In my prior article called, Poker Players Can Learn A Lot From Fish, I shared the 5 most common mistakes that fish make in an effort to teach you what NOT to do on-the-felt. Avoiding these mistakes strengthens your game and helps you avoid money-losing situations.
Let’s flip the script on our thinking today, and instead of concentrating on what NOT to do, let’s focus on exploiting these same fishy mistakes. We’re working to maximize our profits against Fish, who are the weakest players at the table.
No matter if you are playing tournaments or cash games, it comes in handy to know the math behind preflop ranges and how much equity you need in order to make the call with a specific range of hands. Being able to estimate and correctly estimate poker hand ranges both play a major role in this thought process and if you are playing online, some optional tools such as Equilab help to quickly plug in the numbers while you are playing and determine whether or not a call becomes profitable in the long run.
Let me ask you a question: in which of these situations are you more likely to earn profits?
In your first 2 orbits at the table, you count 9 limps made from various players, most pots are multi-way in a single raised pot and people get to showdown with one pair while holding hands like J♦7♦ and 9♠8♥.
You sit down and you don’t spot a single fish around you. Everybody is open-raising and 3betting and nobody’s limping. As soon as somebody checks postflop, the in-position (IP) player puts out a bet. The worst hand you see at showdown after somebody calls is TPTK.
The game of poker is constantly evolving and there is always something new to learn about player type exploits if you want to stay ahead of the pack and maximize your profit. One thing that is often overlooked is how to exploit specific poker players & strategic pitfalls, board textures or tendencies of your opponents and make them a source of your strategy to become a more profitable player. Let’s review four of the top player categories that can help us understand how to be more profitable at the poker tables when we log in a session.
Folding is the least sexy topic in poker. Folding is just so…final. Your cards hit the muck, you concede the pot to your opponent, and you’re off to the next hand. But the honest truth is that poker players fall into two main categories:
Players that fold far too often
Players that fold far too rarely
There is a third type of player though. A rare breed of player that folds a correct amount of the time and keeps their continuance frequencies and ranges during a poker hand right on track.
The average poker player goes through a very similar path of progression.
They start as a fish who calls too often and folds too rarely. Then they get punished for that and eventually learn that they need to fold some of those junk hands. And then eventually they learn how to put those junk hands back into their ranges, at least sometimes, in smart spots to generate extra profit. The issue is that most TAG and Nit players are stuck in the middle – folding too often for their own good. So either push play and/or continue reading and let’s break this down…
The first time I heard about “running it twice” was watching an episode of High Stakes Poker. Two players agreed to run multiple river cards and suddenly there were two rivers instead of one, pots getting chopped, and a bunch of excitement around the table.
I didn’t understand it at the time, but the option to run it multiple times is an excellent addition to poker. To begin, let’s answer the burning question:
Fishy tables are typically your most profitable kind of poker table. Lots of players who are making massive strategic mistakes allow you to play a simple strategy that allows them to beat themselves. And while you could implement a simple style that makes some money, there are some key areas that you can focus on to maximize your profit in these games.
I came across this quote the other day and absolutely fell in love with it because it’s not just applicable to life, but it suits the poker table as well.
“It’s good to learn from mistakes. It’s better to learn from other people’s mistakes.”
The first thing I asked myself was, “Who makes the most mistakes at my tables?”
They’re the weakest players at any table. They love to see flops so they enter too many pots, and they remain in the pot for too long with weak hands and draws. Fish refuse to fold postflop, they size bets terrible, and they completely misunderstand basic strategy. These mistakes make them the perfect targets for value.
“Are old poker videos still relevant?” This was a question I received a while back, and to be honest, it’s a great one. I’ve been creating poker training videos for about a decade, and it’s totally valid to ask if videos posted in 2014 or 2018 are even worth watching at this point.
In recent years, podcasts have become a hit, and you can find plenty of them in any niche. Poker is no exception, and there are regular podcasts that provide valuable content. Whether it is about strategy, news or anything else, you can learn a lot and have fun at the same time. Many of them will also host special tournaments and promotions, which adds extra value to the whole experience.
So, if you’ve been looking for the best poker podcasts around, here is my top-9 list!