Thursday, 18 August 2011

Poker Avatar Tells - 9 easy ways to spot the fish.

This is an update to an article I wrote last year (formally '5 easy ways to spot the fish.')

When you play live poker you can usually tell a lot about a player without even playing a hand with them. The way they look can be quite a reliable source of information. Well, the same is true with online play, you just need to look at their avatar.

Here are the top 9 types of avatar that will let you spot the fish at the tables.

Stupid Pet

Well done, your pet is a retard - and so are you!

The guy who believes it's a smart idea to put sunglasses on a dog is the same genius who thinks check min-raising a set on a wet flop is a sure fire way to poker success

Studies have shown that pets and owners become more alike over time, so when you see that stupid pet avatar you know for sure that you're playing against a certified moron. You may as well be playing against the pet, he's drawing dead. Take this clown down to valuetown.

Most likely to say: "omg so f rigged"


Pocket Rockets
Why not show everyone how "into poker" you are by choosing some cheesy poker-related image as your avatar? Popular choices include pocket rockets, royal flush or a picture of some cartoon shark.

Yes, these fools are the same people that turn up to the casino to play 1/2NL wearing some ridiculous "I'm all in" t-shirt. Most of these guys will be new to poker but those who aren't will not have improved since, or will be worse than when, the first time they played the game.

Will usually own at least 2 books by Phil Hellmuth and spend more time typing in the chatbox than playing hands.

Most likely to say: "I hate all these frickin donkeys, they make it impossible to win. I play better against people that know what they are doing, at least you can put them on a hand".

Lame Sports Team

So you support some lame Euro or South American sports team that nobody gives a crap about? Nice! You should totally make their emblem your poker avatar, and let everyone know what an absolute fish you are.

This Eurodonk or Latinfish loves action because he thinks that poker is some kind of sport. It's not, so you would be wise to stop playing like a maniac and typing "jajajajajajaja" and "vamoooooo" into the chatbox after every hand.

You will experience a lot of variance when playing against the Lame Sports Team avatar fish, but ultimately he will spew it all off.




The douchebag pic is a favorite avatar of your typical egotistical, fake tanned, kissy faced douchebag. I mean, when you spend your whole entire day looking in the mirror it's the natural to chose a photo of yourself as your avatar. I wonder, do these guys really think that other poker players want to sit and look at a picture of some dude's face while they are playing? I guess they do! Right-click -> Block Image -> GTFO.

With an ego the size of the BP oil spill, these players have way too much confidence in their ability as poker players to ever feel the need to learn how to play better or take advice from anyone else. Every hand of poker for them is personal and they will try to outplay their opposition at every opportunity, generally spewing off large amounts of money in the process. Value-checking strong hands to these guy will make you rich.

Most likely to say: "ty" (straight after winning a hand)

Windows Sample Picture

A very popular avatar among the fish is to use a section of one of the few sample pictures that come with Windows XP.

These fish usually have a screen name that is just a bunch of random characters (qwertyuiop) or their name followed by lots of numbers (john23897189).

They are always 100% hopeless because they puts as much thought and intelligence into their poker game as they did when choosing a screen name and avatar.

Most likely to say: "Hey Dale, where did you finish in the last SNG? U see the beat I took?" (When I'm 16-tabling, lol)

Famous pro

When you suck at poker, why not trick people into thinking you know what you're doing by using an avatar of your favorite pro player. Phil Ivey or Stu Ungar seem to be the most popular choices.

These "poker enthusiasts" spend far too much time watching poker on TV and not enough time working on their own game. Word of advice guys, you're never going to get better at poker by watching Mike Matusow and Chris Ferguson play a donk-n-go on Poker After Dark. And just because you watched durrrr 3-bet 73s in a deepstacked TV cashgame it doesn't mean that you can do the same thing profitably with a 30bb stack in some turbo SNG.

Most likely to say: "I knew you hit the damn flush, I knew it. Nice chase donk." (after paying off a huge river bet)

Annoying Couple

What better way to show your undying love for your other half than to use a picture of you both as your poker avatar? I think I'm going to be sick!

