Meanest Slow Rolls in Poker History

3 years ago
Top Slow Rolls in Poker History
20 Jun

According to the poker wiki page a ‘slow roll’ is “to make a long pause before calling an all-in bet with a strong, usually very strong, hand.” The reason a slow roll is frowned upon is because there is no need for the player to take their time because there is no-one else left to act in the hand. With no advantage to be gained from pausing, it is considered bad poker etiquette to make it worse for your opponent when they are pretty much set to lose the hand.

Pokerhaven recently uploaded a poker video to YouTube which gave a number of examples of the meanest slow rolls caught on camera. The video is well worth a watch. I have researched some other infamous slow rolls and have outlined some of my all-time favorites.

Donnacha O’Dea vs Andreas Gann

Gann could hardly have expected a warm reception when, for reasons known only to himself, he decided to slow roll Irish poker legend Donnacha O’Dea at the Irish Open!

With the blinds at $25k - $50k, O’Dea raised to $100k with Ac, 6c and was called from the small blind by Gann holding Kd, Qd. The big blind folded and the flop was dealt 8d, Ad, 6d giving O’Dea two pair but giving Gann the strongest possible hand, an Ace high flush. Gann checked to O’Dea, who with his two pair bet $300k, enough to put Gann all-in.

There was no decision to make so the proper thing to do was snap call. For some reason, however, Gann tanked for what the commentators suggested was around three minutes. Eventually Gann called and was berated by fellow players and booed by the crowd. T he turn was a blank, but the river card was a 6, improved O’Dea’s two pair to a full house and therefore eliminating Gann from the tournament. Let’s just say those present seemed fairly happy with the outcome of that hand.

96 Year Old Jack Uri at the WSOP

Jack Uri passed away in 2011 at the age of 97, but before he left us, he locked into poker history one of the better slow rolls we have on record. It was mean because a slow roll is not the done thing, but he was given a round of applause because of his advancing years at the 2009 World Series of Poker.

Contesting a $5,500 pot on Day 2 of the Main Event, Uri bet $1000 into the pot on a flop of 6c, 6d, 7s. His opponent Stephen Friedlander bet enough to put Uri all-in. Until this point, the hole cards were unknown to the TV cameras, but after a moment, it was revealed Friedlander had reason to be confident holding 6h, 7h meaning he had flopped a total monster, the full house. Uri was told to reveal his cards and everyone thought he was well behind in the hand. He eventually revealed 7c, 7d for a better full house! This was a slow roll, but one that Friedlander took very well and credit to him for that.

Mikel Habb v Samantha Abernathy

Samantha Abernathy is on the photogenic side of photogenic so when Mikel Habb continued his outspoken behavior during this hand, the commentator found it, shall we say, difficult not to defend her honor. To be fair, I would too. Habb had Kh, Kd and raised to $112k, Abernathy with pocket sixes raises all-in to $514k and the action folds back to Habb. Habb puts his head in his hands and looks in pain before calling. The commentator, clearly a decent player, immediately starts calling for a 6. Habb was clearly worried about Aces but celebrates in an over the top fashion until yes, you guessed it, the 6 hit on the river and Habb was eliminated. Ship it to Mama! Abernathy went on to finish 3rd in the event for $625,000 AUS. Very nice.

Michael Anthony vs Michael Vartanovi

This video could also appear on the “Top 5 Oversells”. Michael has Kd, 9c and Anthony holds 5c, 8h. Anthony limps and Michael checks from the big blind. Michael gains two pair and Anthony trips on the flop of 5d, 5h, Ks. Anthony bets $400 into a pot of $1200 and Michael raises to $2000. Without too much fuss, Anthony calls. The turn is a dream card for him, the 5s, giving him quads. Anthony checks. Holding a full house Michael bets $4000. We then witness what can only be described as a man posing as being in complete disarray.

Phil Gordon in commentary says it is obvious what is going on and eventually Anthony calls the bet. The river card is the Kc which is devastating for Michael as it improves his full house. Michael goes all-in for his remaining $3000. Anthony looks pained here which is technically a slow roll, but surely he could not expect Michael to be holding KK as he would have raised pre-flop. Eventually he calls and takes the $15,100 pot.

Try not to slow roll, and if you are playing against me in a hand, try not to ever have the best hand period!

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Malcolm comes from Consett in the North East of England and is an avid poker player and writer.Read more


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