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Old 05-01-2019, 10:21 PM   #1
pabloholder
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Benefits of online poker as opposed to real life poker gambling?

I have been reading a lot about poker lately and want to try it out as a hobby and possible way to earn extra money

Would online poker or real life poker be better suited for beginners looking to learn and make money?

Any advice is appreciated
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Old 05-01-2019, 10:39 PM   #2
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Re: Benefits of online poker as opposed to real life poker gambling?

Online is by far way better to learn. You play literally a dozen if not 2 dozen times more hands per hour and gain experience much more quickly. You can also analyze your hand database, review your stats, etc

After beating online playing live is like shooting fish in a barrel. You never see live players become good. Basically all good live players were former online players

When online poker started getting big you'd have people like Tom dwan come onto the scene who might have played more hands lifetime in his early 20s than probably Doyle Brunson has had playing since before Dwan's parents were born
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Old 05-01-2019, 10:54 PM   #3
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Re: Benefits of online poker as opposed to real life poker gambling?

Online is a much better learning tool, because you will learn to play better, you will see a lot more hands a lot more quickly and because it's cheap. You can start by risking $2 stacks instead of $200 stacks - that's a much cheaper way to learn.
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Old 05-01-2019, 11:08 PM   #4
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Re: Benefits of online poker as opposed to real life poker gambling?

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beginners looking to learn and make money?
beginners don't win by definition unless they get lucky or if they're savants that happen to stumble onto a winning strategy right off the bat.

Truth is that only one or two players will have a positive expectation at any given table, with exceptions of course(like a 100% preflop raise maniac that overplays all kinds of hands postflop). As the number of players decreases, the probability that only one player is winning money long term approaches 1.

For now, you should play micro stakes online until your standard tight aggressive preflop ranges become second nature by way of memorization and application at the table.

The major problem with live poker is that it's relatively expensive, even at the lowest levels offered. $20 bucks isn't going to get you very far as a beginner in a live game, but online that same $20 is twenty $1 stacks for you to learn with, 50 big blinds at a time(I think this is good stack for beginners).
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Old 05-02-2019, 12:30 AM   #5
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Re: Benefits of online poker as opposed to real life poker gambling?

Good advice, and I certainly agree that starting online is the way to go for many reasons cited. A few comments:

Read. This is a game of probability and theory. If you think you are going to figure it out by playing you will get an expensive education. If at any time you think you have it figured out and are good -- you aren't. There is always another level, and the thing is it's hard to spot the players who are better than you because they play in a way that you will not recognize as better than your game. Keep your humility.

Playing online has the additional advantage that you can play on your own time, for as long as you want. You don't have travel time or scheduling issues. The flip side is to stay focused when you play online. You can have a lot of distractions at home that you don't have live. When you play, focus on your game, and make sure your environment is conducive to that (e.g. no TV, family or friends hanging around, etc.).

The lower stakes available online is great, and the traditional advice is to climb the ladder by proving you can win at the lowest level before moving up. I will disagree slightly and suggest you play at stakes that are meaningful to you, but that won't hurt too much if you lose. Assume max buy in is 100 big blinds, and that you should have 10 to 20 stacks as a bankroll, so if you play .05/.10 max buy in is $10 and you will need a bankroll of $100 to $200. You may have a reasonable chance of going broke and having to re-load, so if that seems like a lot go down to .02/.05. I would also suggest starting by buying in for 50 BB. You will learn to play the small hands better and faster than you will learn to play the big hands. Buying in for a smaller stack gives you enough to play to the river, but will keep you from losing a full stack as part of your education.

Pick the stakes that are reasonable and keep you focused. The goal is to build good habits. If you play .02/.05 and start thinking "It's only 20 cents" you are going to learn bad habits. Think of everything in terms of BB won or lost regardless of stakes and learn to play a disciplined game.

It's also worth noting that there is a lot of crazy play at low stakes (and sometimes at high stakes). You will see some things that don't make sense and that will be frustrating when you get beat. Keep your discipline, learn to identify and exploit weak players, and recognize that you are playing a game in which edges emerge over a large number of hands. You will have to learn that bad beats are part of the game, and that the correct play does not depend on the actual result.

