Online v Live?


After reading Svcmgr’s most recent blog, it got me into thinking about playing live games, and how I never seem to do any good at them. So, I’m hoping, with the help of you, my lovely readers, that you can give me some advice.

Now here’s my problem. Online, I play pretty well – most of the time. I can sit and wait for the hands to come along. I have no problem calling pre-flop raises. I can generally get a good read on my fellow players at the virtual table after a round or two of hands. In a live game, I can still get quite a good read on players, but everything else goes haywire.

I find that I won’t call raises – even though I know that the raiser is probably holding a mediocre hand  Basically, I’m too timid in live games. It all results in me getting shortstacked with an eventual all-in situation in which I invariably lose to rubbish hands. The point being that the player holding the rubbish hand has me well outchipped and can afford to gamble.

So, dear readers, please give me your thoughts. I’ve identified my biggest problem in live games but still can’t combat it. Anyone got any advice?

I will add that the majority of games at the casino are rebuy tournies. I normally play the £10 buy-in games ($20) and budget for no more than 2 rebuys. I’m basically frittering away £30 ($60) every time I visit the casino.

With the Pokerchipsquad meet coming up in a couple of weeks time, I need all the help I can get…..


2 Responses to Online v Live?

  1. svcmgr says:

    It’s funny you mention that. I too sometimes suffer from the lack of aggression when playing live.
    I have been thinking about it and have a couple of “reasons” which may or may not apply to you.
    1. Table status – When playing on line, it takes me a few seconds to scan the table to see where the button is, chip stacks, etc when deciding whether or not to get involved in a hand. Having the “sky” view is really nice. When playing live, your perspective is different. You are physically sitting lower which makes it a little more difficult. Chip stacks are harder to see, etc. so sometimes I don’t take the time to see if I have a table advantage when deciding. I should, but sometimes I don’t. Constantly watching the overall picture of a game playing on line is a great advantage. I think you get the “feel” of the game better. Even without realizing it, I think you see how the chips are flowing, who the agressors are, who the Monkeys are, etc. Knowing this adds confidence to your game which, in turn, builds aggression.
    2. Game Type – When I play on Mondays, it’s a freeroll. The top 20 get points and at the end of a session (usually 5 or 6 weeks) there is a “final” tourny in which prizes are awarded but playing is free. So, my risk factor or challenge factor is not that high at these games for me. It’s not like I am playing in the WSOP so laying down a A J off is a lot easier. Also, since it is a freeroll, the Monkeys are playing. It is a lot harder to play “good” poker when there are people just screwing around.
    3. Outside infuences – Lets face it. When you are at home in front of a computer, your focus factor is a lot higher than playing live. You don’t have the distraction of lights, noise, table talk, the guy next to you who has BO, etc. So, it is easier to get distracted and not focus on your game. Also, when I play live at my “regular” Monday night game, there are a few people who I have come to know and there is a social factor involved. If I have a couple of friends at my table, I tend to shift to social play vs go get em and kill em play.

    If I were going to the Pokerchipsquad meet (wish I was), I would look at it as more of a social event instead of a focused tourny event. So, I would probably play the old “tight aggressive” route. Playing tight aggressive would be, in my mind, the easiest way to play. You don’t have to pay as much attention cause you aren’t trying to “pull something off”.
    I used to play once a week at a friends house. Small buy in with about 10 people. They were all decent players and no Monkeys. People would talk, joke around, etc. so it was social. Anyway, one of the guys (I saw him do this more than once) would raise his BB every once in a while and people would all fold to him. The funny part was he raised without ever looking at his cards. No one (except me) ever noticed he did this because they weren’t paying close enough attention.
    I guess the point is if you go to have fun, have fun. If you go to play serious, play serious.
    This probably did nothing too help you….lol
    Good luck this weekend, I wish I could have gone.

  2. dagopher says:

    Thanks Dave! A good few things to think about. I agree that the ‘social’ side is a lot easier and relaxed, but we will be playing in casino tournies as well. That is definately where my problems will start.

    Rebuy tournies – which is what we will probably be playing at the casino -are a lot like freerolls… you get a lot of braindead people who don’t care if they go out as they can always rebuy back in. More money than sense basically. I don’t think these people realise that in poker you try to make as much profit for as little outlay as possible – or is that just the Scottish mentality of not spending money??? 🙂

    This weekend will go along way to helping my live game. My confidence will rise just by playing the other forum members in our private games, and hopefully this will help for the casino games.

    As for the observations between live and online play, I think you are spot on. Its far easier to get information online. And yes, there is way much more distractions during a live game.

    Anyhoo, I’ll see what this weekend brings up and will report back with how I done.

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