Posted on 02 November 2010
Imagine this, you are sitting at a poker table, there is money exchanging left right and everywhere. You think to yourself, alright who is the donkey? You spot the guy in seat one with the all too cheesy visor and/or wrap around sun glasses, as if he just walked out of a 70′s stud movie. Then you notice the chips in his hand. The riffle, the butterfly and all the tricks under the sun, you notice he has no shake in his hands when he bets and how he doesn’t need to double check his hole cards at any point. You also notice the stack of small denomination chips and pick up on his ability to take down weakness pre and post flop. This man is no donkey! You then proceed to evaluate every other player at the table, their movements, reactions and everything else that may give you an inside clue as to how they play… it is here you think to yourself… “My god, there are actually no donkeys at this table”. ARE YOU RIGHT???? YES OR NO???….The answer to this question is simple.. YOU ARE WRONG!!! If you cannot spot the donkey at your table the reason is simple… It is because YOU ARE THE DONKEY!!!
As much as we all like to sit here and rate our own poker game, the fact of the matter is that at one point or another, regardless of how “tight” we think our game is, we all have our very own donkey moments. And the poker gods and lady karma herself, tend to shoot all of this “donkness”, straight back in our faces.
Tuesday night, and I’ve been on a steady run… nothing fantastic, i would say just above break even point. I’m in the big blind and in the hijack seat, there is a raise from $3 to $16. Cut off and button both call as does the small blind. I look at my cards, 3s 5h. I figure there is value in it and I have $3 already invested with at least a 4 to 1 return on my money to call. Surprisingly, everyone afterwards folds. Aaron Lal, folds his hand but accidently exposes the 2c. I think “damn, an out”. The flop comes down Ah 2d Qd. Small blind checks as do I. The hijack raiser then throws out a $20 bet. Cut off, button and small blind all fold. I think to myself, why would someone who has raised $16 pre flop, with a decent stack and in that position be only betting a further $20 into what is about a $80 pot.
I come up with two conclusions based on this and his hand history over the last hour was that he had a middle pocket pair, probably 9?s or 10?s and was trying to see where he was or he had hit top two pair with AQ that he raised pre flop with. If he had top two pair, why was the bet so minimal considering the pot size? I look at his stack behind and he is sitting on about $480 compared to my approximate $300. If he has top two, he must put me on at least the ace or queen considering my call pre flop. Or does he put me on suited connectors or calling with rags pre flop due to the equity invested ahead of me which was the case, and is trying to fish slowly as much as he can out of me. Bearing in mind that there were three other players to call in between us and the flop gave a diamond draw, i figure that he wasn’t slow playing an ace queen for top two pair and that the $20 bet was representative of a medium pair (9s or 10s like I said earlier) and was him trying to get information out of the player behind him. I raise to $60, thinking that i may be able to take down the pot here with the read, however BOOM!!! He snap calls!. I sit there and am thinking to myself, holy crap, that didn’t work and my initial read goes out the window and I now figure him on Ace King, as surely if he had top two pair he would be putting in a big re-raise sensing that he had my ace or queen dominated. The only problem was, I didn’t have an ACE or a Queen, I have 3 5 off!
Before the turn card comes out, I start thinking about my next move. Do i risk my stack in a big bluff to take down what is now a $200 pot? If he is holding top pair top kicker, I’m sure he has invested far too much money to fold and his style of play leads me to believe that he would call me down to the river none the less. Also what if he by some massive case of bad luck he did have A Q for top two pair, then im in deep deep trouble. What has got? What are my outs? What? 3 Outs? 3 stinking outs? And thats when it came…. Turn card…. 4h.
If you haven’t been following my rambled text and poor grammar, then your wondering “So what? A 4?” You see, this 4 of hearts is my out, my 3 outer to be precise, meaning at this stage, it is one of only 3 cards in the entire deck that can save me if my read is correct. This gave me THE NUTS. The only way i could lose this hand would be, if he has played with two pair or a set and the rivers fills him up. However, as mentioned earlier, I don’t put him on AQ or a set for that matter. I check. He bets $75, I tank for abut 30 seconds, then call. The river is a blank king (meaning a card that didn’t change the result outcome, but does change the equity outcome), I check again, he thinks for 30 seconds or so and then I hear the words I’ve been wanting to hear again since that fatal donkey/3outer/4h was spiked on the turn, “Bet $75 again” and I snap shove.. he thinks for 20 seconds then mutters “I call”. I don’t slow roll, and without even a hint of smugness I show my straight. He looks at my cards, then his and looks at me with distain. As his eyes well up, face starts to go red and the $600 + pot is shipped to me, he turns his hand showing me ACE KING! Two pair on the river and a tough tough spot. For I had done to him what is done to all of us a million times over, he had just been donked.We all do it. Donk someone out of a considerable stack, yet every time it happens to us, we steam and go on tilt. That’s why that Lady Karma chick is such a bitch! Not 4 days later, I’m back at the felt, I flop top two pair raise and get smashed by bottom set for all my stack in my very first hand. This proceeds to happen four times in the night. I flop top two pair, however every other time i get called down to the river where I get annihilated by trips and straights.
You see that is Karma and there isn’t much we can do about it. It is all part of the bigger, grander scheme of this world of poker.The point of this weeks edition does not have any moral side note encouraging people only to play premium cards. The point of it is that we all have to accept what falls on that next street. We all have those moments when at our weakest, we make the bad calls and the wrong reads that just end up going our way. The key is, how we act when we do, and how we come back after we too have the red cheeks and wells of anger in our eyes.
Until next time, best of luck and happy donking!
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