I couldn't disagree with some posts in this thread more. Entirely and tremendously. Here's my argument...
Point 1: Playing online should make you a much better player live.
Why? : You are playing a lot of hands. A lot more than a live grinder ever will because you have the opportunity to play whenever you like, see more hands (even at a single table) per hour, as well as multi-table. Unless you're a zombie, you should be learning and becoming better with the practice/experience.
Point 2: You shouldn't be reliant on HUDs, it should help you.
Why? : Again, unless you're a zombie (live this time) you should be able to slot players into the "TAG" or "LAG" or "MORON" categories when sitting at the tables. You know how to play against these types because the HUD helps you immediately ID these people, whereas at a table it might take 30 minutes. It's up to you to pay attention.
Point 3: Live players are just as bad (if not worse) than online players.
Why? : I play $25nl online (usually 4 to 6 tables). When I play live I play either $40 or $100nl (with $1-2 blinds). There is no doubt, whether I am playing here in LA, or in Palm Springs, or even Vegas - that the players live play looser and worse than the $25nl players online at FullTilt or PokerStars
. Nobody goes to the casino to fold and usually they just go to have a good time, not necessarily be profitable. Playing strictly live will make you a worse online player because at these levels the players live are worse. Period.
Point 4: MTT Players (and structures) live (sub $150 buy ins) are HORRIBLE.
Why? : Most live tournaments feature 15 minute blinds ... which basically means that every 9 hands the blinds go up. They also shortstack you to begin with (especially in Vegas) so after 3 (or 4 if you are lucky) rounds you are shortstacked and it becomes "coin flip fever" rather than Poker. The structures you see online are far superior (more hands, more poker) and you can actually play much like the better structures of the higher buyins which attract the better players. The smaller buyin tournaments feel more like a crap-shoot than poker-skill.