practice environment for poker. You get to play tons of hands and face tons of situations which it would take years of play for you to face live), in an environment where you are less likely to tilt, and against players you can place on very precise ranges, and you can go back and review what you did and plug your hands into simulation and equity calculating software to see if you did it right. And you can quickly achieve a statistically significant number of hands and calculate your winrate.

Most importantly, though, you can learn about just what a large sample size issue exists in poker. Because you will go on upswings and downswings and flat periods that last thousands of hands. Which will put in perspective your frustration at two losing 5 hour sessions. :)

Now some people make counter-arguments to this. The most common is the claim that online poker is totally unlike live poker. But, you see, that's not true. Other than physical tells (a pretty minor issue) and slightly different rules (different buy-in caps in no limit, the no cap and kill rules in limit, different rake calculations), online poker is actually exactly like live poker. Indeed, it is so alike that the people who played online poker, were big winners, and moved over to become full time live players... are big winners live too.

Indeed, live poker is actually MORE like online poker than most live regulars think it is, and that's the source of the online player's big advantage. Most live regulars:

1. Do not understand the absolutely central, controlling, and overriding importance of math in the game.

2. Do not understand the number of poker hands you need to play to obtain a good sample size.

3. Do not understand that many of the biggest threats to one's winrate involve deviation from mathematically correct play based on hunches or short-term feelings or emotions, and that the closer one gets to the ideal of playing the same situation according to the same strategy every time, the more money one makes.

Play online, and you will accrue a gigantic advantage over your opponents.

thaskalos
01-20-2015, 10:25 PM
The online game was what was responsible for poker's pre-Black Friday meteoric rise in popularity. Without the online version, live poker is guaranteed to go back to the dark ages of gambling...where it was before the online game was introduced. Nothing is more boring than playing poker live...and the young online players who have flocked to the brick and mortar casinos are quickly realizing it.

Thaskalos says that live poker is on its last legs, in Vegas and elsewhere.

horses4courses
01-20-2015, 10:41 PM
Thaskalos says that live poker is on its last legs, in Vegas and elsewhere.

Thaskalos is correct.
The game is dying slowly in Nevada, as young players realize
that is faster and sexier to play roulette, or blackjack.

Serious gamblers who understand where they get a bigger
bang for their buck will stay away from those games,
and remain loyal to poker. Problem is, as the number of
square players decreases, so does their edge.

That initial rush to poker rooms caused by the online boom is over.
Many of these players want tournaments. Set $ buy-in, and a game
that doesn't last all night. They can't stand the grind of a cash game.

_______
01-20-2015, 11:06 PM
dilanesp:

I don't disagree with much of what you posted but note that you mention rake only in passing.

On line I have to beat a 5% rake capped at $3 for any level I choose. At the nearest live location for me there is an immediate rake of $5 on any pot that hits $19 at $1/$2 NL. That's not including any dealer toke on winning hands.

Beating a live game is harder because you, as a player, have to pay for the facility and staff along with the owners cut. I don't think you can ignore the higher cost of live play as an important consideration.

proximity
01-21-2015, 02:01 AM
The online game was what was responsible for poker's pre-Black Friday meteoric rise in popularity. Without the online version, live poker is guaranteed to go back to the dark ages of gambling...where it was before the online game was introduced. Nothing is more boring than playing poker live...and the young online players who have flocked to the brick and mortar casinos are quickly realizing it.

Thaskalos says that live poker is on its last legs, in Vegas and elsewhere.

I enjoy playing live..... but then again i'm kind of a boring guy. :sleeping:

and idk about vegas but the game seems strong here in the mid atlantic.

27 games tonight at parx. (Tuesday night 1:00 am) :eek:

600-1200 super stud hi lo :eek:

40-80 and 75-150 limit. :eek:

200-400 Omaha 8 :eek:

thaskalos
01-21-2015, 02:45 AM
I enjoy playing live..... but then again i'm kind of a boring guy. :sleeping:

and idk about vegas but the game seems strong here in the mid atlantic.

27 games tonight at parx. (Tuesday night 1:00 am) :eek:

600-1200 super stud hi lo :eek:

40-80 and 75-150 limit. :eek:

200-400 Omaha 8 :eek:

I am amazed at the difference that I see at the Las Vegas poker rooms, with every visit that I make there. I was there about a week ago with non-gambling relatives, and I wanted to disguise my gambling nature. I browsed around without playing much...and I was shocked by what I saw. Very little poker action going on...and the young players few and far between.

