Tourney Horrible Hosting Experience

Trihonda

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OK, just venting here...

I hosted my Holiday Hold'em tourney last night. Two tables, 5 hour tourney, two cash tables afterwards.

Notable sucky aspects:
1- Horrible experience trying to recruit players (eventually ended up with 19) after way too many emails/messages on FB sent out/stressing, etc....
2- Good friend who scored a last minute player (nicknamed bourbon) who was "minutes away", but tournament had already started (more on this player later).
3- Got stuck for the night on pokerz (overall down $150). Not horrible, but I usually excel in my home games.
4- Spent too much on food/beverages.
5- When only slightly stuck with about 2 horus to play, table was convinced/bullied by "Bourbon" into trying out PLO, later found out he is a pro PLO player. Subsequently lost remaining chips.
6- Biggest hitch in my craw is that several regulars who cashed big time, and "bourbon" (who we made special exception to allow to play), failed to bring anything to a BYOB event, yet consumed tons of food and alcohol...
7- People from #6 above left without any kind of tip or donation towards food/hosting. Even one normally decent regular making a point to cash out for $109.25 exactly (on his $40 buyin), and after he shipped the tourney for $240.
8- Missing several $1 Benny's chips... Yup... :(
9- Two good friends (we all share/blog our live games with each other, provide feedback on hands, etc...) decided to secretly prop bet $10 against who would felt me first, then as part of the bet, they had to pay off the other person on the spot in front of me (similar to Trading Places). They got a good laugh out of it, and it was kinda funny, and kinda not so much. I'm sure this banter is fine in some groups, but it's just not how I treat MY friends, and was a little disappointed.

Now, my philosophy is that people aren't required to donate/contribute. If I'm hosting an event/party for friends, I'm happy to drop $150 of food/beverages without ever considering contributions. However, the event was specifically BYOB, and a newbie who gets granted an exception to play, shows up without anything, and drinks/eats a LOT, and then cashes out for $541 on a $40 buyin ($.25/.50 NL)? If I left without tipping the house, I would feel like a giant douche bag. It just shows a lack of the character I'm looking for in a guest. Even if they'd offered a couple bucks (not coming close to covering their food costs), it would have shown some consideration that it's hard work hosting and that they'd showed up without anything in hand.

Now, I'm fairly easy mannered, and don't often get bothered by the things above, but the combination of issues seems to have had a multiplier effect.

So it was just a big departure from the norm last night.

I've had people at past games (who brought snacks to share) that've been pretty stuck, who then offered me a little scratch for hosting, and I've often told them they've paid enough already.

Now, venting aside, I did get to see some old friends, play some cards (mostly good, aside from the PLO), and hang out.
 

Trihonda

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Hearing back today from a female who was sitting next to bourbon, that he was constantly touching her arms, and playing footsie with her... She was pretty annoyed. She was also annoyed with the friend who invited him...
 

spikeithard

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#7 ahhhh I had this last night. Nice all around guy but first timer here buys in for $60 in a .50/$1 NLHE game, cashes out with exactly $124 in front of him to go to the bar and I said 'sorry, I dont have any change on me, but I do have $120 here'. He looks at me and takes about 5 seconds and says, 'ummmm just give me the $120 and throw me a few bucks next time'. 4 bucks is a big tip but when providing quite nice chips and table and free pop, is it too much out of reasonable expectations?
 

slisk250

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Man that is a bummer. Just tell the friend who invited him that others and yourself were offended by his behavior at the game. Bourbon is banned. Go back to 1 table and have a good time with the best 9 from the group invite by bcc email so you control the list. If I had found out about his behavior with the lady it could have been ugly. I hate that sh@t
Hearing back today from a female who was sitting next to bourbon, that he was constantly touching her arms, and playing footsie with her... She was pretty annoyed. She was also annoyed with the friend who invited him...
 

johnnycnote

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Yeah. Sometimes hosting feels like having teenage kids, no appreciation. :)
 

Mr. Cheese

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Yeah. Sometimes hosting feels like having teenage kids, no appreciation. :)

That pretty much sums up how it feels hosting most of the time. I used to provide pop, beer, snacks etc and I told everyone to bring something to share. Problem was no one would ever really bring anything so eventually I got sick of spending tons of money with not even a thought of a tip or contribution so I stopped providing anything other then water. Now if someone wants something they can bring it themselves.
 

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Sometimes people just need an example to follow.