Good luck.
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Old 05-03-2019, 11:51 AM   #6
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Re: Benefits of online poker as opposed to real life poker gambling?

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Originally Posted by pabloholder View Post
I have been reading a lot about poker lately and want to try it out as a hobby and possible way to earn extra money

Would online poker or real life poker be better suited for beginners looking to learn and make money?

Any advice is appreciated
These days very few people can start playing and succeed in making any real money. If that is the hope then you're just going to disappoint yourself as the most likely outcome. Just play when you enjoy it and try to get better, if you have an opportunity to make money the results will show that themselves.
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Old 05-03-2019, 02:54 PM   #7
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Re: Benefits of online poker as opposed to real life poker gambling?

Online is a very good way to learn cheaply, but don't think that it'll be an easy way to make side $$$, that boat sailed years ago, start by playing the very lowest stakes with the intention to have fun during the learning process and expect to lose your initial investment. Then reassess
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Old 05-04-2019, 05:10 PM   #8
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Re: Benefits of online poker as opposed to real life poker gambling?

It always annoys me when I see these "play to have fun" replies. I've never played a game in my life after the age of about ten "to have fun". I play to win and destroy the competition. There's literally zero "fun" in *any* game if you aren't doing that.
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Old 05-04-2019, 05:31 PM   #9
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Re: Benefits of online poker as opposed to real life poker gambling?

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It always annoys me when I see these "play to have fun" replies. I've never played a game in my life after the age of about ten "to have fun". I play to win and destroy the competition. There's literally zero "fun" in *any* game if you aren't doing that.
Would you prefer "play to improve enough to get close to breakeven and then work your way up from there"? The idea that a beginner could quickly become a winning player in 2019 seems amazing.

Also, the fact that you don't find enjoyment in your hobbies must make you a really popular fellow to invite over. I've found vast enjoyment in my life doing things I wasn't good at. Doing them with friends, I've gotten better and all of them, decent at a few of them, and pretty good at one or two. To each his own, but a life of only crushing you enemies sounds empty and miserable to me. It has been 30 years since I've bowled. If one of you took me bowling tonight, we'd have a few drinks, I'd be terrible, I wouldn't care, and a good time would be had by me at least. Usually, the poker arc starts out enjoying poker. When you're good enough to make real money, that's when it is just boring and no fun. Not at the beginning.

In 1994, you could hand a beginner Winning Low-limit Hold'em and if he read the first 3 chapters and could do that, he'd be a favorite to not lose in 4/8 or 6/12 games in an hour or two. Of course the rake was $3 and everyone was terrible. I have a friend who borrowed my copy in the Paradise poker days and went from a loser to a winner instantly.

These days, the rake is much higher and the general quality of the games isn't as soft -- it will take longer to get to breakeven. The smallest game here is 1/2/100 spread limit with $5+$2 rake (so $7 out of the pot when it reaches $50). I can't think of a book that I could hand a beginner and he could be breakeven in a couple hours. He'd probably have to actually be able to play poker to not be a money loser in that game. The smallest limit game here is 30/60, and there will be 3+ pros at the table most of the time. How to win? Be a decent or better pro.

Our OP said
Quote:
possible way to earn extra money
I'm going to define extra money as "about what you could hope to make in a minimum wage job". This will happen eventually or it won't. It will mostly depend on learning poker and being able to play well. Do that, and making money will follow. I think profit is a bad goal, because it will either be a long way off or (for many) not practical. If your goal is to improve at poker, you can do that each and every day. Then one day, you're in the mid-stakes and thinking "Hey, I make some cash at this. Nice!"
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Old 05-04-2019, 05:54 PM   #10
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Re: Benefits of online poker as opposed to real life poker gambling?

