I made the transition from live poker to online poker back in 2006 and I’ve never looked back. Man, do I love it. Even though it’s the same game, there’s a world of difference between going through the rigmarole of getting to the local card room or just plunking down in your office chair and firing up some software to play.

There’s a 20-minute lead-up to playing poker every time I decide to go to play in a brick and mortar card room. I have to tell my wife where I’m going, get dressed, drive there, park and walk in, find an open seat, go buy chips, and sit down before finally being dealt a hand. And if I have to get on a wait list? Yeesh!

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But the lead-up for online poker? Roughly 30 seconds; 60 seconds if I want to make a coffee first. Nothing can beat the ease and convenience of playing in your own home.

If you haven’t tried online poker yet, I highly recommend it. To help motivate you, I’d like to share the top 3 reasons why I love playing online.

It’s Open 24/7

I love that the online realm is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There’s no closing when you’re serving the world, right?

open 24/7

I’m a morning person, and sometimes I get a hankering to play poker at 8am after my boys go to school. At the local card room there’s at most two tables running, full of overnight, bleary-eyed players or grizzled old timers who use poker for socializing. Not my scene.

By contrast, firing up the software for any one of the online poker sites I play on reveals plenty of full tables, and not just cash games, either! Sit ‘N Go’s and Tournaments are always running as well. Plus, if you’re tired of NLHE, PLO games are also always available.

You can’t beat the convenience of playing whenever you want from the comfort of your home, for any stake or any style of poker you feel like.

It’s Cheap Practice

Online poker offers stakes from $2 buy-in games ($.01/$.02 blinds) to $1,000 buy-ins ($5/$10 blinds) and beyond. The cheapest live games you’ll find — at least in my locale — are $200 buy-in NLHE games ($1/$2). With $200 at risk, practicing costly and aggressive plays like 3-betting and triple-barrel bluffing can get extremely costly.

I love how you can practice all the aggressive and costly plays you want when the buy-in is only $2 or $5. Do you need to work on 3-bet bluffing or other aggressive preflop skills?  Go to town at the $2 or $5 tables for a fraction of the cost of a live $1/2 game.

let's get some work done

Do you want to work on your flop and turn c-bet bluffing skills? It’s so much easier to increase your aggression and pull the trigger on these chip-committing plays when it only costs you 8 or 20 cents a shot.

Are you tired of all these live game limpers who never fold to your raise? You hold pocket Aces, raise over three limpers to $20 and they all call. This leads to yet another crap-shoot, multi-way pot and potentially cracked Aces. You can practice raising to larger sizes online to find the limper’s pain threshold, then apply what you learn to your live game.

Poker Tracking Software

I know the existence of poker tracking software is daunting for many live players who might be considering a transition to online poker. For me, though, I absolutely love poker tracking software, which helps you spot your opponent’s tendencies and weaknesses with the use of a heads-up display (HUD) that shows you how frequently a player makes certain actions. That can be incredibly useful at times.

The main reason I love poker tracking software, however, is that it records every hand I play so I can study them off the felt later.

poker study

And it doesn’t just record the hands I choose to play. I can fold a hold, put my attention elsewhere, and the software continues recording the actions of the others players so I can review it later during my study sessions. This is where poker tracking software really shines.

I’m all about working hard to be 1% better every day. Having a database of hundreds of thousands of hands allows me to dissect my play and learn from my mistakes and successes. I can review hands where I check-raised, faced a check-raise, re-raised after facing a check-raise, bluff check-raised with a flush draw, or any other situation in between.

So, are you with me?  Will I see you on the virtual felt anytime soon?  Come on in, we’re open 24/7.

For more great coaching, strategies and tips from Sky Matsuhashi, check out his poker training site, The Poker Forge. Here’s our review.

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