Having read several articles and hearing of others Multi Tabling, I thought I would give it a shot.

Why multi table? I dare say there are many reasons but a few are:
  • Reduce the element of boredom when not playing a hand and watching for leaks in other players' games
  • Enhance the earning/rewards potential per hour (yes as well as enhancing the Losing potential per hour too)
  • Help with removing emotion and ego out of the game
  • Improve multi tasking and handling pressure in life in general.
When I log on to Poker Stars I choose most of the games I want to partake in for that day (say two or three Poker School Online (PSO) League games, and a mix of the Poker Stars' freerolls).

In order to to practice multi tabling I did not want to risk any of my bankroll immediately (my $1.20 is very precious to me) and I therefore decided to stick mainly to freerolls although I did throw in a couple of the 10 cent 360 seat MTTs.

My goal was to see how many tables I could comfortably run without the use of tracking, hot key software or, indeed, any other poker related software at all (mainly because I don't have any anyway :wink: ).

One freeroll in particular was going to help me in this experiment - the Poker Stars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) 540 seat MTT. Only two seats get awarded a ticket to the next round and having to amass over 400k in chips is no mean feat whatsoever. Heck getting to a final table is an achievement in itself given the out-and-out-aggression of many of the gladiators who will shove all in with any two cards at any time and the more chips they amass means the all ins just keep coming. Well as we all say 'if you can't beat them, join them'. Although I don't have hair as such I wanted to let it down after managing to get the necessary 20 FPPoints to ensure I am active for December's PSO League games and hopefully add to my bankroll for Januaray.

For those that are unaware - there is a feature in setup that allows the table requiring action to be brought to the front of the screen. This is essential for this experiment. It can be annoying too mind, trying to answer an email and have several screens screaming for attention can help raise the blood pressure somewhat too.

To tile or not to tile that  is the question. Normally I will have a maximum of three games open and I tile them so that I can see all three tables at the same time in a size I am comfortable viewing with. That allows my other windows to also be available easily when I need them. However it became obvious almost immediately to me that with upwards of four tables running at the same time I would need a better option an so I moved over to the Cascade method (Ctrl 0 on the keyboard). Wow, what a difference a layout makes :wink:

Now, how to get lots of tables to run. I mentioned the PCA 540 seat freerolls. They are like, as we say in the UK, a bus. You wait forever for one to turn up and then three come along all at once. The PCA freerolls are a little like that. Depending on the time of day they will start to appear more and more frequently and quite often two will appear within a few seconds of each other. This therefore required the following sneaky method:
  • Open up a freeroll and let the registration complete without attempting to register. This will allow 'Register To Any' button to show.
  • Click the button,
  • OK the next flash screen and then move the resulting enrollment screen to the Poker Stars lobby by the PCA freeroll (at this time Events, PCA, Sit & Go Satellites).
  • I found highlighting the bottom tournament (90 seat 50cent) would help me see when a freeroll appeared.
  • Depending on the amount of actions I was required to make on the tables I would click and hold down the mouse button over the OK area so that it was highlighted and as soon as I saw a freeroll I released the mouse button thereby enhancing my chances of enrolling (the seats will often fill within a second or two max).
  • As soon as I had finished the click I would fire up another enroll button and place that in the lobby ready for the next opportunity (I would quite often miss the time frame so would need to be ready for the next one anyway).

Following this method I was at one time able to have 11 tables on the go at once (who says men cannot multi task!). With 11 tables on the go I was having to make snap decisions virtually every second. It is not something I could keep up at this stage in my career if I was playing for money.

Now comes the hard part. Having 10 PCA freerolls running one of the, dare I say it, more serious games I had registered for would fire up. In the first instance this was a Poker School Online League tournament and the method of playing that tournament is totally different from the PCA freerolls, in the early stages at least. I needed to somehow highlight the PSO league game.
  • I moved the table to the top left of the screen
  • hit ctrl0 to cascade the tables again
  • and then when the PSO came to the front I resized the table to double the size of the PCA freerolls.
This gave me the 'heads up' I needed to ensure I played my particular method for the first two blind levels and not get caught up in the frenzy of exceptionally aggressive betting in the PCA freerolls, getting knocked out and trying to fire up other tables to replace those I lost on.

Using this method I was able to see about three to five final tables and I got to 3rd and 4th once or twice. (I was even chip leader on one table for quite a while but the poker gods and my own leaks put paid to that one).

At the end of the day I was at a situation where I could handle 7 tables and play a tight aggressive style and have a little time to look for leaks in others. I did not have time to make notes and trying to chat in a PSO tournament was virtually impossible.

Taking a beating was not so bad either. I am of the opinion that 'bad beats' will happen regardless of anyone's level of play and moaning about it does nothing to help the situation. There are 5 cards on the felt at the end of a hand and (to paraphrase International Rescue) Anything Can Happen in the Next Five Cards. So my FH gets beaten by a stronger FH: my two pair gets beaten by trips. That is poker end of story. Running mulitiple tables helps reduce the emotional content since one has to be in the moment at all times and concentrate on the action require NOW.

Even with all this I did manage to cock up big time in the second PSO league game of Saturday! Withg only 7 tabes running I had KQs and for a PCA table that is a good hand for me so I answered the all in and then and only then realised it was a PSO and not a PCA. To make matters worse the flop missed me and a bigger stack hit the streets running so I folded.  The river would have saved my bacon but at that stage I would have been all in with the blind levels at $10/20 farrrrrrrrrr to early for such play. I was left with 180 chips a few minutes into a very important league match and recovering was going to be all but impossible given the mega loose, I'm bored it is only a freeroll, players that are now infecting the league. As luck would have it, of the 1375 starters I finished within the top 25% (250th) and therefore obtained a few positive points (and I used my time EVERY SINGLE HAND). Had I not been stupid I may have ended in the money who knows? Who cares? Me. 

One thing I would say. If you are new to multitabling learn the required skills via freerolls initially at least. You stand to lose a fortune if you just keep going at it and replacing a table you have been knocked out of by another pay to enter. Bank Roll management is an absolute must at all times (I am now down to 80 cents).

My thanks to Poker Stars for allowing me to squander so many freeroll games in my quest to better my game in the longer term. My apologies to all those who may have been frustrated at my method of play; get used to it :wink: