Successes and failures of beginners: blame poker software?

Chris 'Fox' Wallace

Mostly I play live poker during the World Series of Poker. This year again, I met a lot of players who have tried online, repeatedly lost their deposits and abandoned the case. I was told a similar story by very good players, but they did not have a clue why they can make profit in live games, and can't  achieve any success on the Internet. If this applies to you, or you are play online, but you still can't achieve stable results, then you should definitely read this article.

First problem faced by the majority of  live poker players in online - wrong choice of stakes level. Usually they start playing at the same limit, or one limit lower. But this is not enough. Any professional, representative of the old school poker will agree with me that in terms of strategy and skill online poker game is much superior than any live game.

It was not always, but today a common online game nearly 5 times more difficult than traditional live game. This means that if you are playing $1/$2 live, you have to play online $0.10/$0.25 or $ 0.25/$0.50. I would recommend most players start with the first limit, because even $0.25/$0.50 has a lot of strong grinders.

Lot of players in live poker think that such a huge difference in the stakes won't allow them to earn enough  money. However, online you play 2-3 times more hands at hour, and if you play multiple tables at the same time, and get rakeback, the win rate can exceed your winnings in a live game.

A second problem is that many  live players don't play long enough online to adjust to its features. From some kind of view, poker is a game of superiority. Whoever plays longer, more learning from his mistakes, and gradually begins to perform profitable play. Online poker is a completely different game that requires very different skills; foolish to think that without them, you will quickly be able to reach the top.

One of these unique skills is the ability to use the poker software. If live player sits down at online poker table and start playing without a hand history tracking software HUD he would be at a great disadvantage. After 20 or 30 hands he may made one or two notes on other players. Meanwhile, his opponents know how many times he watched the flop, they can instantly view the replay of each hand. Yes, his game is automatically evaluated by their programs and most likely software shows fish icon near his nickname. And if he was playing a while back, datamining sites already have his hand. Many opponents, whom he has never even met at the table already deeply read his game, and he has no clue why. They see that over 2,200 hands he has not lost any pot after he check-raise turn, and fold near any hand for his check/raise. And our live player have no such statistics on opponents, and he begins to lose more and more. If you are new to the online poker, we strongly recommend that you read the article Guide to poker software for beginners.

Our poor player, probably looking at a standard table with animations, avatars and other distracting garbage. Serious grinders turn it off long ago. They just look at the stacks and stats of players, nothing more. Our player may not even know that it can be turned off, and is still trying to correctly place the three tables on the screen. And at this time grinder to the left, plays 4 times more tables and spends 2 times less effort thanks to a simple skin, configured HUD. And also he have statistics on all opponents, which gives him a better reads on their game.

Also, there is a third reason why a successful live poker player begins to lose online. In fact, he just may be not as successful as he thinks. For live poker players is much easier to deceive themselves about the results of their game, because almost none of them are tracking accurate statistics of their wins and losses. Ask around players in the poker room where you usually play, and you will find that almost all of them are winning players. Something is wrong here, isn't it?

Live player who for many years considered himself a + EV, is facing a bitter truth in the online poker when he has to make deposits again and again. Losses can be tolerated as long as you are at least occasionally win, but satisfaction with the game completely disappears when each session ends with zero in your cashier. In the end, live poker player decides that online poker is a scam, it's not real poker, or just does not suit him. Whatever he decided, it usually ends up going to the local poker club and online play for him ends on this.

If you think that you could win more money at your favorite online poker site, you need to be serious about this issue. With the proper approach, it can be quickly and successfully resolved.