How to deal with poker fish

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Cory | Poker Articles, Poker Cash Games

Submitted by Cory, this article belongs to the Poker Cash Games series.

Cory wrote this great article on how to deal with poker fish in order to maximize your winnings against them. Basically it’s all about treating poker as your business and the poker fish as your customers. Great stuff Cory!!

A few of the biggest super stars in poker have made a name for themselves by insulting other players at the table during televised tournaments.  Unfortunately the general public who gets in to poker via TV broadcasts thinks this is just how good players should treat bad players when the bad players get lucky and win.  However, these poker fans, turned rounders are forgetting some key factors.

First, the TV players are almost always playing tournaments where the poker fish can’t ask for a table change, or just get up and cash in their chips.  Most other poker players are likely playing cash games where they benefit from keeping the easy money at the table.

The second thing is the rounder at the local card room isn’t performing for a television audience.  Whether or not you enjoy the antics of these opinionated players, it raises the profile of the sites they represent.  Thing is, you and I aren’t representing poker sites.  Poker is our job and the card room is our office.

Just think of how house games at casinos work.  The casino spreads a game like blackjack which has a very small edge for the house, so the player might win some hands, maybe even have some big winning nights.  However, the casino knows that regardless of how much a blackjack player wins, the house will get it all back and then some.  Why else do you think the casino comps the big table game winner’s room and meals?  They want this guy to stick around and keep playing blackjack, because it’s just a matter of time before they win all of his money back.

If you’re the better poker player, you need to have this same approach.  When a poor player draws out on you, tell him nice hand, don’t quote the odds and tell him how bad he plays, it’s bad for business.  If you beat the fish in a large pot, tell him how he played it right and you just got lucky.  It is your responsibility to make sure that your opponents are having a good time and enjoying losing their money to you.  I’ve even gone as far as buying a round of cocktails for the whole table to get a couple guys who were racking up to stay longer.  This little trick has paid dividends.

Most poker players are coming and losing.  Give them the entertainment they are paying for and they’ll come pay you to give them a fun night out more frequently.

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