Tourney Bar poker tournament chip breakdown help/advice t100 base

natumes

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So I've been recruited locally to help run and deal some bar poker tournaments on weekdays. The bar's angle is to get customers in on otherwise slow nights, the dealers get some compensation and tips, patron's get to play a freeroll tournament with a $150 cash prize (bar tab credit to second I think). Last week was my first experience with bar poker, and it was wild. The bar has 2 tables, the most players they've had so far is 18 (seated 16 and then allowed alternates to sit down when someone busted). Starting stacks are 15k with a t100 base, but here's where it gets wild. Tipping the dealer $5/$10 gets you an additional 5k/15k in chips. Tips are allowed at the start and after each break, four 12 minute levels between breaks, and the amount of chips the tip gets you goes up. I believe it was something like 15bb after the first break for $10 tip, and then 7.5bb after each subsequent break (30k, 150k, 1.5mil I think are the amounts of the addons, they have a 15mil addon on their schedule if it goes long enough). Players also get tickets for buying drinks, and can turn in up to 2 tickets at the start of each level for additional chips as well (2k/ticket before first break, then 5k before second break, 10k, 50k). By the end of the night 1 mil chips were in play. Not great poker, but everybody sure enjoys it.

The bar owner is wanting to get some chips with the bar logo (I'm trying to steer him towards ABC ceramics or at least labeled china clays but he's currently looking at dice chips or similar with stickers from somebody he knows and that may be his budget so...we'll see. Pray for us!) The current TD doesn't really have much experience running tournaments, we met at a home game, and I'm the chip guy now. I don't think I'm very experienced in running tournaments, much less such a crazy format as they currently have going, and I'm struggling to come up with a good recommendation for how many chips per denom are needed. Ideal starting stacks can go out the window for getting this done with as few chips as possible, I think they currently are starting with 20 chips, 5x100, 9x500, 5x1k, 1x5k because that fits in a rack nicely and they're short on dice chips... They also use 10k, 50k, 100k in their chip progression, no 25k. Math wise, I believe the top end would be something like 140x t500k, and 40x t1m give or take to cover the longest it's gone with the maximum players.

Anybody else have experience with poker like this? Any improvements to structure that keeps all 3 parties (bar, dealers, players) happy? How many chips does this craziness need?
 

Hairy_Crocodile

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Ahhh bar poker, so degenerate, I love it.

I don't think I can help with the nitty gritty for your situation, but maybe I can help a little by sharing my experience at my local bar and how they try to stretch their chips and such.

Host does a T25 base tournament with bare minimum stacks, dealers have racks full of chips for color ups and constant change making with players.
Stacks are 10k with 4/4/3/3/1 and sometimes a 10k chip gets placed on the end for 20k stacks on Sundays because we have more time to play.

Stacks are that small so they can stretch out chips to 3 tables (and boy, we have 3 tables almost every night we play) and not have to buy as many chips. Ours are all variations of dice chips or equivilent quality with the Host's logo hotstamped on them, or chips that used to have his logo on sticker labels that are all gone for the most part. The chips mismatch each other per denom (25s dont match 100's, 500's match each other but not 25's or 100s, etc). From what I have seen, the host only has 1000 chips or something like that at most. Maybe slightly more if I am wrong.

Blinds are 15 minutes, breaks are 10.

Change is made with the dealer constantly. Say the blinds are 50/100....Players will put a 500 chip forward if they dont have 25's or 100's and announce "call". Once betting is over, the dealers make change with the pot, and/or whats in the dealer tray and give the player the change they are owed. It happens at my bar almost every hand, and nobody complains.

With bar poker, depending on the crowd, most people don't give a flying f%#$ what they are playing with or necessarily how it's run... as long as the tournament functions, they are happy. An old timer laughed at me talking about the customs I am having made, and showing another player samples of chips so he could buy his own chips for his home games. The old man chuckled saying "I don't think any real poker player gives a damn what kind of chips he plays with", and walked off. He never makes final table, and I'm usually the guy that knocks him out of the event, but he does have a point; Most people just wanna play poker, we are in the minority when it comes to loving nice chips. They don't care or know what the differences between chips are.

Dice chips with the bar logo is probably best for that kind of poker. Low cost, easily replaceable if they get lost or drunk people take them home accidentally.
 

ConsensualPresidency

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Most people just wanna play poker, we are in the minority when it comes to loving nice chips. They don't care or know what the differences between chips are.
My experience has been that better players have at least some appreciation of nice chips. All the players I’ve played with that I consider to be more skilled than I am all have nice sets.
 

Hairy_Crocodile

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My experience has been that better players have at least some appreciation of nice chips. All the players I’ve played with that I consider to be more skilled than I am all have nice sets.
I've never met anyone with a nice set of chips yet, but I agree, the players I try to learn from at least kinda appreciate the chips I am looking at or liked the samples I have brought for friends to check out. However, nobody I've spoken to has liked paulsons at all "they feel cheap" :ROFL: :ROFLMAO:
 
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natumes

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I agree that most players don't care about the chips, I'm just hoping to get something with a denomination on it so I'm not explaining what chip is worth what to 3 drunk players every time the action is on them. As well as getting enough colors so that chips don't get repurposed to high denoms later on.

