Slow-playing is one of the most effective, but at the same time most dangerous tricks of an experienced poker player. When employed properly, this trick allows the player to claim a large part of his opponent’s chips. However, a failed attempt could cost the player enough to make an impact on the entire game. Therefore, slow-playing should be used with caution and should not be abused. In this article, we will look at the conditions necessary for the successful application of slow-playing in multi-table tournaments.
Slow-playing is a style of playing the game in which the player is trying to force an opponent to bluff and/or invest his money in the pot. For example, such a player could make a small bet or simply passively respond to someone else’s aggression instead of actively playing his hand. Thus, the poker player is luring the opponent into the trap of trying to get the most value out of the pot. In such a case, slow-playing means resigning from protecting your hand: the player has to allow his opponent to cheaply move onto the next street, which in the end can allow the opponent to make a winning hand. Furthermore, slow-playing can be a disadvantageous alternative, as the opponent can simply refuse to add to the pot leaving the player with no significant profits.
In general, in order to attempt slow-playing with a high chance of success, as outlined by David Sklansky, the following conditions have to be met:
— The player must hold a very strong hand;
— The free card should help to ensure that the opponent hold the second-best combination;
— The free card should not threaten the position of the player attempting slow-play. The probability of the opponent making a winning combination must be negligibly small;
— The player must be sure that in case of aggression the rival would be force out of the hand. Consequently, slow-playing might bring more chips than big bets;
— The pot should not be too large. Continue reading…