How to Become an Online Poker Shark

How to Become an Online Poker Shark

0 comments 29 March 2020, 13:06

The game of poker has a lot of slang terms, two of them being “fish” and “shark”. A fish is a player that is below average. He knows how to play but makes plenty of rookie mistakes. Everyone begins as a fish when they are just starting, but only a few make it to the shark level.

In the real life, the shark is a special kind of fish, one that eats other small fishes.  So, in poker, a shark is a top player, the one that is usually the best at the table.

Every player’s dream is to become a shark one day, but this is definitely not easy. You need countless hours of playing, you need to read poker books and articles, to hire a coach, to use software tools that analyze your game and your decisions and more. It takes a lot of time and effort, but in the end it’s well worth it.

The first main thing that makes the difference between a fish and a shark is experience. You can’t buy it and you can’t fake it. The only way to gain it is by playing countless hours, making mistakes and learning from them.

Instead of always losing money and learning from mistakes, you can sign up to an online poker training program or hire a coach. This is not a shortcut to getting rich, but it will definitely save you a lot of money on the long run.

A very important thing to keep in mind is to control your VPIP / PFR / AG. Many fish players have a very high VPIP (Voluntarily Put In Pot) of 50% or more, while sharks have a VPIP between 8 and 20 (in full ring hold’em) and between 15 and 30 (in 6-max hold’em).

Folding is not a bad thing and should be used as often as needed. While very few players can still win with a VPIP outside of that range, your initial goal should be to stay there. If you call too often the average quality of your hand will be low, and you will end up losing.

The next main skill needed to be a shark is aggression. If you are too passive, then others will sense this and will take advantage of it. This is a difficult skill to master and will require a lot of time and practice.

Many consider that the PFR (Preflop Raise) should be 2/3 of your VPIP. So if your PFR is just 2%, then you need to be more aggressive. AG (the Aggression Postflop) should also be quite high. Don’t just call. If your hand is strong, raise, otherwise just fold.

Using a poker tracking tool such as Holdem Manager or Poker Tracker can really help you in passing the fish level and slowly getting to the shark level. These tools do not analyze just your games, but those of your opponents as well. So then you will be able to easily find the fish and take advantage of them. It’s no wonder that fish players are also known as “ATMs”.

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