The learning curve that every poker fan must experience allows a novice player to acquire new skills and abilities. Although among the experienced a fish in poker raises doubts and is usually exploited, in reality it is a position we have all been in and it is a natural phase of learning.
A small fish in poker is a player who barely has enough level to know how to play against someone who is not a professional, but an intermediate level player. That’s why a fish in poker is usually the player that everyone wants to squeeze to increase their chip stack at the expense of their inexperience. Frustrating? Very, but there is only one way to get out of it: training.
Characteristics of a fish in poker
Although in poker a fish is associated with inexperience, in reality it is not enough to recognize it. To x-ray a fish and to know that it is really a fish to sink your teeth into, the player must meet a series of requirements. His “qualities”, of which he should not be very proud, and which will give him away in front of players of a higher level, are the following:
- He plays too many hands. This is what usually gives a fish away in poker: he plays too many hands. This shows a lack of judgment, which will make him lose chips and will cause other more experienced players to catch him right away. And that only means one thing: losing and losing ad infinitum.
- He constantly maintains a passive position. Initiative is important in poker. Another of the hallmarks of a fish in poker is that it suffers from a clear lack of it in each round. A passivity that as time goes by, it is noticeable that it is not faked (faking it can be a good resource for a bluff), and that will never position him well in the game.
- You can tell he doesn’t understand probabilities. Bad decisions are made by errors of judgment and / or calculation, but when they are recurrent, they denote lack of experience and a deep misunderstanding of the situation of the game, ergo is a player who is not understanding what he has before his eyes and is playing blindly. That can only be done by a fish.
- Emotionally, he is unpredictable. There are more or less volatile players, but fishs are on another level. They do not know how to control their emotions, and what is worse: they do not know how to hide them to, at least, avoid being x-rayed. This is something that improves with experience and is hardened over time.
- He does not adapt, or it is very difficult for him. Everyone has different levels of adaptability during their training process, but when the tables turn and someone repeatedly finds it hard to get hooked, they may be a little fish that constantly feels out of place. This usually comes along with other indicators that you will have identified earlier, so x-raying the fish is going to be simple.
Characteristics of a shark in poker
Sharks are the opposite of fishs. They are voracious, ambitious, experienced players who will not hesitate to eat the inexperienced ones. Hence the analogy of their names.
What identifies a shark and differentiates him from other types of players is the following:
- He studies the game in detail. Sharks are experienced; hence they have a great analytical capacity. They are great professionals who know the particularities of the game.
- They have an absolute control of the game and its emotions. They are good at reading tells, but this has a double advantage for them: they know how to hide theirs very well. In poker, a shark knows how to read the tells of others without being read, how to play without X-raying their game, and that makes them very dangerous for a small fish with little experience.
- They play on a regular basis. Consistency is what makes them get better and stay in shape, that’s why they are regular players in online poker rooms. But that doesn’t mean they burn their chips or play for the sake of playing. They are great managers of their bankroll, ensuring continuity at the tables. A poker shark knows when to attack and when to be conservative in the game.
- They play few hands. They can barely play 10% of the hands. But when they do play, they go all in. Their façade of credibility and forcefulness makes a shark in poker instill fear when they play a hand, something terrible for fishs.
- He has initiative and is disciplined. Discipline is one of the basic pillars of a shark. Poker is a game that requires great analytical skills, emphasis on training and proper management of resources, and to improve in the theoretical and practical level of poker it is necessary to follow routines, something that can only be maintained over time by being disciplined. The increase in training and the acquisition of knowledge allows them to take the lead in the hands they play.
How to go from a fish to a shark in poker
It is frustrating for a poker fish to become aware of the long journey from fish to shark. But that metamorphosis comes on its own, and it is accomplished with training and experience.
You don’t get out of the beginner’s zone overnight, but with practice, time spent and the acquisition of new skills, you reach a level that automatically turns the novice player into a mid-level player. One more step away from the fish zone and closer to the shark group.