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Poker News | PokerWorks Op-Ed

It’s Official - I’m a Donk

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I know because an opponent told me so yesterday. I had sat down in a Limit Hold'em game and won the first three hands, with A-A, A-K, and 9-9, uncalled.

After folding for about an hour I picked up J-4 of spades in the cut off. I won't discuss my reasoning. Maybe it was donkish. I decided it was time to do something. With four limpers in front I raised. The big blind and three limpers called. The fourth, immediately to my left, raised.

I looked at my mystic eight ball and it said, "oops." I was getting 13:1 on the call and 17:1 if the others called. I called.

The flop came K-4-x with two spades. It was checked around to me. I could call and see the turn, or raise, represent A-K and then possibly get a free look at the river. The big blind folded, three callers and our guy checked raised.

Mystic eight ball said "Damn!" Now I'm getting 24-27:1. I said call.

The turn put up a 3 and a straight possibility. The action was checked to our villain and he bet. Well now the pot odds were only 14:1. One of the others folded and left three of us in the pot. The river brought a third spade.

Mystic eight ball screamed, "YEAH!" and the betting went check, bet, call, fold. He showed trip Kings and I showed the spade flush.

The chat window filled with censored symbols, and he said I was the biggest donk he had ever seen. We played another hour or so, and I caught him a couple of more times. I had top two pair and flopped trips. He commented that he was running out of room to take notes. I told him my nic on most major sites is jbharshaw and to make sure that he put me on his buddy list. He finally busted out and left complaining about how hard it was to make a deposit now.

I won't defend my decision to play J-4 suited preflop, but after the flop, the play was pretty simple for both of us. The action and the flop just screamed bluff. After his check-raise on the flop, the pot odds dictated the rest of the play. "I just love it when a plan comes together."

His slow-play/check-raise preflop with four opponents guaranteed he would get the action, he thought he wanted. Instead of limiting the field he trapped his opponents into playing with excellent pot odds for drawing hands. The flop definitely hit his hand, but he check-raised again insuring that we would have the proper pot odds. There were a couple of ways he might have won this hand but none of them involve a check-raise. Check-raising is an important tool in your poker box, but in limit poker, with several active players, it can often have a bad result, with anything but the nuts.

In Limit Hold ‘em use it sparingly and only against a few opponents. Otherwise you can actually price them into the pot and it can easily turn out badly, for you. I left soon after he did up 32 big bets. To bad, withdrawals can be so complicated these days.

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