Poker Ramblings of cmitch

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I usually play no more than two tables at a time, but lately I have been experimenting with playing 3 or 4 tables at a time. I think that I have discovered that I am best at playing two tables at the same time. When playing two tables I can still get a great feel for all the players at the tables and how they play particular hands.

I have a theory about Multi-tabling. I commented on Poker4Peace's blog about it a while ago.

My theory is that the amount of tables you can multi-table comfortable is related to your age - specifically which video games that you grew up with.

I am old by online poker standards (33) and can easily handle 2 tables, sometimes 3 if the TV isn't on. I grew up playing Atari and I played a ton of video games when I was young. Atari had 1 controller with 1 button (see picture). Some of the games were more complex than others but basically you moved around with the controller and used the 1 button when necessary. In the arcade I played games like Pac-Man, Galaga, Kung Fu (very complicated because it had two controllers), Space Invaders, etc.

When I was in college, video games started to get a little more complicated. We had Nintendo and Super Nintendo and played games like Techno Bowl and Super Techno Bowl. The Nintendo Systems had a controller that was four buttons (up, down, left, and right) and a couple of buttons if I remember correctly. Some of the moves started to get a little complicated but weren't that complex.

A few years later Playstation 1 game along and more buttons started to get added.

I purchased the Playstation 2 when it came on the market a few years ago. I immediately discovered that some of the games had way too many things going on for me. It has two controllers (or 3 depending on how you look at it) and eight buttons. There were several games that I just didn't enjoy playing because they had way too many things going on and way too many buttons to use.

Fast forward to today. There are a lot of online poker players that are young. They may have heard of Atari, but it is something ancient to them like the Black and White TV. They grew up playing the games that have 18 different controllers and buttons that can be used to perform 1,540 different functions in a given video game. The complex video games are simple to them since that is all they ever knew. That is what they played from the beginning.

Playing 8 tables at once is no big deal to a lot of these young video gamers. It is only 1 mouse click in eight different locations - a lot easier than pressing up, up, left, left, down, X, Triangle, Square all within a split second to peform that "Kill" move on the latest death match video game.

I am not saying that older (over 30) players can't multi-table successfully. I am just saying that it takes a lot more work for us, older guys/girls, to get used to playing several tables at on time.

How many tables do you play? Do you think it relates to the video games that you grew up with?

Maybe one day I will be able to play 8 tables at once, but for now I'll stick to Ms. Pac-Man and two tables.


7 responses to "Video Games and Multi-Tabling"

  1. Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start

    5 at once is my max so far, and only at Stars. I can still listen to music, and glance at the tv or have a mild discussion with wifey/kids, but that is about it.


  2. 3 seems to be my comfort level. Of course, we can all play more; but it is that line where it becomes uncomfortable (and unprofitable).

    I think definitely it relates to teh video game age. I grew up on Intellevision which had a few more buttons (numbers)... but have never gotten onto the Playstation, Xbox band wagon.

    Other factors are PC and monitor and stuff like that witch can aid with the multi tables.


  3. I would say I am comfortable with 5, while watching T.V., not totally ignoring the family and possibly eating. And yes, I do this it goes along with your video game theory. I am young 25 (at least I think I am still young), and I grew up starting with Nintendo, but I had a Playstation when it first came out, and I still play my Playstation 2 regularly. I do remember Techno Super Bowl and the greatest sports video character ever created, Virtual Bo Jackson. Good times, Good times.


  4. I believe your theory regarding the relationship between a player's age and the number of tables he/she feels comfortable playing simultaneously is a good one. At 49 I prefer to play one table at a time, two tables max. I can play more, but this is my comfort zone. To expound on your idea, I did not grow up on any of the video games. I have never played playstation. In 1980 my younger brother introduced me to "pong", a game we played for hours for several days and then the novelty wore off. That was pretty much my intro and extent to my video game play. Of course other factors may contribute to why my comfort zone is one game at a time. Here is an interesting link I just found after searching for history of the PONG game.


  5. I'm 41 and grew up in Mississippi, so electricity and shoes are sort of a revelation. I can barely play one table and not lose my the way, are you talking about play money or real money?


  6. I like the idea of your thoughts that video games, age etc determine how many tables to play.

    In my mind I think it comes down to our need or want to understand our opponents. What do you lose with 4 tables vs. 2? Well you need to start playing more automatic and relying on your GT+ reads on players but with less screens you spend more time analysing things yourself.

    So for me I think the determining factor is just how robotic people want to end up playing poker online.


  7. I've played each leg of H.O.R.S.E. in 5 different ring games before.

    That will mess you up.

    Most games at once? 6 PLO8 games at Party. I wouldn't dare try that at Stars though.