The merits of online multi-tabling

I was recently having a discussion with another poker player about the merits of playing online poker and multi-tabling. To play multiple tables then you are going to have to do so with a reduced edge on sites like 888 and abide by the rules so to speak. This is the norm for a player playing too many tables. A player that was crushing his level may do so for 15bb/100 at the lower levels although this certainly isn’t the norm.

However, if you are only playing two tables and only seeing 140 hands per hour then this means that this player will make around 21bb/hour. At NL100 this will be $21 per hour and that is no small change in that game. Another player may be beating the game for 5bb/100 but playing eight tables and seeing 560 hands per hour. This equates to 28bb/hour and so is $28/hour. I think that the earn rates need to be scaled down these days in all online levels and I for one now see many players on sites like Full Tilt Poker making around $15 per hour which is around $22/hour.

What you need to remember is that making anything at all is seriously bucking the trend these days. Playing poker for a living isn’t about making correct decisions all the time. It is about making correct decisions most of the time. Fortunately in games like full ring then this is easier to do than in other forms of poker simply because you spend so much time folding. Making money in online poker is about having a strategy that isn’t weak and exploiting holes in your opponent’s strategy. This is why the best opponents in online poker are the ones that allow you to dominate their strategy.

Good opponents will tend not to allow you to do this but bad opponents will allow you to get the better of them. Maybe not in big pots but certainly in small pots. When players place a certain number of big blinds into the pot then they tend to not let the hand go for several reasons. Firstly they have already placed a significant percentage of their stack into the middle and secondly they could actually pick off a bluff if you happen to have nothing. So the combination of them possibly having the best hand and you bluffing makes them call.

So you should be on the right side of most of the big pot situations if you play carefully enough. However, under no circumstances should you expect your opponents to fold hands like two pairs and sets unless the board is really scary like with four to a flush or straight for example and even then many of them may decide to pick off your bluff. So don’t be looking to force big lay downs when your opponents have gone past a certain point as this will simply not happen.

For example, if you 3/bet aggressively pre-flop and see the flop heads up with the 10h-9h. The flop comes Jh-7c-5s and your opponent check-raises you on this board. Your opponent has now placed money into the pot on four occasions with the pre-flop raise and call and the call and raise of your c-bet. This means that an all-in shove will likely get called.

Carl Sampson is an online poker player and poker ambassador for 888poker

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