Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Deliberate Donkification

Had a bit of difficulty getting to sleep on Sunday night, so logged on to Everest Poker to screw around a bit. Signed up for a ten-cent SNG. Yes, ten players buy-in for $.10 each, then fight for the $1 prize pool.

I started out all right, but it was late and my interest waned. I couldn't really muster the enthusiasm to fight for that dollar. So I started making some deliberately stupid plays just to maybe get knocked out so I could go and do something else. Calling with King-rag, chasing draws with bad odds, raising 4 times the big blind with crap, etc.

Blinds were still low, so I won some and lost some, my stack size jumping up and down. After several folks got knocked out and my stack was at a high spot, I toned it down some, and knocked a few other players out until it was heads-up. It went back and forth for a while, and it sure felt like the other player had no idea what to expect from me and what I could be playing. Eventually I got tired of it and did a stupid all-in and lost, but if I had stayed the course I could easily have won. (That's right, instead of my measley $.30 for second, I would have got, what, $.60 for first? What a difference!)

It was a somewhat amusing, though stupid, experiment, but I learned something. If your stacks are deep enough and your resolve strong enough to handle some crazy plays and big variance, playing like a fucking donkey can really put the other players on tilt, get them playing badly and seriously wondering about your own sanity and what kind of cards you could possibly be holding. Turn off the idiot act later on, and this might be a serious advantage.

Depending on the table and the other players, of course. If they're used to, nay expecting, donkey play from their opponents, then it probably won't make any difference.

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