Cash Game Cash Game Played with Friend for 20 Years (1 Viewer)

Rhodeman77

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My original home game started as a $10 weekly Hold'em tournament with just friends. That ran for 4 years pretty much unchanged except that each year we would lose a player or two to the point that when it ended we were lucky to get 6-7 people to show up. I had to recruit new players to keep the game going. Also I was bored with playing $20 tournaments. We would play cash games afterwards until 4-5am and I loved those! The cash games were 25/50c and played pretty big.

Of all the players that played in the beginning only 1 player from my friends group still plays at all and will usually play in my current cash games.

My cash games play much bigger now than when I first started hosting 15+ years ago. Occasionally my friends will want to have a poker game and we will play a $20 tournament. The poker sucks but it is about hanging out with friends. I learned a long time ago that friends and cash game poker don't really mix that well. Even tournaments after a while the losing players get tired of losing all the time and find other things to do.

I found a new group of people that poker is reason we became friends including many people on this site. We play poker on a very regular basis for decent sums of money and it doesn't effect our friendships.

If you have a group of friends that you had before poker that want to play poker at a lower stakes and hanging out with them at the poker table is important to you then make it happen. Play the smaller game! For me my friends grew tired of poker, the fad had passed for them and they had other things they were more passionate about. So I found a new group to play poker with and do other things with my other friends.
 

Bluegrass Poker

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I read some of these threads and they make perfect sense. Then I realize my friends and I must be a group of degenerates.

We only really ever lost one player because of stakes and how big the game played. And that was more due to his alcohol problem and how he played drunk. It was a relief to all of us when he stopped playing because he was only one who would ever lose enough to be an issue.
 

stavman

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We play twice a week. Our Tuesday game is the small ball .25/.25 game with my close friends. Friday night is the bigger game it's just .25/50 but you will often see $150+ pots. Most buy in $50 and we have multiple re buys

We all started playing the game as $10 dollar cigar tournament, and went to cash.
 

CraigT78

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This one is easy - play two different games. Keep playing (or hosting) the bigger game and then go back to the beer league with the friends. Just make the stakes clear - $100 max for beer league nights. Or do a tournament.
 

davethesave

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This is a pain.

I have been in this situation and ultimately I have guys in my game that say “it’s all for fun and goofing around with the group”, but then you realize they are calling stations and the family pots are ridiculous... raise the stakes? I absolutely cannot bear to watch some of my friends rebuy over and over to piss it away in a .25/.50 game.

It’s weird because if the stakes are too low you have guys just bomb the pot to up it to there “standard” and the fish follow with An offsuit ace with kicker problems.

My friends all want to win and losing $100-$200 isn’t a big deal but I think losing is what hurts. I know some nights I’ll be card dead and see a break even as a mini victory...

All in all, I wanna win and play good poker. The stakes dictate whether you are going to get beat by scrubby hands by players who like to get it in with any ace. So I guess the “sweet spot” of stakes is very important depending on the group.
 

Nuhockey

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I started in a game that was 1 / 2 NL and pretty friendly with a bunch of guys who had a lot of fun. Then some of the guys that eventually started coming had a lot of money. It got to the point where I could not play any longer as it became stressful for me and I had to quit. I started coming with 200 and it was ok in the beginning. By the time left the game I was bringing at the very least $1000 to every game. Some of the originals had also left by the time I left. You could put an astronomical amount into a pot and it didn't matter guys would still call with whatever they were chasing. Your aces and kings would get cracked regularly. If guys lost more then the pots would get bigger. Guys started not bringing in cash when I left and were bringing blank checkbooks and paying with checks at the end of games. One guy had lost $15,000 in one session and he didn't blink an eye . I couldn't afford those type of losses. Well I could actually afford it, but it would hurt very much. Today a bunch of friends and I who played poker regularly over 10 years ago get together on Zoom and play Pokerrrr2 on Sunday nights for a few $10 Rebuy tournaments. We have a lot of fun and talk about a wide variety of things and generally have a great time. I would rather play for fun and not play for big stakes with "Friends". I would set up a new friendly game with your true friends and only allow people you really know to play.
 
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Taghkanic

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I inherited a game which began as a $30 no rebuy tournament then slowly grew to a $100 tourney followed by a cash game—which is either 1/2 or 2/5 NLHE with some 2/4 PLO/PLO8 mixed in if everyone agrees. I’m the fourth host.

About 2/3rds of the players are guys who were in the game when I joined a decade ago for the $30 tourney. 90% have been with the group at least 3-4 years. I am cautious about adding new players; only good friends of regs, for whom they can vouch.

I’ve experienced as a host some inflation in the cash game such as the OP described. It has less to do with the escalating stakes as with the number of reloads people are making. There are a few guys who will peel 3, 4, 5 times. Others (like me) who aim to milk one buyin all night.

