Thursday, April 17, 2008

Failed Experiment

If I can fight and win hard-earned money playing three 5/10 tables, could I make almost as much with fewer swings playing nine softer 1/2 tables?

I tiled the nine 1/2 tables on my 24-inch monitor to find out last night.

Unfortunately, these 1/2 players kicked my ass! I lost at a faster rate than I can ever remember, dropping 10 buy-ins in just two hours. How can this be possible? I thought these games were supposed to be easier?

There's an simple answer: massive multitabling reduces my winrate so drastically that I become a huge fish. I can't read hands well when I have to make quick decisions at several tables at a time. I can't tell the difference between my opponents' bluffs and value bets when I haven't been watching them. I hit the call button way too often when there's no reasonable hand that could beat my overpair, only to be shown some kind of unreasonable junk hand that I paid off in full.

There were some atrocious bad beats mixed in there as well: set over set, rivered flush vs. my set, AK beats my AA, etc. But there's no doubt that I played extremely poorly as well, getting all in several times with hands like pocket 99 and JJ on the flop, which is rarely a good move without a solid read.

This nine-tabling experiment wasn't a wasted effort though. I learned a lot:

_ I can't handle too many tables. It turns me into a losing player. I'm sure some people can do it, but I'm not a fast enough decision maker to effectively play more than three tables, or four at the most.

_ The old saying that you revert to your novice game when playing poorly proves true once again. I found myself overplaying strong preflop hands and paying off lightly when I knew I was beaten but couldn't put my opponents on a hand.

_ Just because my opponents make -EV preflop plays doesn't always mean I should justify their actions postflop by gifting them my stack. Loose calls of preflop 3-bets with low pocket pairs and suited connectors are usually unprofitable plays in the long run, but that doesn't mean I have to call them.

_ I've wondered at times if 100 BB stacks are deep enough to fight off the pushmonkeys. I now believe they are. There's still plenty of room to maneuver with 100 BB stacks, and stacking off with top pair is usually poor poker for that many bets. I estimate that top pair is worth no more than 50 BB in most situations.

This is kind of obvious stuff. I guess I have to learn the hard way. Good thing it's only two buy-ins at 5/10, but losing so much at a lower limit tilted the hell out of me.


Alan aka RecessRampage said...

Sorry about the loss... but I have to laugh... just picturing 9 6max screens, simultaneously making decisions just cracks me up... raise! call! call! fold! crap! I meant to click raise! I'm running out of time! Call! lol... I feel busy just simulating...

Gnome said...

Yeah, it's way too much! My mouse clicking finger was staring to hurt.

Lifesagrind said...

You definitely jumped into too many tables at once. It's possible to play that many, but not when your used to playing 3.
I think you'll also find that the drop off in skill level is not as great as you'd think. In fact there may be more bad players at 5/10. It's a matter of economics. The low level players are probably grinders learning the game while you will find more casual players with larger incomes at 5/10.

Eric a.k.a. Bone Daddy said...

9, you wussy, Wes plays 12 to 16.

Hell, I struggle with 4 tables, so I just limit myself to 2 now. I don't know how some of those guys do it, and do it well.