Getting slow rolled can be psychologically devastating. It’s the one thing in poker that is arguably considered to be the worst thing ever. Spend enough time playing poker and eventually you will hear about someone getting slow rolled. Depending on who is telling the story it may be hilarious or it might sound awful. Slow rolling in some places around the world is perfectly acceptable and its just part of the game. Slow rolling is when a player deliberately delays showing their hand knowing that they have the winning hand and let the other player think they have won before tabling their hand.
I do my best not to ever slow roll. Anytime I think I have the winning hand I just table my hand. If I get to showdown and my opponent called my bet, I just table my hand and let the dealer determine who has the winning hand. I think its ridiculous when players make a bet or call and are genuinely embarrassed to show their cards. Why even bother to play the hand if you know you are no good at show down? Is it just to gain a little piece of information? If that is the case, then why doesn’t the other player have the right to see the hand they beat? Just because you want to muck your hand? The reality is that if the other player were to ask, they do have a right to see your cards. The problem is that this almost always slows down the game and, in some situations, just creates some hostilities that will end up with the floor being called to clarify a rule. At the end of the day its not worth it. Its better to just move on and keep the game moving.
I have been slow rolled before. It’s not a rare occurrence and if you play a lot of poker then it sort of just comes with the territory since you will be playing less experienced players. Most of the time when it does happen to me it’s because the other player doesn’t realize that they are first to table their hand. They know they have the nuts or think they do but feel that they should get to see my hand first. This is how I have developed the habit of just tabling my hand at showdown, it just makes it easier and faster for the game. The weirdest slow roll happened to me recently. It’s one of those things that you only hear stories about. The kind of thing that never gets the same reaction but at the same time always gets the same response from other poker players. It all starts with a night of poker…
A friend who usually comes to Las Vegas to grind out casino comps had arrived a few days sooner than he originally planned. Because of this we found ourselves hopping casinos around town and checking out poker rooms. We played a lot of poker that weekend. We went to go play at The Orleans, South Point, and The Golden Nugget. This hand happened during our session at South Point. The night had started out great! I received some business cards that I had printed up to promote my blog and made some soul reads while at the table. It was my first-time playing cash games at South Point. After getting the correct player’s card for the poker room I was called to move to the table where all my friends were. Upon arriving to the new table, the very first hand that was dealt to me, I raise with 9T suited. Villain raised on the flop and then on the turn jams. I take some time tanking to figure out what is going on and conclude that villain either has a set or nothing and its more likely that villain has nothing since they would most likely try to milk me for more money when they have the set. There was also a part of me that thought that villain could have been trying to bully me since I had only bought in for 100 BBs and had not topped off yet when I arrived at the table. I called villain’s all-in bet and won.
Chips were flying all over the place on the table. Eventually players started to leave, and new players would replace them. A couple of these players were creating a lot of action. I think I may have even annoyed one player after I had jammed, and he had to fold. He started to 3-bet a lot of my open raises. I tried my best to give him the benefit of the doubt that he was not targeting me, but it was hard not to think about it. Slowly, I started to bleed chips and even thought about racking up and just waiting for my friend to leave. Unfortunately, I told myself that I could get back to where I was and continued to play. The first hand that happened where things started to go bad happened when I tried to bluff a player off a hand. I don’t recall what I had but I remember that the turn brought in both a straight and flush. I decided to take the betting lead on this and then made a two-thirds sized bet on the river to make it look like I was going for value. My opponent called me and won with her straight. I found myself looking at my chip stack, questioning how I was back to what I had started the night with.
This hand our first opponent opened from the Low-Jack to $15. I look down at AJo in the High-Jack and decide to 3-bet to $45. The Cutoff folds, Button calls and the original raiser calls. We are 3 ways to a flop that comes down Ace high with two spades, the Ace being one of the spades. The original raiser checks, it now my turn to act. I think about my options and while the board doesn’t look like it could favor one player more than the other, it connects with my range and the buttons range. I decide to make a bet to deny the buttons equity and make the original raiser pay to float or chase. Both players call my bet of $50. The turn is a 10 of spades, bringing in the front flush and now putting some backdoor straight possibilities on the board. Again, the original raiser checks. I quickly count my chips in my head and realize that I only have a little less than a pot size bet left. The button has been aggressive the entire night and I think if he had any draws on the flop, he might have raised it just to put pressure on single pair hands like mine. The original raiser in my mind likes to chase or float hoping to improve, so this turn should be safe for me except for the flush. In the moment I felt like if I check that I might as well just fold since I would be giving up on the hand. I decide to go all-in. The button acts shocked and after a little bit of contemplating, he folds. The original raise pauses for a moment and makes the call. I am not hoping that he is calling with a worse Ace or draw. The river is a 2 of spades and I turn to him and ask if he has a spade since any spade now beats. He says, “No, I don’t have a spade.” I immediately table my hand and he makes one of those “whoa” sounds as if he is trying to whistle but all he gets is air. I think he is checking his cards one final time before he is going to much and then… he pauses. Just long enough for me to wonder if we are chopping. He turns to me and says, “I am sorry man. I swear I didn’t know. I’m not trying to slow roll you.” He tables his hand and shows that he has the Jack of spades. I nod my head, slide him my chips and pull out more money from my pocket to buy back in.
Now we get to the weird part. He immediately asks me how much it was. I sort of shrug since I did not have an exact count. I know it was roughly between $150 to $200, but since he clearly had me covered no one at the table requested an exact count. He starts to give me $100 in $25 chips, and I am just sitting there not sure what to do or say. I am still processing what just happened. The button player then jumps into action and tells him you can’t do that. It must be from your pocket if you want to give him money, but it can’t be off the table. I just nod my head in agreement because he is right. The original raiser responds by saying he didn’t know and then tells me that he will pay me back. In my mind I am honestly not expecting anything. At the end of the day, he still beat me and had the better hand. I am sure if I were to analyze the hand that I should never be going all-in on the turn, but I don’t really need to analyze the hand to know that. After a few more orbits of play, the original raise racks up his chips, wishes everyone a good night and as he is about to walk away, he hands me $150 in $25 chips and apologizes.
Bizzy’s 2022 Gains: -$3246.71