Poker’s always been a game that’s transcended all boundaries – age, class and even nationality – and been played at all levels from fun evenings playing for pennies right up pro tournaments with prize pots running into the millions.
But, unfortunately for lovers of live poker, it’s also a game that has made a perfect transition to the online environment with many more players preferring to chance their arms in the thousands of web-based games available.
This is sad news for the poker purist who prefers the live game and who’ll be able to give you a whole host of reasons why it’s an altogether better experience than the online game.
Here are the five you’re most likely to be told:
- Live poker’s more exciting. Like all online experiences you’re always slightly detached from the action but when you’re there as the action unfolds in front of you it adds a certain thrill.
- It’s a more sociable atmosphere. Even though the objective is obviously to beat your opponents there’s an undeniable sociability to playing live – even if your aim is just to size them up as competitors.
- You can’t bluff a computer. Being in the same physical space as other players means that you can use your best poker face to bluff. This is not so easy when you’re up against “Coolhand 567” from who knows where.
- It’s a slower paced game. Everything about online poker is super speed – because the more hands that are played in an hour the greater the potential profit for the poker site. So the slower pace of the live game gives you more time to think and strategise.
- Live players are more committed. Online players can drop in and out at any time but, by actually having made the effort to get along to an actual game, live players are more likely to be in it for the long run.
So with all these in mind, and sensing a real desire for live poker to make a comeback, there are an increasing number of events being held including the 888 Live series.
Launched last year it involved 17 events in 11 countries and this year it’s back – bigger and better than ever with 31 events spread over three continents.
The 2016 series kicked off in March at Aspers Casino in London. The huge popularity of the event meant that the guaranteed prize pool of £50,000 was boosted to over £116,000 thanks the 590 entrants and it’s estimated that there will be over $1,000,000 worth of prizes over the series.
The next London event is due to be held at Aspers again on 30 June 2016 with an £880 buy-in.
A little under a month later, on 27 July, the series is back, this time with a £220 buy-in – so the former’s probably best for the more experienced player and the latter if you just want to give live play a try.
But whatever your level, if it’s your first ever tournament experience it will pay to do a little homework beforehand to pick up some expert tips for live play.
Then, when you think you’re ready, you’re sure to find a far warmer welcome than you ever will online.
Picture courtesy of Yohann Legrand, with thanks