The Joey Del Experience: Knee Deep and Slow Rolling at the APPT Sydney

Posted at 22:21 2009-11-30

As I write this we are knee deep in the PokerStars.net APPT Sydney Championships and the all new Star City Poker Room has been a haven of activity for poker tragics from all around this great country of ours. Whilst the PokerNetwork live reporting has done a tremendous job in covering the ins and outs of all the tournament play there has been many interesting situations that have taken place on the cash game tables. Whether it be Jeff Lisandro casually plonking a full stack of ‘banana’ chips onto the table ($100,000) for a casual Sunday night game or whether it be Sydney poker fixture Pierre Bush leaving 12 years rent on the $500 tables it certainly has been a haven of activity.

However there is one happening in particular that I want to talk about today. It was a story that was told to me yesterday and I am really at a loss as to what my thoughts are. The story in question comes from a very good friend of mine, 2009 Sydney ANZPT winner Paren ‘Puzz’ Arzoomanian. The game is a rotation game, one orbit of Texas Holdem and one orbit of Pot Limit Omaha. The Blinds are $10/$20 making a $2,000 buy-in about right.  As I am sure you will agree, not a small amount of money by any means and you would certainly assume that the players on the table would have a fairly competent understanding of both forms of poker.

So the action is on Puzz. He is under the gun and we are on the first hand of the Texas Holdem orbit. Puzz looks down at {ah}{kh} which is exactly the kind of hand that you want to see every time you look down at your hole cards. He makes a raise to $70. I am going to put a disclaimer in place here in case you are an online player who doesn’t play live, generally preflop betting amounts are bigger live (certainly at the Australian casinos that I have been to) than they are online. So as I was saying, Puzz makes it $70 and is called in three spots. Four players head to the flop.

The flop comes out {ks}{js}{5h}. Not a bad flop for Puzz with top pair. Action is on him and he bets $150 into the approximately $300 pot. There are two folds and then the last player to act raises to $550. Not exactly what Puzz was hoping for, so we take a look at the play and try and see where he stands. What hands can the opponent have that beat Puzz? Pocket kings is very unlikely as we have a king and the guy didn’t reraise preflop. So we will rule that out. He could have pocket fives and he could have pocket jacks. He could also have king-jack. There is also a tonne of hands that he can have that we don’t mind seeing. He could have a flush draw, anywhere from the nut draw to a hand like {6s}{7s} would probably play the same way. He could also have a fair few different queen-ten options. He could also just be spazzing out with king-queen or king-ten. So what do we do?

Puzz’s thoughts were pretty much similar to mine in the fact that he decided to just get it in. There are a few hands that can suck but there are a lot of hands in his range that we are happy to go up against.  Puzz moved all in and the action was on the other player. Puzz was entitled to be relieved when the guy didn’t snap-call. In fact, he sat there for a good few minutes weighing up his options and looking visibly pained by the decision that lay ahead of him. It was only just over $1,000 more for him to call and when you factor in that there was about $2,500 in the pot, it should have been a relatively quick decision either way. Eventually the guy did call. The turn and river both came out bricks (this is a cash game so you don’t need to turn your cards over when you are all in). When the hand had played out Puzz looked at the other player, he stared quizzically down at the board tapped the table and said, “Nice hand”. Puzz figured that he must have been on the flush draw and turned over his cards to show his pair of kings. About ten seconds after Puzz had turned over his cards, the other player revealed {jc}{jh} to show a set of jacks and the winning hand!

Understandably, Puzz blew up, in fact more than half the table blew up and started abusing the guy. Whilst most people can see the funny side of an online slowroll, to do it in a live casino game over a $4,000 pot is inexcusable. However, this is where things get interesting.

The other player didn’t understand why everyone was yelling at him. He didn’t know what had happened. He said he wasn’t sure that he had won! What on Earth are you doing playing a $2,000 buy-in game when you are not even sure that a set beats a pair. Also, why does it take a human almost five minutes to call an all in-bet when they have middle set? The guy kept with his story that he didn’t know what he had done wrong, even though most of the table had by now disassociated themselves from him. The guy was an elder gentleman and wasn’t the stereotypical smirking “hero” that you would expect to be slow rolling someone in a live game.

So as I said, I am completely confused, did he know what he had and did he pull off the biggest and sickest slow roll I have seen in decent memory? Or was he truly a clueless fool who had no idea that three of the same card was a good thing? If so, what was he doing in that game and when can I get some game time against him?

One thing is for sure, nothing ruins a good night of poker quite like getting a massive slow roll for a 200bb pot. Just ask Puzz.

Speak soon, Good luck in whatever you do and have a great week!

- Joey Del

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Joey Del, a man who never slow rolls! Joey Del, a man who never slow rolls!

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