Last week, I went to a friend's micro-stakes cash game. I was among the first to cash out, and I gave my odd chip to the host before my stacks were counted, and when I had $62, I donated the $2 to the host, as well. Sure enough, half the cash-outs after me also tipped, some more than me.
 

Trihonda

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I'm torn... Most of the people that normally come are good friends who understand the cost of hośting, often hośting themselves. So they either host in rotation or ship some money at the host to help defray costs. Some of more serious poker players I play with tend to not host, or they just don't care about others' costs with hośting. I enjoy playing with more serious players, but some of these players have turned off my lesser experienced players, and limited my player pool. Then I have to lower my high standards sometimes, and accept unknown players to expand the game. This causes risk that some people will come just for the money.

if I want to cater to friends and neighbors, I'd like to provide a nice spread... If it were a pickup game of random people like in a casino, then I could care less about feeding people.

weird part.. If it's my friends who are considerate enough to tip, I could care less if they do... But for the guys treating my house like A casino with free food/beverages, for some reason I find it irksome when they don't...
 
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moose

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It bugs me that I make it clear that I offer coffee. I always have coffee ready and anyone is welcome to help themselves. Sometimes I will make a tea for my dealer if she requests it but she is there working for tips and without her, we have to rotate the deal. Sometimes I have a special beer or bottle of scotch and I offer to share.

However that seems to give some people free reign to look around my basement and see the water/pop/etc I have stockpiled there and start asking for other stuff. I irritates me. Sometimes they flip me a buck or .50c or whatever but often they think it's ok to just freeload. Sometimes I think of saying, "hey freeloader, would you like me to heat up this can of soup I have sitting on the shelf for you?"

I make it a point to cash everyone out to the quarter if that is what they have at the end of the night. They used to flip for the change at the end of the night but it got annoying so I stopped that practice. So does the change end up donated to me for hosting? Nope. They take it home instead. Grrr.

That said I have a lot of nice people too. One tourney someone brought a case of water to give away. Sometimes someone brings some special beers to share and some people do on occasion throw me the spare change/dollars from their stack.
 

Payback

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Putting my responses in blue...

Hosted our holiday tournament yesterday so some of these hit home and remind me once a year why I don't host more tournaments.

#1- Horrible experience trying to recruit players (eventually ended up with 19) after way too many emails/messages on FB sent out/stressing, etc....

I had 4 cancellations yesterday, 5 within the week so we went from having 17 to the game running with 12.

#4- Spent too much on food/beverages.

Ended up with way too much food. See #1 as the reason why.

6- Biggest hitch in my craw is that several regulars who cashed big time, and "bourbon" (who we made special exception to allow to play), failed to bring anything to a BYOB event, yet consumed tons of food and alcohol...
7- People from #6 above left without any kind of tip or donation towards food/hosting. Even one normally decent regular making a point to cash out for $109.25 exactly (on his $40 buyin), and after he shipped the tourney for $240.

I provided the main course (ribs/chili) plus some other things for everyone. I asked everyone to bring something to the game (side, appetizer, dessert, beer, pop, etc) and some people still showed up empty handed....Even more annoying when combined with #7. Would much prefer though they show up with something as its a "community" and everyone needs to do their part. To me it makes it that much better when you get some players on the other side that show up with more than expected and then still throw some money your way at the other night regardless if they are up or down.


9- Two good friends (we all share/blog our live games with each other, provide feedback on hands, etc...) decided to secretly prop bet $10 against who would felt me first, then as part of the bet, they had to pay off the other person on the spot in front of me (similar to Trading Places). They got a good laugh out of it, and it was kinda funny, and kinda not so much. I'm sure this banter is fine in some groups, but it's just not how I treat MY friends, and was a little disappointed.

I'd personally laugh about it and ask why I wasn't included! Don't sweat this one too much as it seems like some harmless fun.



My day overall was pretty awesome, but yeah sometimes the little things can really stick out and suck the fun out of something that is supposed to be fun.
 

