Cash Game Am I wrong to ask a player to pay for their referral who didn't pay up?

rjdev7

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TL;DR: I host a 1/2 NL online game on pokerrr2 and, recently, a player, let's call him Fish, lost $800 and refused to pay at the end of the night on the grounds that he felt "players were cheating" (in reality, he was just the worst player I've ever seen). He was invited to the game by an existing member, let's call him John. Should John be required to pay the $800?

More background:
Our club is a group of friends, with a high level of trust built in. We've played together for over a year without any payment issues. As a result, we don't collect buy-ins up front, and settle everything with a single electronic payment at the end of the night (e.g. Venmo, Paypal, etc.) There are a variety of reasons for this ranging from (a) it's just easier (b) less flags to be potentially concerned with (e.g. rumors that Venmo will block repeated payments).

Over time, members of our club have also started playing in other clubs. One club in particular is a full blown, 600 person club with raked games running a variety of stakes. One of our members reached out to John, who is known to play in other clubs like these, and said something to the tune of "Hey -- our game is getting more difficult to run regularly bc players have started dropping, are there any players in the other club that would be GREAT for the game?" In other words, who are the biggest fish with the deepest pockets?

John then said he knew the perfect person, and asked Fish to play with us one night. We didn't question John about Fish, and trusted that he would only refer someone he was confident was trustworthy and financially stable.

Aftermath:
I have sent several messages to Fish, including Venmo and Paypal requests, and have been ignored across all mediums. John vehemently disagrees with the rest of our club that he should be financially responsible for this $800. Since he feels this way, we've told him that he's no longer allowed to play with us unless his buy-ins are done up front. This somehow offended him, and he then said "the reason you're doing that is because you're going to take my buy-ins and never pay me back to cover Fish's losses." As you can tell there was a large breakdown in trust, and John is no longer going to play in our club.

Am I wrong that John should be responsible for Fish's losses?
 

detroitdad

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Am I wrong that John should be responsible for Fish's losses?

I don't think he should be responsible for Fish's loss. However, for John using such poor judgement I would be remiss to continue to allow him to play.

Ultimately, whomever is in charge of the club is at fault in this snafu. Poor banking choices (not collecting up front) led to this problem.
 

JeepologyOffroad

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Sucks but I don’t think John should be held accountable to pay the fish debt unless this was agreed upon prior

Edit: I would also probably be offended to be asked to now have to pay my buy in up front after a year without issue
 

Felt_Lizard

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Show of hands:

Raise 'em up if you'd like to play a game where players submit their buy-ins at the end? :LOL: :laugh:

Kidding- It's nice that your group *had* that level of trust. But by paying up front, you actually support present and future trust and avoid ugly situations. And it's not trust in people...it's trust in the game.
 

JustinInMN

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Our club is a group of friends, with a high level of trust built in. We've played together for over a year without any payment issues. As a result, we don't collect buy-ins up front, and settle everything with a single electronic payment at the end of the night (e.g. Venmo, Paypal, etc.) There are a variety of reasons for this ranging from (a) it's just easier (b) less flags to be potentially concerned with (e.g. rumors that Venmo will block repeated payments).

See this is never a problem up until the moment it is.

Am I wrong that John should be responsible for Fish's losses?

I would say unless there was a clear practice in place for referrals that this is the case then yes, I would say it was wrong to put it entirely on John and I don't really blame him for taking offense. Ultimately, you set the payment procedures, you take the risk.

I think you really needed cooperation from John to try and recover and instead went the confrontational route. If I were in John's shoes I would have offered to help collect as I could and maybe split the difference, but this isn't 100% on John, this is a flaw in the procedure, I don't think you get to escape responsibility entirely either.
 

Pinesol13

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My opinion is John should not be responsible, although it would definitely leave a black mark on his reputation for me.

The person running the club is ultimately responsible. I'd say it's an expensive lesson learned; only trusted regulars can pay after the game, newbies have to pay for their buy in up front.
 

markleteenie

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I'd agree that John isn't responsible for Fish's loss.

If that was a rule prior, then sure, but you can't make that up afterwards and then apply it. You can make that a rule going forward that all new members have to prepay buy ins for probationary period of x months/sessions, certainly. Or that anyone who refers someone is responsible for their debts.

But hanging this on John (though it seems simplest), is not right, IMO. John didn't know he would be responsible for Fish. He brought in someone who has poor decision making skills and if prepaid, would have been a perfect cash influx.
 

Moxie Mike

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I had a similar situation with my private Stars group (we collect entry fees at the end of the rebuy period to make it easier). In this instance, a player admittedly through his own fault failed to secure his free add on and subsequently refused to pay his entry fee ($25). After diplomatic efforts failed to persuade the individual to pay me, I personally funded the $25 to make the prize pool whole and suspended his acct.

So here's my take on your situation: Even though John referred Fish, YOU are the one who 1) ultimately approved his membership; and 2) extended Fish a line of credit to gamble with. The fact that you determined his creditworthiness based on the word of John doesn't make John responsible for Fish's refusal to pay his debt.
 

shorticus

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Sucks but I don’t think John should be held accountable to pay the fish debt unless this was agreed upon prior

Edit: I would also probably be offended to be asked to now have to pay my buy in up front after a year without issue
100% this. My standing rule in my home game is you can invite anyone you think will be beneficial to the game but you are responsible for anything that happens involving them. Having a plan is the best way to avoid conflict.
 

