Poker News Daily: You’ve had a lot of success in the Sunday major online poker tournaments. You’ve taken down the Full Tilt $750K Guaranteed, the Full Tilt Sunday Mulligan, and the Bodog $100K Guaranteed. What is the secret to your success?
Herm: In the Sunday tournaments, you really have to play aggressively in order to win. Aggression is the key. In order to get through that many people, you either have to get really lucky or play really aggressively. Playing aggressively in the Sunday tournaments is actually easier than playing aggressively in the daily tournaments such as the $100 rebuy on PokerStars. In those tournaments, you’re playing against people who understand how to handle aggression and know how to play back at you. In the Sunday tournaments, you can really let it rip a little bit and play back at people who don’t know how to handle being played back at. It’s easy to build chips with pure aggression alone.
PND: What’s your basic strategy early on in multi-table tournaments?
Herm: Early on, I play really tight, almost like I’m playing a sit and go. I’ll raise with hands in position like I normally would, but overall, I’m not going to be stacking up or re-stealing early. I’m not going to be opening up a lot of pots early on like I normally would when there are antes involved. Once the antes start up, I’ll get in more pots, but I still try to keep myself alive in the tournament until the later stages around the money bubble. It’s then that I think you can really exploit people’s weaknesses. Early on, you need to have a hand to get chips.
PND: What’s something that players should keep in mind once they reach the final table of a tournament?
Herm: A lot of people talk about playing tight once a tournament gets nine- or ten-handed. A lot of times, I do that, especially if I’ve been playing really aggressively on the money bubble and if it’s a tough table. I’ll get action on hands that I get. More frequently, I come to final tables and I think that a lot of people are utilizing that type of style also, which is a good strategy. However, if a lot of people are playing tight, I’ll open up my game. I’ll play as aggressively as the other people at the table will let me get away with. Overall, I can’t really say what the right way to play at the final table is, but you have to have to play based on your table.
PND: What advice do you have for beginners?
Herm: My best advice would be to learn the basics first and play really tight. That’s how you win at lower-stakes games. You might not be able to kill people with aggression in lower-stakes games because it’s only a $5 or $10 buy-in, so I think playing tight is the key.
PND: What have you used your winnings on?
Herm: I bought my first house back home in Pennsylvania. I also bought my second house in Ocean City, New Jersey, which is ten minutes from Atlantic City and right on the beach. My two houses have been my biggest investments. I’m a bankroll nit, so I don’t spend my money on too many things, but I really like my houses and I think that they’re good investments.
PND: How does multi-tabling affect your game? Does it change how you’d play if you only had one table open?
Herm: I like playing six to ten tables at once, especially early on in tournaments, because it keeps me grounded and it keeps me playing tight. I’m not playing very many hands and I’m not going to bust myself early. It’s going to be hard to pick up on what people are doing, but early on, I don’t think that really matters. If people are going to play aggressively early, I let them run me over. Later on, if I get deep in a tournament, I’ll only have a few windows open. That’s the point when I need to focus on who is playing aggressively and who is folding every hand.
PND: What is your monitor setup like? Do you use any features that online poker sites offer, such as four color decks?
Herm: I never use the four color deck, but I have a computer back home with four monitors. I don’t like it that very much because four monitors is too many for me. Two 24-inch monitors are ideal for me. A couple of my friends have just one 30-inch monitor and that works out well for them. As far as my tables go, I put a little bit of overlap with six tables on one screen if I’m playing that many. A little overlap doesn’t bother me. I’d rather each table be just a little bit bigger.