Sunday, August 01, 2010

Is Slow-Rolling in Poker Tournaments a Form of Cheating?

Slow-rolling is the art...or the disgrace...of taking your sweet time to reveal your hand at showdown after the river, especially when you have the nuts winning hand. Note that I am not talking about slow-rolling during the betting rounds when players take their time deciding what to do, whether or not they have the nuts and whether or not it is on the river. I am strictly speaking of players who have raised or bet and been called at the end and now must show their hands. Slow-rolling players take their sweet time turning over their cards. And of course it is quite annoying when you're waiting with bated breath to see if you won or lost the pot.

So, is there any real advantage to slow-rolling in tournament play? Actually there is. Say that the tournament is near the end and there are 15 or so players on the two remaining tables battling to make it to the final table. The person doing the slow-rolling is buying time or stalling, hoping that during his slow-rolling a player at the other table busts out. This in effect gives him an advantage, however slight it may be, of reaching the final table. If it happens at the key moment when the 10th player is eliminated, slow-rolling can actually push the slow-roller to the final table.

Is this cheating? No it is not. It is unclassy, unethical and perhaps dispicable, but it is also just another form of angle-shooting that cannot be considered poker cheating.

How 'bout slow-rolling in online poker tournaments?...Please, gimme a break!