I multitable. I would like to play one table and pore over every hand, thinking through every permutation, but I’m still playing NL10, I have limited time, and you don’t have to be that good to see what’s happening at your average microstakes table. So I’ve just started playing 16 tables at once, it’s going well, although I struggle with my 22 inch single widescreen monitor.
I know some people think it’s playing like a robot, but it’s not true that you play automatically, and you do remember particular villains, particular table dynamics – tight, loose, passive, aggro – surprisingly well. I can remember about 7 or 8 particular hands where I spewed or got coolered, I doubt I would remember more if I was playing only table. We naturally look for and remember patterns, and because most players at the lower levels are very predictable, once you know what type of player and you work out how you think they will react to a bet you’re on the right track.
There are numerous benefits that I’ve found:
Time – You are forced into decisions. You might think this is a bad thing, but the truth is that your first instinct, usually the simplest move, is often the right one. Let’s be honest, this can be tedious. If you are playing one or two tables and you lack discipline, you get bored or you want to try and bully the fish (who are never folding 2nd pair) it is tempting to over-think your play. This can get expensive, as it tends to lead to tilt.
Extra Rakeback – Should be obvious. If you don’t have rakeback, or a similar system of rewards, change sites and get it. I use this potato777 site, which works great, registration is easy, the site is cleanly designed. They pay via my site roughly every week and the extra dough is indispensable when you are starting a bankroll. If you have a bonus to grind out, it obviously helps.
Concentration – if like me you always have something else to do and attempt to multitask while playing poker, playing loads of tables could be the way forward. Now I have no room for anything else when I sit down to play, and I make far less mistakes. No matter who you are, if you’re not paying 100% attention to the game, you’re not playing at 100%.
It means that you will not play under the weather or stressed as the process of opening up 16 tables and playing your A-game at each is not an easy one. Too often I would open up two tables lackadaisically, tired, watching The Shield and talking on MSN at the same time, pile in on my first hand with Ace high and lose my stack to a fish with 3-6o two pair. Insta-tilt on your first hand and only one table to make it back on (not that you should be chasing losses)
Time – Intense multitabling for one or two hours, rather than sitting at one or two tables for multiple hours, for the same profit, is a better use of your time. You can then do whatever else you’d be doing, writing a poker blog for example. I have a full time job, I to work out, write a non-poker blog and write creatively, play music. I used to do most of these at the same time, which achieves little. And of course, if all you do is play poker you’ll be pretty dull, not to mention unhealthy.
There are of course downsides, but we’ll ignore them for now as we’re thinking positively, right? You may not need to be so extreme to play efficiently, you may have the right attitude from the start, disconnecting from the cash and making all the right moves at only a couple of tables, if so good for you.