Originally Posted by czechvengeance
softer live games = less variance (but less volume as well obv.)
If you can find a live donkament with a decent structure that is equivalent to an online tournament in terms of hands seen per blind increase...
Then yes, the live tourney will have less variance.
The reason is simple: The skill difference.
The skill level of live tournament players (ESPECIALLY YOUR LOCAL $100 - $200 DONKAMENTS) is ridiculously low compared to online tourney players.
Live tourney players play 25 - 50 tourneys a year at most whereas a decent online player plays 10x to 100x as many tournaments a year easy.
Similarly, most live players don't properly understand how to adjust their games as a function of M, blind defense, stealing, or bubble play...
So basically, your edge is just HUGE in a live tournament and that dramatically reduces the variance.
I laugh every time i'm at a final table, M < 10. Its my big blind and there are antes in play. I'll jam from the CO with AT and action folds to BB who will show me 88 and say, "Man, you got AA huh? AA or KK, something big. You always have something big when its my big blind... Okay, i'll wait for a better spot" and then he folds...
So yeah, live play has much lower variance than online play AINEC.