Thinking thoughts versus saying them out loud

hellmuth at wsop 2006
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In my short poker career, I play mostly online games at various sites throughout the poker domain. I vary from Limit Hold “Em to No Limit Hold ‘Em. I even try Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo and on occasion will play 2-7 Triple Draw.  I even have played some live, face to face poker at the local poker room in Seabrook NH.

In the thousands of hands that I have seen or have been involved in, I have seen the plays of a poker donk. These are the types that will limp in with very weak holdings or call big bets in the hopes of hitting their hand either at the flop, the turn or the river. It might be a flush draw or two connected cards like 87 suited or even the dreaded 7 2 suited.

You know the scenario, you have made a 6 big blind bet pre-flop with AA, KK or QQ. You get called. The flop does not improve your hand and does not improve your opponents hand.  You lead out and bet the pot. You get called and a 7 hits the turn. You bet 2/3 of the current pot and get called and the river is a 2. You either check it down as the opponent has been calling all your raises or you pop up the pot with another raise only to find out you are beaten by someone who called all of your raises with a 7 2.

You know the drill. If you are online, you type “nh” and move on. Face to face, you fix a smile on your face and say Nice Hand” in the most pleasant voice that you can muster.

Internally, you are seething. If this is an online game, you are probably ranting and raving until the next hand is dealt. You begin to appreciate the rants and raves of Phil Hellmuth whenever he suffers a bad beat by someone who should have folded his hand instead of playing poker bingo.

It is like all your hundreds or thousands of hours of playing, studying, learning, and discussing of poker is all for not. After all, the opponent (donk) won didn’t he. Therefore he was not wrong to play wasn’t he. He was supposed to play poorly (in your eyes) but hit his hand once in awhile. That does not make him a bad player does it?

How do you handle situations like this? Do you ever make donk plays? After all, isn’t this just a game?

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7 thoughts on “Thinking thoughts versus saying them out loud

  1. Pingback: Thinking thoughts versus saying them out loud : DadsPokerBlog

  2. Hi Steve, Every time I see a “Comments welcome” or a “feel free to comment”, what I feel is an urge to write some words (I'm “that” easy :P). But this post have some magnetism. You know (because you talked about it) you should be glad that the people you're talking about actually exists (we remember the day we get the suckout but never remember how many times the donk called and we still had the best hand and won, just because it was fair or when we suckout on someone)Even if we play perfect theres a variable that makes the equation fail, an error, something that shouldn't be there but in fact is (*nerd factor on* like Neo and The Matrix *nerd factor off*). If you're doing “your job” you shouldn't care (Ok, you can be upset but forget it easily). It's like catch cold, you can just sneeze a bit or two, or it can arise in a flu and get you sick for days and days. You can make there nothing and this is not your fault. Improve your skill with your hours of studying and practice (How can you survive a suckout? getting more chips than your opponent, playing better the others opponents).Hate and frustration are bad feelings to avoid. We have to avoid almost every feeling (you now that anytime due to your chipcount, people plays etc… lead to a different feeling… keep the good ones… identify them… when, where, why… ).Its supposed to be this way, on the other hand is the way we play. Improve is what we need. Of course I make donk plays, we call it bad timed bluffs, wrong reads… and it was I have to improve instead of trashing donk. Conclusion: Enjoy the donk, let it be your friend… enjoy it because you're still above him and then forget the result of a stupid hand.Wishes, ImanothPS.: I still think I missing something of what I wanted to say

    • You are right. I do live for the donk that calls my KK with 99 and I make it. Or when I suck out and make my four flush at the river against a made hand. After a few minutes or hours or days or weeks I forget about the donk until the next time. lol.

  3. Pingback: Thinking thoughts versus saying them out loud : DadsPokerBlog

  4. Online I go “wow nice donk. just learned to play yesterday?” or something haha. Depending on if the player is really horrible in my mind or not. In person I don't really give bad plays too much thought since I expect most live players to be bad + it's alot easier to be respectful to a person when you can see them.Online I treat poker like I game, so I will occasionally trash talk out of frustration. Live poker I treat more.. well, like real life. Even if someone trashes my play at a live game I like to keep a low profile at the table so I look to be the silent type. Recently though.. working on tilt alot.. so I'm getting better at ignoring suckouts. If I get the money in good, I usually am not angry about a play.

    • Jack, thanks for your comments. One other comment that I had suggested that I say nothing so that I don't give away anything, including the fact that I might be on tilt as the result of their play. Interesting thoughts. Thank you.

  5. Jack, thanks for your comments. One other comment that I had suggested that I say nothing so that I don't give away anything, including the fact that I might be on tilt as the result of their play. Interesting thoughts. Thank you.

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