Is Multi-Tabling messing with your Mind?

by Jeremy Olson on August 29, 2014

For the past several years, many online poker pros have wondered if multi-tabling is messing with their mind. After all, the long-term effect of playing anywhere from 8 to 24 tables simultaneously hasn’t been studied.

Even still, poker players don’t appear likely to slow down any time soon - especially when the profits from multi-tabling are so good. Just ask Randy “nanonoko” Lew or Bertrand Grospellier if playing multiple tables is worth it.

But even elite pros might want to reconsider their position after reading a blog post by Haseeb Qureshi. The now-retired poker pro discusses how the consequences of multi-tabling aren’t known to science yet because it’s a relatively new habit. However, based on the experiences of himself and other pros like Dusty “Leatherass9″ Schmidt, too much poker stimulation can definitely be a bad thing. Here’s how Qureshi describes his own experience:

How common are these stories? I first started hearing accounts of it when I was a poker player. I’d even experienced some of it myself. When Pokerstars raised the multitabling limits back in 2007, 12-tabling 6-max games quickly became my bread-and-butter. Before long, playing just four tables would bore me; I didn’t have the patience for it. After enough time, reading a book or sitting through a two hour documentary seemed like an ordeal. I’d browse Youtube videos while chatting on Skype and reading poker forums. My brain was continually being fed high-octane stimuli, and when it wasn’t, I had trouble focusing.

Qureshi goes on to explain that once he quit poker three years ago, all of this trouble with focusing went away. So is this going to convince others to quit multi-tabling any time soon? Probably not, especially when there’s still a lot of money to be made for good poker players. However, it’s certainly something to think about for those who have trouble slowing their brain down to read a book or watch a movie.