Thursday, January 31, 2008

“Nice catch, donk”

Nice catch, donkHe said, as the chips happily slid across the virtual baize and into my stack. It was a nice catch.

I ain’t here to deny my occasional resemblance to the much-evoked Equus asinus. It was one of those PLO hands (full ring, $25 max.) that’ll come up every now and then. I knew I was behind and yet called it down anyhow, hitting my card on the end. We’ve all been there, and a lot of us have been called donks when all was said and done.

But let’s do something decidedly non-donk-like. Let’s look at this hand again.

The button is Seat #9. I’m in the “hijack seat” (#7) with $28.70. The ill-fated one destined to cast aspersions -- PaKettle -- is in Seat #5 with around $32. He’s been playing a below average number of pots, and seems content only to bet when he’s got the goods. PaKettle and I both limp, and blinds stay in as well, meaning we have built a harmless little 95-cent pot (once the nickel rake is taken) going to the flop.

My hand? Jd8dAcTh. Not the greatest starter, but this was pretty much a passive table w/little preflop raising, so I knew I probably could see a flop without a lot of fuss. I’ve only just begun Jeff Hwang’s Pot-Limit Omaha Poker -- so far, very good -- but I have read the part where he strongly advises against playing hands with a “two gap” on top. He suggests discarding most of these -- although he does allow A-J-T-9 or (maybe) K-T-9-8.

A-J-T-8, though, even single-suited, ain’t much. Then the flop comes Ah7cAs. (The donk sits up in his chair.)

The blinds check, as does PaKettle. I bet 75 cents with my trips. The blinds both fold. Then PaKettle bets pot -- raising $2.45 to $3.20. So we know where the other ace is. And where one of the sevens is as well. I decide to take one off and make the call. The pot is $7.05 (after the rake).

The turn card is the 5h, and PaKettle again hastily bets pot.

Now I do have nine clean outs here -- unless, of course he happens to have any of ’em over there sitting next to his ace & seven. In terms of pot odds, it’s an easy-to-calculate 2-to-1 to call, and I’m only a little better than 4-to-1 to hit. In terms of implied odds, I’m reasonably sure he won’t be able to resist paying me something on that river should my eight, ten, or jack arrive as ordered, though how much he’ll give up I can’t know for sure.

Oh, and also -- I do occasionally eat my lunch out of a trough. I call.

Once I do, two very nice things happen in short order. First the river card, the Jh. Then PaKettle bets $10. Hee-Haw!

I put all $18.20 I have left in the middle and he (of course) calls. I win the $55.10 pot.

Now I don’t know for certain I’m going to get that extra 18 bucks from him on the end, but if I did, then calling the turn would make sense, yes? That’s seven bucks to win $37. (I’m subtracting the $18 more I ended up putting in.) Even if I’m only getting an extra ten-spot off him on the end, that would be $7 to win $29 . . . still making calling a 4-to-1 shot a not unreasonable play.

In any event, while I might demonstrate donk-ish tendencies now and then, I know if I’m PaKettle in this situation, when that jack pops out there is no way I’m giving 18 more bucks to the donk guy who called my pot-sized check-raise on the flop, and then my pot-sized bet on the turn.

No, I’m checking, he’s either value betting (and I call, or perhaps fold to a bet as large as ten bucks) or shipping it (and I definitely fold), and that’s that.

Oh, and I probably think to myself, “nice catch, donk.”



Blogger OhCaptain said...

Well done! (donk)

Implied odds are something a lot of players don't think about. I played a SNG at a local casino. Using a players tendancy to slow play, I bought the odds I needed to hit a full house to clean out someone with a made flush. So fun!

1/31/2008 8:36 PM  

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