Moving Up vs Multi-Tabling – Which Is Right For You?

Maximize Profits From Multi-Tabling Or Focus On Moving Up Levels To The Higher Stakes Games

At some point in the career of any poker player a dilemma is reached. Adding more poker tables with your current skill set could see you making a very respectable hourly wage from the tables – yet the act of multi-tabling may prevent you moving up further to take advantage of more profits later down the line.

This article looks at why multi-tabling slows down or stops your progress as a poker player and looks at the fine balance between the need to move up and those all important profits.

I start by looking at multi-tabling from a short-term perspective, noting that this can add significantly to your profits and thus bankroll. Next I look at what it takes to become accomplished enough to move from those lower buy-in games through the mid-levels and eventually into the bigger games. Finally some suggestions on how to balance these apparently competing goals are discussed.

Move Up Or Multi-Table - The Short-Term And Long-Term Perspective

Imagine you are currently playing 3 or 4 tables and making $5 per hour from each. Adding further tables will take away from your ability to observe and react to the tendencies of your opponents – making your game more mechanical. This could also mean that some hands which were marginally profitable are no longer playable, since you are limiting the focus available to make good post flop decisions. Overall your profit for 10 tabling could go down as little as $3 per table per hour… which represents a very welcome 50% increase in your hourly rate.

4 tables @ $5 / Hour = $20
10 tables @ $3 / Hour = $30

The next factor we need to consider is how moving up levels is accomplished, at each step your game will have to improve in order to remain profitable. At the lower levels simply making fewer mistakes than your opponents – while playing a solid game – is usually enough to profit. As you move to the mid-stakes you will have to work harder to find and then exploit the weaknesses of your opponents. This is going to involve working on your own game to plus leaks too.

My key point here is that the kind of effort required to successfully move from the lower to middle limits is simply not possible at the same time as multi-tabling more than 4 to 6 tables.

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While making more money from the game is a worthy goal in it’s own right, and one that will see you bankrolled for the higher level games, it will not prepare you for the move up. Watching the occasional training video or reading poker books might help you better understand the game, but unless you are actively watching your opponents and looking for ways to win their stacks this will do you little good.

For those with the dilemma of whether to multi-table or move up levels we actually suggest that you split your time between the two endeavors. The key step is acknowledging that multi-tabling is for profit and only profit. Once you acknowledge this you can split out a percentage of your playing time to focus on 3 or 4 tables only and to analyze your own hand histories between sessions.

The key to getting better is to move from playing your cards and ‘common situations’ to adapting to real opponents. Now imagine that this work pays off and you are profitably playing the $5 / $10 games instead of 50c / $1 – how many hours of profit from grinding would you be prepared to exchange for this??

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Should you move up or multi-table?
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