Live poker and on-line poker are for the most part quite different, and I’m not just talking about the speed of play or the fact there aren’t visible “tells” in on-line poker. For the casual Amateur poker player, choosing between the two typically comes down to convenience and entertainment value, with the possibility that with some luck, a big cash out relative to a small buy-in is possible on-line. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that skill isn’t involved in both worlds, most certainly on the live front it is, but on-line, especially at the cash tables, it pretty much comes down to gambling the odds at as many tables as a player can handle simultaneously. Usually 10 or more.
I’ve played a lot of on-line poker since it caught hold in the early 2000′s. Sure, I won a few on-line and also live tournaments along the way and even earned the World Amateur Poker Tour™, Player of the Year bracelet for the two years years prior to the on-line poker crackdown. After the WAPT™ suspended its on-line activities, I moved from playing mostly tournaments to playing at the $1/$2 cash tables, where, even with some creative poker and played hand win percentage in the high 90′s, as an single table player, I was destined to eventually loose my stake to the multi-table gamblers.
So here’s my take on this topic. If you’re a casual Amateur poker player, enjoy playing from your living room, and are looking for good entertainment value for your dollar, then on-line poker may be right for you. Just be aware that tournament play is much more likely to pay off than cash table play, simply because you’re skill and luck will eventually run dry playing against the multi-table gamblers you inevitably will be up against at the on-line cash tables. As far as live poker goes in a typical Casino card room, with the exception of the reduced number of hands you will play, tournament play is similar in entertainment value to on-line, but has a much higher ratio of buy-in to payout so a typical amateur player’s stake won’t go as far per hour of entertainment received. What’s different about live is skilled play at the live cash tables can pay better dividends than on-line simply because everyone at your table can only be in the one place at a time, so there’s less likelihood of a number of players at the table gambling every time the odds dictate. Of course with live poker, you have some travel and time from away from home to deal with as well.
In conclusion, both worlds of poker are quite relevant, entertaining and sometimes quite profitable for Amateur poker players. Just be sure to treat your poker game like you would any other hobby and keep it well within your manageable entertainment budget.