Table Talk


Poker Diaries: The Koi Fish's Guide to Poker Land

Hello peeps!

I am back and I am here to guide all of you poker noobs (like me), trying to make sense of the their way across the shark infested waters of poker land!

Before I launch the poker experience rollercoaster, must talk about the reactions of people around me when I announced my new “passion”. The sheer reactions of people are worth sharing – incredulity, outrage, condescension, annoyance and the rest of the anger related emotions. Only one person said – relax and have fun.

Well, I ask who is living my life and makes decisions for my happiness. I am, obviously, and I am not going to be poker-faced. There! As long as I know my limits ☺

That said, let me now tell you why and, how much I am enjoying the poker fun. The adrenalin rush comes from the skill and strategy issues, and to a large extent, gauging the persona of the sharks, err.. I mean PP (Professional Pokerists). They come in all variations of shape and temperament. For the Koi (a type of colourful fish, perfectly harmless, just like me or any average newbie) wanting to swim in the deep waters of poker among the sharks it is high priority to sort them out first.

The pokerwallahs can be categorised as Aggros, Bluffers, Blusterers, Bullies, Blunderers (usually Kois), All-ins, Gamers, Helpers, and Gappers and so on.

It is very important to ‘judge’ your opponents before playing online poker. Remember, you can’t see their faces, body movements or expressions! There are certain rules I have made up to keep myself being enticed too deeply into the intrigue called poker.

Rule No.1 – Beware the bullies and the aggros. No matter what hand you have, the moment they are aware of Kois on the table, the bidding shoots up pre-flop! Even the pocket Aces tremble before their might.

Rule No.2 – Bluffers and Blusterers come into the scene after the flop. This is not for the faint-hearted. This is where you have to very cautious; look at the cards in your hand and on the table very seriously before making a move.

Rule No.3 – Try to follow the Gamers and Helpers, they may have a better idea of what is going on. They are usually safe to follow, unless they have Broadway Hands.

Rule No. 4 – The Gappers and Blunderers are the most difficult to judge, but worth watching to see their reaction to the bets, not be nose-led by them definitely.

Rule No.5 – All-ins... They are rule unto themselves. Still haven’t figured out a way to deal with them. However, some of the players genuinely have a good hand when they jump in the well. Most find water and a few foolish Kois find hard rock good enough to break bones! Speaking frankly, I shudder and quickly fold when people are doing all-ins.

All said poker has become an exciting challenge to me. Sharks can intimidate and frustrate you, but for the immense joy of outsmarting them I will continue to explore this game which is more about skill and alertness than a game a chance and luck.



Radhika Mahalingaiah

Radhika aka Betazoid is a retired journalist and an avid scrabble and poker player. She is a guest writer with 9stacks