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Man that is a bummer. Just tell the friend who invited him that others and yourself were offended by his behavior at the game. Bourbon is banned. Go back to 1 table and have a good time with the best 9 from the group invite by bcc email so you control the list. If I had found out about his behavior with the lady it could have been ugly. I hate that sh@t

I've been hosting our game for about 10 years. At one point, we had up to 15-17 people and some of those would be 'extras' and the increase in stupid behavior was intolerable. We cut down to about 6-12 and any additional invitees have to be approved by me. We all know the type of player who does well in our game. Since we shrunk things down, the game is FAR more enjoyable. Yes, there is less money in the game and sometimes we have to cancel due to not enough interest, but we sure don't miss having some jackass friend of a friend get drunk and be a prick or some other folks who don't understand how things work. We manage to play about 25-30 nights/yr., $40bi, .10/20 NLHE.

Re: providing food, etc. Our game is exclusively BYOB. I usually provide a snack or two, but we are even BYO food. When cashing out, it is understood that the winners will 'round down' and leave a couple of bucks. We keep a kitty going which buys food for bigger events, reimburses folks that spend a few extra $ on food in a particular week, etc.

Way back, when I announced I was thinking of picking up Empress chips to replace our China Clays (dunes), the guys asked, "how much?" I gave them the total and a few twenties immediately went into the kitty and the group decided to 'round down' a bit more for all winners until the chips were paid for. The group now owns the chips.

There are no rich folks in our group, but our median age is probably 46, so we're past the drinking and asking like asshats stage. What is the median age or your typical group?

as slisk250 stated, prune your group to people you enjoy. If you think you'll end up resenting providing eats, require a donation to cover. If I were playing in the game, I wouldn't think twice about it.

edit: yes, bourbon is banned and the dude that invited him - doing so knowing he was a pro, most likely - would be banned too.
 

grandgnu

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I can definitely understand the frustrations of providing food and drink for your players and not a soul offering a dime to help, especially when you as the host are having a losing night. The frustrations you experienced hosting obviously impact your play as well, which further costs you money.

I used to host two tables but now just do one. It ensures I get to interact with all my guests and significantly reduces my workload and expenses. Oftentimes hosting a home poker game can be an extremely thankless job.

I provided glass-bottled soda for my players, I go to a place here in CT about 20 minutes away to pick up cases of the stuff special (it's created here by a specialty company). This past Friday night two of the guys were bitching because I mostly only had grape soda left to put out, like I frigging OWED them some other flavors (which I normally provide, but shut the fuck up, it's free you fucking wankers! I'm not even English but I felt like the term was appropriate)
 

detroitdad

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#7 ahhhh I had this last night. Nice all around guy but first timer here buys in for $60 in a .50/$1 NLHE game, cashes out with exactly $124 in front of him to go to the bar and I said 'sorry, I dont have any change on me, but I do have $120 here'. He looks at me and takes about 5 seconds and says, 'ummmm just give me the $120 and throw me a few bucks next time'. 4 bucks is a big tip but when providing quite nice chips and table and free pop, is it too much out of reasonable expectations?


Should always have a full bank to be able to provide the exact cash out fwiw. Is it kind of shitty that he didn't tip, or leave the few extra bucks, maybe. Its definitely not required.

I almost always give 5 bucks at the beginning of the night to the host if they are providing food (I treat it as a karma thing, lol). When I'm hosting a league game I'm expected to provide dinner for 20 people. I order 6 pizza's, case of bottled water, a couple of 12 packs of soda.

I usually get about 20-30 bucks back in tips/donations. I don't expect it, don't care if I do. I want to host so I know what is expected of me.

When I do a cash game I might have some soda/water available but that is it.

Overall we have a very solid group of players. I guess were lucky. Hell, one guy brings a 12-18 pack of beer to every game to donate to the game. Oh, and he doesn't drink :)

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I can definitely understand the frustrations of providing food and drink for your players and not a soul offering a dime to help, especially when you as the host are having a losing night. The frustrations you experienced hosting obviously impact your play as well, which further costs you money.

I used to host two tables but now just do one. It ensures I get to interact with all my guests and significantly reduces my workload and expenses. Oftentimes hosting a home poker game can be an extremely thankless job.

I provided glass-bottled soda for my players, I go to a place here in CT about 20 minutes away to pick up cases of the stuff special (it's created here by a specialty company). This past Friday night two of the guys were bitching because I mostly only had grape soda left to put out, like I frigging OWED them some other flavors (which I normally provide, but shut the fuck up, it's free you fucking wankers! I'm not even English but I felt like the term was appropriate)

That made me laugh sir.
 

