Playing Poker With Monkeys

How To Win At Poker By Playing Like A Donk

I am always going on about monkeys (or if you are in the USA then donkeys – or donks) and how they should all be shot, so last night I decided to join their pitiful ranks in a “if you can’t beat them – join them” kinda way.

Low limit tables – here I come!

I was officially rubbish! – Some nights you are an unstoppable force and others you wonder how you ever win anything.

I was in monkey mood from the off. I wanted to play loose and manic in a complete change to my usual tight aggressive style.

Low Limit Tournament #1

The first tournie I played started off well, bluffing at an early pot and taking it down, gaining a few chips in the process. However that was to be the best of it! Before the blinds had even gone up one level I made my fateful move.

I was on the big blind and the guy under the gun called, there were a good few limpers and I looked down to 9 3 off suit, so I decide to check. The flop comes down 9 3 5 with 2 hearts on it, so I make a pot size bet of about 100 to protect my two pair – the guy under the gun raises it to 200 and so I call (no bad moves yet). Then the turn deals me a 5.

My Hand Flop Turn River
nine of clubs three of diamonds nine of hearts three of spades five of hearts five of clubs face down card

For some bizarre reason I then decide to move all in! What exactly was I hoping that he had raised with?! The moment I had done it I though “oh!”. Sure enough he called and he turns over K5u!!! He had trips! Ouch! I was wounded but not yet out of the game.

Although I didn’t put him on K5 (who would? – as that means he raised me with just a pair of 5′s!) I should have put him on trips or at least an over pair, and when that second 5 hit I thought to myself “He may even have quads”.

So why did I push all my chips in then? There must be some deep psychological reason as to why on some days I think “Let’s punt” and on others I’m much more sensible and have no further part in the hand. I could have got away very very cheaply but instead I ended up doubling him through and losing loads of chips in the process. I read the situation right that I was beat but I failed to act on it before my gambling instinct could be stopped.

Next very hand I get dealt JJ and decide to play this as though I have gone on tilt. I go all in and get one caller – he turns over Q 10s to my delight. “Great” I think… until a Q hits on the flop! That really summed up the tournie for me.

And so onto the next.

Low Limit Tournament #2

I had made a silly mistake and said to myself not to do it again. So you can imagine my joy when I did it again 30 mins later!

There are 6 players left and not long before I hit the payout structure. I look down at my hand to see pocket 4′s. I’m sitting on the small blind and everyone has folded round to me. I raise and make it 150 to go while blinds are at 25/50. The big blind calls.

The flop comes down 2 6 6 with two hearts. I decide to have a stab of 250 into a 300 pot. My opponent calls. The turn comes an 8. I bet 250 again and he raises me all in.

My Hand Flop Turn River
four of spades four of clubs deuce of dearts six of hearts six of diamonds eight of spades face down card

I would be fairly crippled in chips with only 250 left should I call and lose, however it would be the right thing to fold in this situation. The flop did not scare him off. He is happy to see and raise the turn card. I am hoping he doesn’t have a bigger poacket pair, or trips, or a big flush draw, or better – plenty of reasons to get out.

But monkey me prepares for my special move and although thinking “He’s got you beat” I call! – nice call, seeing that he turns over 6 8u making a full house. Quite why he called my pre-flop raise with 6 8u I don’t know, but he did and I should have layed it down on the turn.

I swiftly turned off my machine and then proceeded to moan for an hour that I couldn’t actually believe what I had just done. Still I think maybe now I’ve actually “got it”. After being taught these two lessons on when to fold, it does sink in after a while.

The Moral Of The Story

Trust your instinct, and make sure you do what it says. There is a phrase that Mike Sexton says on the WPT a lot which is so true.

“If you think long, you think wrong”

That’s a good one to bare in mind. The only good thing that has come of this is that hopefully this nugget of information will have finally sunk into my thick skull.

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