Essentially, it took three separate visits to my local casino before I took a seat at a real, tangible poker table:
First time, I strolled straight past Roulette and the slot machines, but I steered off course towards the nearest ATM, before I could even hear the rustling of chips.
Second time, I even made it past the reception and close enough to see the poker room in sight - but I just couldnt go further! 
Third time, I actually poked my head inside the poker *cough* chamber *cough* for a quick scan of the room. 

Despite my three failed attempts to take a seat, I did eventually manage to sit and play, so here I will share with you my strange transition from online poker to live poker!

To begin with, the formalities were quite bizarre - had to register and went through some House Rules. Then I understood it was a standard procedure.

Luckily I was seated very quickly (Monday nights are "dead" apparently).

"It's poker. That's all it is. Nothing to be afraid of."
That's what I was telling myself as I took my seat - "it's only a game, relax!" Yet,I felt as if I were a lamb descending into a lion's den (or maybe I should say a "fish" dropped amongst a school of "sharks").

 But I wont deny that it was exciting sitting at an actual table, with living-breathing people (yes, I know there are real people behind the screens too online, but it is very different when the opponents are face to face, in the flesh)!

So, after I regained common sense with my chips neatly stacked in front of me, I spent the first few rounds folding trash hands and observing the action on the table and my opponents, of course!

As this was my first live poker game at my casino, I mainly focused on becoming accustomed to how everything proceeded. Surprisingly. I found it fun just to watch! I paid attention to table position, stack sizes and concentrated on one opponent per round - to not overwhelm myself with too much information.

I gathered that most of the players were regulars, so obviously they Identified me as the new cub (lol, I should say "fish" haha). However, I thought to myself that this could be an advantage, because they did not know me as a player.
And in this game, I learned you simply cannot judge a book by its cover!

Before I could give those lions an opportunity to roar,
"Are you actually going to play, like?!"
I did enter the pot when it was the right time:

My approach was quite straightforward. I tried to apply the knowledge I learnt at PSO, as much as I could. Most of the time I riased with strong starting hands, and continued aggressively. I liked this approach because more often than not, it made other players fold. Although, thinking about it now, the lions probably figured out this simple style (oops)! However, it seemed like the correct way to play in that instance, because it kept me in the game long enough to get used to observing and paying attention to others, in order to respond appropriately.

Playing poker at the casino, for the first time, made me appreciate the differences between live and online poker. Even though they are both based on the same principles, rules and objectives, they bring different dimensions to the game, and now that I've experienced both, I realise they should be aproached differently.

To conclude, I enjoyed transitioning to live poker!

In this occasion I tried to observe the table as much as possible whenever sitting out, to gain more information on the players as well as getting used to the dynamics and pace. In some way, the articles I've read recently online and as well as the concepts presented by PSO started to make more sense.
Studying is important in poker (as with other things, I guess) and it's true that putting the theory into practice reinforces what you learn. It's one of those moments when the "penny drops."

Now that I've practiced observing, identifiying player types and reacting in relation to the action on the table (when applicable), the next concept I want to try out in live poker is bet sizing. 

Whilst online poker is still my favourite, from now on Monday nights are exclusively Live Poker Nights! After all, these sharks don't bite! 

Until next time!