I don’t allow people to come back in for whatever the biggest stack is (as some do), or even half the biggest stack. We run it like a casino would. There’s a max and min buy-in which are standard multiples of the blinds.

Still, most people buy in for less than the max (about 50-100BB at a time, rather than 150-200) which makes the game a bit splashier. I’m one of thise who prefer to buy in for the max and top off as needed, rather than playing BINGO with a short stack; but overall there’s a mix of each.

The pressure for higher stakes has actually come from the longest-serving members of our group who have become more prosperous in the past few years. There are a couple of contractors, for example, who went from being more like handymen to running successful businesses with lots of employees.

The balance we’ve struck is that the players who don’t want to lose more than $100 (or just don’t like to—some of these can afford much more) play the tourney. About half stay for cash. There is also a tacit understanding that unless you have a real conflict on a given night and really can’t get there early, you should show for the tourney if you want to play cash.

There is some bickering occasionally among those who want to play higher and those who want to stick with 1/2. I’ve tried introducing 1/3, but this seems to make both camps dissatisfied.

I’ve also proposed a separate 50c/$1 game to lure in the tourney only nits, but I’ve realized they simply don’t want to play cash at any stakes.

The players we’ve lost have almost exclusively been to old age, job problems, or moving out of area. Those with job problems usually express a wish to get back to the game once they find new employment. The group is tight-knit overall and we haven’t had to take in randos to keep the game going, though I do work hard at keeping attendance up and adding players whenever a likely prospect emerges to keep things fresh.

When I get to the point that I feel it’s safe to host again, I may make it a strictly 1/2 game but with $5 straddles allowed, and slightly higher min and max buyins, as a sort of compromise and to not have to debate stakes. See how that goes.
 
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Highli99

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Stakes are a delicate, constantly moving line. My goal is always to have big winner excited, and big loser hurt but not injured. Tournaments are definitely the best bet for a social game with friends. The buy-in is presumed to be a loss for most and people treat it like a raffle.

I really prefer cash latley, so when live poker is safe again I’m considering a two table model. Put .05/.10 ($20 max) on one table and then .25/.50 ($100 max) on another. Either way I don’t expect either table to see more than 4x but I’m up or down.

Another option is limit games which are super fun and reduce variance.
 

Eloe2000

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I am also into home poker for the love of the game and the camaraderie. I took over hosting the game from someone else and specifically wanted to cultivate a good long term group of players. We play "beer money" stakes, because the stakes have a direct correlation with the atmosphere. Several of us may be up or down several grand the next night at the local casino at 2/4 but we all respect the low stakes we play at our home game. I actively screen players for personalty when new players were initially invited and they each were made clear that the invites were one at a time while they were on probation. We have absolutely no desire to grow past one table. We know it will get much more impersonal if we do. There is no benefit to growing for us. We were able to build a core group of 9 permanent players who make it a permanent calendar item to play every week. I have been to two weddings of players who I have otherwise never seen outside of our weekly poker game prior to that. We had one guy turn down a major promotion with a ~20% raise just because his shift would conflict with our weekly game. For poker, bigger isn't always better.

When Covid hit I setup an online weekly game. At first our regulars all played and we would keep a live Zoom going with everyone to talk smack. We decided to take the reins off and allow unlimited friend invites. Then people wanted to play twice a week and then more. Then the stakes got doubled as we got up to 20 players. Not that long after people stopped joining the Zoom chat. Then people stopped responding confirming their attendance. Then people stopped attending including me. Then it fell a part completely. I wouldn't want that to happen to our live game. It takes a concerted effort to keep a group together.
 
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GimmieUChips

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I started in a game that was 1 / 2 NL and pretty friendly with a bunch of guys who had a lot of fun. Then some of the guys that eventually started coming had a lot of money. It got to the point where I could not play any longer as it became stressful for me and I had to quit. I started coming with 200 and it was ok in the beginning. By the time left the game I was bringing at the very least $1000 to every game. Some of the originals had also left by the time I left. You could put an astronomical amount into a pot and it didn't matter guys would still call with whatever they were chasing. Your aces and kings would get cracked regularly. If guys lost more then the pots would get bigger. Guys started not bringing in cash when I left and were bringing blank checkbooks and paying with checks at the end of games. One guy had lost $15,000 in one session and he didn't blink an eye . I couldn't afford those type of losses. Well I could actually afford it, but it would hurt very much. Today a bunch of friends and I who played poker regularly over 10 years ago get together on Zoom and play Pokerrrr2 on Sunday nights for a few $10 Rebuy tournaments. We have a lot of fun and talk about a wide variety of things and generally have a great time. I would rather play for fun and not play for big stakes with "Friends". I would set up a new friendly game with your true friends and only allow people you really know to play.

This is what I was talking about...it happens to MOST games that last long enough.
 
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