How do you handle the "worst offense" + drama inside! (2 Viewers)

legonick

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Like my clickbait title?

So put a game together for Friday night. 9-handed NLHE freeze-out. As of early Thursday, I had 9 people in and even had 1 as a ringer! On Thursday evening one of my best "regulars" tells me he accidentally double-booked himself and he has to hang out with his brother. He even offered to drop off some food he was planning on putting on the hot dog roller. Bummer, good friend and fun player, usually hangs out after the game even when he busts early. Oh well, ringer can play, good deal! Still 9/9.

Night of, couple people get there early, a couple come in close to start, but it's getting ~5 minutes from start and one guy who's a neighbor who hasn't played before isn't here yet. Dude can just walk down the street, like 5 minute walk, he's here. So I text him, no response. I go into "find a 9th mode" and ping 2 other neighbors. 1 ghosts me, the other is at work. I poll the table...they say, just leave his stack out, and he can buy in late after blinding out a bit. I say sure, we start the game 8/9 and a few minutes late.

We play a couple of orbits, and the neighbor who ghosted me (let's call him Dick...hehe) shows up with the other neighbor I pinged to take his seat who was at work. Cool. We are still 8/9, blinds a up a bit, but still plenty of game left, nice let's play! I offer the seat to both neighbors. "Work guy" says he's going into the office on Saturday as he's swamped at work and can't play because he can't stay up late. No worries dude, you didn't RSVP to the event (not sure why he didn't RSVP no, he's played in a few of them...but whatever). Dick, I ask him, want to play? You RSVPed online! (I use Evite). He says "No, not tonight." Dafuq...GTFO then, LOL.

Anyways, I'm tempted to think this was some sort of petty revenge. The weekend before, I had been outside all day working in the yard, and was relaxing on the steps with a drink at night. I saw "work neighbor" leaving his house with a 6-pack, so I yelled out "hi" to him. He came over and we ended up hanging out for an hour+ just chatting. Well turns out he was actually on his way to Dick's house to hang out with him, and I way-laid him. When our chat ended, it was too late to go over apparently, so he just went back to his house. Was Dick's ghosting some attempt at getting me back for interrupting "work neighbor's" trip to his house and hangout? LOL. "Work neighbor" was free to go at any time. We did get carried away in conversation, but whatever. I don't feel at fault for that.

Anyways, thanks for sitting through the drama.

The question is, what do you do when someone straight up ghosts you after RSVPing yes? This is my first time it's happened, and it sucked! I think if I had known I could have found 1 other player in time. >:/

1. How long do you wait for someone to show?
2. Do you "blind them out" or just let them buy in for full if they do show?
3. If "buy in for full", when is the cut off? How long or what blind level?
4. What do you do after the fact? Black list them for some amount of time? Forever?

Thank you for your time!
 

kaimat

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If I heard nothing from a player day-of I would just assume they weren't coming. I wouldn't blind them off for two reasons: 1) Depending on their position it may give a benefit to certain players in the tournament, and 2) If they show up late to a tiny stack and are expected to pay a full buy in that seems like a recipe for an argument.

The exception to this would be a regular league where blinding off would be understood and expected. In your situation I'd just play 8-handed and if the guy shows up then tell him you didn't expect him to come and next time he should communicate if he is running late.
 

legonick

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If I heard nothing from a player day-of I would just assume they weren't coming. I wouldn't blind them off for two reasons: 1) Depending on their position it may give a benefit to certain players in the tournament, and 2) If they show up late to a tiny stack and are expected to pay a full buy in that seems like a recipe for an argument.

The exception to this would be a regular league where blinding off would be understood and expected. In your situation I'd just play 8-handed and if the guy shows up then tell him you didn't expect him to come and next time he should communicate if he is running late.

Yeah makes sense. I randomize seating so at least the benefit is random. But I agree, I think I'll go with this.

How long do you wait before deciding "they aren't coming"?

