Online Poker vs Live Play

Q

quads

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I just posted these same comments as a reply in another, getting to be boring thread. Then I thought why not start a thread with this same opinion and discuss only playing live vs online cash games. Being a firm believer of what I said, was interested in other views.

Why is it so hard for people to admit that while playing cash games online, that a overabundance of negatives come into play, which are not found while playing live. Just the speed of the game alone online, over a hundred hands per hour, lack of, if not non-existent tells other then how a player is betting for the most part, all missing while we stare at a image on our screens. Opponents that will use any and everything they could get their computer to download that will give them support, to include endless stats on opponents past play, giving the user percentages of what your opponent will most likely do every step of the way, preflop, flop, turn, river. Having flawless mathematical stats to the decimal staring you in the face reminding you of your winning percentage. Bots being used against you like the vex-bot capable of taking and storing all this information available and suggesting to the user the best course of action to take, removing all human interaction. The ruthless and endless collusion taking place online. Now throw in the high percentage of bad players that come naturally with the millions of players playing online. I just might rather take my chances in a black-jack game.

I'm not saying that some of these tools can't be exploited, but if your gonna try and tell me that while playing a cash game online, compared to sitting at a table live is the same all the way around, I will debate you to my death.

(hoping my death is not close by)
 
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titans4ever

titans4ever

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Yes, yes, yes and more yes.

I am a live player that does the on-line more for fun than the $. Not quite sure you hit 100+ hands an hour unless multi tabling but still agree.

I get mocked becuase I don't have pokertracker and a heads up display. I don't becuase I want to keep my attention skills working for when I do play live. I have to store all the info in my head live so why not do it on-line.

The biggest part to the on-line poker is the anonymity. You can bet and play however you want and not worry about looking stupid. How many people on this site have had to stand up after doing a stone cold bluff and getting called or get a stare down after catching a 2 outer on the river. I have and it hurts on both ends to tell you the truth.

There are so many ifs and maybes to the on-line poker becuase of the anonymity. I trust the sites for not rigging but how can you trust the other players? When it comes ot money there are way to many people who will do whatever it takes to get some. It is way to easy to have ICQ or IM up and talking to other players.

I sit down with just my poker skills and I don't know if I am in for a fair fight. A full ring game can look like this (I don't believe all of this but someday it could): 3 could have PT and a hud, 2 are bots and the rest could all be IMing each other their cards. Do I have a chance against this table. Yes, my winnings may not be as much but if I am good enough to identify each then I stand a chance to still win. Bots don't play against the math, change your game up against PT players so their stats don't help and stay away from the IM guys or text support.

I don't think on-line poke is rigged, we have enough of those people around but... I also do not think it is as fair as it should be. I really think PT and those types of programs should be banned (I know I am in the minority here). You really want to beat me in a game of skill, use YOUR head and not a computer who tracks everything for you.
 
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E

easy_money

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Im sorry guys but I prefer online games because of the beautifull winrate! :D If I want to have a nice day (or night) I play live games but if I want to earn money I play online.

Good luck!
 
titans4ever

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I make money on-line. What we are getting at is live and on-line are two very different versions of the same game. It is just like being a good tourney player but ok at ring games. Another good example are actors and actresses. Some can do stage/live and others are only good on screen. Watch Saturday Night Live and watch how some can pull the live sceens off and others just can't do it. Does it mean you are a bad actor if you are only good at one? No, just different. Poker is the same way.

There are so many more variable to keep track of in a live game. You are required to remember how each player is playing and their aggression factors. You have to steady your emotions and play calm and collected. You have to try and get physical reads on players while not giving any away yourself. Soft playing is the largest version of cheating live (not playing against your friends or maybe dumping chips to them once in awhile).

On-line the only true skill is betting and folding. All the little stuff is taken care of for you. Poker Tracker can give you more stats than you can imagine about how a player is doing and playing (no skill in remembering). Blinds and chip stacks are easily seen (no skill required). You can jump up and down all you want when you get a good hand, nobody will see (no skill required). You can even get programs that will tell you how you should play (no skill required). Collusion is always available. You and a friend can sit at any SnG and IM you hands. Hard to prove but I am sure it happens.

Do you see a differnce? I am not belittling the on-line player because I am one of them but there is a difference. There are devices and programs (legal) that can make a bad player decent, an average player good, a good player excellent etc. without them truely being at that level. Live there is no such aids to help the fish swimming with the sharks.

