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Fish don't fold


Fish love calling

Fish love gambling


I am seriously looking to get a big banner across the top of my monitor that says "FISH DON'T FOLD"


Aggressive plays like floating, restealing, 3-bets, reshoves, stop and gos - these plays are like water vs an oil fire when playing fish.

The reason they don't work well is that Aggressive plays are predicated on a bluff-dynamic. You are typically are looking to make these plays with some equity (ie restealing with broadway cards) that will flop well. The idea is that your goal is a fold, you will settle for a flop and you want to be ahead of your opponents range when doing so.

So this should work great with fish? Broadway cards are far ahead of their 86o limping ranges right?

You will be but when you play these tactics against fish, since your goal is a fold and you settle on luck to flop well.. their goal is to gamble. So by making these plays against fish opponents you are playing their goals rather than your goals.


Aggressive plays rely on one of two types of players typically :

- Good players

- Weak players


Good players will have a high enough level of thinking that they will factor in their cards, your range, their/you position, bet sizing, stack sizes, equity --- and most importantly, they have the ability to know when to fold

Weak players will not really have a high enough level of thinking as the Good players but they will likely factor in basic elements like their stack, your stack, their cards and your bet size. Unless they are a stonking hand, you will get a fold our of fear rather than smart thinking.


Fish will however see calling you as an opportunity to gamble. Play the All-In-Game and they will see if they can pull a great suckout to double-up.


Against fish the only thing that matters are the cards. Every tactic you have that requires some reactionary thinking from your opponent are completely useless against Fish.

So when you have AK, c-bet and are called, keep firing multiple barrels and then think on the river "If I were my opponent, I would know that these bets are coming from a player with a very low VPIP, he has only been showing down with monsters so far and he raised PRF UTG. He has commited a large portion of his stack with his action and now he is asking me to call a bet for the entire pot, his whole stack and unless I have an absolute monster, I am folding here"

You make the play, your opponent takes a few seconds to think and this is what goes through his head

"I have a pair of 3s, i am going to win a big pot!"

He calls, you bust, you facepalm and then remind yourself that



So a tactic that is predicated on the strong likelihood that an opponent will fold and are making plays against opponents that won't fold, whilst your tactic is strong, your application of it against these opponents are poor and you will fail.


In the micro limits, whilst there are a small number of good players, regulars and people that fall into the Weak or Good category, the majority are bad players or just outright donkfish.


Since in Poker we have to deal in likelihoods.

It is MORE likely that fish will call your aggressive plays

You are MORE likely to lose money if your aggresive plays see more calls than folds

It is MORE likely that micro limit tournaments will have a higher fish/good player ratio

It is then MORE likely that the players in these tournaments will be fish and aggressive plays will not work well against them and MORE likely you will lose money


Result - Don't make Aggressive Plays in Micro Limits


I have been doing a lot of analysis of my play recently, I started studying a lot and investing time in education that focuses on strong tactics but now realize that I was applying them in totally the wrong arena. I look back at my success rate before I took onboard this education and after, and the net result is a downward sloping performance line.

I didn't put it together since my thinking was STRONG PLAYS + GOOD PLAYER (me) = PROFIT

I was oblivious to the fact that the plays were not universal across every type of opponent and were not able to work vs fish. So I was not only making this play against fish, I was doing so in a game where the ratio of fish:non-fish was higher.

The bust hands I kept seeing were opponents that would limp in and call reshoves. Mostly with hands they didn't want to initially raise with. In these spots I am playing their game "the gambling all-in game" rather than my game "the fold-your-crap-hand game"


It is frustrating to come to these realizations AFTER losing some money in the process but hopefuly my analysis is correct and by tightning up my play, looking to exploit the weaker players and not taking these aggressive plays which are I deem too risky, I can recover my losses in the long-term



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