I left with a heavy feeling in the pit of my stomach...

dilanesp
01-21-2015, 02:52 AM
dilanesp:

I don't disagree with much of what you posted but note that you mention rake only in passing.

On line I have to beat a 5% rake capped at $3 for any level I choose. At the nearest live location for me there is an immediate rake of $5 on any pot that hits $19 at $1/$2 NL. That's not including any dealer toke on winning hands.

Beating a live game is harder because you, as a player, have to pay for the facility and staff along with the owners cut. I don't think you can ignore the higher cost of live play as an important consideration.

True enough (although different sites and limits online had different rake structures). But it doesn't make live play FUNDAMENTALLY different.

And actually, despite the lower rake, online poker is, in general, much TOUGHER than live poker, because a lot more online players understand the mathematical truths of the game, whereas most live players engage in magical, short term thinking.

dilanesp
01-21-2015, 02:54 AM
I enjoy playing live..... but then again i'm kind of a boring guy. :sleeping:

and idk about vegas but the game seems strong here in the mid atlantic.

27 games tonight at parx. (Tuesday night 1:00 am) :eek:

600-1200 super stud hi lo :eek:

40-80 and 75-150 limit. :eek:

200-400 Omaha 8 :eek:

1. I love live poker too. It's fun.

2. I was in Las Vegas in December. It may be down from its highs, but there were still fishy limit and no limit games available.

3. Here in Southern California, there are tons of games, just like Parx.

proximity
01-21-2015, 04:49 AM
1. I love live poker too. It's fun.


the lights, sounds, cocktail waitresses, comps, and diamond cards.... I just love going to the casinos and being in the casinos. the patience that comes from this simple enjoyment of being in the environment and not having to win or do anything gives me an advantage over my more hyper opponents in the low level games I currently play in. I don't want to be complacent though and while i'm not playing online I am reading a lot of the 2+2 stuff you mentioned like doug l posts and other small and micro stakes classics and (starting with preflop) thinking about how to make my game more situational and fluid. eventually i'll go back and start to break down my no limit but for here and now (despite the low $) i'm enjoying the limit studies and Baltimore trips so my focus is there. thank you for the suggestions.

Track Collector
01-21-2015, 01:27 PM
I have never played an on-line game.

I "currently" enjoy the aspects of a live game, and currently average between 15-24 hours per week over 3-4 nights.

As a relative newcomer to the game, I find that live poker has a huge challenge when it comes to trying to get a read on the types of players one is competing against. Unlike on-line poker, one sees a significantly less number of hands per hour. You also often do not get to see an opponent's losing showdown hand, thus depriving one of valuable information. Then there is that little thing called tracking software that on-line players have to easily determine things like VPIP, etc.

Then again, all the players at your live table face these same issues, so the players who do the work and make and effort to overcome the above can gain a nice advantage. (I know I need to do a lot better in this area myself.).

sammy the sage
01-22-2015, 07:35 AM
cheating on-line is WAY MORE rampant...PERIOD...from collusion to bots to ect....

enjoy...

_______
01-22-2015, 03:29 PM
I don't worry about bots in the games I play. I think the fear of these far exceeds any reality for even a moderately skilled player. There is a good algorithm for heads up LHE. Multi player is a different animal. NL adds another very serious layer of complexity. At worst you may be an unwilling subject of someone's testing at micro limits of multi player NLHE. Anyone running an algorithm at even low limits of multi player limit is losing money against a skilled table.

That said, I don't play HE in any form on line anymore. Tracking showed it was my lowest return. I've stuck to PL Omaha and PL Omaha HL where my records show that I win more. I think bad NLHE players have been weeded out on line over the last 15 years. You have mostly very good players (who are accused of being bots) playing against moderately good players (some of whom think they are better than they are and make accusations about bots to explain losses).

There are still some bad players at Omaha because the math is a lot harder.

dilanesp
01-22-2015, 03:58 PM
cheating on-line is WAY MORE rampant...PERIOD...from collusion to bots to ect....

enjoy...

Bots exist.

But collusion? Live poker is full of it, and colluders sometimes get caught online, and never do live.

horses4courses
01-22-2015, 09:16 PM
Interesting.
I'll have to give it a closer look over the weekend.

The unbeatable poker playing machine

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-30896655

Stillriledup
01-25-2015, 05:44 AM
Wouldnt the edge be with live games moreso than online, especially the games in Vegas?

