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Top 5 Tools For Multi-Table Tournament Grinders

With the growing popularity of online poker in recent years, many players have found their way onto the internet to compete in online poker tournaments.

Notoriously, Sundays are the biggest day for online tournaments.

To follow my tournament progress, click here.

With tournaments running around the clock with buy-ins ranging from $1-$1000, there is a tournament for everyone to play regardless of bankroll restrictions.

At peak times on Sunday, I will have almost every tournament open that I can afford with my bankroll, and that means I might be playing 20-24 tables at a time.

Due to the increased workload, it is necessary for any aspiring tournament grinder to have the following 5 tools in order to succeed:

1. Workstation

Multi-Table Madness

If you are a serious tournament player, you are probably going to be playing more than one table and tournament at a time and in my case, you might be playing 20+.

Managing 20+ tables is impossible without a huge monitor, or multiple smaller monitors. I use a 24inch monitor with tables overlapping each other. When I have to act on a table, the table will pop to the front.

I like to sort tables out by blind levels/buy-ins so I know quickly which tournaments are more important. As I get deeper into some events, I might isolate certain tables in a corner of the screen so I can focus strictly on one of them while auto piloting the other tournaments that aren’t as important at the moment.

It is important to get yourself a reliable internet connection and a fast processor if you want to be playing this many tournaments at once. If you have an older computer, I wouldn’t recommend firing up too many tables due to the fact that your processor might not be able to handle the poker software when it has multiple tables running.

2. Flexibility

Portability is a Necessity

Being flexible means that if your main workstation breaks down for any reason, you have a backup plan. A backup plan would include a separate computer, maybe a laptop, that you can play on if anything goes wrong with your main rig.

Portability is important because if your internet connection drops out, you will have to move to another location to resume play.

If you don’t have a backup plan and something wrong happens, you will lose your buy-ins for the tournament and eventually be blinded out as the tournaments continue to run with you having no way to play.

There have been times where I have been extremely deep in tournaments, only to have my internet cut out for periods of time. It sucks but if you have the option of portability, you can remedy the situation quickly and get back up and running within a few minutes. It shouldn’t be too hard to find another network to go on because a lot of public places offer free Wi-Fi nowadays.

3. Water

You Can Never Drink Enough Water!

I can’t stress enough how important it is to stay hydrated. If you know me personally, you know how much water I will consume during a long session. It probably is close to 2 gallons of water in a 10-12 hour period.

Because your brain has to process so much information and actively think during the whole process, it needs fuel to keep running.

Without proper hydration, you might experience headaches and lack of focus due to a low tank. Make sure to have plenty of water available during your sessions, and load up the tank before you even decide to play. On most sites, you will have a synchronized break every 5 minutes at the top of the hour, so there will be plenty of time to pee when you need to, don’t worry.

4. Meditation

Train Your Mind To Focus!

Probably one of my favorite things to do before, during, and after long poker sessions.

With meditation, you can train your mind to focus on the task at hand, and also be immune to losing focus due to the fact that you won’t care as much about bad beats when they happen.

When I first started playing poker, I would be emotionally affected by bad beats. With my meditation practice, that is no longer the case.

I can sit and play for long periods of time without focusing on the outcome. Instead, I focus on making good decisions knowing the outcome is partially controlled by luck.

Sometimes that luck won’t be on my side, and if that is going to affect you emotionally, you are going to stop making good decisions and will probably bust more tournaments than you win.

5. Music

Your Favorite Music Makes Poker More Enjoyable!

Music is great for making long sessions more entertaining. When I put on music during poker sessions, I tend to slip into a trance.

This trance helps me stay focused, and also stay upbeat as I am playing so I am alert and aware of everything that is going on.

The type of music doesn’t really matter, that is all based on personal preference. Either way, I like to have my music at a very loud volume to get completely lost in the game and eliminate side distractions.

If you are serious about developing your game, I suggest checking out some of my other articles I have written:

The Poker Trance: The Ultimate Poker Mindset

Top 10 Reasons You Should Play Poker

Top 5 Reasons You Lose at Poker

My Multi-Table Tournament Strategy

Booking The Win at Final Tables

The $3,000 Guarantee Final Table Takedown

Top 5 Heads-Up No-Limit Cash-Game Strategies

How to Develop Into a LAG (Loose-Aggressive) Player

My Most Profitable Session of Online Poker

Using a Rubberband To Squash Negative Thinking Patterns

Good luck at the tables! 🙂

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About TD
Live Consciously, Expand Your Awareness!

3 Responses to Top 5 Tools For Multi-Table Tournament Grinders

  1. Matt says:

    Totally agree with having a backup machine in place – if is just me or does your computer only ever decide to crash when starting the final table?

    When I was just out of uni I did a lot of grinding – I mainly used a desktop but had a laptop with a mobile internet dongle within arms reach with the poker site loaded but not logged in. That way if anything happened – computer crashes or internet dies – I can just hit the ‘login’ button and I’m back in the game within about 30 seconds.

    Well worth the extra £15 a month it cost to have the mobile connection!

  2. I like your comment about meditation. Focusing on the things you can control is a really strong method for keeping your sanity in poker it seems. I write about similar mental skills training for eSports, but some of my classmates are really interested in the same thing for poker playing. (I’m at http://mindgamesconsulting.wordpress.com)

    You make me really want to try online poker! Currently just playing with friends and family on the weekends and such.

    I agree with your premise under 3. Water, that you should stay hydrated, but it’s a common misconception that water fuels the brain or that the brain uses more fuel under stress. Other than sleep the brain burns carbohydrates at a fairly steady rate. Conscious mental exhaustion is a psychological state rather than a physical one, and the best solution is probably more exploration into your meditation or even more techniques similar to that.

    Back to dehydration, if you are curious there is some excellent scientific analysis of the phenomenon in Tim Noakes “Lore of Running”. The gist of it is that humans start to show symptoms of dehydration after we are 8~11% dehydrated, but those are alleviated instantly by drinking water (before it even has a chance to take affect) meaning that the symptoms are most likely psychological rather than physical. Actual physical degradation starts to take place after 15% dehydration. Normal water intake (that is, drinking when you are thirsty) should alleviate any standard levels of dehydration. Also, keep in mind that it is physically impossible to over-hydrate and we do get a good portion of our H2O from food, so if you eat a meal or snack during your bout that would reduce your water needs by a corresponding amount. Dehydration research is a lot more difficult ethically now so there has not been much progress in the last 20 years, but aside from the symptoms shown after 8% levels there does not appear to be any negative affect on performance for anything before that. In fact the winners of most endurance races typically show higher levels of dehydration than others as measure by internal body temperature. The general take away has been that the human body, just like all mammals, is built to run under a constantly dehydrated state, but has a warning system built in to keep us away from the danger zone.

    Just wondering if you also do yoga? While I was writing I was thinking how the breath control that is the mainstay of yoga might be pretty similar to the breathe control you practice during meditation, and the stretching of the hamstrings would help a lot to ease lower back discomfort which might also affect your playing. Chronic pain can have a large affect on mental concentration activities.

    Was a pleasure to read your article, thanks!
    ~Weldon

    • Thanks! I’ll be checking out your site! If you are looking for an online poker room, I play at lockpoker.com, probably the best site still available for US grinders if you are in the United States. Good Luck at the Tables! 🙂

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