I’m not much of a technology guy

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Not being into technology, I seldom spend time on the Internet. With so much going on in the world, I find my time is better spent playing rather than surfing.

Enjoying cash games more than tournament play, I’ve found my time spent at the table serves me more beneficially. How often I’ve heard, “He played 63 million hands online.” My question is, how does that equate with the hand you’re playing now?

In other sports, practice is important. How do you practice to play against pocket aces? Better still, how do you practice to play pocket aces? I maintain you can’t do either even if you played 63 million hands online. I also enjoy hearing a player say, “I have a game plan and I’m going to play my game.” Doesn’t that depend on the cards you get? Try winning a hand with 8-2 off. How does that fit into your game and your game plan? Have you practiced bluffing?

There are established principles when playing poker. There’s a pecking order in live play. There are visible tells that are live and influence the hand now; how did the 63 million hands prepare you for now?
All of us who have written books, taught seminars and write strategy columns will have to admit (if we’re honest) nothing is better than live play. All the training still comes down to the hand right now.

I doubt there are many people who receive an income from training that will agree with my assessment of paying for knowledge. With all of the written material available, paying for training may not be the way to go. Playing in a live game is real-time experience; no training can simulate live play.

This is just one player’s opinion on learning to play and understand the game hand-by-hand, which can be enjoyed at your local poker room.

— Antonio Pinzari has been playing professionally since the ’70s. He’s the creator of 23 Poker and Wild Tallahassee Poker, which you can learn more about at WildTallahasseePoker.com.