I remember playing my first live tournament. It was a $200 freezout in a local casino. I’ve been playing poker for a year already, but only online. My hands were shaking, and though I knew what I should be doing with my cards, at a real poker table everything seemed different. I realized that to become a successful offline pro, I have to learn something more than technical part of the game.

Now after almost five years since I started playing, I realized that I love both playing live and online. For me it is important not to get bored and switching between these two helps a lot. But there are types of players who prefer one of these options because each of them has its own pros and cons.

I started playing online. There where couple of important reasons for that:

  • Game selection. At an online poker room you can expect to find hundreds if not thousands of real money tables. And the games are running 24/7. You can try tables of No Limit Holdem, Limit Holdem, Omaha, Stud, Razz, 2-7 Triple Draw, Badugi and mixed games like HORSE and find your own favorite game.
  • Moving up the stakes is more flexible. That’s because you can always find the game at your stakes. And you are not bound to playing just one table at a time. The advantage of playing multiple tables is that you can put in more hands per hour. Be careful though with multitabling, because the more tables you play, the less you can focus on each of them.
  • Comfort. Unless you live in Las Vegas it is probably a long drive for you to the nearest poker room with a wide variety of games and stakes. You can play online out of the comfort and privacy of your own home. Just turn on your favorite music, sit back and grind.
  • vadim_markushevski_team_pro_blog.jpg

    Vadim Markushevski

    When I started playing live I realized that at a real poker table you can achieve additional edge by collecting and analyzing information which was not available while playing online. Many people underestimate how important it is to physically see the players across the table, but if you can see them, you can read them, and you can really beat them. Being able to read people is a great skill to have in poker and also in your life, business and social situations. If you understand your opponent’s body language, face, talk, you will be able to define their range (bluff, semi-bluff, made hand) or even sometimes exact hand.

    I seem to notice that online players are more aggressive than live poker players. This may just be because the games are faster, but I think it’s because all online forums, latest poker books, and young successful players promote a tight-aggressive or loose-aggressive style of play, and many players really take that over the top. Be sure not to over-use that aggression.

    Anyway it’s up to you to decide, but I think that a good, combined mixture of live and online poker games will bring you most satisfaction.

    Follow me on Twitter (Russian and English): @Markushevski


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