7th October 2009, 8:47 PM
Poker at: Home
Game: NL Hold'em
7 Signs of a TAGfish ....... Are you one?
Discussion on another article by Daniel Skolovy ............
Top 7 Signs You're a TAGfish
User rating: 4.73 out of 5 (320 votes)
Okay. So I read another Daniel Skolovy article and wanted to bring it up for discussion here on CC.
Basically, the nuts and bolts of the article were how to identify if you are a TAGfish. Most everyone reading this will know what a TAG (Tight Aggressive) player is, but many might not understand that a TAG player might not be the same as a Winning player.
Identifying all TAG players as winning players could be a huge mistake!
Daniel points this out by saying a TAGfish player initially looks just like a winning TAG player, but they are actually just breaking at even or under. A TAGfish player will buy-in with the full buy-in amount. They will top off every hand. They will have decent stats, and think they are playing poker right, but they can't seem to rake in the pots for a winning average.
Daniel goes on to point out the reason for this, just as so many other books and instructions say as well, "Poker is a game of Situations!"
No matter how many books you read. No matter how many hands you play. And no matter how many times you look at your stats from you latest HUD review. You will not be a winning poker player unless you realize that main point. Poker is a game of situations. It's not a game of hole cards, and it's definitely not a game of stats!
Quoted from Daniel's article:
"That's because there's more to poker than having good stats. Poker is a thinking man's game; you can't just imitate what you've read and become some money-printing robot.
You have to be able to apply what you've learned and make good decisions each time the action is on you.
A TAGfish doesn't. He just plays the same game all day, every day, no matter the situation. And he perpetually loses/breaks even, thinking he's the most unlucky player on the face of the earth."
So much for a summary, sorry........
Daniel has broken the identifiers of a TAGfish into 7 signs, I am quoting directly from the article from this point:
1) You think about your opponent's range but never your own
Everyone knows you have to try to put your opponent on a range. It's one of the most fundamental skills in poker.
But a TAGfish doesn't think about his own range in doing so. An opponent is going to play the hand a few different ways according to what he thinks you have.
You'll never be able to accurately put your opponent on a range without first thinking about your own perceived range.
2) You misapply skills you've learned
A TAGfish tries to learn to play better poker. He watches videos, read articles and studies the game extensively. But he misapplies the information he's learned.
He'll learn that continuation betting and giving up is bad, so he'll just fire every second barrel.
He'll learn that to exploit players that c-bet too much you can float the flop and take away the pot on the turn, but he'll float with pure air instead of gutshots or hands with backdoor capabilities.
He'll learn that three-betting light is profitable, but he'll do it regardless of his opponent's three-bet calling frequency. And he'll do it with the wrong hands.
He only learns half the skills. He knows what to do, but then misapplies when he should be doing it and who he should be doing it against.
3) You call the same range in the cut-off as you do on the button
A TAGfish treats the cut-off and the button as the exact same position. If an opponent raises from early position, he'll call in the cut-off with 6 9 thinking it's perfectly fine because he'll be playing the pot in position.
But that just isn't the case. You've still got one more player to act behind you and if he's any good, he can make your life a living hell.
That player can three-bet with impunity whenever you call with your weak, speculative hand, he can call and steal your post-flop position and he can punish you after the flop.
Where good TAGs abuse the button, a TAGfish allows himself to be abused by the button.
4) You overestimate your implied odds
A TAGfish thinks every time he makes the nuts he's going to win a stack. He thinks if he calls from the blinds with a pocket pair and nails a set, he's going to win an opponent's whole stack every time.
So he calls with his speculative hands post-flop, check-folds when he misses and, when he finally makes that huge hand, he makes his opponent fold.
He bleeds all his money trying to hit that hand and then when he does hit, he never makes that money back.
5) You have leaks post-flop
A TAGfish typically plays fine pre-flop. He has that part of the game solved to a degree.
He knows he can't limp Q9o upfront and expect to show a profit. He knows AK needs to be raised for value, etc. But once the flop comes, his mistakes start to compound.
Knowing when to fold pre-flop is easy. But knowing when to ditch top pair, bad kicker isn't. Knowing when to double barrel and when to triple barrel is hard.
A TAGfish plays his own cards too often and the situation and his opponents not nearly enough.
6) You look at each decision as a separate entity
A TAGfish gets caught up in a tough decision and thinks, "Man, this spot sucks. What the hell do I do?" Really, it's not what he just did that put him in that spot; it's what he did earlier in the hand.
He doesn't have a plan in mind for the hand. He just acts and figures it out from there. He plays reactive poker instead of proactive poker.
7) You tilt too much
A TAGfish doesn't tilt in the true "five-bet ship 58o" sense of the word.
But when he's losing, he definitely doesn't play his best. He rushes decisions. He slips into auto pilot. And, worst of all, he plays far too long.
A TAGfish loves trying to get unstuck and will play all day trying to get unstuck - all the while playing C- game poker. Yet when he has a winning day, he'll quit early and play small sessions, booking a small win.
If this sounds a lot like you, don't worry. TAGfish syndrome is curable.
The answer: concentrate on making the best decision every single time the action is on you and take your time. Sometimes the best possible play won't come to you right away.
But if you do your best to think about the benefits of each possible decision, you'll be making more good decisions and less bad ones.
If you want to win more money - and stop being a TAGfish, that's exactly where you need to start.