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Tuesday, June 20, 2006 

Winning Online Multi Table Tournaments - Part 1

Winning Online Multi Table Tournaments
By: Adam LaBare

Part 1

Choose Your Path
“Facing your demons can be paramount to your success with online poker.”
-Adam LaBare

I’ve been fairly successful with live action ring games in brick and mortar establishments as well as the home game circuit. However, over the past 5 years I have had a much greater return on my investment when playing tournaments vs. live action. And the reality was that for every tournament I cashed in, it was far easier to loose that gain back in the live action play. Granted, my live play wasn’t horrible, but it was just not as consistent as my tournament accomplishments. And consistency is key.

After reading several books over the years and speaking with many qualified players, I finally came to the decision that it was probably in my best interest to choose a path. The preverbal fork in the road if you will. Do I focus on tournament play or live action? Bottom line, I was not able to do both successfully. After giving this question a great deal of thought which really consisted of nearly a year of procrastination, I finally decided to specialize in tournament play. And the result? I have not looked back since and have done extremely well as a result.

With such a revelation, that doesn’t mean I don’t partake in live action every once in a while. But my thinking was simple: “Play tournaments for my bankroll, play live action for fun.” This has since evolved to the simple truth, winning money is fun, and therefore I rarely play live action ring games any more.

Am I missing out on profit? I don’t know. I do know my tournament skill is superior to my live action skill and being able to admit that goes a long way. I still consider myself a well rounded player despite the game type or format but I feel it very important to recognize your abilities and focus on said abilities. Channeling your energy, focus and determination in to something you can do better than others will result in increased profit. Simple. So for me, I try not to be tempted by the dark side and continue pushing forward on the tournament front.

Having chosen this path has really allowed me to focus on the bigger picture. My goal is to obviously build my bankroll but long term, I really want to take my show on the road so to speak. It is my dream to play “the circuit”. And why not? If I go about it with intelligence and proper planning, anything is possible. The burden relies solely on me. Through online tournament success I have had the opportunity to play in the World Poker Tour, The World Series of Poker, and many others. And in these larger tournaments, I have had respectable showings which leads me back to the main goal of making a passion for a game in to a realistic living.

Am I ready for that transition? Probably not just yet. And admitting this is not easy. But the reality is, my bankroll is not prepared nor is my ability to just set to the road. Real life obligations still exist and the way I look at it, until I can pay all of my bills via this medium, I’m probably not ready.

So, the moral of this section, know your abilities and maximize. Are you making more money in cash games? Focus on cash games. Are you fairing better in tournaments? Focus on tournaments. Speaking from experience, it is my findings that I can not do both well to the point of consistent profit. Perhaps that’s just me, perhaps it’s not. Make some self evaluations and base your decisions on the truth. It’s very easy to convince yourself you’re better than you are. Be honest with yourself and you’ll see the results, I promise.

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