Live poker, as a recreational past-time is hard to beat. The thrill of the bet, the promise of that big win, the connections you forge with likeminded players…
However, the live game has been overshadowed in recent years by the phenomenal success of its online equivalent, with committed players finding themselves lured online to take part in more games, more often. Despite this, nothing compares to playing in the flesh and here are our top five reasons why.
1. You can bluff, for real
Whiz kid style maths may be a great skill to call upon when you’re playing from behind a screen but the expert bluff is what authentic face-to-face poker is all about. The ability to keep your emotions, good and bad, under wraps and keep every facial muscle in line is one only the premier poker players ever truly master. How’s your poker face?
2. It’s sociable
Avatars and onscreen personal profiles are all very well but sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with the very people who share your passion lifts the poker playing experience to a whole new level.
3. You get to travel
Real world poker is a journey, not a destination. Exploring new cities, escaping the day-to-day grind and absorbing new cultures – all this is part and parcel of the live poker experience; the game itself is simply the highlight in an array of treats.
4. You hone different skills
Established online players become adept at using software packages, making lightening swift mathematical calculations and firing through the tables quick, quick, quick! In the real world game, an entirely different, and more human, skillset is required.
5. Live is laidback
One of the big draws for real world poker players who’ve cut their teeth online is the more relaxed play style. Live poker, where you play a maximum of maybe 40 hands an hour, makes it a more cerebral, chilled experience than quick-fire online play where you could easily hit 120 hands over 60 minutes.
If all this talk of live poker events has got you excited about your next real-world games, you should look into the 888Live Local Series, which was established in early 2015.
A fantastic poker tournament circuit that hits 17 locations in 11 different countries during 19 local events, 888Live Local Series distributed a huge $905,790 in prize money. The 3,375 players who got involved had a great time and many of those familiar faces are set to return in 2016. This year, there are 31 events taking place across three continents and there’s likely to be one close to you. Perhaps you’ll make it to the various Aspers Casino events in London that stud the 888Live Local 2016 schedule.
At one such event in early March this year, Ralph Baylor from Ireland took home the trophy, plus £22,500 and a Las Vegas package worth some $2,200. Meanwhile, Team888 ambassador Kara Scott also emerged victorious, taking third place and £10,250. The £220 buy-in single re-entry event had a starting stack of 25,000 and a £50,000 guarantee. Former footballers Andy Cole ad Danny Mills put in an appearance, along with a few sterling pro players.
So, when will you be making your way to your next live poker event?
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