I hate you Slow Sal

July 6, 2008

I’ve written about the slow player before.  At least I think I have.  The one that takes his time deciding what to do, or worse, is easily distracted by conversation or phone calls to the point where it really disrupts the flow of a game.  I don’t mind talk at the table, be it about the game or about something else, but these are the people who don’t care whatsoever if their slow pace hinders the rest of the flow of the game.

            Anyway, that’s really not what I intended to complain…er…..examine in this article.  What I’ve noticed in recent games, more than previously, is the player that will drag out a tournament – a deliberately slow player.  And I’m not at all talking about playing speed this time. 

            No, this “slow” player mucks up the night with his meager betting.  Not interested in bluffing, or even appearing as though a bluff might be part of his betting repertoire, he won’t match the blinds or cough up a few chips here or there unless he’s sure, absolutely positive, he has something worth competing with.

            At this point, many of you are probably shrugging your shoulders as if to say, “So what?  What’s wrong with that?”

            Typically, I would agree with you.  In many situations it might be beneficial to “ride it out”.  But this isn’t the World Series of Poker, you don’t get more money for third place instead of fourth, and we sure as hell don’t have 3 hours per $10 tournament on a Saturday night.

            We’re all getting together to play cards, we’re there to have fun and keep the games moving.  

            Slow Sal doesn’t care, though, and I can’t stand it.  And it only gets worse the fewer players there are.  It’ll get down to 2 and he’ll be folding twice as many hands as he plays, if not more, and that’s WITH throwing in the blinds, of course.

            Thank goodness the blinds go up after certain time intervals.

            I really don’t know if it’s an actual strategy, if he’s trying to wear the other players down into just saying “screw it” and going all-in on a sketchy hand, or if he think he’s playing the odds…I don’t know.

            It does, however, reinforce my preference in short, ante cash games over a hold ‘em tournament.  I love the cash game.  You can bet as little as you want in a cash game, Slow Sal, I’ll happily take your ante each time.

            I’ll admit I get antsy in tournament games anyhow.  We’re all throwing in $10 or $15 and dishing out chips to play with.  So already I feel like I’ve already bought into the game, and it tends to affect my play.  If I were playing with quarters and dollars, it’d be a different story.

            But the games drag, even with 10-minute intervals between increases of the blinds, I can’t keep my eyes on the big picture.  And you’re right, I’d never make it anywhere in any type of real poker tournament.  I don’t have any problems admitting that.  The fun for me is in the short cash games, the wild card games, the follow-the-queen games.  That’s what I love.

            Slow Sal can have the tournaments and sit there watching his stack waver 10 chips in each direction over and over again until the sun comes up. 

            As long as somebody else beats him when it’s done.