Trihonda

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Ok, forgot # 10

my asshat friend who prop bet against me, and invited bourbon, also was violating rules of etiquette big time. He was antagonizing bourbon, and th table... But bourbon especially. Bourbon literally had 300 chips in front of him, and had built up a wall of chip barrels. At least three times, maybe more, my buddy reached across the table and knocked over bourbon's organized stack of chips. As much as the table wasn't caring for bourbon having a huge chip stack, this was a huge violation IMHO.

He and bourbon knew each other well, and bourbon didn't make a fuss, so I let it go with a reminder that touching others chipstacks is not allowed. Well, he did it again several more times, and I got firmer each time, and eventually announced if he did it again, he'd owe bourbon a buck as a penalty. He commented that if it only cost a buck, he might do it to my stack as a cheap way to send me on tilt. That kinda pissed me off, so I casually stated that if he knocked over anyone's chipstack, he'd incur a one round penalty, which he obv cared more about... He didn't do it anymore. As a guest in someone's house/game, I can't imaging violating a house or game rule, much less taunting the host about the rule, especially to the point of having penalties imposed for continuing to violate... He's banned.

About bourbon being a pro... I get some very skilled players at my game at times. Often times these are players that play in big games with professional poker players without thinking twice. Bourbon is not a professional poker player, but plays at a high level. As for PLO, I've learned bourbon is such a wizard at the game, locals often refuse to play PLO with him. This might have been good to know before agreeing to allow the table to play PLO.

I dont think my buddy purposely invited him to shark the game, but he was not a good fit, and in hindsight, I'd Rather have just run the tourney with 18 people.
 

spikeithard

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Should always have a full bank to be able to provide the exact cash out fwiw. Is it kind of shitty that he didn't tip, or leave the few extra bucks, maybe. Its definitely not required.

I almost always give 5 bucks at the beginning of the night to the host if they are providing food (I treat it as a karma thing, lol). When I'm hosting a league game I'm expected to provide dinner for 20 people. I order 6 pizza's, case of bottled water, a couple of 12 packs of soda.

I usually get about 20-30 bucks back in tips/donations. I don't expect it, don't care if I do. I want to host so I know what is expected of me.

When I do a cash game I might have some soda/water available but that is it.

Overall we have a very solid group of players. I guess were lucky. Hell, one guy brings a 12-18 pack of beer to every game to donate to the game. Oh, and he doesn't drink :)

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That made me laugh sir.


yes your right. I sometimes do put some loonies and toonies in there but didnt have this night. Ill make sure of it next time :)

yes as said before from others. I dont count on tips.. but its nice when you get them for your hard work. I havent spend thousands to expect a dollar here and there. Its for the love of the game/chips
 

Trihonda

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yes your right. I sometimes do put some loonies and toonies in there but didnt have this night. Ill make sure of it next time :)

yes, as said from others before. I dont count on tips.. but its nice when you get them for your hard work. I havent spend thousands to expect a dollar here and there. Its for the love of the game/chips

Yes, certainly don't expect them from folks. But generally most of my invitees are friends, or come highly recommended. They are often people who will leave a few extra bucks for food etc.., especially if they cash. These are folks that typically think like I do, and would feel like a douche bag for pulling a "bourbon" (showing up empty handed).

The cost of hośting ain't cheap, and I'd probably host less, but since I've put together a nice game room, I seem to be the default venue (which is great in some respects)... Most appreciate that they don't reciprocate hośting duties, and help out. Those that don't help out, and then fail to BYOB (as requested), are freeloaders.

Most of the beers I have on hands are craft beers, not cheap stuff, so when you pound down 6-10 beers by yourself, and then eat a ton of expensive apps, and then cash for $500+ without wanting to donate a couple bucks for food, you're kinda a douchebag IMHO.

But it it doesn't really pay to dwell on people that arnet going to be invited back. I vented. :). Moving on...

Ill try try to put some systems in place to reduce problems at future games, likely hośting less. I think I will encourage other regulars to host for a while. It might give the entire group a better perspective, and reduce any issues when I host.

When I do host, I'll probably provide less (if any) snacks. My apps and food are raved about on my facebook events page after almost every game. I get people who tell me I put out one of the best spreads of food, and they really like it. I take pride in this, but it's getting too expensive to host often with the introduction of non regulars and freeloaders. I think people were starting to take this spread for granted. I think I was hoping that putting out a nice spread would help draw people to my game, and ease recruitment. But it's unsustainable for an unraked game, and a host with a limited pocket book. :(. I might eliminate snacks for regular games and then do a holiday game, where I d provide snacks/food, so it'll be something special, and not just expected?
 

ssanel54

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Yes, certainly don't expect them from folks. But generally most of my invitees are friends, or come highly recommended. They are often people who will leave a few extra bucks for food etc.., especially if they cash. These are folks that typically think like I do, and would feel like a douche bag for pulling a "bourbon" (showing up empty handed).

