Apr 19 2010

Multi Tabling Tournaments

written by: John under Poker Strategy Comments: Comments Off

Almost every online poker player prefers to play multiple tables at a time. It can increase your win rate, and it generally makes the play less boring. While this is perfectly acceptable in cash games, it can be a challenge in tournaments. There is an exception to the rule, however, so even multi tabling tournaments can be an acceptable practice.

The differences between cash games and tournaments are usually quite obvious. The strategy needed for success in each game varies greatly. Because of this, you need to have a thorough understanding of each game (and their differences), if you want to be profitable. The differences between the two games lead into why it is so easy to multi table cash games, but so tough to multi table tournaments. You wouldn’t think it makes any sense, but once you dig past the surface, the problems with multi tabling tournament are quite clear. As mentioned above, there is an exception, so it isn’t all bad news for tournament players who want to multi table.

The Exception

Before going any further, it is important to note that there is a glaring exception to multi tabling tournaments. If you are playing the same type of tournament on many tables (a 180 man turbo on PokerStars, for example), it is perfectly acceptable to multi table. Since each game that you start is going to be the same, you won’t need to account for different variables. If you play a mix of tourneys, however, you are going to need to pay attention to many different situations and unforeseen elements that change from game to game.

The Problem with Multi Tabling Tournaments

When you are playing cash games, or even sit n gos, every table is relatively similar to the next. The blind structures are set in stone, your opponents are going to generally remain the same, and you have an understanding for how each table typically plays out. In tournaments, everything changes. The blinds are always going up, you are constantly changing tables, you need to account for how close you are to the money, and so on and so forth.

If you have multiple tournaments up, it will be very difficult to keep tabs on everything that is going on. Poker tournaments require constant attention. Imagine if you were playing in $109 turbo tournament in the first stage, while in a $55 rebuy at another. In one tournament you need to be identifying small edges and taking advantages of spots to build a big stack (turbo), but in the other tournament you need to be looking for loose players who don’t care if they donate a stack (rebuy).

The dynamics are so different from one event to the next, that it can be a massive challenge to give each tournament the attention it deserves. Some players can successfully multi table tournaments, but most will struggle. If you want to see whether you have what it takes to win while multi tabling different tournaments, try some smaller buy in events. This will allow you to minimize any potential risk.

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