Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Bug's Poker Tip #19

Follow Through With The Fish

We've all heard advice that says you need to identify the fish at your table. Most of your profit will come from mistakes that your opponents make, and fish make most of those. Ergo, you need to spend much of your time identifying the worst players at your table....ah, but then you actually have to do something about it, too. Merely identifying the fish isn't enough; you have to actively attack their weaknesses. Imagine, for instance, that a player three seats to your right limps into a lot of pots. He plays fit-or-fold poker. You identify this as fishy behavior. Okay, that's good, but now what? What exactly are you going to do with this information? (Answer: iso raise and then c-bet a wide range of flops.) Or imagine that you see another player frequently calling down light and/or chasing draws. You identify this as fishy behavior, so what's your plan to make money from it? (Answer: value bet strongly with your TPTK+ hands.) Beating the fish isn't particularly difficult if you spend the time to develop some basic strategies that exploit these mistakes. The fish think they're playing good poker, and your job is to take advantage of that poor perception and attack it. In the run up to WWII, the French built the long, imposing Maginot Line of defensive forts, tank traps, artillery, and other fixed defensive positions on their eastern border. The Germans examined this defensive line, found the weakness, and simply attacked by going around the wall to the north. Poker is very similar; find the fish, identify their mistakes, and attack strongly. Your profit comes from the fish, but only if you actively bait the hook and put it in the water. Otherwise, you're simply watching them swim around at the table and keep their money to themselves.

All-in for now...
-Bug

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