The cost of hośting ain't cheap, and I'd probably host less, but since I've put together a nice game room, I seem to be the default venue (which is great in some respects)... Most appreciate that they don't reciprocate hośting duties, and help out. Those that don't help out, and then fail to BYOB (as requested), are freeloaders.

Most of the beers I have on hands are craft beers, not cheap stuff, so when you pound down 6-10 beers by yourself, and then eat a ton of expensive apps, and then cash for $500+ without wanting to donate a couple bucks for food, you're kinda a douchebag IMHO.

But it it doesn't really pay to dwell on people that arnet going to be invited back. I vented. :). Moving on...

Ill try try to put some systems in place to reduce problems at future games, likely hośting less. I think I will encourage other regulars to host for a while. It might give the entire group a better perspective, and reduce any issues when I host.

When I do host, I'll probably provide less (if any) snacks. My apps and food are raved about on my facebook events page after almost every game. I get people who tell me I put out one of the best spreads of food, and they really like it. I take pride in this, but it's getting too expensive to host often with the introduction of non regulars and freeloaders. I think people were starting to take this spread for granted. I think I was hoping that putting out a nice spread would help draw people to my game, and ease recruitment. But it's unsustainable for an unraked game, and a host with a limited pocket book. :(. I might eliminate snacks for regular games and then do a holiday game, where I d provide snacks/food, so it'll be something special, and not just expected?

Honda, just casually observing this thread, you mention several times that you don't expect tips for your spread, but you seem to be very conscious of who is/isn't tipping and how much. It sounds like you would in fact like people to contribute, but you don't want to ask them. I suggest putting up a donation jar to at least remind people, or better yet just announce that you'd appreciate a couple bucks for food and drink. Once one person throws you a couple bucks, the rest of the table will follow suit. I get that you don't care as much about your core group contributing, but more about the randoms, but Im not sure you can effectively segregate the two. You should probably be relying on your core players to tip more, so that the others will follow their lead. You can always pay back their generosity in some form when just the core is together.

Now in regards to Bourbon - It sounds like he was a last minute addition, that you needed more than he needed you. If he was invited after the tournament had already started, then maybe in the rush to get to your house, he did not think to stop for BYOB. One player should never be able to bully a table into playing a certain game, and it does sound like there might be some sour grapes that he walked out with all the money. He could also just be a douche. Unfortunately you may need to weed through a few of these characters, until you can get a more reliable player pool.

Hosting is a losing proposition. Hopefully the accolades that you receive on FB etc. is worth more than the money that you put into your events. If not, then you've got to give it up, or temper your expectations. There are far too many people who don't know any social protocols. Hell, there are tons of people who don't tip when they get a drink at a bar, you think they are going to give money at someone's house. There is also a camp that believes if they are a guest in your home, then you SHOULD be providing Food and Drink - thats called hospitality. I won't even start on the host not having proper change for the bank;)

This is all just growing pains. You're not going to stop hosting, and won't stop putting on a good spread, because thats not who you are. just keep tweaking, and eventually everything will fall into place. good luck, and please don't take my response as anything more than an impartial opinion.
 

grandgnu

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SSanel makes some good points. I can definitely understand where you're coming from. Awhile back, before my 6-month hiatus from hosting, many players would toss me $10-20 each after they won, which helped defray when I lost plus what I put into food and drink.

Now that I've restarted that hasn't been the case, although a new guy who came to my game brought a bottle of wine for my wife since she was "putting up with" us playing poker, which was a nice gesture. Another newer addition (the lucksack I can't seem to break just yet) bought pizza for everyone the game after the first one he won, which was cool.

And then there's the guy who was bitching that I only had grape, grape or grape soda in the fridge this time around, when in the past I've had grape, cola, root beer, strawberry, orange, etc

There are some people in the world that are just miserable and no matter what you do for them, they will find something to complain about. And others that will appreciate that you're just providing a great space to play in, without you having to offer up goodies.

