This is a discussion on Sacrificing Post-Flop Skills When Multi-Tabling? within the online poker forums, in the Tournament Poker section; I recently posted a thread stating how playing multiple tables and, as someone in the comments put it, spreading the risk over several games, makes
I recently posted a thread stating how playing multiple tables and, as someone in the comments put it, spreading the risk over several games, makes me much less likely to tilt than if I was playing one. Makes sense to me.
However, when I'm playing four/five (which I don't often do because...) my post-flop game is completely automated, as ABC as you can imagine. Obviously both pre-flop and post-flop skills are vital to general success in poker, but the above had me thinking.
How much value could you expect to realise by playing four/five or even more tables at once, micro / low stakes, and playing purely ABC poker? The idea being you sacrifice any real creative play on the flop, turn and river when trying to keep up with that many tables. Or lets say you can handle four / five with no problem at all, in that case make it ten!
Its a trade-off, and there is no magic formula. You simply need to experiment and figure out, what works best for you. If I am to give some general advice based on personal experience, then it would be to not multi-table, before you are a proven winner. This also mean not multi-tabling or at least reducing the number of tables, when you are trying to move up or trying a new format of poker.
Just want to add, that multi-tabling is a whole lot easier, if you play a solid TAG strategy. A TAG strategy mean a VPIP of around 20% for full ring tables. This mean, you are going to be folding 4 out of 5 hands before even putting any money in the pot. Furthermore you are mainly entering a pot by raising and not so often by calling.
This mean, that some percentage of the time nobody will call you, and you simply take it down preflop. So maybe on balance you see the flop in 10-15% of hands. This actually mean, that even if you play 4 tables, it will be rare, that you are involved in postflop play on more than one table at a time.
And even then many of these hands end quickly. You are typically the preflop aggressor, and maybe 70% of the time you C-bet the flop, and once again that often ends the hand. And if for whatever reason you are involved in a multiway pot, then you simply get out on the first sign of aggression from someone else, unless you have a really big hand. You dont continue with funky stuff like a naked gutshot or second pair meh kicker, just because you got a free play from the BB in a limped pot. You just fold and move on.
So for me I dont feel, that my postflop play nessesarely change all that much, just because I play 4 tables. Sure it might be somewhat "automated", but often that is actually a good thing especially in micro or low stakes games. Making the simple decision to fold is often a more profitable line of action in such games than considering, if you can make some fancy bluff-raise on the river in a multiway limped pot.
It's funny I'm seeing this thread of yours, as recently I've come to the same conclusions and reasoning - that I have to play no more than 4 tables maximum, optimally 3. And then I remembered how I had heard the similar thoughts in Patrick Leonard's (pads1161) episode on the Mindset Advantage podcast long time ago (his cutdown was from 15 tables to 6).
There are really some good reason to play more tables but there are negatives as well. I think it just depends on what you want.
Playing one table you can play your best optimum game. You can concentrate and see what other players are doing to your advantage. You will most likely have your best ROI this way. Then learning thinks and implementing them you can see when are where is best to do things and there results, The negative, you can go weeks with out a cash and depending on the size of the games you play not win a tournament for over a year. You could see a negative ROI for a long time frame before that big pay day balance you out.
As for multiply tabling. Lest say you play 10 at a time. On average you may cash every day due to the volume and will very likely never see a no cash run for more than a few days. You will also see your daily variance change and not go on months of downturns. By playing more you can win more faster. On the negative side. You will not see whats happening at the tables as trying to follow nearly 100 other players is to much. You will become more robotic player and you will miss opportunities to make winning plays and move that would win you hands. Implementing plays into your game will not be as easy as you may miss the chance to do what you wanted. You will also see at times drastic swings in you bankroll at times. Just imagine a 30 buying down turn in just 3 or 4 days. Due to the playing of so many tables and missing opportunity your ROI will be lower this way. Yes I said you would win more faster but say you have a 50% ROI playing 1 table. It may fall to 30% or lower with so many tables. Your volume win you more money at a slower rate.
It is really about a choice and what you want. For me, I play less. I dont worry about winning more money but I want to play the best poker I can and to become the best player I can be.