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Old 03-04-2009, 08:53 PM   #1
Zeth
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The Three Basic Fish Types

(NOTE: Don't be scared by the tl;dr. The bonus material is optional/semi-humorous-with-a-purpose reading. The real meat is before the divider.)

Don't believe what High Stakes Poker would lead you to think: Nowhere besides on TV do the world's best pros seek out one another for games. Since the dawn of poker, at every level from .01/.02 to the biggest games on the planet, the top players have chased the fish. Profit in poker comes from the fish. It's a plus, and it feels good, to be able to show a profit when playing against regs, but the biggest chunk of your poker profits comes straight from the donators, the ATMs, the live ones. In fact, if you've reached a point where you're sincerely posting a positive winrate against most other regs over decent samples, you should be looking to move up at the first good opportunity.

For some of you this may simply be 'ldo', so just skip it if it is, but I've been encouraged to post this stuff that I've shared in private a few times, so I hope it'll be a helpful contribution.

So I give you 'How to Clean Out the Fish By Becoming a Fish, Only Smarter.'

There are three basic types of fish. There are, of course, variations and subtypes, but all of them fall into three very basic categories, and are easily characterized by certain traits. What's more, the three basic fish types work very much like rock-paper-scissors: Each fish style is particularly weak against one other fish style, and particularly strong against one other fish style.

1. The Loose Passive (a.k.a. Calling Station)
Main Weakness: Calls too much.
Typical Stats: 21/3, 19/0, 31/4, 60/5. Look for a low (less than 1) AF and a low fold to cbet. For extra profits, check fold to turn cbet over larger samples if you can, and Went to Showdown %. You can usually identify a loose-passive within 50 hands; they just don't bet or raise very much.
Beat them by: Playing Weak-tight, except thinner. What I mean is, top pair/top kicker is pretty much the nuts until the station tells you otherwise, and you can and should go for three streets of value against a station with TP/TK (or better, obviously.) Here's where the weak-tight comes in: If a loose passive bets at you or raises you, fold (unless you're holding the nuts/near-nuts, of course.)

This is probably the most common kind of fish. His primary weakness is calling too much; exploit it by ruthlessly betting for value.

2. The Aggrodonk
Main Weakness: Bets/raises too much.
Typical Stats: 31/25, 40/30, 55/30, 70/45. Look for a very high AF, usually a low fold to cbet, damn near 100% cbet%, particularly a lot of flop aggression. Also, every now and then you'll see a player that's more loose-passive preflop (35/7 and stuff) but turns into an aggrodonk postflop. Usually you can identify an aggrodonk within 20-30 hands without the help of a HUD. They dominate tables and are very conspicuous.
Beat them by: Becoming a calling station! This is a very typical mistake I see uNL'ers make, because good poker is aggressive poker and we're just wired and conditioned to loathe the 'Call' button. But you should almost never bet at or raise an aggrodonk before the river. His weakness is that he bets too much; exploit it by calling down light. If you hit top pair/good kicker, you should check and call every street. Better than that, tend to check/call the flop and turn and then check/raise the river. Be very suspicious when an aggrodonk checks; they tend to be opposite players and when they check, a lot of the time they're (poorly) hiding a monster.

3. The Weaktight (a.k.a. fit-or-fold)
Main Weakness: Folds too much.
Typical Stats: Preflop they can range from super nitty (8/2, 7/6) to loose passive (32/5, 44/3). Postflop, their fold to cbet is very high, their fold to turn cbet is often high as well, and their Went to Showdown is usually low (and their W$SD is usually high, because they rarely reach showdown without the nuts.)
Beat them by: Being an aggrodonk. You should iso-raise these guys in position at every reasonable opportunity, almost regardless of your cards (bonus points if the blinds are tight). You cards hardly matter, because as far as the weaktight is concerned you're always holding top pair/top kicker. He'll tend not to continue unless he can beat TP/TK. If they flop second pair or a good draw they may call your cbet, and then fold to a second barrel on the turn.

In other words, the same play that would be setting money on fire against a loose passive is highly profitable against a weaktight. Weaktights will lead out with mediocre/good hands (unlike loose passives), but as with the loose passive, if this guy comes out raising, it usually means it's time to get out. Not showing down weak hands against weaktights helps, so they can keep assuming you have TP/TK every time you bet.

----------------------------

BONUS MATERIAL! Here's the results of a survey filled out by three fish.

