I wrote an article on FlopTurnRiver a couple of weeks ago about the merits of multi-tabling. I feel that there are deeper strategic consequences behind what was in that article. With poker there is an almost pendulum like motion with regards to what tactics and strategies work at any one given time. An obvious example would be the continuation bet. Years ago this line of play was little known to players outside of the pro level.
If a novice called a pro’s raise and the pro made a continuation bet then the novice only continued if they had some sort of hand. So the pro’s had it all their own way for years….until poker came of age and everyone smartened up that is. So then we have a situation where everyone else gets the same knowledge and so continuation betting 100% of your range is rarely profitable now when heads up.
So we now have a potential problem where the more known a tactic or methodology is then the more people are trying to replicate it. We then get a situation where adjustments and re-adjustments need to be made in order to get an edge and this is where Nash Solutions come to the fore. What I am waffling on about here is a prelude to me discussing players who multi-table. Seeing as everyone is busting a gut to play more tables and earn more rakeback, how much longer can this process go on for?
We are already getting situations on many sites where many games have very large percentages of multi-tabling regs in them all playing solidly. But let us look at some empirical facts here about multi-tabling.
1. No matter who you are, you will not play two tables as well as what you can play one.
2. Despite rule number one, players can be very successful multi-tabling in terms of increasing their dollars earned per hour.
3. Rule number two only stands if your reduced earn per table is offset by the increased tables and being able to win on them playing poker that is no longer your “A” game.
4. Your game will be statistically based using HUD’s, combinatorics and tools like PokerStove to help you calculate your equity in post game analysis and the best players perform these tasks very well and become excellent players.
5. Very successful multi-tablers who may also be top pro’s could well be a great source of profit to strong single table players who target them. These strong single table players could be lesser players and would lose to them if played heads up instead.
Let’s stop for a minute at fact number 5 before I waffle on and make this article nothing more than a long list of facts. Question……..how would a good solid player defeat a stronger player even in a cash game and be +EV every time that he played against this opponent? If this sounds impossible then consider this analogy. About fifteen years ago I watched a television documentary about Chess.
The program followed the then reigning World Chess Champion, and probably the greatest player ever to have played the game, Gary Kasparov play a six game simultaneous exhibition match in New York against six strong players from the USA. The American players were all young promising masters and International Masters. Kasparov eventually won the match 4-2 but he lost one game and drew two others. This is something that the great man would not have done if he had played any of these players heads up. So the lessen here is clear, you can be the very best in the world but if you overload yourself then you will be vulnerable to good but inferior players. Last year I sat and watched a friend of mine basically outplay a Red Pro on Full Tilt Poker and a very strong Red Pro at that.
My friend knew that this Pro was a better player but the pro was playing a very large number of tables while he was only playing one. He was simply exploiting the default game of the Pro. You see in poker, players multi-table to hopefully increase their bottom line and the very best ones are incredibly successful at this. But this does not alter the fact that you can often win money from players who are better than you who are also very good winning players simply by exploiting weaknesses in their multi-tabling game.
What you are essentially doing in this instance is allowing the strong pro to use his powerful default game to hoover up money from weaker players and the site itself through rakeback (which also comes from the players) and then passing some of that to you……food for thought!