How to Transition from Online Poker to Live Poker

More and more online poker players must be prepared to make the transition from online poker to live poker.

As online poker rooms offer plenty of online satellite tournaments to big live tournaments such as the WSOP, WPT, Aussie Millions, APPT and more, you know that if you participate in these satellites you may end up sitting at a real live tournament sometime in the not too distant future. And at the side games too.

This trend will not stop. The incentives that the online poker rooms attach to these prizes are too hard to ignore, such as pre-paid travel, accommodation and food expenses, plus other special perks like invitations to private parties attended by poker pros.

Hence be ready to transition from online to live poker.

The real great players with power poker skills can play well both in live and online poker settings.

Online to Live Poker Transition

There are a number of adjustments for make when you transition.

Poker tells are a new element to incorporate, and online poker tells practically disappear, so whatever you know about them is of no use.

You must learn how to recognize poker tells in others and how to hide them in you. For example you will get a big rush of adrenalin whenever you hit a big hand, and you must make sure to stay calm and not to have your hands shake, which is a frequent reaction.

Live poker is much slower than online poker, especially if you multi-table. This can lead to getting bored or worse distracted, and to bad play. And you may get too excited when you finally get a good hand. Exert patience and control. Use the time at your disposal to observe the other players, and not the sexy waitresses.

Use poker tells to your advantage by analyzing the other players at the table whenever you are not in the hand. Make mental notes of the way they behave with a big hand or with a missed draw. As you do not have the benefit of using a HUD, you must memorize as much as you can.

Do they play based on position? Are they loose, tight, aggressive? Do they steal the blinds?


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Live Poker Transition Specifics

Another important element to be aware of is that there are rules specific to live poker, as the online poker computer is not there to automate everything.

You must know the pot size, the number of chips that you have or that you bet and the number of chips the other players have. When you raise you have to say it first, and if you start by putting chips in the middle instead of speaking, this is counted as a "call" that cannot be changed to a raise.

Act only when it is your turn otherwise you may reveal the strength of your hand, or worse get a penalty for breaking the rule. Protect you hole cards, because if the dealer or someone else mucks them by mistake, they are gone for good.

Also when you bet you must move all your chips in one motion, otherwise only the first to cross the line count. Always announce your intentions before physically moving chips in order to avoid any confusion.

Be careful of not jumping to conclusion based on the physical appearance of the other players, and the "Little Lady" may be a voracious shark in disguise. Study the players and how they play before categorizing them.

If you are new to live poker, the experienced live players will spot that quite fast. Be careful not to get drawn into a casual conversation and to get too friendly with the others players. This is how the most astute players get clues about the strength of your hand. Daniel Negreanu for example is a master of tricking players into telling him their hand, even if said indirectly.

Do not get involved in any discussion or you may lose control and become dominated. No one can force you to talk, but if you are of a loquacious nature, be careful.

Avoid drinking alcohol or coffee and eat light food, especially in tournaments that may be played for the entire day. You must stay alert, and you want to be neither excited nor sleepy.

Do not get fearful and everything will be fine. Live poker is a lot of fun too.

 

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