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ArticlesBasicsFixing Leaks: Winning more money vs the Fish.
Fixing Leaks: Winning more money vs the Fish.
Written by: Hoodlincs · Date Added: 22 Oct, 2011 · Number of views: 3174
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Table selecting and getting into pots with the fish. This article is also available in this free video if you would prefer to watch it rather than read the information here.

2 broad player types. Regs and fish. Regs are people who know roughly what they are doing, playing multiple tables, and generally quite tight aggressive. Fish are the bad players.

Why are fish bad? Generally, they are going to play too many hands preflop which is going to lead to them getting into tough post flop positions where they have a marginal hand and dont know what to do with it. The more tricky spots you put yourself in, the more mistakes you are likely to make. Additionally, they typically over value weak hands postflop, try to bluff catch too much, and dont adjust to their opponents by taking different lines or betting patterns.

Table selecting – when you first log onto the poker client.

we want high players to flop% as fish usually play too many hands whilst regs play too few
we want high average pot, as this indicates people are splashing money around.
Start tables – rather than join waitlists, sit on your own. Fish want to just sit down and play whilst regs want to wait so chances are that you end up with fish sitting down at your table.

Identifying the fish – this is your first goal at a new table. If there isn't one, you should move.

sat with a random stack size. No auto reload. Regs use auto reload.
Limping in.
showing down trashy hands.
Talking in the chat

Exploiting the fish -

Take notes in the player note function. They usually play the same way with different hand strengths and are very predictable.
For example, leading draws but check-raising their good made hands. Min-betting, or block betting, with weak showdown value, etc etc. You only find out through observation.
After a few showdowns you will have a good idea of their ranges for made hands/draws.
if you see them take an action and fold later (e.g. lead half pot on the flop and check-fold the turn), then you know how they play their bad hands.
Trust your notes until they show you otherwise.
If they later take a line which contradicts your notes, change them and adjust your play based on it.
Very few fish have the same betting pattern with both strong and bad hands (which is partly why they are bad), whilst regs know they have to bet the same size with strong hands and bluffs.
Therefore we can play a very wide range of hands against them because they are allowing us to play very well against them postflop. We will know when they are strong and when they are weak.
Some fish will limp/fold a lot and this is just free money. You can notice this from making a note when you see them do it. Theres also stat in holdem manager for this.
When they limp/call they will have a weak range which doesnt hit many flops.
A lot of fish will either never fold to a continuation bet (cbet), or fold way too often. Its not uncommon to see a fish with 10-25% fold to cbet, or a fold to cbet up in the 60's. In the first case, we have good implied odds vs him, getting value when we hit and can just check-fold when we miss. In the 2nd case, we have so much bluffing potential that we will just be able to win the pot on the flop without worrying about hand strength.

Some examples hands:

1) An opponent limps in early position, we have seen him limp/fold before. We have also seen him limp/call and check-fold some flops. His hud stats are 46/12 with 55% fold to cbet, and 5% raise cbet. We are on the button, it folds to us. We should be raising here with a really wide range. I would recommend pumping it up to 4.5 big blinds (bb) with any king, any ace, any two cards 7 or higher, and any pair. Why?

Well 1, it discourages the blinds from re-raising when you make it bigger. 2, there is 2.5bb in the pot. We risk 4.5bb on our isolation raise. We need 64% immediate fold equity. We have some but we probably dont have that. 3, and the main reason we iso raise so wide is because he is folding to 55% of cbets. When he calls, the pot will be 10.5bb in size. We can make a halfpot cbet of 5bb, and we will only need 32% fold equity in a spot where on average he will fold 55% of the time. This is where you make your money in Poker, exploiting situations where your reward is much higher than your risk.

I would be playing much tighter out of position because it is less likely he limp-folds, and less-likely he folds to a cbet. People play more straightforward when they are out of position. If we happen to get called on the flop, I would be 2barreling top pair or better and checking back everything else – his range is relatively strong when he calls. If he check-raises the flop I am usually giving him a lot of credit and folding anything except an overpair until he shows me can bluff.

2)We raise the cutoff with QJ, it folds around to the big blind who calls. He is quite a loose passive player, who defends his blinds a lot. His stats are 28/7 and he has a donk bet% of 30. the flop comes J74. He leads into us for 1/3rd pot. We have seen him do this before with draws and weak top pair, and middle pair hands. We have never seen him do it with strong top pair or better. What should we do?

We should go ahead and raise here because QJ is a long way ahead of his range in terms of equity, and people who lead with weak pairs or a draw will usually call once to see if they can improve on the turn. We can continue betting any turn card because although we expect him to fold his draws once he misses the turn, we have to give him a chance to make a mistake. If we check we let him see the river for free. We should bet just over halfpot on the turn.

If he calls again, then our river line will depend how often he likes to bluff catch and go to showdown. If you have a note that he is a calling station, bet about half pot again and try to get him to call with a weak pair. If you have a hud, id recommend betting if his went to showdown is 35%+. if you dont have any reads or stats, I would check.

3)A very loose passive calling station limps in middle position. We know he is the type who won't limp/fold, nor will he fold ace high on the flop, or any pair on turn/river unless we bet huge. His stats are 52/3 and his fold to cbet is 20%. his went to showdown is 45% and his won $ at showdown is 25%. We don't want to isolate this player with as many hands as we did before. Why?

Its going to be impossible to win when we miss. Whilst we have good implied odds, hands like K2o or T7o just dont hit enough flops for us to make any money. However, we still want to raise all aces, suited connectors and high card hands just because of the value we can get when we hit.

So, lets assume we raise QJ offsuit and he calls. The flop is 952 rainbow. He checks. We would usually cbet this, however vs this guy we are going to check and give up unless we turn a K,Q,J,T,8 to help improve us. Why?

Because he isnt folding to cbets enough for us to show an immediate profit. And, we cant 2barrel any turn cards apart from a Q or a J because he is going to keep calling down with any pair. If he was to lead into us on a 8 turn we can call knowing that our 2 overs are likely good, as well as the gutshot, and we have implied odds because we know we can get some value when we hit. If the flop was Q27 and he checks, I would just bet 3 streets even if an ace or king comes on the turn/river and I would be sizing my bets so its around 2/3rds of the pot because he is calling down with so many trashy hands.
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