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I'm going to define extra money as "about what you could hope to make in a minimum wage job". This will happen eventually or it won't. It will mostly depend on learning poker and being able to play well. Do that, and making money will follow. I think profit is a bad goal, because it will either be a long way off or (for many) not practical. If your goal is to improve at poker, you can do that each and every day. Then one day, you're in the mid-stakes and thinking "Hey, I make some cash at this. Nice!"

I play online probably at least 40 hours a week. Single table almost all MTT. I put in $300 more than 5 years ago and have multiplied it 70-80X. I just got back from a 2 week vacation and bragged about how the people who played poker against me paid for the trip. My extraordinary win rate is now... well over $1 per hour. Maybe almost $2. If I didn't enjoy playing I would be driving an Uber for money... or actually working. On the other hand, I enjoy winning $1-2/hr a lot more than I would enjoy losing $1-2/hr.
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Old 05-04-2019, 06:11 PM   #11
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Re: Benefits of online poker as opposed to real life poker gambling?

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It always annoys me when I see these "play to have fun" replies. I've never played a game in my life after the age of about ten "to have fun". I play to win and destroy the competition. There's literally zero "fun" in *any* game if you aren't doing that.
lol
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Old 05-04-2019, 06:18 PM   #12
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Re: Benefits of online poker as opposed to real life poker gambling?

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It always annoys me when I see these "play to have fun" replies. I've never played a game in my life after the age of about ten "to have fun". I play to win and destroy the competition. There's literally zero "fun" in *any* game if you aren't doing that.
Sorry to hear that, sounds pretty sad. I also hope you donít have kids.
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Old 05-04-2019, 07:04 PM   #13
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Re: Benefits of online poker as opposed to real life poker gambling?

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Sorry to hear that, sounds pretty sad. I also hope you donít have kids.
He obv comes from the "Sprinkles are for winners" school of parenting.

I'll say this. I play games for the love of the game. Winning and losing aren't the issue. I can play golf with my buddies, agree to play for a few bucks, and I don't mind if I owe them beer money at the end of the round because I am not good. Having said that, when I "compete", meaning I play to the best of my abilities, for money, with the goal and expectation of winning, I don't like to lose. I'm not going to be an a-hole about it, but I don't find it "fun".
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Old 05-04-2019, 10:54 PM   #14
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Re: Benefits of online poker as opposed to real life poker gambling?

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lol
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Sorry to hear that, sounds pretty sad. I also hope you donít have kids.
Not everybody's brains work the same way and it's not a bad thing.

Gambling is boring af, and I can't relate at all to the people who sit in a casino all day and even get addicted. Poker is not a "fun" game for me either. I enjoy the process of losing, training/studying hard and being able to beat players/stakes that were previously beyond my ability. Fun doesn't properly describe the experience, but it's still very rewarding.
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Old 05-05-2019, 02:04 AM   #15
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Re: Benefits of online poker as opposed to real life poker gambling?

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Originally Posted by WorldzMine View Post
It always annoys me when I see these "play to have fun" replies. I've never played a game in my life after the age of about ten "to have fun". I play to win and destroy the competition. There's literally zero "fun" in *any* game if you aren't doing that.
do you play the roulette or the slots? whats your strategy if you do winner?

I wanna destroy the slots.
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Old 05-05-2019, 02:44 AM   #16
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Re: Benefits of online poker as opposed to real life poker gambling?

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Just play when you enjoy it and try to get better
op should just play play money on stars. cheaper than real money online gambling and there's some fairly good players in all formats. wish they had fixed limit omaha high/low mtts and ring games. might email stars to try and get them. horse would be another good format. they have 8 game but i get sick of playing big bet games and 2-7 triple draw.
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Old 05-05-2019, 07:43 AM   #17
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Re: Benefits of online poker as opposed to real life poker gambling?

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Not everybody's brains work the same way and it's not a bad thing.

Gambling is boring af, and I can't relate at all to the people who sit in a casino all day and even get addicted. Poker is not a "fun" game for me either.
I donít play poker for fun either. I also donít play stuff for serious money without trying to win.

My comment was directed at his statement of never playing anything without trying to win. Trying to beat your 5 year old kid playing catch in the backyard is certainly not a good thing and if you start counting while playing frisbee at the beach, your friends might look at you funny. Let alone not being able to play anything where nobody can win..

