Gnomie Brandon Tindel writes:
I think playing Texas Hold’em in a casino is a great place to learn. Nobody is going to tell you that you played a hand lousy online (or if they do it won’t be to help you but rather to make you mad). I’ve learned a ton about the game by simply being a friendly guy with an optimistic outlook. Poker can be beautiful when you take a step back and think about how everyone has a different perspective. When I started playing it was only about the chips, the only thing I was there for. My mission in the game of Texas Hold’em was and still is to crush anyone in there with me. I want all the chips at the table. In time I learned that this is not how everyone feels about poker. Many are there for the friendly atmosphere. Since many people playing Texas Hold’em like to talk you can learn a lot simply by keeping your ears open.
However, there are negative drawbacks to playing Texas Hold’em at a casino. Casinos are not always friendly and in fact they can be intimidating, particularly as you approach higher limits. At times you’re going to be in a game with a bunch of guys like me, an atmosphere where your opponents are trying to control your mind. This can be stressful and lead to poor decisions. It’s also very smoky and I shudder when I think about how many years I’ve lost of my life due to smoky cardrooms. Finally there is a great deal of time that must be spent commuting to and from the casino. It’s tough to play poker for 10-15 hours a week when you’re working 50. Add commuting time to this and if you’re not careful you’ll soon be a workaholic. Texas Hold’em Online
Playing Texas Hold’em online can be a valuable tool for the modern poker player. There are numerous advantages that you gain which are not available in card rooms. You won’t ever have to wait to play in a game, you can jump from one game to the next effortlessly, and you don’t have to be as aware of any tells that you might give away at a casino. You can also write notes about all the players that you’re up against.
The biggest advantage which I must note is that compared to Seattle the players in the rest of the world are much weaker and therefore I’ve been able to make a lot more money than in my hometown. I attribute this to the fact that Washington has had poker longer than any state except for Nevada.
Many poker players overlook that the fact that when playing Texas Hold’em online you can play at multiple tables. The serious money player can dramatically increase their hourly expectation by taking advantage of this. You can even use this to your advantage if your skill diminishes as you play in multiple games. Imagine that you’re capable of making $30/hr in a game but that your skill diminishes to about $20/hr if you play in 2 games since you lose focus. Net out you’re still making $40/hr.
Although Texas Hold’em online has a lot of advantages over the live game there are some serious drawbacks which must be addressed. It’s no secret that it’s more likely that there is some collusion online. How difficult would it be for a few guys to get together and set up a conference call while they’re all in the same game? They just want their rake. Therefore, they’ve got collusion safety measures in place so that you and I can’t sit in a game every day and talk about what we have.
Also, in my mind, the online poker game is not as fun. I like to riffle through my chips, see my cards, see my opponents go on tilt, and notice their tells. The best poker secrets are lost in online poker — you lose the tells. The only tells available online are the length of time a guy takes to make his move and his betting patterns. Whenever I’m online and I bust somebody for all his chips I wish I could see his face. Additionally my read is much weaker in online Texas Hold’em because I can’t see the body language that I’m used to picking up. If you begin to play only online it’s also easy to develop tells yourself because you’re not used to hiding them. Texas Hold’em Games Live vs. Casino Conclusion:
In closing I’d like to say that I continue to play both live games and online. The really high stakes to win are in live games and a growing player cannot allow his skill level to become stagnant or deteriorate online. Additionally, it’s simply more fun to play in a live Texas Hold’em game. However, the convenience and the bad play of online poker players continues to draw me back on a daily basis.