Live Poker Tournaments

Online vs. Live Poker

For those of you who already play online and know how exciting and fun internet poker can be, it could be hard to imagine that just a decade ago online poker didn’t exist. That’s right; the option to play from the comfort of one’s own home is an innovation of the Information Age.

Up until the late 1990s, playing poker wasn’t about starting up a computer, logging into an account funded by Neteller or bank wire and trying to beat a thousand anonymous opponents in an online tournament. Poker was a pastime that implied meeting friends and gathering around a table with beers and pretzels, usually weekly. Home games have existed since poker was invented and range from 1-2 cent five card stud in a student dorm room to astronomical buy-in private tournaments in lavish mansions, where large sums of money change hands.

Casino Poker

Extra glamour and excitement is provided by land-based casino poker rooms. Some of the larger tournaments can be found there as well. However, there are travelling and lodging costs associated with each casino trip, unless a player lives in the vicinity of an offline poker room (ideally, in Monte Carlo or Las Vegas).

It’s only possible to play one table at a time. A dealer is a lot slower than a computer dealing cards, and expects tips. Surely, such a trip is great for creating memories. But it’s not something many people do on a regular basis — it’s too expensive. Travel, hotels, food, tips all add up.

This is why the majority of poker players today prefer to go online for the daily dose of their favorite game. Just like you wouldn’t dream of ordering Seablue Martini at a bar on a week night, opting for a draft beer, you probably aren’t going to go to a casino to play poker five-six nights a week. In today’s internet world, online poker is draft beer: convenient, cheap and satisfying. Live poker is a Seablue Martini: a memorable experience with splashing out, showboating and generally living it up.

Live Tournaments
But it’s not just about having a good time. It is possible to be successful and make money playing live poker tournaments. For an online player they can be difficult to adjust to. Some adjustments are also necessary for a player who prefers live cash games to tournaments.
Playing poker live requires a good knowledge of psychology and reading physical tells. Being observant goes a long way towards being able to use opponent’s mistakes to your advantage. A lot of ground work must be done before a tell on another player will make you money. Sometimes this work doesn’t pay off, but paying attention and keeping mental notes on other players will usually improve results in the long run.

Important Strategies
Some poker authors hold a view that tournaments aren’t … really poker. They argue that live tournament poker encourages highly aggressive play which would be ineffective in a cash game. (Online tournament poker fosters table aggression perhaps to even a greater degree). Such strategy is successful only in tournament play and only against rivals who play very cautiously (tightly) when they shouldn’t.
Live tournaments also require knowledge of optimal ways to play at different stages of a tournament. These depend on stack size and the number of players remaining. Every serious professional player is expert in such nuances of tournament play and often can switch effortlessly between playing tournaments in Omaha, Texas or HORSE.

Follow Live Tournaments on this Website

WSOP 2011 has just finished in Las Vegas, and already European Poker Tour’s eighth season is quickly approaching.

With so many great tournament series out there, keeping up with your favorite players can be quite a task. We are here to provide live poker updates from WSOP, EPT, WPT and other important events all year round. Come back often to see what’s going on in the world of live tournament poker.

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