Quality Before Quantity
Multitabling Tips - Playing multiple tables simultaneously is a good way to increase your online poker hourly rate. But maybe the best multitabling tip I can offer is to always make sure that you do not play so many tables that your overall profitability actually suffers. It may seem obvious, but this trap is very easy to fall into when it comes to Super Turbo SNGs, because your edge is going to be smaller than it would be in MTTs, cash games or other types of SNGs.
Also, each hand takes less time than it would in other games, because super turbos involve almost no post-flop play. When it's 4, 3 or 2-handed, you might be playing 10-15 hands per minute per table! Multiply that by a few tables, and you could easily be averaging one hand per second.
So even though each decision you face in a super turbo is generally less complicated than many of your decisions in other games, they come at you at a relentlessly fast pace. The first time you have four super turbo bubbles going at the same time, you'll understand.
And being heads-up on a couple tables (out of 4 or 6 total) can be a huge distraction, because it's seemingly always your turn. This makes it really hard to concentrate on the other games. Often you'll be faced with a decision on a different table, and you'll have no idea what your image is on that table. Maybe you have pushed 3 out of the last 4 hands and should tighten up slightly for a little while, but you don't realize it.
If you have a 4% ROI playing 4 tables, that edge could quickly fall to 1% or worse if you start playing 6-8 tables. And the saddest thing about it is you probably won't realize it for a long time. Then one day you'll look back after a 3,000 game breakeven stretch, and it'll finally sink in.
Multitabling Tips: Part 2
Don't get me wrong, I am all for trying to stretch your capacity for playing many tables. Multi-tabling is a skill. And the only way to improve that skill is by doing it. But I suggest that you add tables very slowly and be willing to back off if you hit a downswing or find yourself timing out or making too many mistakes. Be honest with yourself.
Remember, the lower your edge, the higher the variance. Having a 4% ROI is a recipe for high variance on it's own. If it falls to 2% or 1%, hold on to your hat!
Also keep in mind that variance isn't only a function of ROI. Super Turbos are higher variance by nature (than regular SNGs), because they have a much higher short term luck factor. So someone with a 4% ROI in super turbos will experience higher variance than someone with a 4% ROI player that plays only regular SNGs.
So you must ALWAYS be playing your A-Game when you play super turbos. You cannot afford not to.
Here are some tips on how to accomplish that.
Because Super Turbos play so quickly, you can lose a lot of buy-ins and a very short amount of time (you can win a lot quickly as well). Because of this volatility, you need to be extra careful not ever allow yourself to pass your
threshold of misery.
The stress caused by routinely going through 50 buy-in downswings (sometimes over only 2 or 3 days) will probably have a negative effect on your play as well as your overall happiness - not good. I've seen several good players give up on super turbos because of the swings. This didn't have to happen.
Another (perhaps better) strategy for improving your hourly rate is to increase the stakes you play at instead of continuing to increase the number of tables played (again it's quality over quantity). I see some players playing 12-16 tables of $14+$1s or $28+$2s with a 1% or 2% ROI (with a strategy to make a large portion of their profit from rakeback and ironman bonuses), and I can't help but think they would be better off playing a combination of only 6 tables of carefully chosen $28+$2s, $42+$3s and maybe $70+$5s and work to increase their ROI up to 4% or higher.
The higher stakes would keep their hourly
high despite reducing the number of games played. And the higher ROI would keep the variance lower despite playing fewer overall games in any week or month (They would however require a bigger bankroll with this strategy).
The skill level at $14 is very similar to that found at $28, $42 and $70. In fact, the $28s often run tougher than the $42s, because fewer multitabling winning players play the $42s. A lot of them seem to prefer to play one stake level at a time and not many $42s go off every hour. And the $70+$5s are usually very soft, because a lot of the players at that level are just there to use their $75 tokens that they won in a satellite or purchased with ironman medals, so they are very inexperienced at super turbos.
Also, you miss out on a lot of information when you play a lot of tables. For example, here's an article about
recognizing when your opponent is disconnected or sitting out and how to take advantage of it.
If you are playing too many tables you will miss these and other valuable clues that could be making you more money.
Multitabling Tips: Part 3
is very important to your ROI. In other words, if you register for every game that comes along at your stake level until you get to your normal number of tables loaded, you'll have a smaller edge than if you only registered for games that didn't have too many good players and/or too few bad players already registered. Anyone playing 12 tables is almost certainly doing little or no game selecting.
It's easily possible to be the best player at the table and still be negative EV for the SNG. This is because Super Turbo edges are inherently small. If you're in there with 4 or 5 other decent players, even if they aren't quite as good as you, they probably won't make enough mistakes for you to overcome the rake. That's why you must table-select (except perhaps at very low stakes).
So my number one multitabling tip is to choose quality over quantity, especially when your edge is thin. It's probably worth giving up a small amount of hourly expectation in the short term in order to maintain your sanity. You're more likely to still be in the game 3 months from now if you do so. If you normally play six tables, but you can only find three juicy games going, just play three. Another juicy game will come along soon, but if you've filled your screen with other shark-infested tables, you'll miss the good games that materialize.
Here's an article about how to game select on Full Tilt Poker using the color-coded notes feature which appear in the SNG lobby.
END: Multitabling Tips Article
go from "multitabling tips" to Online Poker Table Selection
Play your A-game all the time (Ways to increase your ROI)
Deliberate Practice for Poker