A poker fish can be defined as a weak or inexperienced poker player. This is a direct take on the common use of the term poker shark when labeling a well seasoned poker player. The problem is picking the right ocean, or poker room/network, in order to find the real poker fish out there. There are a number of changes that occur all the time that can alter where the fish swim to. Do not worry, whether it’s the Merge or Cake Network, PokerStars, or Full Tilt Poker the fish can be found.
The Merge and Cake Networks of Poker Fish
For years the place to find poker fish was on the Cake Network that hosts rooms like Cake Poker, Power Poker, and Doyles Room. What made the Cake Network full of fish was the fact that there were a number of online sportsbooks that were hosted by the Cake Network and brought in thousands of inexperienced players with money to play. This trend all changed in April of 2010.
In April 2010 there was a sizable exodus of poker rooms from the Cake Network to the Merge Gaming Network that is headlined by the poker room Carbon Poker. Some of the poker rooms that moved were Sportsbook.com and PlayersOnly, two major sources of poker fish and large player base as well. In the opinion of many online poker regulars the Merge Network now houses the largest percentage of unseasoned poker fish. The trick is to not scare the fish away because they will move and one of the first stops for many online poker players is either PokerStars or Full Tilt Poker.
PokerStars, PartyPoker, and Full Tilt Poker Bring the Most Players and Possibly Most Fish
Given that PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker have a market presence that is not matched by any other poker room, these poker rooms are usually the first stop for any and all poker players around the world. To say that PokerStars and Full Tilt have the most poker fish is most likely true, but if a poker shark were to factor in the real ratio of fish to the average player, many will find that they are probably pretty close to one another.
It must be added that after an investigation into this question the website PokerTableRatings.com determined that the 3rd largest online poker room in the world, PartyPoker, is said to hold the largest number of fish in the world. While this is good news for sharks residing outside of the U.S., unfortunately since 2006 PartyPoker has exited the U.S. market and does not allow American players.
PokerStars and Full Tilt are also the most frequented by poker sharks who grind out a living everyday on the virtual felt. Many time it is difficult to distinguish between the grinders and the fish until it is too late. Therefore, it is important to remember that there are other online poker pros out there looking for fish and most are regulars on the big rooms, so be warned.
Free Poker Bankrolls and Picking the Right Stake Level to Find Poker Fish
There are plenty of other poker rooms and networks out there with their fair share of poker fish, such as 888Poker and the Cereus Network (Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker), but poker sharks also need to pick the right stake levels. Players who are just starting out will frequent low buy-in tournaments and sit-and-go games rather than the more pro friendly cash ring game tables.
Many new players go and look for free poker money deals and start playing there after a while. Search out those rooms that offer free poker money deals through certain affiliates like Pokerspace and look into the rooms. Be sure to take advantage of the free poker money deals too, there’s really no harm in it as this will create a risk free environment to test out whether the room or network is fishy. Just be prepared to move with the fish, especially as rooms move and the industry continues to evolve.