QUESTION 1: Why do you play poker?
Loose Passive Lester: For the excitement. I love getting to showdown and turning over the hands and seeing who's best. Also, I like to compare the photo of my baby in my avatar to other people's babies in their avatars.
Al the Aggrodonk: lol pokers all about who has the biggest schlong at the table and GUESS WHAT IT'S ME. whoever wins the most pots has the biggest schlong obv.
J. Random Weaktight: It's all about playing solid values and making sure you don't get outplayed by a hand you didn't expect.

QUESTION 2: What's the primary goal in poker?
Loose Passive Lester: Reaching showdown and seeing who's best.
Al the Aggrodonk: winning the most pots ldo
J. Random Weaktight: Winning the highest percentage of the pots you enter.

QUESTION 3: What one thing do you hate most at the table?
Loose Passive Lester: People that constantly raise preflop. Why would they want to make it harder to get to showdown?
Al the Aggrodonk: crappy stupid retards that call my 2 bets + overshove with nuthin but top pair they r sooooo bad at poker they should diaf
J. Random Weaktight: Luckboxes that ALWAYS seem to hit the flop.

QUESTION 4: When you flat Hero's raise in the blinds and he bets at you on the flop, he has:
Loose Passive Lester: ...why does that matter? What am I, a mind reader?
Al the Aggrodonk: prob blufin ill raise if i have a pair and fold if i dont
J. Random Weaktight: Top pair/top kicker.

QUESTION 5: When Hero raises you on the flop, he has:
Loose Passive Lester: Could be anything. Better call him all the way down with ace high just to make sure he isn't bluffing me.
Al the Aggrodonk: hes prob blufin but i'm not stupid lol i'm still gonna fold if i have crap unlike him hes a spewtard and calls down with one pair but sometimes if i have one pair i'll just shove over n show him who's boss
J. Random Weaktight: Top two pair.

QUESTION 6: When Hero flats your pot-size flop bet, he has:
Loose Passive Lester: Two cards. We'll have to wait for showdown to find out which two cards.
Al the Aggrodonk: some random stupid f'in draw ill push him off it
J. Random Weaktight: Top pair/top kicker. I better slow down.

QUESTION 7: When Hero raises preflop, you flat in position and then he checks to you on the flop, he has:
Loose Passive Lester: I don't know. I'm just happy to get to showdown cheaper.
Al the Aggrodonk: nothin ill bet w/nethin and push him out lol poker is ez
J. Random Weaktight: I know he probably missed, but I'm not comfortable betting at him if I missed too, or only hit second pair. He might be slowplaying and trying to check-raise, so unless I have at least a good top pair I'll play it safe and check behind.

Last edited by Zeth; 03-04-2009 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 03-04-2009, 08:59 PM   #2
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Re: The Three Basic Fish Types

+1 vote for sticky or somewhere where so that the noobs can see
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:10 PM   #3
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Re: The Three Basic Fish Types

I love the end interviews.....haha
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:14 PM   #4
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Re: The Three Basic Fish Types

good stuff for all us micro noobs. thanks
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:26 PM   #5
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Re: The Three Basic Fish Types

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeth View Post
The real meat is before the divider.
lol.

Good stuff zeth.
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:29 PM   #6
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Re: The Three Basic Fish Types

sick, will read in a moment =)

looks full of omega 3
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:52 PM   #7
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Re: The Three Basic Fish Types

great post Zeth
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:55 PM   #8
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Re: The Three Basic Fish Types

Excellent post and even with the fun a very good primer/strategy on catching the fishes.
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Old 03-05-2009, 02:09 AM   #9
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Re: The Three Basic Fish Types

Worth a sticky.

The fish archetypes and interviews are perfect.
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Old 03-05-2009, 02:39 AM   #10
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Re: The Three Basic Fish Types

Wow nice, +1 to sticky!
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Old 03-05-2009, 02:51 AM   #11
JH1
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Re: The Three Basic Fish Types

A+

So to summarize in roshambo style:

Calling Station beats Aggro Donk
Aggro Donk beats Weak Tight
Weak Tight beats Calling Station

Sticky this please.

Quote:
QUESTION 6: When Hero flats your pot-size flop bet, he has:
Loose Passive Lester: Two cards. We'll have to wait for showdown to find out which two cards.


