Banned Player Shows Up... WWYD?

Trihonda

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OK, some background:

A few months back, an old co-worker of mine (not a serious poker player) gets invited to a home game (mixed games). He asks if he can bring his wife, and I says sure. He explains that his wife has played some, and knows the basic rules of the game, but will certainly need a cheat sheet (with hand rankings). Since this is a friendly game with lower stakes, I don't think this guy's wife has much to fear.

So, when this guy and his wife arrive, buyin for the min, and his wife proceeds to play ridiculously bad... Even referring to her hand ranking "cheat" sheet on every hand... After a time, she starts making plays (real 5th level sh!t), and she starts letting slip (by her actions) that she's not as "new" as they initially let on.

For instance, in one hand (with wild cards in play), that the wife, me, and another villain are engaged in, the villain tables what he (and I) believes is an A high flush, I table a straight flush, and the wife mucks. The wife immediately corrects the villain in that he has a higher Straight Flush by arranging his cards in a different manner. She sees in an instant, what the villain failed to see the entire time he was holding his cards... It was creepy aware, and made everyone at the table leery of this woman's integrity. She eventually hit a big hand a short time later and immediately cashed out.

After her and her hubby left, the rest of the table was abuzz with talk about how obvious it was she was not new. A few weeks later, I happened to chat with some friends in common, who explained that the wife is a big-time player who routinely wins larger tournaments. I then talked with this old co-worker and explained that there was discontent about his wife's lack of forthcoming regarding her skill, and that it came off like a "pool shark"... I explained that it was a friendly game and that people were kinda miffed about it. I said that people of all skill levels are welcome at my game, but that shadiness isn't kosher. I explained (in somewhat of a lighthearted manner) that he was more than welcome to play in the future, but his wife was not welcome. I even used the term "banned".

Now I'm not one to judge a person's desirability as an attendee based on their donor status, but my old co-worker and his wife will only buy in for the minimum, then leave after they cash big or lose their initial $20 buyin. Thus leaving two seats open... Not the best choices for regulars to any home game.


So onto my story from last night (like you can't tell where this is going)...

Last night I hosted cards. It was a last minute thing (with only 4 days notice). I ran into my old co-worker early on (lets call him jack), and explained I was hosting. I asked if he was interested in playing, and Jack said yes. The day of, I sent Jack a text reminder about my game, which started at 7pm. Jack knows that my games are RSVP (normally with a wait list).

At 7:10pm, Jack shows up with his wife in tow... There's already 5 guys hanging out in my kitchen waiting to head downstairs to play. I have a full table scheduled (10 seats), but some of my players aren't showing up until around 9pm. I'm kinda silent as Jack and his wife make their way into the kitchen, and his wife says, "Jack said it'd be cool if I just came and played".

What would you do?
 

manamongkids

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Tell her people have RSVPd and she can sit until your table fills. And also that the regulars prefer to play (9 handed if thats how many RSVP'd) but at that time she would have to cash out and give her seat up.

I only say this because I see a stink being caused asking to play two tables (if you have them available) or to squeeze an extra player in (if you regularly play 9-10 handed, adding one sucks)
 

stocky

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Stop hosting. Your luck is terrible ;) jk

I agree with what manamongst said. Let her play until everyone else shows up. Make a point of telling everyone how she played in the past. Repeatably ask if she needs her cheat sheet.
 

Trihonda

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Married people are a package. If you don't want one half, don't invite the other.

Even if you've told the husband that the wife isn't welcome?

And I wouldn't necessarily agree that married people are packages, as a general rule... If I got invited to a buddy's house for poker (and I RSVP for a seat), I can automatically bring my wife along to play (unannounced)? I wouldn't assume that...

Now, if I had two regular players in my game (and they were married), if I invited one, I might assume that both would be invited. If they both RSVP'd, no biggie.
 

Jeff

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Even if you've told the husband that the wife isn't welcome?

