After my recent online woes, I've been taking a break and spending a fair amount of time at the Oaks club playing against live opponents. The 15 minute commute isn't as fun as the 10 second commute from my bed to my computer, but I guess I can't complain.
The biggest game at the Oaks is $30/$60 limit hold'em and there are a few solid regulars. I have my eye on that game, but for now I'm sticking to $15/$30 where it seems not a single player is any better than just average.
Most players let their ego get in the way of making the best decisions in spots like these. Do I think I can beat the Oaks club $30/$60? I'm 99% sure that I can. But that doesn't mean it's the most profitable thing to do. Even if I'm the best player in the game, if everyone else is pretty good, I'd rather play for less money against a bunch of greatly inferior players. Even if the money is the same long term it's better to win one big bet per hour at $15/$30 than half a big bet per hour at $30/$60 because you'll face smaller fluctuations and less stress.
I've played 6 sessions averaging about 5 hours apiece and picked up $1,743 in the process. This is a very, very small set of data, but it's not an accident. There are no pros in the $15/$30 game and recreational players just can't keep up with someone who has played well over a million hands of limit hold'em against tough competition.
Another thing that's great about playing in person is players can't dodge me. Players mainly stick to one stakes and if there is only one game going they are stuck. No one is going to leave the game just because I joined and it got tougher. Whereas online there are a zillion games going and it takes 30 seconds to get into a new one.
Hopefully I can keep the money rolling in from the Oaks players for a while.