Posts Tagged ‘multi-tabling’

Viktor Blom answers Poker’s Tough Questions during FTP Challenge

Friday, November 15th, 2013

Viktor “Isildur1” Blom recently took on 100 challengers at Full Tilt Poker during a promotion. And Blom was his usual self, multi-tabling heads-up sit and go’s against five players at a time.

In the end, he was able to beat 62 of the 100 challengers, which was pretty good considering how he was multi-tabling. However, it’s worth mentioning that he put up $100,000 of his own money, and had to pay $1,000 to each winner. This meant he forked over $38,000 to the 38 winners when the challenge was over.

One really interesting side product of this challenge was that Blom answered some questions. He discussed everything from how look it took him to build his bankroll to who the best online poker players are right now. You can see all of the questions here, but here’s a look at the first several that were asked/answered:

@Nickkdevries: How did you came in contact with online poker?
Viktor Blom: A friend of my brother’s told me about it and I decided to give it a try.

@twsk8nst: how did you get financed in the first place circa 2008/2009
VB: I just ran up my bankroll myself.

@CakeEater12: most amount of $ you’ve flipped for?
VB: $50k I think, I ran so bad at flips.

@pvd_27: what’s your favourite board game?
VB: Malarky was fun. Good bluffing game.

@Pokerlifestkr: how about a shout out to all swedish fans grinding out there Viktor pokerlifegear
VB: lycka till vid borden!

@ChrisAbela1: How true are the stories regarding your earlier winnings on Euro networks?
VB: I don’t know what’s out there, so I can’t answer that one.

@PaulieRider: Victor, how do you cook a perfect boiled egg?
VB: No idea.

@Carrottoppoker: will you be coming to Australia anytime soon for any poker tournaments?
VB: I may go for Aussie Millions, not sure yet though.

@sjdaniel: Can you ship me 10k? I promise I will give it back, someday…
VB: I’ll play you for it.

@Vimio_NL: How much time did it take, to build your bankroll to 100K for the first time?
VB: 8-9 months since first time I played.

Stop Sampling Every Poker Game

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

When you first start playing online poker, it can be a fun and exciting experience. You get to test your skills against other grinders and try to win profits in the process. Furthermore, there are a variety of poker games that you can try in both the cash game and tournament arenas. But does this mean you should really be trying every type of game imaginable?

The truth is that you really need to focus on one or two poker disciplines when you’re getting started with the game. Now we’re not saying that it’s easy to resist the temptation of wanting to play a variety of poker variations. However, it’s somewhat of a skill to remain disciplined and stay focused. In fact, your future profits really depend heavily on becoming good at one type of poker before moving on to the next.

Texas Hold’em is always a great place to start because you only have two hole cards, which cuts down on the amount of hands that you’re dealing with. Of course, some people think that Hold’em is a little saturated, so you might event want to try Omaha or Seven Card Stud. Whatever the case may be, you don’t want to be jumping back and forth between games when you’re trying to develop a good starting base.

In addition to sticking with one specific variation, you might also want to direct the bulk of your play towards tournaments or cash games. After all, the tourneys and ring games feature different strategy, so it’s a nice idea to become good at one or the other – rather than constantly switching back and froth between the two.

One last thing here is to avoid multi-tabling until you can beat one tournament or cash game table at a time. Some players will jump to two or more tables simply because they’re tired of waiting for others to act; however, you should spend the downtime observing other players and learning their tendencies to fuel your success.

By honing on a single type of online poker, you have a much better chance to eventually win money and move up in stakes.

What Stakes do Poker Pros play?

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

When most people think of professional poker players, they envision grinders who make their living in $25/$50 cash games and above. But while these high stakes players may steal most of the headlines, the truth is that poker pros are found throughout a variety of stakes. This being said, let’s take a closer look at what stakes you have to play in order to make a living with the game.

It All Depends…

There is no set cutoff as to what stakes can provide you with a healthy living. And a large part of being a full-time pro depends upon where you live. For example, countries like the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and France have high costs of living. So pros usually need to play at least $1/$2 games and above, even as multi-tablers.

Contrast this to countries like the Ukraine, Mexico, Brazil and Romania, where cheaper costs of living make playing lower stakes more realistic. In some cases, pro grinders in these nations could play $0.05/$0.10 and above with some multi-tabling.

Win Rate and Multi-Tabling

We’ve mentioned multi-tabling a couple of times already because this is extremely important in regard to making profits – especially if you’re trying to earn a living at the lower stakes.

And of course you’re going to need a good win rate as well. The exact win rate needed depends heavily upon what stakes you are playing; for example, an American playing $1/$2 NL Hold’em will probably need to earn 10 big blinds an hour (depending upon daily hours played) along with some rakeback. But a pro $0.10/$0.20 NLHE player from the Ukraine might be able to get away with earning 10 big blinds an hour at this level.

So as you can see, there are all different types of stakes that pros play. And a multitude of factors go into deciding what limits a person has to play to earn a living.

Why is Zoom Poker so Tough?

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

If you’ve ever played Zoom Poker at Stars – or any of the other fast poker variants like Speed Poker (Titan), Fast Forward (Party Poker) or Fast Poker (Unibet) – you have probably noticed that these games are tough to beat. In fact, most people find that they’re far less profitable playing quicker poker variations than they are in regular cash games. This being said, it’s worth diving a little deeper into why Zoom Poker is tougher than normal cash play.