P.S. I don't blame anyone who uses these programs. If they are legal to use, why not use them to their fullest advantage. I am just pointing out it takes out a certain skill set that is required to play a live game.
 
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arkadiy

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I prefer to play Live once a week, online every day.

Live has a much better feel to it, having the chips in your hands, watching your opponents, actually feeling the cards...it's just nice to play live.

Online though I can lose a lot, go to another table in seconds and I'm fine. Doesn't make a difference. I lose a tournament, go to the next one. Just more conveint.
 
aliengenius

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Ok, you asked, so my responses in bold...

I just posted these same comments as a reply in another, getting to be boring thread. Then I thought why not start a thread with this same opinion and discuss only playing live vs online cash games. Being a firm believer of what I said, was interested in other views.

Why is it so hard for people to admit that while playing cash games online, that a overabundance of negatives come into play, which are not found while playing live.

I will address you so called "negatives" one at a time...

Just the speed of the game alone online, over a hundred hands per hour, lack of,

If you are a winning player this is a POSITIVE, not a negative. If your win rate is 8BB/100 hands, and you see about 30 hands per hour live and 100 hands per hour on line, you are making over three times as much playing online.

if not non-existent tells other then how a player is betting for the most part, all missing while we stare at a image on our screens.

"other then [sic] how a player is betting"-- how a player is betting is THE MOST IMPORTANT "TELL" THAT THERE IS! Betting patterns should make of the majority of your "reads", and if you are consistently attempting to use physical tells INSTEAD of betting patterns you are going to cost yourself a lot of money. It is one of the biggest myths in poker: that reading physical tells (and having a "poker face") are huge skills needed to succeed. Now I am not saying that physical tells are not another area you need to master when playing live, simply that placing too much emphasis on them and not enough on betting patterns is a misuse of your energy. In fact, from a purely game theory point of view online poker is much more pure than live poker.

Opponents that will use any and everything they could get their computer to download that will give them support, to include endless stats on opponents past play, giving the user percentages of what your opponent will most likely do every step of the way, preflop, flop, turn, river. Having flawless mathematical stats to the decimal staring you in the face reminding you of your winning percentage.

Yes, and you can have these as well. Even playing field.

Bots being used against you like the vex-bot capable of taking and storing all this information available and suggesting to the user the best course of action to take, removing all human interaction.

First of all, "Vex Bot" was a university comp sci experiment; the public does not have access to purchase AI of any real value. Secondly, if you seriously believe that bots make up a significant majority of the "players" on line, or that they are a serious threat in NL then you are paranoid and/or don't understand the limitations of artificial intelligence as applied to the game theory of NL poker.

The ruthless and endless collusion taking place online.

Paranoia. I am not convinced that I have run into rampant collusion in cash games, if at all.

Now throw in the high percentage of bad players that come naturally with the millions of players playing online.

AAAAARRRRRGGGHHHH. For some reason you refuse to read (or can't understand?) the articles here and here.

I just might rather take my chances in a black-jack game.

Just as well perhaps. Maybe the theoretical concepts of card counting will make more sense to you than those of poker...

I'm not saying that some of these tools can't be exploited, but if your gonna try and tell me that while playing a cash game online, compared to sitting at a table live is the same all the way around, I will debate you to my death.

No one is saying it is "the same", only that it is ludicrous to claim that on line cash game can not be beat, or are just too tough to beat because of the above "negatives".

(hoping my death is not close by) :saint:
 
Mojomax747

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There you are sitting comfortably playing poker with your pokertracker and any other programs/software you might have running.
You are playing your usual game aided by these programs and BAM, all of a sudden they are taken away from you for no apparent reason.
You know you are a half decent poker player but now you have to rely on 100% of your own skills/knowhow/stats etc.
Everybody else at your cash table still have their programs running and are making the most of it.
Are you starting to feel a little bit vulnerable, a little bit naked yet?
Well maybe you should be because you have gone from having an equal or better edge, to now having no edge apart from your human poker skills.
Are you thinking to yourself, "damn, i wish this was a live game instead of online, at least that way it would be a level playing field".
Well maybe you should be.


Quads is right IMHO if what he is saying is, if you are playing online cash games without any program aids against others that are using them then online poker cash games are harder to beat then live cash games.

