After having enjoyed a bit of success playing online, I’ve been spending a bit of time at cardrooms trying to find the differences between online poker and live poker. I’ve found that online poker has numerous distinct advantages over a live game, and here are the three principal assets of the online game over the live game:
- The pitfalls of internet poker are exacerbated in a live game by inexperienced, foolish players. We all know that an internet player will play just about any ace and that idiots are everywhere, but only great fools will call stiff bets and raises to the river with only an ace high. The trouble is, when these fools hit an ace on the river and win a big hand, they begin to make proclamations about their play. This is annoying, especially for misanthropes like me, and can prove to be dangerous when and if these conversations spill over into the parking lot.
- Information is power, and internet poker delivers information to a player with unparalleled speed and accuracy. Players can calculate pot odds, bet size, see stack sizes, and can always see their cards without having to peek. This is especially useful to idiots, whom I have seen at live games betting like hungry animals because they think they hit a set with a pocket pair they didn’t actually have (seriously). In this instance, his set hit on the river and bailed him out in time for him to brag. In this vein, players who like to play at a table because they can read other players are incredible idiots. What are you hoping to read on the face of a guy who raised with J4? Are you trying to find out what an IQ of 63 looks like?
- Value is king. If I spend $50 at a live table (which is a gross minimum), I can expect a maximum return of $400-$500. If I buy in to a tournament online for $50, My upside can reach 5-digits, and because everyone playing knows this, they will *sometimes* play smarter hands. If they don’t, I am spared the bragging (I turn my chat off), the smell of their un-showered armpits, their loud, retarded chuckling, their stupid tattoos, rotten teeth, and their propensity to play A6 all the way to the river to try to hit their ace. That’s not poker. That’s bingo.