A lot of people will take for granted and expect you to provide once you've started doing it. But it does seem to tilt you quite a bit, so I would recommend you send an email to your group and just let them know you need to scale back on the food and drink you provide, but appreciate them all bringing anything they'd like for themselves or to share.

You're doing enough just hosting.
 

chipjoker

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Most of my home games are generally awesome, I have had special events (for fun mostly) and those seem to not go so well (expectations is the downfall I think) and some people start something that seems funny and harmless and get your friends and family involved and its usually not good for the host....

Number 8 SUCK's.....
 

detroitdad

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Most of my home games are generally awesome

same here.

Now that I think about it. One of my worse experiences was when I let a friend of a friend come out (prolly 3-4 years ago). The friend of a friend also brought his trashy, drunk ass girlfriend (who didn't play, but argued with your bf the entire time). He did lose all his money that night. Even so, that was the only time he was at my house. Now if a friend wants to bring a friend to play I ask them a shit load of questions before agreeing.
 

links_slayer

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Sorry to hear you had such a rough night hosting.

I promise you I am not trying to rub salt in your wounds but would you be less upset about the lack of donations, cashing out for the exact amount, etc. had you not been in the red on the night? I've only played with you a handful-ish of times but you've usually (almost?) come out ahead and I'm not sure how used to losing you are.

The other shenanigans/antics (creepy footsie guy or the guy that invited him) are just ridiculous and I would not be too likely to invite either of those trouble-makers back. The side bet stuff was probably good-natured and I would ask a similar question as I did above - would you feel the same way about it if you cashed in the tourney?

In your flake-out thread I commented that I would rather not have a game than have a game full of people I don't know in my house. I completely understand your desire for a multi-table event. They're generally a lot of fun to host and participate in. However, it might be best to stick to single table games with people you know, enjoy playing with, and trust.

Again, I am not trying to needle you or kick a guy when he's down. Just trying to offer a different perspective or encourage you to think about things differently. I have been known to get pretty salty and be a poor host (in my eyes anyway) when the cards aren't falling my way and the chips aren't accumulating in front of my seat.

I hope you don't stop hosting just because of this experience but I do hope you consider some of the things I and others have suggested in this thread.
 

grandgnu

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Is your game all 10 year olds;)

Curses, foiled again!

Here's where I get my cases of mix n' match soda:

http://hosmersoda.com/

Their flavors really pop, and it beats buying soda in aluminum cans.

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abby99

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Once one person throws you a couple bucks, the rest of the table will follow suit.

I LOL'd at this. That definitely doesn't work around here. I usually end up with around four bucks on the table, most of which comes from the same player who also brings beverages (Thank you, sir -- you know who you are). On the other hand, I don't really mind. I used to do more when hosting, but I've adjusted what I provide to meet my comfort level for not being reimbursed, and all is good. I'm just grateful to be able to play! Also, not having to drive an hour each way to most of the other hosts' games, saving the cost of gas and tolls, and getting to play with my chips, are all well worth the cost of a few snacks and beverages.

I've also dropped some people from my invitation list who were unreliable or not good for the game.

Finally, I no longer host tournaments and now host single-table cash games exclusively. Gone are the concerns over having an awkward number of players, dealing with late comers and no-shows, setting up a second table and displays for the blinds timer that can be seen by players at both tables, and keeping early bust-outs entertained until the cash games start. Life is good. :)
 

krafticus

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Meh about knocking over chip stacks. It happens all of the time at my place between a certain group (me included). I know the trials and tribulations of hosting, and just started charging a flat fee as part of the tournament buy in. Solved everything. If you just play cash, pull $5 per person. Where else can you eat and drink for $5?

Ill write more after I get out of urgent care, as I feel like a$$
 

mooremo

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I play with 2 different groups, one plays every Tuesday and some weekends, and the other plays once a month.

The Tuesday group rotates between 2 houses, with anywhere from 12-20 players out of a pool of 35 or so players. This game has played 52 weeks a year for the past 4 years, same 2 people hosting. It is BYOB and everyone follows through on this, plus the host will put out a small snack and usually a couple other people will bring something to share. They both have nice tables; use either Copag or Modiano cards, and both have crappy chips. I have donated a few setups of cards, and will bring a snack once a month or so. A few others brings snacks from time to time and there is one guy that will drop a $20 if he wins, other than that everyone else doesn't even think about it. I am amazed that people don’t offer to buy the cards for the year or something. On weekends with this same group, there are 4 of us that will host; most everyone will bring a snack and their own drink, but the invite list doesn't include everyone on the Tuesday list.

