What is a Poker Fish?
Poker players use all sorts of expression to depict the game of poker and other players at the table.
Animals seem to be a favorite genre, especially in the heat of a big pot.
In "Play Poker like the Pros", eleven WSOP bracelets winner Phil Hellmuth introduces his own terminology, which is pretty nice. First the "mouse" is the nit or rock, tight and very cautious. If the mouse starts betting or raising aggressively, run for the exit.Next we have the "lion". He is the solid player using a TAG style. Predictable for the most part, he plays a solid game and does not make many fancy moves.
On the other hand, the so-called "jackal" is the loose maniac. He makes wild plays and crazy bluffs. When he is involved in a hand, pots get bigger. Some of them always bet of raise. If they sit at a table, all other players will change the way they play. Generally speaking they do not stay at a table a long time, especially online, unless they are lucky and make a killing.
The more gentle version of the loose player is the "elephant". Or the calling station in other words. He seems to always wants to see the river, no matter what else is going on. He does not fold to small or even medium size bets.
Finally Phil Hellmuth defines what he calls the "eagle". The eagle is among the top 100 players in the world. The eagle flies high in the sky and feeds from all the other animals. Obviously Phil defines himself as an eagle.
Phil did not use the word fish, did he?
Online Poker Fish & Sharks
No Phil did not use the word fish, because all animals are fish to him, except the eagles.
As a fish is just a bad player. Or rather a worse player than the player who says "you are a fish". To be honest, it is pretty much an insult, but it can be fun to watch other players call each other fish. Like an eagle, do not get involved in such distracting discussions (except for the fun or if your name is Hevad Khan).
In the same class, a donkey designates a very bad player, or as they say online a "donk". Being called a donk is nearly the worse insult at the table, worse than the fish.
Their is no universal definition of a poker fish, and it all depends on who says it. Even some high stakes pros call each other fish. Usually it is a below average poker player (at a given stake level), who knows how to play but has a mediocre or at best average skill level.
Do not worry if you are a novice player and someone calls you a fish, all beginning players start as fish as poker talent cannot be (entirely) received genetically. You need to learn the basics first.
The opposite of the fish is the shark. Like its counterpart the shark in the ocean, the poker shark feeds off all kinds of fish. As the shark is almost never eaten by other fish, the definition of a poker shark is a top poker player who is normally the best player at the table. Based on Phil's bestiary, the shark is an aspiring eagle.
Become an Online Poker Shark
Your goal as a poker player is to become a shark. You will become a shark by playing plenty of online poker, reading books & articles, using poker software tools to help your decisions & analysis and thinking a lot about the game. It takes a tremendous effort to become a poker shark, but once you get there you will enjoy the ride.
One necessary ingredient is experience and there is no substitute for that. One way to speed up your acquisition of knowledge is to listen to the advice of experienced players and to use poker software tools design to help you with odds and player profiling.
One such powerful online poker software tool is pokeredge. This software records the hand histories of millions of online poker players, using a large netword of datamining computers. Whenever and wherever you just sit at an online table, poker-edge will let you know instantly who the fish are and who the sharks are.
No need to be a hero at the online poker table if your goal is to make money. Thus you should aim at finding and playing against weaker players. This is why it is so important to know who the fish are.
There is another kind of animal used to describe poker players, and if you find one, it is your lucky day. These players are called whales, because they are gigantic fish. Pokeredge will help you spot them at the tables.