Does Winning Online Make You A Good Poker Player: Assessing Your Actual Poker Skill
New sites spawn up on what seems like a weekly basis, each boasting some sort of promotion to lure in flocks of new players. Most online-poker rooms cater to players with a broad range of skill levels, so this begs the question, do online-poker results provide an accurate assessment of one’s Poker skill? If so, do these results translate into live Poker success?
Those With Whom You’ll Play
The answer is highly debatable. Unfortunately, it depends on the company you keep; the faster the company, the better the play. Sure, some online players have an excellent understanding of the game and grasp on the complex strategy involved. But on average, most online-poker rooms are occupied with inexperienced and mostly undisciplined players trying to learn the game.
Every day, traditional “brick and mortar” cardrooms are filled with players with varying degrees of ability, but nowhere are the differences between a good and a bad Poker player more vastly evident than online. The definition of a bad Poker player is not based on that of inexperience, but more so on the quality of play, and the class with which a person plays.
A Poker Story
Anyone who has ever played Poker online has most likely witnessed some keyboard-happy player raving about his innate Poker ability. Then he pushes “All-in” with J-5 offsuit or some other junk hand that no self-respecting Poker player could bring himself to play against a pre-flop raise with A-K, only to River Jacks full over Fives or vice-versa. Such an outcome doesn’t boil down to ability. In this situation and in millions like it online every day, hitting the winning hand is strictly luck. Though luck is an essential element of Poker, such a move is not a winning play.
In his famed Poker bible, Super-System: A Course in Power Poker, Poker legend and two-time World Series of Poker Main Event Champion Doyle Brunson warns players to be wary of playing against suckers. As Doyle explains in his book, suckers can’t be bluffed because they’ll call with most anything. To ensure victory against a sucker, Doyle says, always showdown with the nuts (best possible hand), and that advice holds especially true when testing one’s skills in online ring-games and tournaments.
Software companies have designed dynamic Poker simulators with incredible features that distill the essence of the live game into a computer program with a hefty price tag. These programs feature customizable tournaments and editable computer players that can put you in any tournament situation at the click of a button. These computer A.I. players are designed to accurately reflect that of “real-life” playing styles, but can’t provide the atmosphere and the essential human aspect of live Poker.
If your sole desire is simply to play, then good luck swimming in the murky waters at the shallow end of the online River. The good news is one won’t find many sharks. The problem lies within the fact that solid Poker games are difficult to find online apart from the more high-stakes cash games where dedicated players are more apt to play for their money.
Poker is after all, a game of people, not computers.