Obvious really when you look at it that way, but is that what you are saying Quads? you didnt mention if you meant its tougher online for those without these programs against those who do.
 
T

Tha1thereis

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With me, I enjoy playing online, but my live game is way different.

I feel that I tighten up a lot more when I play live. I also feel that I am having a much better time when I'm playing live. I guess it's more fun to mess around with the chips, the surroundings, the dealer..it just gives that feel to it that you're in a casino, playing poker. I don't exactly know how to describe it, but playing live is just an awesome feeling. However, if you lose, the ride home is the worst part. Most of the time I'm just too lazy to drive 30 mins out to the casino.

Online, I love for the fact I can just hop on the computer and I'm playing poker. However, my game loosens up a lot and I tend to bluff a lot more often. I thought of this and it's most likely because I just don't understand that i'm actually playing with real money. Think about it: you're clicking a mouse playing a game online..but it's with real money. I guess sometimes I just can't comprehend the fact that I'm playing with real money. Call me stupid, but that might be one of the facts why I tilt so much more online than I do live. I tend to get frustrated when people checkraise me and I don't put the thought into the hand as I would do live. With all the other positives, finding any game at any time of day, more hands per hour, tons of tournaments happening around the clock, online is probably the way to go. But if I'm looking for a good time, obviously going to the casino to play the real thing is better.
 
Mojomax747

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To add to my post above, i guess some players would consider live cash games to be tougher to beat than online.

But would that be because they no longer have their help programs to guide them along?

Those that depend on pokertracker etc would IMO find a live game much tougher to beat then their usual online game because they would no longer be able to depend on all the added tools at their grasp from playing online.

So the same could be said for a strictly live player moving across to online play without using any programs etc, they too would find the change over tough to a certain degree.
 
Q

quads

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In threads like this one, there are many different opinions and different views. I would hope that most of these opinions and views are coming from players that are speaking from their own personal experiences.

When it comes to especially poker, I will always respect and pay careful attention to every persons view and opinion that I may read about in a book or magazine, on a forum, at a casino or poker club, etc. Considering I’m trying to take poker seriously, I will always try to improve my play today better then it was yesterday. I will take and try professional recommendations, as much as I may try a recommendation from a complete unknown (at least to me) from a poker forum. With that being said, I’m not saying that every time I play a poker game, I try something new. Lord knows, there are enough recommendations out there to probably change your game every day for a year, and then some. I’m certain you understand what I’m getting at.

Yet my opinions, come from what’s inside of me. Being whatever I say, either right or wrong, when compared to another person’s personal opinion, that’s what I’m feeling today as a direct result from my experiences. Not that I can’t have a different view eventually, but what I’m saying today is how I feel today. And not because I lost 10 sng's today to all bad beats. But my overall stats, over a period of time.

When I started this thread about live vs. online cash games, I expressed my personal opinion which is coming from several years of playing both online and live poker. It is only the way I presently see things. I’m open to every post I read, but as for today, whatever I say, is how I’m seeing things as we speak.

My opinion, as much as every post in this forums opinion, should be considered as much as Ian Taylor’s, in his articles about schooling, that AG keeps bringing up. Ian Taylor as been playing poker seriously for two years, and some social playing prior; this certainly doesn’t make his opinion one of the ten commandments carved in stone. Yes everything he says makes a great deal of sense, but so does what I and what everyone else (well most) has to say. His book “Poker Mindset” is based on the psychological aspects of the game. Did he even study psychology? It all sounds good on paper, but even I have more experience playing poker then him, and I’m sure I spent more time playing online poker then he has, considering I started to play online in 2000. Of course what proven professionals have to say is worth listening to ever more, but is what there saying geared more for live play? What these pros say about online poker (always good) is it really the truth? For the right price I would tell you to by stock in Enron.

AG you say “If you are a winning player this is a POSITIVE, not a negative. If your win rate is 8BB/100 hands, and you see about 30 hands per hour live and 100 hands per hour on line, you are making over three times as much playing online”. The key word here AG is the first word if. And you certainly are right about that whole statement, IF that’s the facts of course. It certainly sounds great on paper. But what percentages of the millions of online players are actually experiencing those numbers.