If you don't want her in your game, yes. They've both played at your house. Your attempt to ban half of the two poker player hubby/wife combo produced a weird/awkward situation. I'd avoid the situation by not inviting either. Just my way.
 

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"You" is also plural. When you asked, "do you want to come?" and he said yes, did you point out that it was just for him, and remind him that his wife is banned?

If someone asked me "do you want to come to my thing," it's normal for me to assume they include my wife.
 
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Payback

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Yeah honestly I'm not sure why you invited the husband here ad it opens the door for the wife to come back. Basically you made your own bed IMO so let her play this time, but don't re-invite either.
 

Trihonda

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Tell her people have RSVPd and she can sit until your table fills. And also that the regulars prefer to play (9 handed if thats how many RSVP'd) but at that time she would have to cash out and give her seat up

This was exactly what I did. ^^^^. Though, they both busted their initial $20 buyins rather quickly, then took off.

When I invited him, I said "you" as in I have a seat open, do YOU want it? He and I discussed him coming, and having to leave at a particular time due to work the next day... He (they) will not be getting an invite back.

When he was initially invited to my home game, he played a couple times, then on the third time, he asked about bringing his wife along (as stated earlier). After his wife's first showing, he was told she wasn't welcome back. So, yes I assumed the wife wasn't coming. My bad, lol...
 

slisk250

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What would you do?

Maybe I'm a straight up tell it like it is guy. This is so easy It took a millisecond to formulate my reply. You take the two of them aside.

"Hello, I'm so happy you are here because I wanted to talk with you about your "behavior" at the last game I hosted. You came in saying you were green and needed a cheat sheet. You are obviously a player that has won local tournaments and came into my house with the intent to deceive. This is a friendly game and also my house. Many of my regulars do not want you at the table. Integrity is everything at my house and at this game. I'm sure there are other places you can play."

Then "if you'll excuse me, I've got a game to host." F -'em :)
 

Ronoh

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At first I was interested in the story of the banned 5th level thinking home game shark in sheep's clothing until I saw
my old co-worker and his wife will only buy in for the minimum, then leave after they cash big or lose their initial $20 buyin.
:confused::rolleyes::confused:

She is harmless and is about as far from being a ringer as you're going to find. Agree with others who have said they are a package deal... either accept her back in your game or stop inviting the hubby. I wouldn't invite solely based on the randomness of having open seats when they hit the road ten minutes in to the game.
 

Poker Zombie

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While she was sandbagging in in the first game, I don't think that would be a bannable offence. To ban someone is tantamount to doing something that harms the integrity of the game, the safety of others, the value of your home/belongings, or the enjoyment of others.

Quite frankly, I would have let them play. While she never actually "lied" (in the OP) your buddy did, by saying she "needed" a cheat sheet. If anyone should be banned, it would be him. She actually helped you out because she read the cards correctly when others had not. She preserved the integrity of your game. I would let others know - right in front of her - that she is a top level player.

Now, if you'd rather not invite them because they are the type to pack it in early because they lost their minimum buy-in, that is up to you as the host. I frequently leave a cash game early, because I need my sleep before work. We're talking early enough that other players haven't even shown up yet. If the host decided that my early cut-out was undesirable would understand, provided that he explained that players are expected to play "x" number of hours. If you want someone to rebuy after losing their $20, I would change the minimum buy-in.

To the OP title, if a banned player showed at my game, I would let them know directly why they couldn't be allowed to sit at your game. Anyone that harms the integrity of the game, the safety of others, the value of your home/belongings, or the enjoyment of others is not my friend. I won't be afraid to hurt their feelings (they have already hurt mine), and they are no longer welcome in my home.
 

DarPodo

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Stop inviting this couple to your games. The wife is shady and has no integrity. What else could she pull?
 

Starem Down

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While she was sandbagging in in the first game, I don't think that would be a bannable offence. To ban someone is tantamount to doing something that harms the integrity of the game, the safety of others, the value of your home/belongings, or the enjoyment of others.

