Monday, January 21, 2008

Why Complain About Playing Against Donks?

I've read on the Cardschat forum lately a decent amount of threads by folks complaining about how horrible and rotten donk players are. They'll include phrases like "this idiot" and "I hate playing against players like this". This always makes me think of one word: "Why?" Then there's the players who like to berate a donk in the chatbox after he wins with a suckout. "You went all in with K8? Your an idiot" (most don't know that it's "you're"). This makes me think "So tell him his mistake so he plays better or leaves. That's smart!" Sometimes I'll type this thought in the chatbox. There's also the people who play freerolls and complain about the players who "go all in every hand". My thought is that you can't take their chips if they don't put them in the pot.

I actually LOVE playing against donks online. I make most of my money against bad players. It's the easiest way to profit in poker. Against a donk, you can just play your big hands as normal and get paid off. On the other side, the only way to win against good players is with deception (but we'll save that subject for another time). Many donks will also let you draw for good odds. To play against donks, there are obvious adjustments in strategy that I believe must be made. The 2 most consistently needed are 1) very little or no bluffing and 2) limping becomes a good tool pre-flop. Both are meant to reduce risk since donk play often involves multiway pots, which reduces some hand strengths. Beyond these, it will depend on the type of donk player. Adaptability is the key. If a good player sticks to his normal game, he is usually toast at a donk table.

I believe playing against donk players is good practice. You are bound to run into a few at nearly every stakes limit you'll ever play, so why not be ready for them. I would play more freerolls against them if the average freeroll payout was more rewarding than playing for 4 hours and winning $1. I'll even play at some play money ring tables from time to time, just for practice.

I'm not sure about the thoughts of the people who complain about donks. Is it because they think their good hands should ALWAYS win? Would they rather play at a table with excellent players and only take down small pots when everyone correctly folds? It just doesn't make sense to me. Most of the low-stakes complainers would be crushed at a table full of solid players. They just don't know it and THEY then would become the donkeys. Funny how that works!


Mr. Jackie O'Quinn said...

Stick, I love this post. When I hear people complain about playing with donks. I think they are nuts, just like one of my friends. Of course donks are going to suckout sometimes but they are going to also pay you off more often than not.

Great post.

Shinedown45 said...

Nice post Stick, I also have learned to adapt to the play I'll sometimes hit when I jump onto a table.