Making the transition from live poker to online


There is no doubt that live poker games and online poker games have totally different game dynamics. This is one of the key areas that you are going to have to address when you switch from one environment to the other. For example only last night I was at the G-Casino in Sheffield and was observing their cash game action on the £1-£1 game and the £1-£2 cash games. Both games were relatively loose with not many players being able to read the action very well.

However this is totally different to what happens in the same stakes in an online game. For example in a 1-2 game online then the average line up is a lot more sophisticated than what it was inside that game. This doesn’t though indicate that you should be automatically rushing along to Sheffield to play in their 1-2 game. While the table line up was soft, the number of hands per hour was very small. For example in the game that I watched then it was taking 2-3 minutes to play each hand of poker.

This indicated to me that this game was seeing around 25 hands per hour. The metric that professional online poker players estimate their earn rate by is in bb/100. So a multi-tabling pro may be say making 5bb/100 in an online poker game but if he is seeing 600 hands per hour then he is multiplying 5bb by a factor of 6 to get 30bb/hour. So if the stakes are £1-£1 then he is making £30/hour.

However in a live game that is soft then a player may be making a lot more and could be making 20bb/100 which is four times what the online player is making per 100 hands. However this 20bb/100 figure needs to be divided by a factor of four now because there are only 25 hands per hour being played. So now this player is only making 5bb/hour or £5/hour compared to the £30/hour as before.

Now can you see why all serious professional poker players choose online poker in which to make money? Playing live poker places you into one undeniable but ultimately terrible handicap…… this is that from a physicality standpoint that you cannot be sat at more than one table at any one time. So in a live casino then all four available cash games may be full of weak players but yet you cannot take advantage of that fact.

So when you play online then you have to be prepared for numerous changes in game dynamics. Your opponents average stack size will be shorter online because most sites have a 100bb maximum buy-in. Also because the session length is also much shorter online than it is live then players don’t hang around long enough to increase their stacks and so don’t become deep.

More players seem to buy in short online as well than what they do in a live game. You may find that your best results come from playing live games over online and if that is the case then you have two options open to you. Play live exclusively or sharpen up your online skills.