Making this thread because over many posts I've recommended to a lot of people why I think playing online is very good for you game. Decided to just make a thread on the topic and list out the reasons how online has helped my game and why I think everyone should play some amount of online poker.
1 - To lock down a good fundamental strategy - Live poker is all about exploiting your opponents because people in live poker people generally make a lot of mistakes and the best way to make money in live poker is attacking those mistakes. However, I think this often results in a flaw in how live players approach the game. I think a lot of live players just sit down at a table and look at each individual hand and just think "Ok i'm in this hand i'm gonna figure out what to do in this specific hand." While this in generally ok and many live players do this well I do think it is a bit of a flaw. Rather than trying and come up with a solution for each specific hand, I think it is much better to have a solution, or at least a strategy for the game of poker overall and adjust that to each individual hand. I think of it as just a jumping off point that doesn't really prevent you from playing a max exploitable strategy but stops you from making the occasional really bad mistake when you come up with a solution for a hand that is very off base. This type of strategy is much easier to build playing online simply because of the fact that you can play 10x or 20x the hands pre hour that you can live.
2 - Dealing with downswings - The first time I started playing for big money, (At least for a 19 year old) was live and that is when I had my first bad downswing of 3500 at 2/5. I remember at the time that felt massive at the time but in actuality it was only 7 buy-in. Since I've moved to online I have been through many 10-20 buy-in downswings. While these are not fun they are a good learning experience and really put things into perspective live where downswings are much smaller.
3 - Online poker will be back - Eventually, and hopefully sooner than we thought, online poker will be back in the U.S. This will obviously be a huge opportunity to win a lot of money and you should be ready for it. And while a lot of the people on this site are very smart and crush live poker their online skills might be a little rusty. The game does play different and if you don't put in some time now you will be behind the curve when the second "poker boom" hits. Yea you will probably still crush the fish but you will also get crushed by all the online regs in Europe that have been grinding Stars for the past 5 years.
4 - It will improve your exploitative play vs regs - It is no secret that there are far fewer fish online than live. This means that you can't relay only on fish to make money if you want to do well. The best online players not only beat up on the fish but the bad regs as well. While most live players are great at exploiting fish, maybe even better than online players, they do give up some money vs regs that they could also be exploiting. IMO nowhere teaches this best than online because you have to learn it to make it online. Live you can make 8bb/hr mostly just staying away from the regs and just max exploiting the fish, however finding out how to beat the regs too can add those few extra BB/hr to your win rate.
I'm not saying every live player should start putting in 20 hours a week online, however, I don't see a real augment against putting $500 on bovada or ACR to play some small stakes a few hours a week. I think it will do so much for your game and is so easy. You really couldn't ask for a better way to improve your game. You get to play against better players, at stakes so small they don't really matter for most live players and you get to play 10x the hands you normally would. I can't think of a better model to improve your game.
Obviously some people just hate online and I understand that. But I do think everyone should at least give it a try, I think it is a great investment in your game.
Hope others share their thoughts on here. Sure I will think of other reasons why you should play online and will post them when I think of them.