What I’m getting at, it’s easy to make suggestions or put some mathematical outcome on any theory. And if for example Ian Taylor’s, mathematical outcome based on his schooling theory, is correct, then all of us online poker players, that develop a good game of course, we should all be making the big bucks soon. Of course only if we were lucky enough to read his theory.

Also AG you mention how the online player should go out and buy all of these software support products, in order to be certain that they’ll be entering an even playing field. Now that’s calling the kettle black. At least we agree on one subject.

On line cash games most definitely can be beat. Damn, I went on winning streaks to the point I was thinking about buying a Mercedes. But before I could get to the dealer, I ended up right back to the old grind.

I truly believe in hard work, just like any other sport. But even after reading your opinions and of those you recommend we read, I can’t say I’m a changed man yet. I only speak for myself and hope my online cash game experiences eventually turns out different.


I love playing online poker, but have become very selective in what I play. It may not be what I really want to play, but for online, at this point I am convinced where my best chances are.
 
aliengenius

aliengenius

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Opinions are fine. But if your opinion is that 2+2 = 5, then I am going to point out that that is simply not the case.

Are you seriously questioning Taylor's credentials while blindly accepting Varrone's?!?!
 
Q

quads

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I surrender. Who cares what Varrone has to say. How does that fit in with this?
 
aliengenius

aliengenius

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I surrender. Who cares what Varrone has to say. How does that fit in with this?

Because your argument is a reiteration of exactly what he says in his book?

I guess I start with the assumption that anyone who reads a poker forum is at least interested in being a winning player. If you are just playing for recreation, don't care about (and can afford) your losses, then it really doesn't matter what type of game you play, you will lose in the long run. If you want to argue that you will lose more slowly by playing tournaments than ring games, then make a thread and argue that, because that is not the claim being made here.
 
Q

quads

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All the well known pros we admire and respect today. Are they from tournaments or ring games? All the money these pro's are gambling with, in ring games made for TV, is coming from the tournaments they won. With one maybe two exceptions. B.G. for one.

No doubt you got my respect when you get by 8,000 opponents, and pick up millions. Especially when you do it more then once.
 
stormswa

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All the well known pros we admire and respect today. Are they from tournaments or ring games? All the money these pro's are gambling with, in ring games made for TV, is coming from the tournaments they won. With one maybe two exceptions. B.G. for one.

No doubt you got my respect when you get by 8,000 opponents, and pick up millions. Especially when you do it more then once.


actully most did win from cash games 1st, most have been playing for years grinding out cash games before they played tourneys. Daniel started at local club grinding out limit before he came to wsop. Phil Ivey...cash games, doyle brunson....cash games.... you name any pro and their roots are in cash games 1st.


most of the online pros came from cash games 1st also except for a couple, most win money in cash games to support their tourney buy ins.
 
Q

quads

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We all started in cash games first. Live or online. Other then Doyle and a hand full of other well known old timers, regardless of how they started they all became famous today as a result of tournaments.
 
stormswa

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We all started in cash games first. Live or online. Other then Doyle and a hand full of other well known old timers, regardless of how they started they all became famous today as a result of tournaments.

oh is that what we are talking about why they are famous, well I wouldnt say it is tourneys that made them famous. If high stakes poker would of been around years ago instead of wsop well then they would be famous for that. If they televised the big game in vegas well that would make them famous. If you followed the poker world before espn you knew about them before all this tv hype.
 
Q

quads

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Yes, and the same goes for Black Jack, and any other gambling game. And of course TV made them famous. But other then the veterans, most players today, know these guys from tournaments. That would have to be at least 80% of the players playing today.

Not even sure how we got to this, which has not much to do with the original thread. LOL
 
titans4ever

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I think what quad original post is all about is that there is a difference between playing on-line and live. I don't think everything that he said are negatives but he is trying to point out the differences.

With all the technology of software support it takes away some of the skills need to play at a high level. You can multi table and use the software to pay attention for you. You can win 3 to 5 times more money per hour becuase of the extra hands and extra tables. Great, but is it now much of a game of skill. You can play pretty much ABC poker while using software and make money.

Live there is such a larger skill set needed to do well. Some have it and others have never bothered logging off long enough to find out.

It is like comparing a clydesdale to a pony. They are both horses but not much else is the same. Playing live and on-line are both holdem, omaha etc. but that is where the alot of the simularities end.
 
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