But most importantly, without players who go there for fun, the poker rooms would be dead.
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Old 05-05-2019, 08:02 AM   #18
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Re: Benefits of online poker as opposed to real life poker gambling?

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Originally Posted by WorldzMine View Post
It always annoys me when I see these "play to have fun" replies. I've never played a game in my life after the age of about ten "to have fun". I play to win and destroy the competition. There's literally zero "fun" in *any* game if you aren't doing that.
There's a difference between enjoying the competition and being a winning player at 2NL and expecting to make a living from poker and only playing for that sole purpose. If you attempt to play professionally you're going to be disappointed while if you want to just crush micro stakes then you're more likely to succeed.

I'm not saying you shouldn't try to win or that losing is fun. So you can still play to win, just not on a level that is basically impossible for most people. In fact I also hate people that say "it's just a game" when you beat them. If that is true, why keep score. It's never the winners that say "it's just a game".
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Old 05-05-2019, 09:45 AM   #19
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Re: Benefits of online poker as opposed to real life poker gambling?

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In fact I also hate people that say "it's just a game" when you beat them. If that is true, why keep score. It's never the winners that say "it's just a game".
Reminding myself that it's just a game helps me keep my head straight.

It's a gambling game for sure, but it's still just a game. Even dangerous games require a certain level of imagination necessary to visualize strategy; if you want to play the game well you're going to have to focus on the game itself while ignoring external factors like Vegas and the Mirage.

Pick your favorite sports hero(Mine include Pedro Martinez, David Ortiz, Tom Brady, and Heinz Ward). These guys reached the top of their games by immersing themselves in a lifestyle that made them better at the game. I have no idea what it's like inside the mind of a pro sports hero(particularly during the moments that made them heroes), but I would think that during the critical moments they have zero external factors on their minds to cloud their judgement, mess with their groove, steal their mojo, etc. Thus anything that can quickly help them regain focus during games is a very good thing. This is what "It's just a game" is all about.

In poker, there's no athletic barriers for us; it's all mental. To make it to the long term winners circle? You gotta win the battle between your ears.
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Old 05-05-2019, 10:37 AM   #20
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Re: Benefits of online poker as opposed to real life poker gambling?

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There's a difference between enjoying the competition and being a winning player at 2NL and expecting to make a living from poker and only playing for that sole purpose. If you attempt to play professionally you're going to be disappointed while if you want to just crush micro stakes then you're more likely to succeed.
It is strange to me how poker changes over the years. I started playing in the late 90's. By the time I started playing in Vegas on vacation the Bellagio was open, but Matt Damon told me to play at the Mirage. It was a few tables of degens. There was certainly the possibility of making a living playing poker in LA and at the B, but there was no widespread idea of doing so. You internet guys came up with the idea that nearly every serious player should want to make a living at it. Does it make me a hypocrite saying that after playing for income on the internet?

We hit the poker boom where even engineers with good jobs were quitting to play cards because "I make so much more money at poker that I can't justify not doing so." Some of those guys are still playing cards, take DeathDonkey as example of a HS mix and tournament player. This mostly ended with Black Friday in the US. I'm sure some RoW folks still move up the ladder online, but again, in 2009 days you could be 3-6 months from learning a simple strategy to making more than minimum wage playing online.

I'll repeat myself in this one point. The people I've seen over the years doing the transition to playing for income didn't start from nothing thinking the whole way "poker is a get rich quick scheme". I've played mid-stakes for income that I cared about. Like nearly everyone else I know, I got good enough at poker that it just came out that I could make money doing it. The skill came first, the desire to make $X/hr came after I realized I had done so for a while. Since you can control getting the skill but there's a lot of luck in realizing hourly $, it is better mentally to goal set on things you control.