The other group plays once a month on a Friday night, this will be the 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] year and we have 18 players confirmed. We have grown for year one 10 players, year two 14 players and now the 18 confirmed. Out of those 6 will wind up hosting. It is BYOB, with the host always putting out scotch, beer bourbon, etc. just in case. The food spread is way beyond snacks, from local BBQ, to 5 different types of chili, quail stuffed jalapenos, wild game sausages, etc. It has become an arms race of poker food. No one leaves any money, or brings any food to share. The 6 of us that host don’t really care since it is once a month and you might only host 2-3 times in the year, but with the numbers up to 18, we have established a $5 donation to the host each time you play. I furnish cards, chips, blinds timer and poker hoodies where ever we play.

Everyone in this league donates $225 up front to be used later in the year for our parish festival. We play 11 months in the year, figuring most will miss 2x in the year, it is $25 per month played thus the $225. The money is used to buy the glassware for the beer booth; usually around $900 including shipping, the rest gets put in the beer booth bucket. There are 6 of us that donate 4 kegs of beer on top of this; with all of this, the beer booth leads all other booths in earnings.

Both groups seem to keep moving right along, but I am still amazed that it doesn't even enter some folks mind to leave a tip, buy a couple decks of cards or something.
 

Trihonda

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Honda, just casually observing this thread, you mention several times that you don't expect tips for your spread, but you seem to be very conscious of who is/isn't tipping and how much. It sounds like you would in fact like people to contribute, but you don't want to ask them. I suggest putting up a donation jar to at least remind people, or better yet just announce that you'd appreciate a couple bucks for food and drink.

Now in regards to Bourbon - It sounds like he was a last minute addition, that you needed more than he needed you. If he was invited after the tournament had already started, then maybe in the rush to get to your house, he did not think to stop for BYOB. One player should never be able to bully a table into playing a certain game, and it does sound like there might be some sour grapes that he walked out with all the money. He could also just be a douche. Unfortunately you may need to weed through a few of these characters, until you can get a more reliable player pool

Poker for me is a social thing. Sure I want to win, as it's a test a skill as well. However, when I host, I don't want to run a casino (the business aspect of that turns me off). I want it to be an event where friends/fellow poker enthusiasts gather for spirited and friendly games of cards. Sure there's money involved, but so long as the playing field is level, and people follow set rules of etiquette, then no problem. I want everyone to have a great time, win or lose.

I could NEVER see myself setting out a tip jar. I've never had to think about this in the past, as my friends have always been considerate. Either we're all sharing hosting duties, or we're shipping a $5-10 bill to the host for the food if we're one who doesn't take turns hosting. Now, with my evolution of the game, I'm playing/hosting more often. This taxes the finances more, and also introduces a newer player dynamic. I'm getting attendees that are not friends, who are coming to prey on the fishes, and who's style of play scares the fishes away.

In recruiting people, I don't care about skill whatsoever (I've invited pros/novices alike). My main consideration is "fit" and personality. ("are you the kind of person I want to sit down and have a beer with?"). I don't want douchebag people in my home, especially not for poker. I've always tried to create an atmosphere to challenge skilled players, but be friendly for people just starting out.

For instance, I have a very skilled player who ALWAYS gets invited. He's nice and friendly, and always does well at my games. He takes your money, but he's not a dick about it. Even people who have lost big to him have repeatedly commented about how they enjoyed playing with him. This friend understands he's a guest in my home, and so are the other players. In contrast, I have players who are very laggish and good for the game monetarily, but act like asshats when they play cards. I've had regulars who refuse to play with the asshats, and these people are bad for the game. The guy who knocked over the chips, and invited Bourbon, is one of these asshats, who I made an exception for... I know him well personally and professionally, and he's 100% different in these regards, which is why I occasionally consider him for an invite (like my wife forgetting how painful childbirth was, and wanting a second kid...).

In recruiting new people, I always make sure the existing regular player understands my feelings for "fitting in" before they are allowed to vouch for someone...

While I was recruiting for Saturday's event, asshat (AH) had said he had a couple neighbors who played casually that might be willing to play. I've played with these neighbors, and they're nice guys, so I gave him permission to invite them. They were unable to.

