Multi Tabling - The Big Game Changer
Online poker has changed the game of poker forever, and if there was one particular factor I’d have to put my finger on, in regards to this change, it’d have to be multi tabling. Putting the issue of accessibility and speed aside (after all, online poker has pretty much put the days of driving for hours in search of a poker game behind us as well as those of being dealt into 20 hands per hour), multi tabling has revolutionized the game in a much more fundamental way: it has made micro stakes not only interesting but lucrative as well. People can now actually make money at the 10/25 cent tables, simply on account of the sheer volume of hands they’re able to log when playing at multiple tables. The volume of hands dealt at the online poker tables has made hourly rates skyrocket, which means that there are professional players out there grinding the micro stakes successfully as you’re reading this.
Of course, there are live poker players out there who consider multi tabling a fiasco and a waste of time, and there’s nothing in the world that’s going to change their minds about it. The truth is, these guys are often right, because – they say – when multi tabling, one is unable to bring his A-game, which means he doesn’t play his best, which means he’s wasting time at the tables, after all, one of the fundamental theorems of successful poker is about maximizing the amount of time spent playing while on one’s A-game and minimizing the time spent playing on anything less than that. While it is hard to argue such reasoning, the bottom line is that some people’s B-games are good enough to turn them a profit, however meager it may be. Once a player has that down -being able to turn a profit while playing less than his best - all he has to do is to multiply the system, which is where multi tabling comes in. Multi-tablers will often resort to rakeback deals or to poker prop setups to maximize their edges. It is indeed pretty much always worth to brave the propping restrictions in exchange for the quite outlandish rewards that poker props generally earn.
Anyway, the bottom line about multi tabling is that it’s a trade-off between one’s decision making ability and the edge offered by the above said loyalty deals and the sheer volume of hands one can log this way.
The way to start multi-tabling is to basically ease into it. Starting out with a couple of tables makes perfect sense. Once you feel you have two tables mastered, you can add another table and so forth. Don’t jump into the middle of it trying to break Bertrand Grospellier’s multi-tabling record: you won’t make the cut.
The most important skill for a multi tabler is the ability to prioritize. One will most often be faced with a bunch of medium-difficulty decisions bundled with one or two tougher ones. Focus your decision making abilities on the more difficult decisions, then go to auto-pilot and make your moves at all the other tables. The skilled player is able to ponder a difficult decision while making moves at the other tables in the same time.