Quite frankly, I would have let them play. While she never actually "lied" (in the OP) your buddy did, by saying she "needed" a cheat sheet. If anyone should be banned, it would be him. She actually helped you out because she read the cards correctly when others had not. She preserved the integrity of your game. I would let others know - right in front of her - that she is a top level player.

Now, if you'd rather not invite them because they are the type to pack it in early because they lost their minimum buy-in, that is up to you as the host. I frequently leave a cash game early, because I need my sleep before work. We're talking early enough that other players haven't even shown up yet. If the host decided that my early cut-out was undesirable would understand, provided that he explained that players are expected to play "x" number of hours. If you want someone to rebuy after losing their $20, I would change the minimum buy-in.

To the OP title, if a banned player showed at my game, I would let them know directly why they couldn't be allowed to sit at your game. Anyone that harms the integrity of the game, the safety of others, the value of your home/belongings, or the enjoyment of others is not my friend. I won't be afraid to hurt their feelings (they have already hurt mine), and they are no longer welcome in my home.

This. I'm sure at some point her play "gave her up" as well. I'd be more concerned with the couple's ability to soft play each other or to isolate players in order for ONE of them to take down the pot-basically collude, right? As the host, for a general reminder to all, barring emergency, all players have to give 30-45-60 minute notice prior to departure. But as the initial night unfolded, it's small stakes (potatoes), have fun with it.
 

ovo

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Call her down on her behavior last time and tell her she is welcome, as long as she doesn't repeat her pathetic behavior
 

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I'd be more concerned with the couple's ability to soft play each other or to isolate players in order for ONE of them to take down the pot-basically collude, right?

Right. People who buy in for the min and leave early aren't threats because they're "so expert."

People who collude to lie about their skill are liable to collude in play, though, and that's the bigger risk to your game.
 

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That couple wouldn't be getting a call back because in my eyes they are both liars. Even if she didnt' specifically say it she went along with the husbands lie about being green and even played like that to lure people into a false sense of security.
 
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I'm curious; were they ever in pots at the same time? Since they were less than honest about her skill level, that raises the question as to if they would work together in hands.
 

Poker Zombie

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I'd be more concerned with the couple's ability to soft play each other or to isolate players in order for ONE of them to take down the pot-basically collude, right?

I would also be concerned about collusion. Trapping a player would be on the top of my mind, and I would watch closely for said behavior. If they were caught, they would be expelled immediately. They would not be permitted to keep their "winnings", and would not likely be leaving with their teeth either - though I would need to be 100% certain they were cheating/stealing your money.
 

Trihonda

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I was confused about the wife's skill level, and their adherence to this $20-and-done philosophy. She plays much better than someone who I'd normally associate with this level of risk-aversion.

Questions I asked myself:

1- Was the weird ("I'm new") deception worthy of getting banned? Probably not immensely harmful to my game (in the long run).

2- Is the husband more "at fault"? I got the impression the wife was the one pushing this script, as she came with a cheat sheet and made the production of being new. I think mama wears the pants in that family...

3- Was there some potential for collusion? Yes, this crossed my mind, but the husband's play didn't seem very multi-dimensional. I couldn't see the hubby pushing her wife hard, lest he'd find himself on the couch for the night. I think they were playing each other soft, for sure.. However, they didn't have very big stacks to work with.

4- Is it worth inviting someone who is likely to take up a seat (or two) and then vacate in relatively short order? When I have people who would like to play (and will play for the entire session)? I'd say this is the biggest reason for both being removed from the invite list (given the totality of the circumstances). I'm trying to keep my games drama free.
 

Mental Nomad

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They would not be permitted to keep their "winnings", and would not likely be leaving with their teeth either - though I would need to be 100% certain they were cheating/stealing your money.

The trouble with collusion is that it's nearly impossible to be 100% certain. Even if you grab their hole cards before they hit the muck, and show that someone was raising heavily in a three-way pot with garbage, they can say "it was a failed bluff, I got caught, I folded." You need a pattern of this, and you can't make a pattern of checking their cards before they hit the muck.
 

ssanel54

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Who cares if she is being deceptive about her skill level, the whole game is based on deception. Would you have felt differently if she said she was a professional and then showed up and made donkey plays and lost all her money? I can't imagine anyone going to such length to collude in a $20 wild card game.

