As mentioned in part one, the ability to play numerous tables at once is a great benefit to playing online.
Some of the best online players can play staggering numbers of tables at once. See this video of 2007 WSOP main event finalist Hevad Khan as an example). This is not for everyone though. It takes an extraordinary amount of concentration and diligence to be able to keep up with large numbers of tables - especially if you are playing short handed or heads up - where the action will be coming thick and fast.
The best way to establish the optimum number of tables to play is through record keeping. In a perfect world you would earn more per hour for every extra hand you play. Unfortunately, as the number of tables builds up, mistakes creep into your game and eventually the profits will start to go down. Finding the right balance between the turnover of hands and the extra profit gained from concentration is critical.
A final point to consider in regard to number of tables is the fun element of poker. Although many players could profitably play lots more tables, many choose not to, on the basis that it is extremely draining over the course of a session. This is a valid point and one that needs to be considered if you want to maintain your sanity over the long run.
A closely related point to this is the speed with which you have to make decisions. If you play too many tables you will start timing out all over the place and miss out on a lot of value. You will also start to lose focus, panic will often set in, as the number of choices starts to feel overwhelming and out of control. It is worth noting that this effect is particularly pronounced in tournaments, where you can't just sit out or leave like you could in a cash game. Be careful how many tournaments you open - they don't look as easy when your playing short handed in a few of them. If you do get in this situation it is nearly always best to stick to playing abc poker as much as possible; doing your best to avoid becoming involved with marginal hands and the complex situations that they bring.
The final point to be considered is the ability to look at mucked cards. This is doubly useful when playing online, as not only do you get far more information about your opponent's tendencies, but you can also check back if you missed the action on a big hand that you were not involved in. This is extremely useful if you are playing lots of tables, as you can quickly and easily check how that player won or lost their chips, and adjust your behaviour accordingly.
Online poker is a great training ground for anyone wanting to improve their game. By slowly experimenting with what works best for you, hopefully you will avoid many of the pitfalls that are all too easy to fall into when playing. Good luck at the tables.
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