what even makes a fish?
Every time a hand is lost someone calls someone else a fish.  Are these really fish? In todays poker its my opinion that pot odds force people to make certain calls with weird hands. Its my opinion that every once in a while you must throw a curveball, by definition being something they dont expect in order to throw them off and gain their chips. Theres a few differences between true fish and playing a bad hand.  

Let me explain.  I get called a fish everyonce in a while.  I wonder to myself sometimes am I really being a fish or do these people not know what theyre talking about, or just not understand as well as me.  Or do I not understand as well as them?

So I spend hours thinking about it.  Many times it boils down to math.  A funny example will be from my 65suited.  I like this hand.  I raise with this hand moreso than not.  Its not really a fish hand not in my opinion.  Now if I get reraised and then someone else raises them and its back to me to call 6 times what I already put in, then its probably a fish call.  That needs to be folded in just about every case, unless you have monster stacks and got the people you are up against pegged.

But Im at this table MTT half way through.  I am doing well.  I am dealt 56hearts. I am on small blind.  One guy calls, then another, then another.  Theres 3 people called to me, I think it was 125 to call.  So I call. Big blind raises! minraise 250 LOL.  what does everybody do?  Call, call, call.  
All the way to me.  So thats like a 2000 pot, and it will cost me 250 more to see a flop. Once I click call, the action is closed and we see a flop.  So I call.  

Flop comes 4h 8s kc
I am first to act.  I dont like betting on gutshots especially in a pot with so many players.  But the fact is I have 456 8.  There had to be 2000 in this pot.  I maybe shouldhave bet here just to get some answers but I checked.  The big blind acted next and he bet minimum bet.  3 more people call.  so its 250 for me to call to potentially win a pot worth 3000+  And if I get the card I need, these people will never expect it.  IT WOULD BE STUPID TO FOLD HERE.  and I hope you agree.  

So I call and get my 7 on the turn and its a heart 🙂

45678, and 4 of them are hearts!  I check. We can argue about that until sunday but I checked.  My plan worked, the big blind bet minimum bet.  call call call 🙂
It gets to me and the pot is now 4000ish so I raise to something like 1600.  everyone folds except one guy who calls.  He was in mid position.  The river was a blank and now it was on me to act.  was he going for a flush?  I needed to get some money from him.  the pot should have been 7200.  I cant tell you how many chips I had but I ended up betting about 2500. He called and showed QQ.

So it was perfect.  I limped in the small blind because everyone did and I got a great deal with my hidden hand. Then on the flop I was last to act by letting the big blind do the betting.  So again I had a fantasic price to call and amazing implied odds to get a 7 and no one seen it coming.  Everyone thought they had a good hand so, it was perfect.  

Of course the guy got angry and started calling me a fish.  What pisses me off is that even someone else spoke up and said something about a fishy call.  Were these people serious? Had they not seen the odds I had?  Do they not see the beauty in hitting a straight like that with 65suited?  How could I possibly get called a fish here by two people?  One not even involved in the hand!!

And it just started making me think, you know, some people know a lot and their brains are odds calculators by nature, and some people just know how poker is played and they think they know everything.  Its like most people think youre automatically a fish if you win the hand with 48offsuit.  No ifs ands or butts, youre a god damned fish.  And they probably note you this way.  

Ive spent a lot of time wondering if I am a person who knows the game well or if I am still blinded to these esoteric secrets that leave me scratching at the wrong side of the fence.  Lots of times Im on top of my game and I am confident at everything I do.  Then there are times when people question my moves and I hit a losing streak and find myself intimidated at every table I sit at.  

But these are the facts.  If I raise to 300 and you raise to 900 and I raise to 3200, and you call with 53, thats pretty fishy.  If I bet all in after that and you call  with a flop A26, your a fish.  But if you limp in with great odds with a nice suited connector, or hey, even sometimes with 53, thats not so bad.  I dont think theres anything wrong with limping in with shitty hands as long as you see that the people at the table arent raising all the much.  It a funny thing about poker, if you raise with a hand and then bet, and win, you are not a fish.  But if you call a raise and call a bet and win, you get called a fish.  If I raise with 53hearts before the flop and bet on a blank flop and bet on a blank turn and win with a 3 on the river, its a good play.  But if someone raises me and I call with 53hearts and win with a 3 on the river that I chased, I would be a fish.  Dont make a habbit of 53, but once in a while its the curveball that just might help you.  And as for 56suited, I will keep raising with that I love those hands.  But maybe Im just on the wrong side of the fence 😉

Some good lessons here are these :  Fuck off with the minimum bet shit.  If you have QQ and the whole table limps to you, what do you think you will accomplish by raising one more big blind all the way around?  Lets say there are 6 people in the hand and the blinds are 50/100.  Everyone calls 100.  Theres 600 in the pot. The big blind has KK and he raises one big blind, to 200.  Everyone calls.  Now there is 1200 in the pot and he has a 1/6 chance  of winning the hand.  A better play would be to raise it to 500.  Theres 600 in the pot and a 500 raise makes it 1100.  not everyone will call 400 more, but 1 or 2 might.  Lets say 2 call.  Now the pot is 2100 instead of 1100, and you have a 1/3 chance of winning.  Building the pot is one thing, but you dont ever want to play against 6 people in a hand, not even with AA. 

Same goes for post flop.  You made a raise 3xbb before the flop and 2 people called.  The pot is now 900.  the flop comes and you bet 100 min bet?  Even if you have AA that is a stupid play.  Your just asking people to call and suck out a hand on the river, and then you will be calling him a fish on your way home wondering how he could make such a bad call with Q8off.  leave the minimum bets at home.  Small bets are ok, min bets are different, and they have a use but its rare.  If a pot is 1000, and 100 is the min bet, try betting 300 or 400 instead.  Anything but 100.

Its pretty easy to spot fish these days.  Just look for the people who call you a fish.