We’ve all had the misfortune of playing a donkey before in poker. It’s nothing nice, to be sure, and some of us actually throw our hands up in the air and try slots online before stepping back into the poker arena to face down these moronic river chasers.
You’ll always find plenty of tips and tricks to wait out and subsequently pounce on a donkey, beating them to oblivion and sending them to the rail where they belong. But have you ever wondered what makes a donkey tick? What exactly goes through the head of someone who can call—not bet, but call!—their entire stack away with A2 offsuit… and win!?
By knowing what goes through a donkey’s mind—a little bit of it, anyway—you’ll not only be able to face off against them better, but you’ll be able to recognize if you’re ever playing like one and adjust your game accordingly.
What do donkeys think?
Poker’s all luck
This is the first thing that usually runs through a donkey’s head, even if they’re not purposefully using it as their mantra. It’s true that any two cards can win. Hell, the Cleveland Browns can conceivably win the Super Bowl, too. But what are the odds of it happening…?
Donkeys approach poker like internet video poker and throw caution to the wind with their devil-may-care raise-calling while holding a 6-9 offsuit vs. a set after the flop. Of course, a donkey isn’t a threat if that 6-9 doesn’t win; they’re only true donks when they catch the runner-runner straight.
The donkey didn’t fold because the donkey didn’t know what was going on. This player thought it was all about luck, and was proven right.
And this brings us to the second thing donkeys think:
I can repeat
Once they draw blood on a lucky river, they’re intent that poker’s a game of blind luck and that playing every hand… aggressively… is the way to achieve poker dominance.
The unspoken rule of a good poker player is to fold around 80% preflop and play around 20% of your hole cards. Donkeys reverse this because they’re positive sticking it out to the bitter end equals a win.
It’s only a game
Most donkeys don’t really care if they lose. And this makes them dangerous.
Sure, this is the reason most donkeys are in freerolls and qualifiers and not in $50 sit-n-go tournaments. But it’s still a dangerous attitude to have and an even more dangerous one to play against. Mike the Mouth and Phil Hellmuth, as annoying as they are, are great players because they care about every single aspect of the game.
A donkey does not, and they’ll gladly put you out of a tournament with their 9-2 offsuit all-in and won’t flinch.
These are just a few things that run through a donkey’s mind. If this is the way you approach poker, stop it! Seriously! And if you find someone else approaching the game with this mindset, prepare to battle it out with someone allergic to folding.