Donk has to be one of the most over-used words in the chat rooms in all online poker sites. Every time somebody calls a big bet with a lesser hand and hits a card to win, Donk is inevitably thrown out in the chat room. Two instances recently really stand out in an MTT I was playing.
First, a player on the button called an all-in pre-flop with an A-8. The guy who went all-in had A-Q, but his stack size was only about 30 percent of the caller’s stack size.
The caller could afford to take a risk, and he had reason to believe the original better could be playing a weak hand given his play during this tourney (lots of flops seen, lots of C-betting, lots of folds to re-raises and a wildly fluctuating chip stack, all the signs of what I call an FOS – Full Of S**t player). The player with the big stack also shoved when it got to him to scare the blinds out of the hand and isolate the original better.
The caller paired his 8 on the flop and, for good measure, hit a set on the river, knocking the first guy out of the tourney. Almost to be expected, the loser – and I use that word purposely – immediately starts in with the donk name-calling.
While an A-8 is a not a really strong hand, I likely would have done the same thing given the circumstances. I had been keeping an eye on that same player for a long time hoping to get a chance to isolate him in a similar circumstance, but the other guy just beat me to it. Truth be told, the real donkey, if there was one, in this scenario was the original bettor because of wildly undisciplined play, which caused him to have a chip stack that did not scare people away.
Playing a Hunch
The second instance was when I was in the BB. We were down to the final two tables, and there were only 7 players at my table. At this stage of the tourney, most hands were being decided pre-flop. Everybody folded to the player on the button, who pushed all-in. The SB folded to me. I had A-6 off. I figured the guy was trying to steal the blinds, and since I had an Ace, I called. Yes, I had a rag for a kicker, but I still had an ace, and given the likelihood that he was trying to steal the blinds, I figured my ace might just be good enough. He flips over a J-8 suited, and my ace held up to win.
You would have thought I had offended the Pope or something. He immediately calls me a donk for calling with an A-6. Then he says I won’t last much longer in the tourney playing like that (ignoring the fact that I had already made it to the final 13 out of more than 600 entries). He ends his harangue with the inevitable challenge to play him heads up for $500 – as if that would settle anything. I ignored him to the last, then told him if he could afford to play a $500 heads-up match, why was he slumming it in a $3 MTT?
Note to all the players out there: Just because somebody wins a pot with a worse pocket than you, or if somebody correctly sniffs out a bluff and wins a big pot from you, that doesn’t make them a donk. I don’t really care if your rating on the OfficialPokerRankings.com Web site is higher than mine, either. That doesn’t really mean you are a better player, and guess what, the best team doesn’t always win anyway! As Herm Edwards once said, ‘That’s why you play the game!’
It wouldn’t hurt to show a little civility, and a little more humility for some players would not be bad either.