View Full Version : Two Things That Have Drastically Improved My Online Ring Games

07-23-2005, 09:37 AM
Just thought I'd share this with everyone :)

I've recently added a couple of tools to my online play, and the results have been impressive, both financially and in the enjoyment factor.

1. Playing Multiple tables at once. I've been seeing people do this all the time, but never had the courage to try. Finally I gave in and opened up a second table. It's amazing what a difference this makes.

Boredom is no longer a factor. Slow tables don't bother me anymore. I've got a hand going almost all the time now.
The temptation to play too many hands is reduced. Good hands come much more frequently so I'm not tempted to play weak hands just to get to play.
My hand selection tightens up. With more than one table open, I don't have the attention span to play multiple hands all the time. So I'm folding more in order to concentrate on the best hands.
I'm enjoying the game more. More hands, better hands, more wins. Everything that makes poker fun! :)

There is a downside. When I am actively playing a hand on more than one table it's much harder to focus on reads and keep track of who raised pf, etc. So I'm sometimes forced to play my own hands more than playing my opponents. But by playing just 2 tables at a time, I reduce this distraction.

2. Use Poker Tracker.
This handy utility has helped me a ton by identifying my oppenents' playing style for me. The software is not free (though there is a free trial), but it is well worth it. It works with a lot of the major sites and uses hand histories to keep track of how often your opponents see flops, bet, raise, etc. It also tracks their specific hands when known and can give you a good idea of what kinds of hands they raise with preflop, see to showdown and more. After a set number of hands that you determine, Poker Tracker gives the player a rating, such as loose-aggressive or tight-passive. A little icon will appear by their name so you don't have to look at all the numbers each time. Loose-aggressive players get a little tazmanian devil. Tight-aggressive players get an eagle. Tight-passive gets a mouse--I think someone's been reading Phil Hellmuth's books. ;) These are just a few of the rankings; there are actually 14 different ones, and all are adjustable if you want to make changes.

It's very flexible in how it imports hand histories. It can check your email for you if you get summaries that way. It can automatically import them from Party Poker sites and affiliates. I've been using an add-on utility to get hand histories from Poker Stars. In some cases, I have over a thousand hand histories for individual players I go up against. That kind of history gives me a really good idea of what kind of player he or she is.

The bottom line is that with the Poker Tracker data in addition to my note taking has helped my reads of players tremendously. This helps me to play more than one table also, since I don't need to spend as much time figuring each player out. I may not have ever sat down at a table with them, but Poker Tracker has them categorized for me already.

Hope this is useful information for any ring-game players out there. :D

07-25-2005, 02:28 AM
I agree that playing more than one table at once is an effective tool for online ring games. When I first started, I focused on just one table but eventually moved over to playing two and now I play 4-5 at once typically.

In addition to reducing the temptation to play weak cards or get bored, I find having more than one table going reduces my variance. I may be down at one table, but up at my other tables.

Tournaments to me are a different ball game. I tend to stick to one table if it is a tournament since getting distracted in a NL tournament is much more costly than making a loose call in a limit ring game. Occasionally I will play two single table tounraments at once but even that is a stretch.

As far as poker tracker and similar tools go, I definitely think they can make a big difference in your game. I tried a free trial and honestly probably didn't give the software enough of a chance to see how effective it was. I just find it difficult since many of the games I play have players comming and going so often I don't play with the same people twice. There are a few players that I see repeatedly but I found just by playing them I am able to pick up on their playing styles.

Great advice Lancer.

06-20-2007, 05:40 AM
I agree that playing more than one table at once is an effective tool for online ring games.As far as poker tracker and similar tools go, I definitely think they can make a big difference in your game.