Part One: Where Did Online Poker
Fish Come From?
written by BeatTheFish.com
The explosion of televised poker
tournaments and lipstick cameras has ushered in a new era of poker
popularity. Thousands of new players flocked to the game, mainly the
Texas Hold 'em variation, hoping to emulate their TV heroes for fame
and fortune. The logical starting place would be the local cardroom,
where new players can try to improve their game against real
players. Unfortunately, casinos don't exist in many places of the
country. Others may feel too intimidated to enter a physical
cardroom for the first time.
Enter online poker.
Beginning about four years ago, startup
companies began to cash in on poker's new popularity and create
online poker rooms. New poker prospects could play online
anonymously from anywhere at anytime. Just fund your account, choose
your game, and play your cards against thousands of real players
from all over the world. Over these 4 years, online poker has become
a booming industry. New players who've just watched Daniel Negreanu
crush the competition at a WPT event rush over to their computers to
deposit with the poker room with the coolest commercial. Thousands
of inexperienced players can enter any online game so long as they
have the buy-in.
Enter the fish.
This is the new breed on online player.
They've watched Chris Moneymaker take home a couple million bucks by
putting in his whole stack with nothing. They've watched
professionals raise with A-5 offsuit from late position and catch
two fives on the flop. Why can't they do it, too?
Usually they're harmless. Players who
know their stuff, read and study poker books, and stay on top of
their game can make a killing off of this type of player. They'll
bluff off all of their chips when you have the nuts and you'll love
it. They're also dangerous and can put you off your game. How many
times have you been on Party Poker playing $1-2 No-Limit Hold 'em
and raised 4x the big blind with A-K and get called by A-5 only to
watch the flop come A-6-5 rainbow. "Great!", you're thinking as you
reraise your clueless opponent for all his chips. You don't catch a
K on the turn or river and you're left wondering why he stayed in
the hand at all.
You try to shrug it off and you get
dealt pocket Aces the very next hand. Your fishy buddy has position
on you so you just call the big blind from early position. Everyone
folds to him who makes the minimum raise. Why do these players do
that so often? What's the point? How many times have you seen this
open up the betting action and the smooth caller comes back over the
top of the minimum-raiser for a huge raise? Everyone folds. Why
don't they either call or make a real raise? Or why don't they go
find a Limit game if they're going to play like that? Oh, well.
Anyway, everyone folds back to you and you just call the minimum
raise hoping to trap the fish. The flop comes J-4-9 rainbow. Another
seemingly great flop for you. You make a good pot-sized bet here and
the fish comes over the top and raises you all you've got! You
decide to call as he turns over J-2 offsuit. Finally you've got him!
The turn brings a K and the river brings a deuce. You pound your
computer monitor as you click to exit the poker room. You're down
$400 with two premium hands.
"Why me?", you ask the Poker Gods in the
sky. It happens. These are real hands that I've been involved in,
and something similar will probably happen to you (if it hasn't
already) if you play online poker much. My goal is to teach you how
to keep these situations to a minimum, and if it does happen anyway,
how to deal with it without blowing off anymore of your chips.
The keys are hand selection, proper
play, and discipline.
Continue to Part
Back to Poker
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