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Friday, June 02, 2006 

Joy to the Fishes in the Deep Blue Sea

FISH ( P ) (fsh)
n. pl. fish or fish·es
Any of numerous cold-blooded aquatic vertebrates of the superclass Pisces, characteristically having fins, gills, and a streamlined body.

Fish. Poker players, as we all know, have a different definition of the word "Fish". For us, it defines someone who is sitting at the poker table with a lot of money to blow off and not a lot of skills to play and win. They are usually rich kids who watch too much TV poker, then decide to play a live game, unknowingly sitting with a table full of poker veterans. Basically, it is someone who is playing at a table which is way out of their league.

Just this week, i sat at a table with one big fish. This kid , sitting on my left, dug his own grave even before the game started, throwing his Rolex Watch in the middle of the table saying "all-in oh!" thinking it was cute. By doing that, he put a big red bulls-eye on his forehead. He then proceeded to blow off about P9,000 in the 20/40 game in a couple of hours. One time he tried to be cute with his Pocket Aces by not raising and got busted when my Q-J suited hit two-pair on the flop. The next day i bought some new jeans and a couple of shirts. Thanks!

Anyway, everywhere you go, fish abound at the poker tables. But, i believe that, in the ultimate reality of things, we are all fish, in one way or another. We always hear stories from players of how great they are and their mind-blowing plays and wonderful bluffs. But only a few will admit their donkey plays and admit that they sometimes play... like fish. Most poker players have an over-bloated estimation of their so-called "skills", especially new players, thinking that because they won a tournament, they can win the WSOP if given a chance. We have to realize that, although we lord over most of our home games or whatnot, all it takes to be a winning player is not rainman-like poker skills but to just be a little bit better than the players at your table. In a table full of fishes, the smartest fish among the bunch will still win.

Look at it this way, Phill Hellmuth is probably one of the best players out there, but in the Big Game, he is a big fish. Several Poker Pros that we admire are actually considerd to be fish in some of the biggest games out there. No matter how good you are, you can be a fish. I dont think Phil Ivey, Doyle Brunson, Chip Reese, and Barry Greenstein would play with each other over and over again and just pass around their money. They need fish at the table, and even the best players can be fishes at that level.

Being a good player doesnt have to mean you have the best "skills". What's more important is Game Selection and Bankroll Management. Another is to resist that donk in all of us and avoid the mistakes that will cost us in the long run. The winning player is usually the one who makes the least mistakes, since you dont need skills to play the nuts and win big showdowns. I know a lot of us know the feeling of donking off all our chips on a bonehead play, one that we could have avoided easily.
Playing winning poker is about making the right decisions, and taking the right risks.

Sharks are fish too. They just happened to be the fastest, strongest, meanest fish out in the water. But not all sharks are Great White Sharks, the pinnacle of the underwater predators' evolution. Great whites have been known to kill and eat other sharks too.

We are all fish. If we just know what waters to swim in and which other fish to play with, we can be a frickin' fat and happy fish!

another great post

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Quote of the Day

  • The best poker I've ever played has always entailed peace. A relaxed comfort. Eyes open, ears open, radar up. Absorbing my opponent's every message. Taking them as they come. Not mixing what those messages are with what I want them to be. It's like an aerial view. A view from above the myriad luck-dependent reactions of those many people who never gain such a peace. And when you gain that view, that peace - when you'd rather have the truth, no matter how disappointing, over a false hope, no matter how desirable - then you're a player. The hand you're on slips into a stream of thousands of other hands, no one of which, because of your lofty view, seems unduly important, no false fearful emotions rise within you. When you gain the peace of lofty perspective, you're a player, and when you're a player, you're free.- from "King of a Small World" by Rick Benett
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