Here is a comprehensive comparison between live and online poker tournaments.
1. Speed of Play
This is one of the biggest, most tangible differences between live and online poker. Playing online poker is a lot faster and easier, for fairly obvious reasons. Much of what takes up time to travel to live poker tables is automatically reduced and therefore the quick format of online poker tournaments is so popular. There is no need for the deck to be manually shuffled after each round, the cards are dealt in a split second, and any chip counts can be done instantly.
2. Convenience & Comfort
Playing online poker tournaments from the comfort of your own home is definitely more convenient than playing live, especially if you don't live anywhere near a casino or poker room. There is no need to make a trip, as you can play any time you choose just by firing up your mobile, computer, or whatever device you are logging into.
3. Game Availability
Most live poker rooms around the world have certain opening and closing hours. Even the ones that are open 24 hours can’t guarantee that you'll always find a table. You don't run into such problems while playing online poker. Online poker websites never close or shut down and you'll always find games running around the clock.
4. Game Selection
The selection of games available at online poker websites can't even be compared to what's available in a live poker room. There's a massive variety of online poker tournaments to choose from, whereas your options are quite limited in even the biggest live poker rooms. The largest websites typically offer all of the games including pot-limit Omaha poker, Texas Holdem, Omaha Hi/Lo, Seven Card Stud, Five Card Draw, etc.
5. Option to Multi-Table
For most of you who are not familiar with this term, multi-table can be defined as playing at multiple poker tables at once. This is easy to do at most online poker websites, but it is essentially impossible to so in live poker rooms. Many recreational players and almost all novice players are not affected by this. They typically have no interest in multi-tabling, instead, they prefer to concentrate on playing as well as they can on a single table. But, it does affect a lot of poker pros who play poker full time. Therefore, it is a big score for a poker player to play poker online.
From these differences, it seems pretty clear that online poker has more advantages than live. The issues of convenience and availability are the biggest advantages, closely followed by a greater variety of online poker tournaments and stakes available online. It is also worth noting that you don't have to choose one or the other, it is perfectly possible to enjoy both formats of poker rooms.