Even among regular players and big names of the poker world, as Maria Konnikova for example, who are in theory looking for perfection at the tables, we realise that their practice is influenced by more or less justified guiding ideas that are generally linked to their personality. What we call a profile will be the style of play that flows from these guiding ideas.
We can classify players into two main categories: recreational players who do not or very little work on their poker outside the tables and regular players who are looking for improvement. If you are reading this article, you probably belong to the second category while playing poker in casinos or online. And if you’re looking for a good online casino operator based in New Zealand, you can already go on https://www.betiton.com/en-nz/casino/. Let’s start our review of poker player profiles by looking at your main target: recreational players.
The passive recreational
More commonly (and affectionately) called the passive fish or fish calling station. Its philosophy is “as long as there’s a card to come, there’s hope”. “I pay to see” is a way of life for him.
How do you recognise him?
- A high VPIP and a low LIC. For example 50/3, 60/12, 32/0…
- Low aggression stats (AF for Aggression Factor, and AFq or Agg% for Aggression Frequency or Aggression Percentage). Often around 1 for AF, 35% for AFq and 25% for agg%.
- Live, his head tells you something: it’s normal, he’s engaged in all the moves you’ve played…and in all the others or almost all of them…Without necessarily making waves.
- You will have understood it, our friend comes to play hands and pushes to the end to see if they can end up winning. All passively. He is there to bring luck, to hope that his Q3o touches his miracle double pair at the river, that we don’t see him on it and to leave happy with his session feeling like he won at poker.
So our second category is regulars. Just because a player appears to be at the right level at first glance doesn’t mean we should leave him alone. These players have weaknesses…otherwise they wouldn’t be playing against you but at galactic limits. Here are some proposals to categorise them:
The nit is characterised by a cautious approach to play. He doesn’t like risk, uncertainty and playing big pots that he is not sure to win.
His philosophy is to follow the squares. He has marked out the game with a lot of rules that are supposed to protect him from mistakes and guarantee him regular wins. He will follow principles such as “I pay once with a second pair and fold at the turn”, “At the river, if my opponent exceeds a certain bet amount I fold”. Etc. He will only invest money in a big pot if he is sure to win it. Speculation is not for him. The consequence of this vision is that he always finds the first excuse to run away from a move and rarely goes to argue with you about pots.
How do you recognise him?
- Low VPIP/PFR, for example 15/12, 19/16 .
- High AF, AFq or Agg% low
- High continuation bet (+55 %), few opportunistic bets like bet vs missed Cbet/Float flop (~30/35 %).
- Continuation bet stats that tend to fade as the streets go (e.g. 60% flop, 40% turn…).
The regenerative is halfway between the regular player and the recreational player. It is a player who is clearly aware that you need a strategy to win at poker and that you need to work on your game. Only, for reasons of his own, he cannot work on his game to the level of his expectations. As a result, he is going to have what we call peaks of incompetence, in other words, leaks that one would not expect to encounter when faced with an “awake” player.
For example, he understands that he has to select his preflop hands but overestimates the potential of some hands. His game is built on a lot of preconceived ideas, more or less dubious principles that he has heard here and there during his somewhat chaotic learning process. For example “I bet to place myself”. His mind is also quite fragile because he has little experience despite the years.
For example, he will have the feeling that his premiums are never paid or are systematically cracked. He doesn’t have a particular playing philosophy, each regenerative develops its own leaks that prevent him from moving up to the next level.
How to recognise him?
- A significant gap in the VPIP/PFR without going to extremes (32/16, 21/8…). In live, it is a player who seems tight and yet we see him performing open limp, often with small pairs, small Aces suited and connectors suited.
- He will have some caricatural stats that need to be identified. For example high Cbet at the flop (+70%) and a large drop at the turn (-30%). In other words, the player always bets on the flop and only in value at the turn or his best bluffs.