Right after the Tournament started (with two equal tables of 9), AH is on his phone and approaches me while having a conversation with Bourbon. He's asking me if his friend can still play, and that he's only 5 minutes away (apparently Bourbon was already on the way). I explained to AH that we've already started, and AH said that I'd given him permission to invite his friend and he was already on the way. I initially said no, but then AH gave me puppy dog eyes or something, and I changed my mind... We didn't need this other player, but AH made it sound like it was his neighbor and he really was looking forward to playing, already on his way, etc..... I did not know this was not one of the approved friends. I did not know Bourbon is a serious player, who would creep out my female attendees, and be a leach... AH knows my feelings on potential guests in my home, he's well aware of my player "fit" criteria, and still brought Bourbon to my game.

And yes, I will freely admit to all, that had I had a decent night (cash +), I probably wouldn't be quite so sensitive to some of the other transgressions. However, Bourbon and AH were at the core of most of my issues (including my being stuck)... I've never really paid attention to tips or what people have brought. But something about Bourbon (and AH) rubbed me the wrong way. I can totally imagine AH and Bourbon were having a conversation about coming to my place to prey on the fishes. To top it off, AH was on a pretty tight leash. He was very aware of my concerns over his behavior at past games, and was told he was on probation. Then to continue to be an asshat?

I also heard from others after AH left, that he's snuck in extra cash chips (2x max buyin) buy telling me he was buying chips for he and another player (both in the other room's table). So he got twice the starting stack as everyone else was allowed? I'm DONE with AH regarding any pokerz related.

Regarding Bourbon, I learned he attends a weekly high roller event $5/$10 NL which is hosted at someone's house, and is raked. Apparently, Bourbon gets to eat all the free food and drink he wants, and is known for still tipping the host at this event (even after paying a rake to play). So do I expect tips at my events? Nope! But I think Bourbon's intentions were less than honorable, and he had no intention of coming back to my place, just take as much as he could and burn the bridge on his way out. I think I had a slight read on him (regarding this) at some point near the end of the night, and I guess I was a little more sensitive.


Sorry to hear you had such a rough night hosting.

I promise you I am not trying to rub salt in your wounds but would you be less upset about the lack of donations, cashing out for the exact amount, etc. had you not been in the red on the night? I've only played with you a handful-ish of times but you've usually (almost?) come out ahead and I'm not sure how used to losing you are.

The other shenanigans/antics (creepy footsie guy or the guy that invited him) are just ridiculous and I would not be too likely to invite either of those trouble-makers back. The side bet stuff was probably good-natured and I would ask a similar question as I did above - would you feel the same way about it if you cashed in the tourney?

In your flake-out thread I commented that I would rather not have a game than have a game full of people I don't know in my house. I completely understand your desire for a multi-table event. They're generally a lot of fun to host and participate in. However, it might be best to stick to single table games with people you know, enjoy playing with, and trust.

Again, I am not trying to needle you or kick a guy when he's down. Just trying to offer a different perspective or encourage you to think about things differently. I have been known to get pretty salty and be a poor host (in my eyes anyway) when the cards aren't falling my way and the chips aren't accumulating in front of my seat.

I hope you don't stop hosting just because of this experience but I do hope you consider some of the things I and others have suggested in this thread.

Spot on advice. You've never been a bad host, or come across as such, even after that infamous set-over-set beat at the MTTD. I won't stop hosting, but I'm definitely going to scale back my attendees to a more trusted circle of friends.

This is difficult, because I have some awesome neighbors that I've played with regularly, that now don't come to my games because they've had bad experiences with people like Bourbon or AH... And they aren't into poker as much as I am, don't get the chips, etc... Great players, with great attitudes, but I fear I've lost them... So, my not-so-serious about poker friends don't like to play as much anymore (my game has evolved beyond theirs), and the solid regular players are harder to come by (without risking them being douchey).

As to the prop bet, I agree that it was funny to a point. In person, it wasn't very funny... They got up and were literally rolling on the floor laughing at my reaction, and high fiving each other. It wasn't very friendly natured.. considering both of these guys were recently offering me encouragement/advice over a few bad beats/sessions I've taken lately. To find they were betting against me (gunning for me) behind my back kinda stung some.

However, as stated none of these issues singularly would cause me too much heartache, but the totality of the circumstances most definitely had a multiplier effect... The $1 benny chips? Really? Makes me feel even more like a casino, where people are taking souvenirs. Sick!!!!
 
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