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Posted by Bigbet on Sunday, December 27, 2009

Slow play is bad

Here are two more slowplays, both done by one of my opponents. In one case he wins, and in the other he loses.

The game is three handed. Unfortunatly, NoPainNoGain isn’t the fish I’d hoped he’d be. He’s a rather sophistocated player, which means it’s basically three pros fighting it out. But NoPainNoGain is clearly on the bottom of the totem here, so I’ll play. Part of what makes him so bad is his contravariant strategy: he bets when he is weak, and tries to slowplay when he should not. This makes it very easy to extract value with big hands, and to dodge his attempts to extract extra value.

Notice how I dodge the turn check-raise after pairing my Ace. This is a classic way behind or way ahead situation, especially against someone who slowplays. Of course, I pay off because I’ve induced a bluff, but I’ve only put int 1.5 big bets with the worst of it. In this hand he tries, ever so valiantly, to get some extra value from pocket aces by limping on the button. If he had played a bit quicker he might have only put in 3.5 or 4 big bets against my flopped straight, but instead he charges himself extra by waiting till the turn to pop me.

Slowplay kills. Despite this, there are times when I think a slowplay is what the doctor ordered. Here’s a hand where I had to bow out early, but two other players had the wonderful opportunity to run the deuling slowplays.

For the straight flush, it certainly seems like a clear opportunity for a slowplay. On the turn the straight flush has the hand locked up, and by smooth calling he can lure up to three other players in. Also, there are a lot of hand which might draw here. Certainly the big hearts wll draw, but so might the baby 5h shooting for the gutshot straight flush draw. A lot of players will not fold any straight flush draw. The river is kind of a bummer from a results oriented perspective. The chance to jam in this hand was on the turn against the made flush. With the board paired, the flush is just going to passivly call.

For the made flush, he is picking the exact wrong place to slowplay. He needs to charge the maximum in case another heart falls. Another heart may not beat him, but it could easily scare him into not betting/raising on the river. Since a lot of players will bluff a four flush board, or thin bet them with baby flushes, the non-nut flush needs to get their value when they can. Again, from a results oriented standpoint, he picked the perfect time not to slowplay.