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Wednesday, June 28, 2006 

Winning Online Multi Table Tournaments - Part 3

Winning Online Multi Table Tournaments
By: Adam LaBare

Part 3
Arm Yourself

“With knowledge comes success”
-Adam LaBare

If you’ve not yet read parts 1 and 2 to this ongoing article, I would recommend that you do. Not required, of course, but it will help with the overall direction I am focused on.
Preface | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

At this stage you’re probably wondering when we’re going to discuss what cards to play and when. Or perhaps some magical formula I can share that will ensure your success. We’re going to get in to specific strategy soon enough…however, I’ll leave the magic formulation to your interpretation of all that I am presenting.

In this section, we’re going to discuss how you can arm yourself with the needed knowledge to hold your own in any multi table tournament online.

Before I arm you with my interpretation of strategy, it’s important to have a baseline of general knowledge. If you’re reading this, you’ve most likely taken that initial step somewhere along the way. These are the things I would suggest one does before seriously taking on any real tournaments online…

Read Books
Sure, every poker persona seems to have a book out there but look at it this way: They have books out there for a reason. They’ve been doing something right far longer than most and it is a fair assumption that some of their thinking can have an impact on your performance at the poker table.

I’ve read many, many books over the last 15 years, some far better than others. The only caution I would give you though before taking on all of these titles is to take it at face value. Everyone has an opinion on certain situations, but no one opinion is the perfect solution. If you pose the same scenario to 10 different poker professionals, you’ll most likely receive 10 different and well thought out answers. A well written poker book will contain many nuggets of wisdom, just try not to take it all as gospel. You can read Doyle Brunson’s book from front to back and try to mimic your play exactly like him, but I guarantee you will not have the same results as Doyle Brunson.

I’m going to supply a list of books that I have read that I have found extremely beneficial to my play. Some are more relevant than others.
  • Caro’s Book of Poker Tells. I’ve read a lot of books prior to this book, but I list this one first for the sheer amount of benefit this book brought me afterwards. This book has undergone a few version updates and I believe the one I read was a bit older than the most recent…but just the same, this book contains amazing concept and theory on how to identify various tells at the table. How does this apply to online tournaments? You would be surprised. To me, identifying a tell boils down to identification of patterns or repetition. Typical tells are relevant online as they are offline with the online world bringing an entirely new fold of tells to study. Read this book!
  • Doyle Brunson’s Super System. Many view this book as almost the poker world’s bible. I didn’t take it quite so literally but found many of the chapters to be true gems. This book proves how poker strategy and theory can transcend time having been published in the late 70’s. I highly recommend this book as you will be well above the fold for just reading this.
  • Ace on the River: An Advanced Poker Guide. Barry Greenstein did a great job. This book really sat well with me. Having been accustom to the typical poker book discussing long, drawn out strategies with very technical odds and statistics, I found this book refreshing. Barry delivers concepts beyond the table along with back story. This opened my mind to very different ways of thinking.
  • Hold’em Poker for Advanced Players. I read this book many years ago and still find myself going back to some of the chapters for reference.
  • Championship no-limit and pot-limit hold’em. A great book with many examples of what to or not to do in various situations.
  • Harrington on Hold’em Expert Strategy for No Limit Tournaments

It’s obvious I’ve not read every poker book out there but I do believe the above listed books can give any poker player an advantage at the table. I don’t necessarily believe in any one books overall message, but I do believe having read a wide variety gives me the needed insight in to a true poker professionals psyche.

It’s one thing to read every poker book known to man but I believe if you take the time to network with the right people in the poker world, you will be wiser for the effort. With the Internet, there really are no limitations to you whom you can network with. Get out there in the open and talk strategy with your peers so to speak. You’ll find people that love this game as much as you do LOVE talking about poker in general, strategy, etc. Not sure what to do in a certain situation? Pose the question to several people. Obtain feedback. Be a student of the game with an open mind and you’ll find your game is always improving.

Some specific ideas for networking include the following:
  • Newgroups. More specifically, rec.gambling.poker. An invaluable resource of poker knowledge, strategy, and spam. Yeah, if you can tolerate the spam, there are some very fine people on the newgroup.
  • Blogs. If you’re reading this, you obviously have the right idea. However, I encourage you to seek out poker related blogs. I have come across many great writers out there that bring various perspective to poker along with in depth analyses, discussion and often times, humor. It’s great to see the “human” side of poker through blogs.
  • Forums. Most major poker sites on the web have some variation of a forum. Some are far more useful than others. But every once in a while you’ll find a gem. Bookmark that site and visit often. You’ll be glad that you did.
  • IM’s. Obvious, but worth mentioning. Once you’ve created a network of fellow poker enthusiasts, add them to your IM client and stay in touch.

Find a Mentor
Without the teachers and mentors of my past, I do not believe my game would be what it is today. Granted, my game has a long way to go, but without the valuable assistance from key individuals in my past, I do not believe I would have made a dime playing poker.

When you associate yourself with quality people in the poker world, you will find those that are always willing to share experiences, strategy, and advice. Attach yourself to the right people, and the sky really is the limit. I highly recommend taking on a mentor. However, I urge you to take caution when you look in to making that special bond. There are many types in the poker world that claim expertise and will want to charge you for such services. Some may want a piece of you in future tournaments, etc. The point here is, if you’re comfortable paying for such advice/services, there are plenty of quality schools, professionals, etc. offering such services. I do not believe one should be charged when dealing with a mentor type figure.

Subscribe to Podcasts
This has been a new found side project of mine. I’ve subscribed to just about every poker related podcast I can find. With podcasting still in it’s infancy, I find that quality content is hit or miss. I’ve found quite a few great shows…but most are average at best. However, the gems are worth the effort. It’s great to listen to interviews with professionals away from the cameras of ESPN. You get the “real deal” interview on a podcast without the necessary censorship which comes with network television. I predict podcasting will be extremely important to the future of Poker in various forms.

In Summary
The message I would want anyone to take away from this is to simply arm yourself with as much information as you can. Not everything will stick, but what does will make all the difference when you’re sitting there facing the bubble, or down to 4 players at the final table. Even the items you don’t think stick, re-emerge when you need them. The secret is to stop and think before making key moves and decisions in a tournament.

Good luck at the tables!

Be sure to return for Part 4 in this ongoing series of articles

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Excellent series so far, yo. I just went back and read 1 and 2 as well.

Keep up the good work!


Thanks P! Hope to have more out this weekend.

What poker podcasts that you are subscribed to would you recommend personally?

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