If you were to ask this question to any player who is a successful multi-tabler, then they would probably laugh you out of the room. Anyone who successfully plays multiple tables and plays them very well without making stupendously dumb plays and who makes good money from rakeback is going to tell anyone who will listen about the merits of multi-tabling.
There is little doubt that multi-tabling will increase your earnings under certain conditions. If your default game is honed to perfection and your automatic game is more than strong enough to beat the fish then you would be a fool not to play as many tables as you can handle. But here we have a rather interesting dynamic because your own individual poker skills and experience will be unique to you and no one else.
This means that it may be wrong to blindly copy what someone else is doing irrespective of who that player is. While there are skills and knowledge that everyone needs to know in order to play good poker, many of those skills are not relevant to your own individual method of operation.
If what I am saying here sounds vague then consider this, if you cannot handle increased tempo brought about by multi-tabling and your game suffers, then you are better off single tabling. Now I ought to expand even more here on what I mean because I am not saying that a winning NL50 player should only ever single table…..I am not saying that in a million years.
But look at the current online situation as it stands. The games are jammed packed with coaching site bots and players who have been grooved in sound poker by the plethora of coaching sites out there (all of them good). These players are also multi-tabling, and even if they are not then they are certainly aspiring to it.
So this means that the number of available fish at the NL50 level and above is drying up. The really weak fish don’t tend to multi-table, and if they do then they lose their bankrolls even faster. So it often ends up in regs vs regs battles and the better regs win the day. The games have got tougher for several reasons, the main two being that the average player has improved dramatically at certain levels and the regs are multi-tabling lower levels than single tabling higher levels.
There……I have just said it…….Is this where the future of online poker lays? If everyone is breaking their necks to be multi-tabling, rakeback earning, auto-bot playing regulars, then your future is going to be bleak if you are just aspiring to be one of them!
The solution for the people who have the skills and the bankroll would be to single table at higher limits. Look at the advantages that this brings you. Firstly, it will allow you to pick up far more information than if you were multi-tabling. You could actually feel the players out and I can do this when I single table. Even my Poker Office cannot tell me when a player has shifted gears through tilting after losing two big pots in a row.
You can feel this when you single table. You can feel when a winning player is getting too complacent and widening their ranges too much. You can feel out the dumb LAG’s who have no game plan but aggression and call your raises looking to make moves on you post flop. You can feel the game flow and immerse yourself in it for optimal effect.
You can do all of these things when you single table and this can also mean that you can become a better player than the regs that are several levels higher than you at this time. In some instances, it may be better for a NL100 player to single table NL400 than to multi-table NL100.
This entire process depends on how big your edge would be multi-tabling NL100. If you could earn the same amount of money multi-tabling NL100 and single tabling NL400 then you should play NL100 as you will play through the bad stretches far faster. All I am saying here, before someone gets hold of the wrong end of the stick, is that in some cases a player who is grinding at a certain level could be very vulnerable to a situation arising where there are simply too many players at his chosen level basically all doing the same thing.
Carl "The Dean" Sampson can be seen at his blog http://www.pokersharkpool.com