Schmendr1ck

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1) This is what happens when you don't maintain a "cash in chips out" rule for the bank. Live or online, no one should ever be given chips until they put money in the bank first.
2) I'm not letting John refer anyone else to the game, but I'm also not holding him responsible for the $800 or singling him out to pay up front from now on. Yes, he made a bad referral, but he's also demonstrated consistent trustworthiness when it comes to paying what he personally owes.
3) See number 1 - eat the loss and convert this group to cash up front.
 

MrCatPants

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Just piling on.

Not his fault - fault of the policy of the game. Just don't extend players credit.

You can press him on trying to help you collect, though.
 

rjdev7

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See this is never a problem up until the moment it is.



I would say unless there was a clear practice in place for referrals that this is the case then yes, I would say it was wrong to put it entirely on John and I don't really blame him for taking offense. Ultimately, you set the payment procedures, you take the risk.

I think you really needed cooperation from John to try and recover and instead went the confrontational route. If I were in John's shoes I would have offered to help collect as I could and maybe split the difference, but this isn't 100% on John, this is a flaw in the procedure, I don't think you get to escape responsibility entirely either.
I should have mentioned this. I did start by asking John if he could work with Fish to get payment, and he agreed. But then Fish basically told John to f*ck off (hence where we learned he felt we were all cheating).

I then found out that fish actually also owed John $300 before the start of this game :)

So probably not the best player to bring into our game to begin with.
 

rjdev7

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Thanks, all for the feedback!! Really helpful to hear from others who either take part in or run similar clubs. I agree that it's probably best to have new players pay up front. Last question, does anyone know any "collectors" in LA that wouldn't mind chatting with Fish? I'll give them 20% hahaha (kidding)

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Felt_Lizard

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I then found out that fish actually also owed John $300 before the start of this game :)

So probably not the best player to bring into our game to begin with.
Sheeee-it....fish din't even come with clean papers...
 
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TeamNapoli

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totally agree, the banking policy is what made this 800 short fall occur and will occur again. I understand its a game of friends, but you invited an unknown individual that should have paid upfront. You didnt mention buy in amount, let say it was 200, at the minimum on the second buy in he should have been asked to make a payment.
John not responsible for the 800 John was requested if he knew someone, john just didn't bring up a name out of the blue. John history to the club should speak for itself. Now who runs the club is on the hook for the 800, or the club eats the 800 .
 

TheDuke

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That's a tough situation.

But I wouldn't hold John responsible. You approached him and asked for a player. He didn't come to you asking if said player could join. You asked and he obliged.

That's the issue of collecting buyins after the fact. Fine and dandy for a group of friends. Unknown players are just free rolling and have no connection/loyalty to you so they don't feel a major obligation to pay their debts.

I'd try to smooth things over with John and recruit his help in collecting the debt.

Payment up front from now on or it will just happen again. Never let people gamble on a marker unless you have a burly enforcer named Grandma who visits players to negotiate debt repayment.
 

upNdown

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And this isn’t like John brought him voluntarily. He was asked to bring a fish and he did. Imo host has responsibility here. If I was hosting I would probably cover the loss myself.
Yeah that was my reaction. You guys tell john to go get a fish. He helps you out and gets a fish who you guys then allow to screw your all. Now you want John to cover for him? Fuck you guys. Seriously.
 

Ben8257

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SMH... I understand the buddy system, but seriously $800 in the hole with absolutely zero cash up front? After $400 no one started to question this new guy?

If I was John and in good standing in your group and the group is already loosing players, sorry but I would also be out. This is an online game, endless other games and tables to play at. John should have mentioned the $300 debt, that was wrong to withhold. But zero chance I'm letting my best friend that I have known all my life go $800 in the hole and absolutely no money up front.

So how do you fix this now that everyone wants their money and save the game? Likely anything short of the host shelling out the debt will end if more players finding another group, but if you are all good friends and you ALL agreed on the payment structure, I personally think each player involved should eat an equal part. Likely some will not be comfortable with that and will walk away. Best of luck resolving this one but I wouldn't expect any more money from John or Fish. Time to come up with plan B.
 

nitzilla

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The Fish was on a freeroll, either they made money or lost and it didn't cost anything..... not a good situation.
But not John's fault unless they were working together in said freeroll...... who was owed the $800? If the majority was going to John, that might raise some eyebrows.....?
 

ArielVer18

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Going against the grain. I think it's fine to assume players are good for all debts and that all transactions will be handled by the end of the game. Isn't that called a gentleman's game? Or have I been watching too many movies?

How far does Fish live? I think you and your crew needs to pay Fish a visit to "convince" him to pay up.
 

ovo

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John not responsible, but if I was the banker/host, (first money would be paid upfront, second, I am responsible to pay out my players, so I guess I would take the loss). Then I would find fish and fillet him But if I was John, I would feel responsible for bringing in a cheater and probably want to pay
 

TheBigTater

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Even though John supposedly vetted the new player in question, he shouldn't be held responsible. Cash in for chips always. Only the absolute best of friends should be granted credit and that should be on a personal basis, never by the organization/club/etc... You want to lend someone money then you pay for their chips.
 
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