Tight is Right

Fast poker variants are much tighter than what many people are used to. One of the big reasons why is because players don’t have much information on opponents since they’re constantly being whisked away to new tables. So players tend to rely heavily on their cards/table position, rather than reads on opponents.

Because of the tighter play, high unsuited connectors like AK and KQ lose some value since you’ll be running up against big pocket pairs quite frequently. So anybody who’s keen on playing drawing hands will need to scale this back some in Zoom.

More Blinds

Another tough part about fast poker games is that you’ll be dealing with the blinds far more often. Action happens quicker in Zoom Poker, so the orbits come around more frequently.

Now this might not be such a big deal if you’re a skilled player who commonly makes profits. However, if you’re somebody who’s still learning the intricacies of poker, the increased blinds rate just compounds problems. Taking this into account, we highly suggest that you do your training elsewhere and save fast poker games for more experienced grinders.

Bigger Swings

One more point worth mentioning about the difficulty of Zoom Poker is that big swings occur more often. Again, these games move faster and so your up and downswings are amplified. Of course, anybody who’s used to multi-tabling will probably feel more comfortable with the wild swings.

All in all, fast cash game variants can be fun to play since you’re always getting action and never sitting around. But do be aware that Zoom and similar games seem quite tough in the beginning.

Multi-tabling and its Effect on Poker ROI

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

As we’ve talked about in the past, return on investment (ROI) is a very critical concept for poker tournament players to understand. ROI shows you how much money you’re earning back based on the amount you are investing in buy-ins. If you’d like to learn more about ROI, check this out.

Moving along, some people worry about multi-tabling because they know it’s likely to have an adverse effect on their profit rate. For example, if you go from playing one table to playing 4 poker tables, your ROI could drop from 15% to 8%. Now this might sound like a significant drop, but it’s actually a good thing – as we’ll explain.

Focus on Overall Profits

While we’d all like to have a pretty ROI, the most important thing to focus on is your overall profits. Using the previous example – where your ROI drops from 15% to 8% – let’s say that multi-tabling four tables helps you go from playing two MTT’s daily, to playing eight MTT’s daily.

With the situation where you’re only playing two MTT’s, you’d be earning $3 per day (20 x 0.15). Looking at the eight MTT’s per day, you’d be making $6.40 in profit per day (80 x 0.08). Taking this further, you’re making over twice as much money each day by multi-tabling four tournaments, as opposed to playing just one.

Finding a Balance

Like we showed before, playing more than one table at a time can turn into a lot more profits. However, it’s important to understand how multi-tabling too many tables can hurt both your profits and ROI.

To illustrate this, let’s assume that you move from one $10 MTT at a time to multi-tabling six MTT’s, and your ROI drops from 15% to 1.5%. Assuming you’re still able to get two $10 MTT’s in daily while single-tabling, you’d now be playing twelve $10 MTT’s daily; unfortunately, your daily profits have fallen from $3 to $1.80 (120 x 0.015).

Obviously this is too many tables for you to handle at once, and the multiplied simultaneous decisions are hurting your overall profits. That said, you’ll need to move up slowly when it comes to multi-tabling so you don’t end up hurting your game.

Online Poker Tells

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

One very important aspect of poker strategy involves figuring out online poker tells, or actions by an opponent that tip you off to their hand strength. Unfortunately, online poker is not like live poker where people give off physical tells that help you out – i.e. somebody picking their nose when they have a great hand. Instead, online poker tells are much more subtle and hard to read.

Now most people will advise you to look for how long it takes an opponent to make a call or raise. For example, if a player makes a quick call, they might have a great hand, and didn’t need to think twice about doing so. On the other hand, a marginal hand would require more thought on their part.

However, the truth is that you can’t really tell much from the time it takes a player to perform an action because there are too many variables. For instance, somebody could be multi-tabling, and their decisions are lengthy.

So instead of relying on the amount of time a person is taking or what their avatar looks like, a better online poker tell is to watch their poker betting patterns. For example, if a player frequently calls from late position with marginal hands, but makes huge raises when they have a big pocket pair, you can use this as a tell. Likewise, if a player makes a two-thirds pot-sized bet when they’re bluffing, you can also store this information away.

Of course, you’ll need to spend some time observing opponents in order to figure this information out, so don’t come onto a poker table and start making snap judgements. Instead, watch how each person is playing, and try to figure out online poker tells based on their betting actions. The more time you spend doing this, the more successful you’re going to be with the game.

Multi-Tabling in Online Poker

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Something that a lot of online poker players haven’t considered is the practice of multi-tabling. When you play poker online one of the biggest advantages is that you can play at multiple tables at the same time. While this requires a firm control of poker rules and strategy, multi-tabling is a great way to increase your poker winnings.

Take this into consideration: If you normally make $15 an hour playing at a single table then you can double this by playing at two tables at once or even triple it by playing at three tables or even more! However, it is important to take into consideration that when you play at multiple tables your concentration is not as strong so you may make slightly less than usual on each table. For this reason, you have to practice and keep records when multi-tabling to find the perfect balance for yourself.

How do you find the perfect balance when it comes to multi-tabling? Keep track of how much you make per hour at a single table. Let’s say it’s $15. Add a second table and keep track of how much you make per hour and per table. If you make $12 per hour at each table that’s $24 per hour, which is a lot better than $15. However, if you add a third table and you drop to $7 per table per hour then you are only making $21 so you should stick to two tables.

Find your balance and multi-tabling can be very profitable.