By Matthew "Yorkshire Pudding" Pitt
Hello? Is anyone here? Good. Then let’s begin. Hands up everyone who has ever banged their fists on the table in frustration as they are outdrawn and lose to some seemingly ridiculous two pair hand. Keep those hands up if you continually blame others for your lack of results. I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but you are probably a bigger donk than those players you are calling a donk.
Poker is like sex and driving in that everyone think they are awesome at it. Unfortunately, for your other half and fellow road users, you are definitely not as good as you think you are. Below are traits of the classic donk or fish who frequent your games. How many of them apply to you?
You Don’t Know the Mathematics Behind Poker and Refuse to Learn Them
Whether you like it or not, or whether you want to believe it or not, poker is a game governed on mathematics. The sooner you realise that and begin using maths in poker, even basic maths, the better.
Yes, there is the element of who dares wins. And yes, some players can look into the souls of their opponents and find a winning bluff, yet the biggest winners are all well versed in poker maths.
I’m not suggesting for one minute you should bore yourself to death with fold equity calculations and finding the optimal bluff frequency for a player playing 23% of his starting hands, unless you really want to that is. You should, however, at least learn the basic odds and probabilities for common situations such as flopping a set, hitting a flush draw and pot odds – they really are not difficult.
You Continually Blame Other Donks Instead of Understanding Variance
As poker is a game governed by maths, some crazy things can and will happen – and more often that you would like to believe. If you are blaming bad players who cracked your pocket aces with eight-three offsuit for your losses, you need to give your head a shake. You should be embracing these players and begging them to be in your games.
If you understood the maths behind poker (see above) then you would know that your pocket aces are around an 87% favourite over eight-three offsuit. This means that your beloved “Pocket Rockets” will be beaten 13% of the time, on average of course. There are times when you will win 10 out of 10 of such confrontations. Other times, you will lose 6 out of 10. But, and here’s the but, if you played trillions of hands your aces would run out an 87% winner.
Variance sucks and variance will cause you to pull your hair out at times. Yet it is variance that gives the donks a taste of success and keeps them playing eight-three offsuit as if it is pocket aces.
Your Poker Ends the Minute Your Session Does
The game of poker is continually evolving and moves that were once profitable are suddenly so common that they no longer bamboozle your opponents. One way to keep your edge over opponents is to put time into your game away from the felt in the form of studying.
Most of finished school several years ago – some of us longer than that – and see it as time consuming. That it may be, but it is vitally important to continually improve your own skill set so that you stay one step ahead of your foes, be this through studying your hand histories or via a training site. Put some time in away from the tables or risk becoming a donk.
You’ve Been Stuck at One Level For What Seems Like an Age
It takes time to progress from one buy-in level to another. Depending on how often you play for and for how long, it can takes weeks or even months to move up. That said, if you are still struggling to beat $0.50 Sit & Go tournament three years after discovering poker then there is something wrong with your game.
If you are stuck at a certain level, ask yourself why that is the case. Could it be because you haven’t learned the maths behind poker, refuse to put any study time in and blame others apart from yourself for a lack of progress? Probably.
You Continually Lose
Losing is part and parcel of playing poker. New players lose more than established players, as a rule, so if you have been playing poker for any significant length of time and are still losing more than you win then you sir (or madam) could be a donk!
Some people are not made for this game and regardless of what they do and how much effort they put in, they still cannot win. Be honest with yourself. Do you want a bank statement full of deposits to online poker sites? Do you want to be targeted by winning players whenever you sit down. If the answer is no, poker may not be for you.
One way to prevent slipping into Donk status would be to get hold of and study the $16 per hour Sit n Go Blueprint Course that is free to SNG Planet members. Good luck, donk.
Submitted by Planet Mark on Mon, 10/28/2013 - 10:37