Quote:
I'm not saying you shouldn't try to win or that losing is fun. So you can still play to win, just not on a level that is basically impossible for most people. In fact I also hate people that say "it's just a game" when you beat them. If that is true, why keep score. It's never the winners that say "it's just a game".
That's a mindset. To me, it seems like it comes from 80's movies about Wall Street. The idea that you're a winner or a loser inherently. IRL, you might be an expert at 1 thing or even 2 if you're an amazing savant. You might be decent at a couple more.

Mostly, you suck at everything else. We all do. The idea that you could inherently be a winner and just amazing at everything is part of Dunning-Kruger. Sure, fun people who play hard with their friends and the winners get to rub the faces of the losers in it can be a great time. Every pro golfer thinks you suck at golf. Every F1 driver thinks you are a terrible driver. Etc. "It is never the winners who think..." just ignores the fact that you and everyone you know sucks at nearly everything, once you look beyond your mates. Just like all of us. I suck at everything, other than 1 thing.

There are also bits of entitlement wrapped up this in the poker world. If I sit down in the local 30 game, I'd like to take their money (agree that serious poker is about $ and not that fun for me). I don't care if they think I'm better than they are, as I prefer them to think I'm a lucky bad LAG. As a poker player especially, be concerned about wanting people to think you're good at poker while you beat them. Most people who think this way end up teaching the mediocre players to play better. Nothing frustrates more than a "trying to play good" player teaching class at the table. Talk about sports, the weather, or how even well endowed you are, but actual poker strat is for poseurs.

I know that's not exactly what you said. My response is in part to people who read your words, think they made great sense, and took them to their logical conclusion. I'd respond by, all of us basically suck at everything in the big wide world.
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Old 05-05-2019, 12:43 PM   #21
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Re: Benefits of online poker as opposed to real life poker gambling?

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IRL, you might be an expert at 1 thing or even 2 if you're an amazing savant. You might be decent at a couple more.

Mostly, you suck at everything else. We all do. The idea that you could inherently be a winner and just amazing at everything is part of Dunning-Kruger. Sure, fun people who play hard with their friends and the winners get to rub the faces of the losers in it can be a great time. Every pro golfer thinks you suck at golf. Every F1 driver thinks you are a terrible driver. Etc. "It is never the winners who think..." just ignores the fact that you and everyone you know sucks at nearly everything, once you look beyond your mates. Just like all of us. I suck at everything, other than 1 thing.
Come for the poker. Stay for the life lessons.
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Old 05-05-2019, 05:00 PM   #22
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Re: Benefits of online poker as opposed to real life poker gambling?

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That's a mindset. To me, it seems like it comes from 80's movies about Wall Street. The idea that you're a winner or a loser inherently. IRL, you might be an expert at 1 thing or even 2 if you're an amazing savant. You might be decent at a couple more.

Mostly, you suck at everything else. We all do. The idea that you could inherently be a winner and just amazing at everything is part of Dunning-Kruger.
Ha, so true. My home game, I think every guy at the table has an IQ about two standard deviations above mine. They're not particularly good at poker, but really that's because they never wasted their time studying the game, they were out getting hard science degrees.
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Old 05-06-2019, 10:05 PM   #23
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Re: Benefits of online poker as opposed to real life poker gambling?

online poker you can turn $55 into $23,000 in 12 hours.
live poker you can turn 1 million into 10 million in the one drop.

you need more money to play live. get those monies.
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Old 05-09-2019, 01:11 AM   #24
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Re: Benefits of online poker as opposed to real life poker gambling?

Online poker is good for improving because you can get in lots of volume short handed. The competition is tough which means you learn fast. You can also learn at cheeseburger stakes which is good.

Live is good for making money because if you go play 1/2 everyone is pretty bad at poker so you can win at a game where it is possible to have a solid hourly.
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:37 PM   #25
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Re: Benefits of online poker as opposed to real life poker gambling?

On line you can be cheated, superused, botted, colluded, and never know it.

Live?

Cheating is rare, risky and dangerous for the cheater. Not much of that IMO.

No superusers if you don't flash your cards.

No bots. Yet.

You can actually beat colluders, just have the nuts one time and take their stacks.

As long as "english only" is enforced, it's all right there in front of you to observe.
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