MTT - AA vs donk bet...stack off?

aFishnHisChipsaFishnHisChips Red Chipper Posts: 70
edited April 2015 in Live Poker Hands
So here's another episode from my friendly neighbourhood pub tourney...

It's the usual mix of regular crowd plus a smattering of newbies. The villain in this case is a young lad I've not seen before. And he's a somewhat strange mix of characteristics. He's probably mid 20s and was - to be honest - a bit of a grumpy looking sod although afterwards I realised this may have been more due to nerves.

As soon as he sat down, he put on his reflective sun glasses and headphones and sat with an impassive face. This is not something that you tend to see at our game as it's not really the kind of atmosphere people want there. So it led to my usual ribbing and gentle mocking with a final warning to the table - "Watch out lads, the serious kid is in town!"

Everyone smiled. He didn't :-?

So at first sight, he did look like a serious contender. But then there were moments where he appeared to be a little confused. For example at one point we had to pause to patiently explain to him about counterfeiting and why someone's two pair didn't win.

But either way, by the time this hand came, he was actually chip leader. This was mostly due to a couple of hands in which he went against the two very bad players at the table who helpfully spewed their chips at him. But he had also taken down a few nice pots without showdown and so the only hands we had seen so far were winning ones. He had open limped a few hands which he folded to raises. The last time we had tackled each other was when he had raised but then folded to my 3bet on the button about half hour before. So I guess he was perhaps on the Tight-Weak end of things?

Anyway, after my usual long background intro, here's the hand which comes mid way through the tourney.

9 Players
Blinds: 200/400

The main actors:

MP (around 14,000)

HJ - Villain (48,000)

CO - (15,000)

BU - Hero (21,000)

MP open limps 400 (which is his default move with almost all hands)

Villain raises to 800

CO calls 800

Hero on BU has :Ah:As and 3 bets to 4000

It's folded around to Villain who calls. CO folds.

Pot - 9800

FLOP - :Js:6c:3c

Villain bets 10,000

Hero - ???

So here's the thing, question marks notwithstanding, I pretty much insta-shoved on this one. But away from the table in the cold light, I started wondering if this is a spot where it's that obvious. I still feel that I did the right thing but still, when it comes to donk bets and what they mean, I know that I often get myself into trouble.

When an opponent does something like this, should the alarm bells be going off? I guess I just saw the Jack and thought that he was feeling confident with :A? :J? etc. But should I have seen his pot bet as a sign of much more strength? Should I fear a set? Or should I see this as the sort of thing that a FD might do?

But all of that being said, unless I had very clear tells and/or much more previous history, folding here would surely be nittier than the Rock of Gibraltar? But then of course I can't just call which I guess leads us to shoving being the only option.

But then stacking off with 50 bigs with one pair - albeit those lovely rockets! - makes me think of Ed's warning about not paying them off when you're not beating what they're saying they have. I suppose my problem here is that I am never sure what it is that the villain is saying with his donk bet.

As always thank you for your wise thoughts!



  • Rello242Rello242 Red Chipper Posts: 595 ✭✭
    First off, in tournaments the game is 10x softer and i think anybody could agree with that.
    Second off, there is legitimately one time i respect a donk bet and thats when a donk was made into a multiway pot.

    Here is a factor that you should think about and that other tournament players should know:

    - You should be willing to gamble more in those close-calls spots since you want to give yourself the best chance for the money

    So if he knows this then he is probably ready to take his Jx hands to war correct? And if Jx is willing to commit along with FDs then you should be willing to gamble more despite the times if he ever shows up with a set or some crazy two pair because you have decent equity against these hands.

    My thing is, its a tournament a spot like this may not pop up so take it and whatever happens, well.... happens...

    "Its better to give than to receive, so bet more and call less"
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  • aFishnHisChipsaFishnHisChips Red Chipper Posts: 70
    Thank you for this!

    Yes, it's basically confirming what I felt but that's a good point about the difference between donking into just one player and a MW pot. In the case of the former - as here - it can mean a lot more things so as you say, sometimes you just have to go with it and hope for the best.

    In this particular situation, the guy insta-called my shove with :Kc:2c :)

    And yes, he rivered his flush :-?

    But leaving aside his attachment to his FD, I guess what I need to log in the memory bank is the fact that the guy is happy to raise then call a 3-bet with K2s...

    Cheers again!
  • Renato_LRenato_L Red Chipper Posts: 190
    I suppose my problem here is that I am never sure what it is that the villain is saying with his donk bet.

    I think this could be its own discussion or video (if one hasn't already been made). Donk bets are usually a sign of weakness. However some players exploit that and actually use it to disguise really strong hands. I love donk betting sets and made flushes. Fwiw, I would have done same thing you did.
  • Skors3Skors3 Red Chipper Posts: 669 ✭✭✭
    I am more leery of donk bets from stronger players. In my experience, players such as the Villain you describe donk with weak :J? s or flush draws as your Villain did.

    You made the right play.

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