It is the old story that will never go away is playing online better than playing live? The answer must be playing live, because of the experience of actual human contact and the nuances that can be gleaned from playing a real life human.
Playing online can have its advantages as you can physically leak as much tells as you want, which cannot hurt you because no one can see you. The only time you can get a tell is if you volunteer the information such as typing a message or after losing a sick pot, immediately going all in with the next hand (admit it we have all done it). On the whole in my view, it is better to play live just for the ability to meet people.
The one thing online has over live is that you can try new things without giving away too much. Trying out new strategies in real money situation has to help your playing style. The cloak of anonymity conceals the nerves of slow playing Jacks knowing that your opponent are looking for Queen, King or Ace.
Also, playing online has certainly helped make a change of the worlds best players. It seems that the online poker players are taking over the world, with younger players charging all over the old guard, and, all learnt their game online.
Online poker players also have the ability to create statistics that can be read by all and sundry and therefore get chipped up to play bigger tournaments if they have the ability to grind and not get too bored with doing it. In fact there is now the option to play big game poker and not risk your bank. This is the project which a group of UK guys are working on at the moment.
So to help all those new and hungry future world champions do not forget to enter the freeroll with our friends from AWHpoker.