Donkey In The Middle

Donk. Donk-tastic. Donkaments. A Donkey is a bad poker player. In today’s article I’ll cover how to tweak The Model when a “donk” play is made.


I’m on the button holding 10s-10h with $13,000 in chips. The blinds are $100/$200 giving me 65 big blinds, a large stack according to The Poker Model. Under The Gun folds and Under The Gun+1 raises to $400. Under The Gun+2 folds followed by a call from the Cutoff+2. Both the Cutoff+1 and the Cutoff fold and the action is on me. 10-10 is a call behind hand according to The Poker Model. This means that with 1 previous raise and any number of calls after, and a medium or large stack, I will call. Other call behind hands are A-Q, A-J, A-10, K-Q, K-J, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 5-5, 6-6, 7-7, 8-8, 9-9, J-J, and Q-Q. I make the call. The small and big blinds fold and the action moves to the Flop.


The Flop comes Jd-9s-4h. I have flopped a mediocre hand according to The Poker Model. With mediocre hands, I’ll usually call one bet from an opponent to see if my hand can improve on the Turn or River, where I can flip my cards and determine if I have the winner. I will call two bets with Flush or Straight Draws if they are average sized or less and also do not put me under the 20 big blind threshold. If both of my opponents check, then I’ll check my mediocre hand for the same reasons. This will let me see a free card and keep the pot small while I look to improve or gain additional information on the Turn.

The action begins with the original raiser and he checks to the player seated in the Cutoff+2, who bets $4,000. Wow. This is a huge bet because there is only $1,500 in the pot. Recall that a small bet is less than ⅓ of the pot, a medium bet is ⅓-⅔ of the pot, and a large bet is greater than ⅔ of the pot. The action is on me and I have a decision to make. The Poker Model tells me to call here because I have a mediocre hand and the call will not put me under the 20 big blind threshold. But common sense tells me to fold and wait for a better spot. Any bet that is more than the size of the pot can be viewed this way.

Because of the size of my opponents bet I choose to fold the hand. This can be considered a “donk” bet from him because he has nearly tripled the size of the pot. In most cases he will have a very big hand here that my 10-10 is not winning.


I fold my hand and my opponent shows a set of fours. It’s important to have a code that to follow when you are playing poker. I hope that The Poker Model can be that for you. But you must also keep a skeptical eye on the table and have awareness when something smells fishy. In today’s hand, I diverted from The Model and saved a lot of chips. Beware of the donkey.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *