Donkey Tilt



"Donkey Tilt" is what I call it when you keep seeing players winning over & over with poor hands and you get really ticked. Then you try it yourself and usually end up losing more than if you just laughed at the donkeys and stuck to your game. I have a problem with this and I was wondering if anyone else did. Here's an example:

POKERSTARS GAME #5170162988: HOLD'EM LIMIT ($0.50/$1.00) - 2006/06/06 - 11:28:18 (ET)
Table 'Schorria' 6-max Seat #1 is the button
Seat 1: Satchmo11t ($128.25 in chips)
Seat 2: charlie46 ($39.75 in chips)
Seat 3: MrSticker66 ($15.25 in chips)
Seat 5: mbarry ($47.75 in chips)
charlie46: posts small blind $0.25
wilma2 has returned
MrSticker66: posts big blind $0.50
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to MrSticker66 [2d 5c]
mbarry: folds
Satchmo11t: folds
charlie46: calls $0.25
MrSticker66: checks
*** FLOP *** [3s 2c Tc]
charlie46: bets $0.50
MrSticker66: raises $0.50 to $1
charlie46: calls $0.50
*** TURN *** [3s 2c Tc] [7c]
charlie46: checks
MrSticker66: bets $1
charlie46: calls $1
*** RIVER *** [3s 2c Tc 7c] [Ah]
charlie46: checks
MrSticker66: bets $1
charlie46: calls $1
*** SHOW DOWN ***
MrSticker66: shows [2d 5c] (a pair of Deuces)
charlie46: shows [4c As] (a pair of Aces)
charlie46 collected $6.75 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $7 | Rake $0.25
Board [3s 2c Tc 7c Ah]
Seat 1: Satchmo11t (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 2: charlie46 (small blind) showed [4c As] and won ($6.75) with a pair of Aces
Seat 3: MrSticker66 (big blind) showed [2d 5c] and lost with a pair of Deuces
Seat 5: mbarry folded before Flop (didn't bet)

I know I was completely wrong for playing this hand, but I'll just let you in on my twisted thoughts at the time:

I actually had this guy read perfectly and wanted to make him pay. He was winning with 3rd pair and even Ace high and I was sick of it. Since it was free to play from the BB, I decided that I would fire away at him if I hit anything on the flop. My plan was actually working until he hit the river.

So instead of ditching the flop and the small pot, I rewarded this donk even more and went deeper into the tank. I went on to move up in stakes to try to make up for my tilt-tinged losses. I finally quit after I overplayed QQ and KK and had them cracked at the $1/$2 tables. Lost 20% of my bankroll in one day. Not a proud moment.

Please tell me I am not alone in dealing with this affliction.


48 hours and no responses. Hmm, maybe I am alone.

I guess I should take up Chess. I could be the next Bobby Fischer. Yeah, that's the ticket! Hmmm...


Cardschat Elite
You are not alone, I've done it myself, and taken a beating in the process.

Steaming ! You lose a hand, or 3... to suck outs, or to people that shouldn't have been in the hand to begin with, then I get mad and want to get even and my feelings get in the way and I lose even more. I start playing K3 sooooted like it's the nuts because someone an hour ago won a big pot with it...

I log off, think about what happened and invariably the answer is I started playing far too loose and over aggressive.

The funny thing I noticed this past week is having a winning streak will result in me becoming overconfident and playing loose and over aggressive too.

I'm new to this hobby of mine, and consistency eludes me.


Cardschat Elite
...wait it out until you get a high pair, or even moderately good cards. It's enough to see a donk win with horrible cards, but, you'll be even more piassed when you play horrible cards and he beats you, even though it wasn't a very big surpised you lost that Who plays 2 5? not I. ...I of course don't play limit either....
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medeiros13 said:
I've been in your shoes Mr. Sticker. It can be maddening. Found an interesting article for you to read. It's not exactly on your topic but may help with perspective on your issue.
Killer stuff, Meds! Required reading for the donk-challenged. Whoever that dude is, he needs to write a book. Better than Sklansky could have said it. I saved it to disk & printed it.


Rising Star
I find it very frustrating to be on a table with a donk on a rush.

It doesn't matter what cards they seem to have they always hit the flop and normally in a large way.

Yet it seems if I play donk cards I still miss.

Oh well guess I wasn't cut out to be a donk.


Donkey see...donkey do! Been there, done that.

First, your play here does not look like someone on tilt. You had the right read on him and reason to believe you were the best least until the river. His call of your raise on the flop was questionable with only a gut shot and an overcard to draw to. But on the turn he gains a draw to a flush with a 4-kicker (to a donk, that's the nuts!).

But to answer your question...YES, I've done it and ALWAYS regretted it!


you are not alone, and we all find it frustrating when a donkey hits a rush... but here's what you have to remember: the best strategy when playing against a donk is waiting until you have the nuts, and taking all his $ in one hand. just because a donk makes a few bucks playing crap hands doesn't mean you should ditch everything you know about poker and join him, in the hopes of getting lucky. just play your game, don't losen up... in fact you may be better off playing a bit tighter than usual!
Kenzie 96

Kenzie 96

Stick, played a 27 player SNG on pokerstars yesterday. Early on at my table someone went allin with a big slick & got calledby one of your donks with XXo. Needless to say donk won. He then proceeded to take 3 other players at the table out each time he didn't have squat for pockets. He was clear tourney chip leader with 21 or 22 players left. Probably because his calls were so silly I didn't let his play bother me at all & actually finished 2nd in tourney. First time I have cashed in a PS SNG in a while. Oh yeah, donk went out in 18th place. Just ignore them & play your game, they will usually self-distruct unless the poker gods are having you on in which case you are toast anyway.


A honky-tonk, a donkey-donk.

I think one of the frustrations of having a total idiot at the table is that everyone knows he/she is gonna give up the chips at some point and they want to be in that hand when it happens! I have seen (an occasionally been the one) players jump into hands and play them too strong because they don't believe the donk can have a better hand. For example, the player with AKs pushes allin after the donk bets a flop of 9-4-2. They are just too anxious to get the donk's chips and, "hey, he is a weak player, right?"

As has been said already, just play your game and hope the poker gods actually give you the right hand when the donk is ready to give up the chips. Don't go calling with third pair just because you are sure he is pushing allin with A-high.


I think you have to adjust your game in a variety of ways if you feel you are being bad beat to death.

Pay strict attention to pot odds. Phil Gordon likes to say that drawing hands in NLHE aren't of much value if your opponents are betting properly. That's true, but you aren't up against good opponents. As often as you will see someone call raises with 92s, they will donk bet with AA, thinking they hold the immortal nuts no matter what flops and what the action is against them.

1. Punish people who overvalue top pair or an overpair.
2. Draw to your straights and flushes when you get proper pot odds. If you have MONSTER OUTS (15 or more) alternatively, you can bet and reraise on the flop.
3. Don't get too attached to your big pair or TPTK in a multiway pot.
4. Make damn sure you force people to pay to hit their draws. And be willing to let the hand when they hit their hand (probably the most difficult part. Again, I'd look to pot odds when making most of these calls).
5. Don't overdo it, but be willing to see the flop cheaply if you have position on a bunch of limpers. Five people in and passive players in the blinds, 76s is a terrific hand on the button.
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