As far as them leaving after they lose their first buy in - (Again, this doesn't really sound like card sharks trying to angle your game, and since its an issue, it sounds like they lose more often than they win). Maybe you can explain that the game cannot sustain itself unless it has enough players, and therefore you need to give priority to people who are committed to staying longer. They are welcome to stay on the sideline until a seat opens and you need them. Or as you did, let them keep the seats warm until your other players arrive.
 

abby99

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As far as this couple's deception is concerned, the jig is up. Everybody now knows that she has skills, and those who don't know can be told.

I'd be more concerned with their habit of leaving early if they're taking seats away from folks who want to play the full session, or close to it.

Finally, I agree that a couple is a package deal. If they both play, invite both or neither.
 

Mr. Cheese

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I think the only real question you have to ask yourself is this: are they worth the drama? If you want a drama free poker game or as close to it drama free as you can get then you should probably not bother inviting them.
 

manamongkids

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I wish my games had as many players to worry about as yours.

Gathering 6-9 people for a regular game is a task by itself.

I personally would be inclined to invite anyone who could show up regularly. (as long as they arent literal scumbags) but to each their own
 
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Ditto on the drama.

It took me a while to come up with a stance since I am on the invite list and may have to deal with them.

If they aren't unfairly influencing the game by collusion, then I have no problem with inviting them provided they RSVP like the rest of us.
If some players are knowingly arriving late, then they can be useful table fillers if they are short term players.
This is a couple, so either invite both or neither.
By now many of your regulars will know who she is, so the newby act is done. No cheat sheets allowed any more.

Definitely don't invite them to the MTTD v2.0!

Hopefully I can make the next one. My wife owes me a poker night (or two) after entertaining a bunch of her friends last night! I was the only adult in the house not speaking Mandarin.
 

grandgnu

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Gosh, I certainly hope nobody gets heads-up with her and asks her if she's got the flush, she might lie! Last I knew, poker was all about deceiving your opponents into making mistakes. Yeah, playing the "oh, I'm a novice" card reeks of pool shark, but this is a $20 game, so I can't see some shark trying to hustle at those low stakes.

Then again, people cheat at free games just for leaderboard "fame", so who knows? Either way, I agree the husbad/wife are a package and it's either all-in or fold on the couple. At the end of the day it's your game, do what makes YOU happy.
 

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Just idly curious - how does she handle the physicality of poker (cards, chips, etc)? She sorta strikes me as a consummate on-line free money type of player that knows to play the game but this may be one of her first live sessions....it's just so friggin' strange to try to re-image yourself for a $20 cash game.

That said, unless there is another personality issue at play, I don't think it's that big a deal. As a host with a game that you want to sustain, you have to either be blessed with a lot of knowledgeable players with good personalities (and we're very fortunate in the MA/NH area) or determine how much you're willing to put up with based on the number of regs you have. Unless either the husband or she has an awful personality or really acted inappropriately (outside of being knowledgeable about poker), I'd have them back.
 

Trihonda

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....provided they RSVP like the rest of us.

This was kinda my main point. Yes, she was taken off the invite list, etc... but the big thing was that the husband RSVP'd for a seat (and I told him I only had one left and asked if he wanted it). All guests are expected to RSVP, or call at game-time to see if there are seats available. There was no RSVP for the wife. regardless if she was invited or not.


Definitely don't invite them to the MTTD v2.0!

OMG, I'm dramatically pairing down my local invite list to people I really want to sit down and have a beer with (nice drama-free people), and am thinking about getting a sign for my game room that reads "Douchebaggery Free Zone".


I was the only adult in the house not speaking Mandarin.

Ya, I'd say she owes you a poker night or two :) Once these darn CPS chips come in, I'm going to have to host a tournament... Goes without sayin.
 
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