If you sit down at a table in Vegas, there's a shot that someone who's sitting there is only playing poker once in a blue moon when they are on vacation or whatever.....people online i have to imagine play daily and because they play daily, they're better players.

Also, with the live games, if you're good at "tells" you can pick a few of those up, so you can win games without the best cards. Can you really bluff as well in an online game?

Also, there' more room for error in live play, people dont get to sit at their computer with another computer telling them what moves to make.

If a person is not good enough to win at live games, can they really beat online games?

proximity
01-25-2015, 12:10 PM
Wouldnt the edge be with live games moreso than online, especially the games in Vegas?

If you sit down at a table in Vegas, there's a shot that someone who's sitting there is only playing poker once in a blue moon when they are on vacation or whatever.....people online i have to imagine play daily and because they play daily, they're better players.

Also, with the live games, if you're good at "tells" you can pick a few of those up, so you can win games without the best cards. Can you really bluff as well in an online game?

Also, there' more room for error in live play, people dont get to sit at their computer with another computer telling them what moves to make.

If a person is not good enough to win at live games, can they really beat online games?

dilanesp is recommending online more as a training tool for all of us horseplayers who are spending more and more time in card rooms.

one thing to note though is that he is primarily a limit player.....which I like but in many places no limit is the main (OR ONLY) game. and while I don't have online micro no limit experience, the money in your stack at the casino is much bigger so I wouldn't expect people to be as willing to stack off so the experience may not match up as well???

where do you play sru? :)

dilanesp
01-25-2015, 04:21 PM
Wouldnt the edge be with live games moreso than online, especially the games in Vegas?

If you sit down at a table in Vegas, there's a shot that someone who's sitting there is only playing poker once in a blue moon when they are on vacation or whatever.....people online i have to imagine play daily and because they play daily, they're better players.

Also, with the live games, if you're good at "tells" you can pick a few of those up, so you can win games without the best cards. Can you really bluff as well in an online game?

Also, there' more room for error in live play, people dont get to sit at their computer with another computer telling them what moves to make.

If a person is not good enough to win at live games, can they really beat online games?

The "edge" is greater. An experienced online player has a huge advantage over live players. That's the whole point of my post.

But I would suggest to you something else too. Playing exclusively live tends to cause people to believe some very wrong things about poker. That's true of many of the better live players as well as the worse ones. Online poker dispels some illusions.

dilanesp
01-25-2015, 04:23 PM
dilanesp is recommending online more as a training tool for all of us horseplayers who are spending more and more time in card rooms.

one thing to note though is that he is primarily a limit player.....which I like but in many places no limit is the main (OR ONLY) game. and while I don't have online micro no limit experience, the money in your stack at the casino is much bigger so I wouldn't expect people to be as willing to stack off so the experience may not match up as well???

where do you play sru? :)

I've played some no limit online, and live. And I perceive the same basic differences.

It's true that every once in awhile you will sit at a microstakes no limit table where people are shoving everything. But not very often. For the most part, online no limit, even at 1c/2c, plays tougher than any $500 cap or less no limit game in Southern California.

thaskalos
01-25-2015, 05:01 PM
I've played some no limit online, and live. And I perceive the same basic differences.

It's true that every once in awhile you will sit at a microstakes no limit table where people are shoving everything. But not very often. For the most part, online no limit, even at 1c/2c, plays tougher than any $500 cap or less no limit game in Southern California.
So...If I can crush the online 1c/2c no-limit games...I should have no trouble dominating the $2/$5 no-limit games in southern California?

Stillriledup
01-25-2015, 05:06 PM
dilanesp is recommending online more as a training tool for all of us horseplayers who are spending more and more time in card rooms.

one thing to note though is that he is primarily a limit player.....which I like but in many places no limit is the main (OR ONLY) game. and while I don't have online micro no limit experience, the money in your stack at the casino is much bigger so I wouldn't expect people to be as willing to stack off so the experience may not match up as well???

where do you play sru? :)

I don't play and i've never played one single hand of cards, i spend too much time working on horse racing, i don't have the time to "Get great" at poker, so i just let you guys have all the fun!

I am fascinated at the idea of "Tells" and how if you can read other people you can beat poker. I also have people close to me who love poker and play it so by getting into these threads i can learn more and more, i know you guys in this thread are serious students, hope you don't mind someone who doesn't actually play participating in the discussions.

thaskalos
01-25-2015, 05:31 PM
I don't play and i've never played one single hand of cards, i spend too much time working on horse racing, i don't have the time to "Get great" at poker, so i just let you guys have all the fun!