Calling Stations generally put you on AK, until a K peels the turn, then they put you on AQ (2 cards).
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Old 03-05-2009, 02:59 AM   #12
DiggaWasgeht?
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Re: The Three Basic Fish Types

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeth;9151336[b
QUESTION 1: Why do you play poker?[/b]
Loose Passive Lester: For the excitement. I love getting to showdown and turning over the hands and seeing who's best. Also, I like to compare the photo of my baby in my avatar to other people's babies in their avatars.
This part is the best, I loled. Very nice article, thanks a lot.
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Old 03-05-2009, 03:03 AM   #13
Pyro12345
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Re: The Three Basic Fish Types

I have a quick critique of one of the points otherwise this is one of the most solid posts ive ever read in unl.

Anyways, against the aggro donks I feel that in some situations it is crucial to raise against them as their betting range includes draws sometimes and you must protect your hand.

However on dry boards you I agree, one can literally stack these guys with an Overpair calling down psbs the whole way.
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Old 03-05-2009, 03:14 AM   #14
3BetWith72
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Re: The Three Basic Fish Types

lovely interview
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Old 03-05-2009, 03:31 AM   #15
Zeth
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Re: The Three Basic Fish Types

Quote:
Anyways, against the aggro donks I feel that in some situations it is crucial to raise against them as their betting range includes draws sometimes and you must protect your hand.
That's sacrificing value because we're afraid of draws, which IMO is a very common flaw among uNL'ers. Yes, sometimes the aggrodonk is drawing, and a certain corresponding percentage of the time he makes it. But:

1. Usually when the draw comes in we'll see it, and won't lose too much to it with our usual calling range against him, and

2. Much, MUCH more often he's betting with nothing, and we lose way too much value by raising him, which denies him the chance to make his mistake (continuing to bluff.)

When you have very obvious draws on board it can be the best play to just raise him out of the pot, but that's much more exception than rule. Most aggrodonks WILL fold if you raise and they have nothing, whereas if you just act weak and call and check they'll keep bluffing. Let them.

To put it another way, to beat an aggrodonk we want to be a station. There are SOME boards on which even a station will fold top pair, and some boards where even a station will raise because he has a big hand and the board is dangerous, and obviously there are some boards where we'll do the same.
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Old 03-05-2009, 04:30 AM   #16
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Re: The Three Basic Fish Types

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeth View Post
pokers all about who has the biggest schlong at the table and GUESS WHAT IT'S ME. whoever wins the most pots has the biggest schlong obv.
Outstanding !
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Old 03-05-2009, 06:52 AM   #17
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Re: The Three Basic Fish Types

A

I personally think that Roshambo is the most overused metaphor in Poker, but this is actually excellent. Sticky that ****.
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Old 03-05-2009, 09:47 AM   #18
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Re: The Three Basic Fish Types

Holy carp! One of those is me.
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Old 03-05-2009, 10:43 AM   #19
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Re: The Three Basic Fish Types

Amazing thread Zeth!

I copied it so you can go ahead and delete it now
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Old 03-05-2009, 10:43 AM   #20
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Re: The Three Basic Fish Types

Quote:
Originally Posted by padstin View Post
great post Zeth
+1
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Old 03-05-2009, 10:46 AM   #21
MartinK1979
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Re: The Three Basic Fish Types

QUESTION 4: When you flat Hero's raise in the blinds and he bets at you on the flop, he has:

J. Random Weaktight[/b]: Top pair/top kicker.


QUESTION 6: When Hero flats your pot-size flop bet, he has:

J. Random Weaktight: Top pair/top kicker. I better slow down.


hahaha A+
I lol'd
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Old 03-05-2009, 12:49 PM   #22
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Re: The Three Basic Fish Types

How did I miss this? Great post.


One thing...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeth View Post

QUESTION 2: What's the primary goal in poker?
Loose Passive Lester: Reaching showdown and seeing who's best.
Al the Aggrodonk: winning the most pots ldo
J. Random Weaktight: Winning the highest percentage of the pots you enter.
I'm pretty just JR would say "having the best hand at showdown."
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Old 03-05-2009, 01:26 PM   #23
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Re: The Three Basic Fish Types

A+, would read again.
As a matter of fact, I will.

Thank you.
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Old 03-05-2009, 01:38 PM   #24
Zeth
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Re: The Three Basic Fish Types

Yeah, good call, Kurt. I'll make a note of it for the 2nd edition printing
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Old 03-05-2009, 01:47 PM   #25
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Thumbs up Re: The Three Basic Fish Types

A+

The post is very good and the interviews are

Thx and yeah, +1 for sticky
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