With so many of today’s biggest and best poker players having started their careers by playing online, there is a strong case that other players should take the same path.
Poker sites give players an opportunity to become well-rounded players, and the skills learnt there can be easily applied in live tournaments.
Chris Moorman | Behind the Online Poker Legend
Chris Moorman became a poker pro playing Poker Games online and then took his skills to the live scene.
If you’re someone who enjoys the feeling of sitting around a poker table, tossing your chips into the middle of the felt while trying to get a read on your opponents, you may think that playing online is of little benefit to you. After all, at internet poker sites you can’t shuffle your chips or look the other players in the eye while making your decision. It’s true that live and online poker are two different animals but, by playing both variants, players can improve their overall skillset massively. Some of the best players in the world play a combination of live and online tournaments as a way to stay sharp.
How Can Playing Poker Online Improve your Game?
Chris Moorman is the most successful online player of all time.
Everyone knows that poker has a heavy focus on bluffing, and making players believe you have a certain hand. Professionals can’t just sit back and wait for the best hands, and the old saying that “you have to play the hand you’re dealt” rings true at the felt. But this form of deception doesn’t only mean acting as though you are holding something big while trying to conceal your true feelings. Indeed, there are other ways to bluff online which can have the same effect.
In the online world, players have to rely on perfect bet sizing and playing position when it comes to bluffs. They need to pay close attention to how everyone has acted in a hand and on previous streets before deciding whether it is safe to try to steal a pot. There are other things to consider as well, such as the timer which gives players a certain number of seconds to act. Put your bet in too quickly and others may get suspicious, but waiting too long could also give something away about you. These things make for online tells, which experts know how to watch out for.
Because it can be hard to predict what other players might do in an online setting, there is a stronger focus on the mathematical side of the game. Players need to make sure they play the correct range of hands depending on their position at the table and relative to the big blind. Tournament strategy dictates that when the blinds are low, you should play fairly loose with a wide range. But as they get higher, you need to play tighter and wait for the best spots before making a move.
Playing online is the best setting to hone a tournament strategy, as it is clearly stated when the blinds are set to go up. Players can also see exactly how many chips they and their opponents have. This is good information because it can stop you from going up against someone who could potentially take you out if it came down to an all-in bet.
Players like Chris Moorman, Martin Jacobson, Tom Dwan, and Scott Blumstein all started out as online poker players. They then went on to have great success in live poker using the skills they had picked up while playing the digitalized version of the game.
Online Resources can help you Raise your Game Further
Doug Polk has a lot of advice for poker players who are looking to improve.
Because there are so many games occurring online at any time, it is easy for players to find numerous games each day and enjoy long practice sessions. With the stakes ranging from low to high, you can also start off with a price which you are comfortable with before moving up to the higher stakes. In addition to having access to so many ways to practice and refine your skills, there are also a number of poker experts and other resources which give solid advice about how to improve.
Some of the best articles to look at are the ones which go into deep analysis about different ways of playing the game. Information can be found about various different types of poker including Draw and Stud, but the vast amount of poker articles online focus on Texas Hold’em. They discuss many different aspects of Texas Hold’em, including danger hands which can make you lose your stack if you’re not careful.
When poker experts talk about danger hands, they are referring to strong hole cards such as ace/king, king/queen, and suited connectors. These are card pairings with extremely strong potential, but they can often be misplayed. With ace/king, for instance, the main danger involved is under-playing them pre-flop and then over-playing post-flop. Most of the time you want to shove pre-flop with this monster if anyone raises, and try to get your opponents off whatever they are holding so that they don’t hit something on the flop.
Which Local Tournaments Should you Test your Skills at?
The natural step for anyone who has developed their poker skills online is to take them to live tournaments and put them into practice on real felt. One of the most popular spots to play poker in Sarasota is One Eyed Jacks Poker Room at the Sarasota Kennel Club on Bradenton Road. It has tournaments with various different buy-ins, including the $70 NL Hold’em and the $150 PL Omaha 8/b.
There are various other spots along the Suncoast to play poker, and those who feel like venturing further afield can find options in the Tampa Bay Area. In addition to the local tournaments, there is a poker event with a twist on the Suncoast. The Honor Flight Poker Run combines motorcycle riding with poker and is a great option for an alternative day out.
With so many of today’s biggest and best poker players having started their careers by playing online, there is a strong case that other players should take the same path. Poker sites give players an opportunity to become well-rounded players, and the skills learnt there can be easily applied in live tournaments.
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