I am fascinated at the idea of "Tells" and how if you can read other people you can beat poker. I also have people close to me who love poker and play it so by getting into these threads i can learn more and more, i know you guys in this thread are serious students, hope you don't mind someone who doesn't actually play participating in the discussions.
The poker tells aren't as unambiguous as Mike Caro makes them out to be, SRU...and we seldom play with the same players long enough to properly decipher them.

I was involved in a big hand not too long ago...and, when a player made a pot-sized river bet against me...I noticed that his hand was shaking slightly as he was putting his chips in the pot. Was it because of the fear associated with bluffing...or was it because of the anticipation of winning a big pot?

He hadn't won a hand in a long while, and was losing heavily in the game...so I deduced that he held a monster hand, and folded my own hand. I could have been wrong...but it isn't likely, IMO.

dilanesp
01-25-2015, 06:47 PM
So...If I can crush the online 1c/2c no-limit games...I should have no trouble dominating the $2/$5 no-limit games in southern California?

Almost certainly, subject to rake.

Stillriledup
01-25-2015, 06:47 PM
The poker tells aren't as unambiguous as Mike Caro makes them out to be, SRU...and we seldom play with the same players long enough to properly decipher them.

I was involved in a big hand not too long ago...and, when a player made a pot-sized river bet against me...I noticed that his hand was shaking slightly as he was putting his chips in the pot. Was it because of the fear associated with bluffing...or was it because of the anticipation of winning a big pot?

He hadn't won a hand in a long while, and was losing heavily in the game...so I deduced that he held a monster hand, and folded my own hand. I could have been wrong...but it isn't likely, IMO.

You were probably right, not likely the guy was bluffing if he was down and out.

dilanesp
01-25-2015, 06:51 PM
I don't play and i've never played one single hand of cards, i spend too much time working on horse racing, i don't have the time to "Get great" at poker, so i just let you guys have all the fun!

I am fascinated at the idea of "Tells" and how if you can read other people you can beat poker. I also have people close to me who love poker and play it so by getting into these threads i can learn more and more, i know you guys in this thread are serious students, hope you don't mind someone who doesn't actually play participating in the discussions.

Tells are overrated. They do exist, but they are a second order poker factor (similar to something like weight in horse racing- a factor, not a big one).

Poker is much closer to a gigantic math problem. The probabilities are fixed, and knowing what range of hands a player might have allows the math problem to be "solved".

Stillriledup
01-25-2015, 07:43 PM
Tells are overrated. They do exist, but they are a second order poker factor (similar to something like weight in horse racing- a factor, not a big one).

Poker is much closer to a gigantic math problem. The probabilities are fixed, and knowing what range of hands a player might have allows the math problem to be "solved".

Good to know. I always thought what separated the great poker players from the good ones is to, occasionally, read another player.

Red Knave
01-25-2015, 08:48 PM
...what separated the great poker players from the good ones is to, occasionally, read another player.
This is what is meant by knowing the range of hands your opponent will play pre/post flop and their position/stack vs. your position/stack.
Got that? :)
In other words, your read on them.

Oh, wait, what was your question again? ;)

As dilanesp says, it's a big math problem but it's not like high school math where there is only 1 right answer. There are a range of answers and your ability to narrow down the range is your ticket to the big dance or palookaville.

proximity
01-25-2015, 08:56 PM
I am fascinated at the idea of "Tells" and how if you can read other people you can beat poker. I also have people close to me who love poker and play it so by getting into these threads i can learn more and more, i know you guys in this thread are serious students, hope you don't mind someone who doesn't actually play participating in the discussions.

the people here are super nice so you should NEVER worry about participating.

I wouldn't worry too much about physical tells. one thing I've been looking for lately in limit games are the chronic "pre folders." if you can get them to your left you can often see that your actual position is better than your physical position.

the shaking hand that thaskalos mentioned usually indicates a big hand but you gotta take into account whose hand is actually shaking. some older players may have hands that kind of shake naturally and many of these players probably have something if they're betting anyhow. a younger player with a shaking hand almost definitely has "something" but many of these players will drastically overestimate exactly how good "something" is.
so you notice the shaking hand, but where are you? :D

proximity
01-25-2015, 10:16 PM
classic p.a. tell post from ww:

http://www.paceadvantage.com/forum/showpost.php?p=1462238&postcount=19