Most live poker games can get very expensive during the learning process. With buy-ins ranging from $100 to even more, it can get very expensive to learn the game. My best advice to anyone trying to beat live poker would be to begin playing online in real money games. In my experience if you can consistently beat the $0.02/0.05 games on any online poker site then you should have success at any live poker venue in the world. Online poker is also great for being able to play many hands in the course of an hour or two. At a live table you will typically see around 30 hands in an hour, online you can see as many 75 hands in one hour! Here are a few tips that I use when practicing online to make sure that my game is improving.
Play No More than One Table
This is very important. You may get bored just playing one table at a time. The fact is that this is how live play works and it is something you must adjust to. Playing one table will also allow you to pay much better attention to the players at your table.
Since we will only be able to play one table at a time we will have plenty of time in between hands to be observing other players. It is a great idea to take notes on each of the players at your table. Most online poker software even has a notes tab built in for just this purpose. At the very least it is a good idea to label each of the players on the table as either,
Stay away from Tracking Software
Most serious online grinders will use some type of tracking software that automatically reviews your hand history and gives numerical representations of player tendency. As a live player you will not have this luxury. This is something that you will have to learn on your own. For this reason I feel that is much better to learn player tendency from observation rather than the tracking software.
Stay Away from Play Money
While you may be tempted to just play for fake money, you will see much bigger strides in your game if you play for real money. If you are playing for play money people will do things that you will most likely never see in a live game. You will see many people playing any two cards and this is just something that quite frankly will be a waste of your time.
I hope these few tips help. Once you get comfortable playing online it is time to head back to the poker room and try your new skills at a live game. Good luck at the tables!
Here are some other articles that may help in your live poker journey
Beating Live Poker: Bankroll Building
Beating Live Poker: Finding the Best Poker Room
Best Tournament Poker Books