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Poker Tournament Fish
They are easy to spot. They’re in every hand and they always have to see the flop. A pre-flop raise won’t even make them flinch. If one of their hole cards happen to be an Ace, you can be sure that little fishy will swim all the way to the river. They don’t bet often, but will call often. Somehow, these fish get lucky and catch their cards (usually on the river). When the fish fires at the pot, beware and run away quickly – unless, of course, you’ve got the nuts.
Chasing a strait or a flush is common among these players. It doesn’t matter how many outs they have or Bodog Life Pokerwhat the pot odds are. Any two cards can be a good hand to a fish. Position has no bearing on their game and usually in these events is impossible to play.
So how do you eliminate these lucky fish from the tournament? You don’t. Just sit back and wait for them to go belly-up.
Fish have a tendency to self-destruct. Playing against them requires patience and self-discipline. A conservative approach is best. Because they are in every hand, the chances of them catching the cards they need are increased. The same would be true if you played every hand. The difference is that fish will be throwing money into every pot. By playing a conservative tight game, you will be holding on to a larger chunk of your chips.
Do not play too tightly, however. If you only try to play the top ten starting hands, you will blind yourself out of the game. It is possible to play for three or four hours and never see the monster hands. Instead, be selective with your starting hands. Play your position, but do not be too aggressive. Gunning for the fish is fatal. It’s okay to let other players rake in pots against the fish. Eventually, the fish will take each other out.
If you are heads-up in a hand with a fish on the short stack, force them to play by your rules. Lay down weak hands if they happen to fire at a pot. Re-raise over the top of fish if you have the hand. Make them come to you. Remember, you are the fisherman, they are the fish. Slowly, chip away at their stacks. These types of players will tighten their game as soon as they realize they are on the short stack – their whole game will begin to change. In contrast, they will lay down more hands and not chase draws to the river. As soon as this metamorphosis happens, play your position.
Try bluffing occasionally. Do not bluff too aggressively and never bet a large portion of your chip stack to try and take these players out. The opposite may happen and they will double up. Fish can not last long when they play tight. Their need to see the cards all the way to the river will overpower them and soon they will be back to their fishy ways.
Play a conservative game. Pick your starting hands carefully. Play position at key times, but do not try to bluff fish out of a hand if they continue to check/call – it doesn’t work. Fish will play just about any two cards. And they will pay a substantial amount to see the flop. Be patient. There will always be a few fish that swim through the net during the first few rounds of blinds. When the blinds are a little higher, fish are not as apt to call pre-flop raises or huge bets if they only have an ace high. They will try to change their style of play. Few fish survive the game to play at the higher blind levels. But many cannot resist seeing the flop, the turn, and the river. At this stage, they are fish out of water.
Wait until you flop that monster hand. Dangle a little bait, let them nibble. If you overplay your hand, they will swim away. When they are ready, the fish will grab the hook and you can reel in the fish and the pot. If you give them enough line, these types of players will self-destruct. The hardest part will be to steer clear of the current and outlast them with enough of a chip stack to contend with the increasing blind level.
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