There was only 1 table last night so I ended up playing and we chopped when it got down to me and 1 other decent player with roughly equal stacks. Wild format with all the addons. I was a huge chip leader early but after a few breaks everybody caught up with tips and drink tickets.
Host does a T25 base tournament with bare minimum stacks, dealers have racks full of chips for color ups and constant change making with players.
Stacks are 10k with 4/4/3/3/1 and sometimes a 10k chip gets placed on the end for 20k stacks on Sundays because we have more time to play
That's some super lean starting stacks, but that's basically the situation I'm in with chip availability. Since the bar is going to be buying chips I'm hoping to make my life a little easier and alleviate some change making.
 

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Bar poker is its own kind of fun! Just as an FYI, putting stickers on dice chips is horrible because they dont have any recess. That turns every chip into a spinner, so stacks become very loose and wobbly. I can appreciate the desire to keep prices low, the owner is going to need a lot of chips and they are going to be treated very rough so needs both strong and cheaply replaced. If he wants something custom, hes going to have to go with hot-stamped or semi-custom ceramics. custom hot-stamping is going to add enough to the price of dice, that he might as well go ahead and look at the BR semi-customs. Also, make sure he plans for the future. How many tables does he have room for? PLan for that many chips + another 10% of each for loss and breakage.

Edit to add- One more caveat on stickers; they suck. Plain "office depot" home printed stickers will bleed and run the first beer-dampened finger that touches it. You have to use laser-printed waterproof labels, and this already adds $$$. Next, getting these tiny label to print correctly across the page is a nightmare, which can easily lead you to tossing half of every page, even when you do everything perfectly. The margins for error are just too tiny and require 100% prefection in feed for every page (isnt going to happen). I went down that hole. Save your friend the trouble!
 
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Indyscammer

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Bar poker is how I got sucked into regular home poker. 2007 business trips to Nashville (basically lived there that summer) and found poker available at various bars Monday - Thursday. Winner got some amount of bar credit. We just did it to kill time while we drank beer and of course to stay out of the hotel room. Taught me where some leaks were for sure! It was fun then but wouldn't do it now.
 

Hairy_Crocodile

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I probably need to state since it was said, I dont mean that the dice chips themselves have stickers, they have dice chips and equivalents (cheap metal slugs chips) mixed in a set. Their slugged chips have recessed areas for labels. The dice chips themselves have hotstamps

If the doc clears me to go out in public today, I'll ask the guy who runs my bars poker what kind of chips they are on sunday.

The "mold" is a dragonfly or something. I actually kinda like those ones for some reason. I actually dig outlaws, so maybe I'm corrupted.

I'll report back with pictures of the chips we have at the bar so you know what I'm talking about. Honestly, idk what kind of labels they had originally, but being used 3x a week for so many years definitely took their toll. They were custom labels made for him specifically, because the chips that have remnants of color have his poker league name on them, so they were made by a company and not just a hack job of some guy buying office depot stickers
 
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Hairy_Crocodile

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Doc cleared me, she said I'm healing faster than expected and that shes not worried anymore.

With that said I'll ask the guy running the event a bunch of questions for you on sunday and try to get recommendations if I can. I'm sure there are way more informed people on the forum that can help on greater detail, but i figure I'd try to contribute any way i can.
 
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CrazyEddie

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Just remember that the purpose of bar poker is 1) draw a crowd and get them to spend money on food, drinks, and tips, and 2) keep the players entertained.

Good poker is a distant third, if present at all.

Edited to add: ... not that there's anything wrong with that!
 

CrazyEddie

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You can poke around on ali baba and find vendors that will sell you cheap but attractive chips with custom stickers on them. It may take a long time for them to arrive depending on shipping from China, but if the bar is on a budget this might be a good way to get a big supply of chips that a) can't be easily forged b) will have enough to replace lost or ruined chips and c) will promote the bar's brand.

Different ali baba vendors will have different minimum requirements, so be sure to shop around.
 

upNdown

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By the end of the night 1 mil chips were in play. Not great poker, but everybody sure enjoys it.
So, that’s stupid. But maybe better than the alternative.
When I first got into Holdem, I went to a few nights of bar league poker. I remember after the first break, EVERYBODY was short-stacked. I knew enough about poker to know this was bad, but not enough to know how to adjust my playing style to deal with it. So I just grumbled that it was stupid and never went back.
Now I realize that the structure was that way so they could end the first tournament quickly, so people would stick around for the second tournament.
I see that your bar keeps them in their seats through endless add-ons. Either way works I suppose, and since it really isn’t about the poker, it doesn’t much matter.
Having not played live poker in almost a year, I’d kill to get into any stupid game like that. So keep it up; you’re doing the lord’s work.
 

Hairy_Crocodile

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So minus the dice chips, they use lucky bees at my bar (the red 500s and black 1000s). They have a large are8 for custom stickers. I believe these were unlaminated stickers and are years old, so 3 days a week for X amount of years took these labels off which seems pretty good in my book for bar chips.

The lucky bees seem pretty cheap too. You could make a custom bar logo, get nice laminated stickers and get the bees. They are metal slugs, but they aren't that bad.
20210214_130152.jpg
 

aces

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My first set of chips were claysmith and they sell them without labels. They might make custom labels if you call them, I am not sure if they will. I really like their chips for the price.
 
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