Let's be honest with ourselves. Not all of our bad beats were brought on without a little bit of luck coming from us as the player. I'm talking about those moments you think you're walking into a dry board on the flop so you take the time to enjoy yourself by slow playing this walk down to the river. A walk down that can sometimes cost you the entire hand if you aren't careful.


Let's try to dig up some of those painful memories when those "dry boards" that don't stay dry for long and you end up getting hosed in the end, leaving your gameplay feel all washed up as you get flushed away by some toilet bowl hand on the river. I know it's happened to me before, whether it be me being blinded by the bright light going off in my head as the idea bulb goes off or some other unseen element. Often we think our overpair to the rainbow flop gives us more than just a glimmer of hope in winning the pot. These are the moments you have to take a step back from to see clearly and know there is no oppertune time worth slow playing your hand. I mean after all, slow playing doesn't necessarily add any value to your hand unless it's the player who you are slowing into. This is important to consider before deciding to slow play in any positition with just about any hand. Just because the flop comes a rainbow doesn't mean there's always going to be a pot of gold waiting for you at the end of it. As in all hands there's a certain level of earning it that goes along with it. I mean if poker was that simple we'd all be slow playing our way to retirement. But if that's how you intend on playing your monster hands you may as well take retirement into consideration because this isn't what is going to benefit you in the long run. 

How many times has slow playing a hand in turn affected how you viewed your own gameplay? Usually the count is on par with the amount of times we've been hammered out on the river. When really, we should have been using the best tool we are given as poker players the value bet. Take control of the pots you have a hand before the pot controls your hand. When it comes to building a bankroll the value bet is inevitably going to get the job done, as it has for all poker players looking to build a stack over the years. Slow playing is for suckers, so unless there is a player at the table you know is going to suck themselves in don't do it. 

An important element to not overlook while slow playing a hand is that it will in turn restrict your future actions for that pot, so unless you know you're playing into the rogue bluffing bandit it usually isn't going to gain you as much as it can cost you. Know that when you are slow playing a hand any aggressive action you make in that same hand is going to be amplified to the point of hyperbolizing your monster hand. The check raise will win you a quick pot in most cases but if getting the most chips out of your opponent was your goal, you've most likely failed. The situation which is going to gain you the most value obviously is a structured betting style to reflect the potsize forcing your opponent to reflect on their trust issues which tend to be brought out while playing the game of poker. Keep in mind the average playeris usually a curious one so make them pay for each card they are curious about. 

In my own personal experience the only time worth slow playing hands are during bubble spots in tournament play where survival is the key element to be concerned with. However, when it comes to the cash tables and slow playing monster hands don't do it unless you want to unleash the monster from within, which often adds you to be afraid of your own actions and not just your opponents anymore. Poker isn't the game you want to be second guessing yourself because by the second guess that's usually what you are paying for....a guess. Don't overlook the information your own begging structure can reveal about the player you are up against. You shouldn't be focusing on your survival skills as a fish playing weak into pots hoping you don't get caught by the river. But instead refining your ability to pick off the prey playing like a shark, by enhancing your game with the three bet which in turn will leave the guessing to your opponent. 

I hope writing this eliminates at least a couple of those backdoor beatdowns from getting into your head and living rent free. Because once someone has got in your head there's no telling how much damage it can cause. Keep your game tight so your head can stay right. Best of luck everyone, let's smash it up without breaking our bank!