This is the same guy that turns up to play the $50 donkament at his local casino while his girlfriend closely rails him, until he donkcalls of his entire stack because he didn't want to get bluffed in front of his girlfriend. The entire table thinking "GTFO" as they walk away with their hands slipped in each others back pockets. *PUKE*

If this fool isn't smart enough to realise that he will be stuck with this avatar long after the girl dumps his donk ass, then he's not smart enough to win at poker. We poker players will be taking money from you just as easy as your chick did. GG son!

Most likely to say: "hi everyone, best of luck"

   Athene / Chiren80

This is another very accurate tell that a player is bad. Unfortunately these players are rarely found playing above the very micro-est of micro stakes offered on the site.

People with Athene avatars are all newbies to poker, struggling to learn how to play a game that doesn't involve running around a virtual world casting magic spells on hobgoblins and gnomes.

The Athene avatar player is almost always atrocious at poker but when their main influence and inspiration in poker isn't even a winning player himself how could they turn out to be anything other than terrible?

Most likely to say: "POOOOONED" (After hitting their 3-outer on the river).


Ugly Baby

What is it with people who have babies that think everyone else wants to see them? I couldn't care less that you have a baby and I certainly don't want to look at the wrinkly little bastard while I play poker. It's a pretty terrible idea to put photos of your young children on public display on the internet in the first place, but to put those photos up while you gamble away the nappy/diaper money is just lolridic. Not to mention that you're just asking for some wise ass to write "Hey, what breed of dog is that in your avatar?"

In my experience, baby-avatar donk is almost always a loose passive calling station. Typical full ring VPIP/PFR in the 37/9 range. When you have screaming kids to look after and stop you from sleeping you're never going to have the time or concentration to improve as a poker player. That is why the baby avatar is one of the most accurate online tells available, always a fish!

Most likely to say: "That's my child!"


  1. A+ as always. Is there something I'm missing with the chiren one?

  2. This is why I play no images, but also the same reason I have an uber douchey player image myself.

  3. Boom - What don't you get / might be missing?

    Giovanni - My point is that you need to keep the images on because it's a source of free information. And yeah I'm gonna look out for you playing so I can edit your avatar into the pic hahaha.

  4. Why do people besides chiren use his avatar?

  5. Because they are fanboys and because he gave everyone $1 to play the guiness record tournament if they signed up using his referal code and used that photo of him as their avatar.

  6. Awesome post Dale!

    Don't forget about the Galfond avatar, Most of those guys are probably good now though.


  7. lol there were loads that could have made the list

    what about the guys with pics of them with their girlfriend? almost as bad as those clowns that play live poker with their girlfriend sitting over their shoulder watching them.

    the same idiots that are all lovey-dovey in public, hugging and kissing when their standing infront of me in line at the store *PUKE* die in a greasefire seriously haha

  8. You should of made this one into a video shit would have been way too funny. Either way ass is the shit is funny. Keep up the good work. We won't get on people who use the Rangers avatar though.

  9. I think my PS avatar is of some hot girl?

    What does this mean pls Dale :)

    And I would like to see you go into detail(or try to if you don't play FTP)and desribe the animals in FTP

    Monkey is my number one choice but Frog has a HUGE smile lol

  10. Mat - Hot chick avatars have the Daleroxxu seal of approval.

    The best FTP avatar belongs to Alan Boston.

  11. You forgot the retarded-looking pet avatar...

  12. Thank you for making this AFTER I changed my Chiren80 goofy HairDo avatar :P

  13. now i know why people always call me fish.
    it's that blue windows xp picture.xD
    even with my 100+buyins up in husng and micro cash:D

  14. Minnos is your screen name 'minnos8238979128369862'?

  15. looool... somehow my avatar range isnt here. classic blog dale

  16. only added one additional letter

  17. nice laugh....agree with all beeing said. Q: mi am looking for an avatar and my ID is :"solidpoos"
    any idea? anyone?

  18. LOL So makes me miss Stars SO much!!! Lucky American here :-( and fwiw I had none of the above avatars, thank God!