In my particular situation, the doors open at 7 and the game starts at 8:15 PM. I have a few players who show up right before the start normally. And once people arrive, I'm usually busy socializing etc. and don't have time to babysit people who don't give 2 shits about the game to even show up after saying they would, LOL. So I didn't start pinging for a replacement until Dick ghosted me at around 8:00 PM.

Would you have just called it at 8:00 PM, ping a few guys to see if you can get lucky to fill the last seat, then kick off at 8:15 PM sharp?
 

legonick

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I was just going to ask. Are these neighbors 13 year old girls? Or grown men? ;)
Grown men, allegedly. That said, Dick never offered an apology or anything. Probably just oblivious to the amount of work it is to get 9 people in a room to play cards.
 

legonick

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My players are busy with work, kids, life etx. I don't give two hoots about someone not getting back to me. I just move onto the next one. Of course we play Cash, so don't have to worry about this to the same level either.
Yeah that is nice. But it still sucks. Say you have 11 people who want to play (I know, I'm dreaming, but theoretically....), you have 8 seats available, and 2 asshats say they can come and don't. So you end up 7-handed when you easily could have been 9-handed. 2 people could be there playing but didn't get to because of the asshats saying they'd show and didn't. They not only hurt the players who made the game, they hurt the players who wanted to make the game but couldn't get a seat!

Basically, even in cash games, it's inexcusable behavior. Their loss. But you should at least consider blacklisting people for that shit. Don't want offenders repeating the behavior at your next game.
 

Pinesol13

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I was just going to ask. Are these neighbors 13 year old girls? Or grown men? ;)

lol, I was going to say something similar. The best part of this story is that "work" neighbor could no longer go to Dicks house after being delayed an hour.


My advice is that if you start getting too stressed, and pushy, about the invites/RSVP's then two things will happen:

1) you will drive yourself crazy, and it will affect your love of poker

2) you will drive your guests crazy, and some may no longer want to play in your game.


Best thing you can do is send invites out, send a reminder text the day off, and see who shows up. If you don't have a full table, don't stress, just go with it. I've planned a 9 person tournament before, all 8 RSVP'd, but only 5 showed up that night. We went ahead with the tournament, actually played two that night, and it was still fun.

I know some people offer a chip bonus for people that show up by a certain time, you could try that too
 

SendThatStack

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In this situation I would be likely to give Dick one more chance, which if he messes up hes out. All depends on how much I like the guy.
 

grebe

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The worst offense is a bad defense.

Sounds like you are more wrapped up in this "lack of respect" thing than others at your game. What's wrong with just play with 8? If you have a good game, you will eventually have a line of players waiting to play. Worry about those that showed up, not those that didnt.
 

detroitdad

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The worst offense is a bad defense.

Sounds like you are more wrapped up in this "lack of respect" thing than others at your game. What's wrong with just play with 8? If you have a good game, you will eventually have a line of players waiting to play. Worry about those that showed up, not those that didnt.

This..........

I usually host 8 player games (Dealers Choice). if I get a couple of no shows, or last minute cancelations it pisses me off. However, that rarely happens. First off, its out of my control. Why stress about shit that you don't have any control over. Second. There are consequences for your actions.

Recently I had a guy cancel on me the day of the game three sessions in a row. Twice I was able to get a replacement. The other time we played 7 handed, which is perfectly fine. What I did is, I dropped him from the first wave of the invites. The key to this is communication. I informed him that I would only be inviting him if I couldn't fill the game up. This was due to his last minute canceling.

He then apologized several times and said he won't do it again. I invited him to FRI's game. He instantly replied and thanked me for the invite, but that he wasn't going to be able to make it.

Consequences and communication are key for a host!

I have three waves of invites. 10 players that are the most reliable and most fun to play with get invites. The second wave goes out to the next 10 that play a few times a year, but are a little more casual. If I still have a seat open then I filter it out to everyone else.
 

legonick

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lol, I was going to say something similar. The best part of this story is that "work" neighbor could no longer go to Dicks house after being delayed an hour.


My advice is that if you start getting too stressed, and pushy, about the invites/RSVP's then two things will happen:

1) you will drive yourself crazy, and it will affect your love of poker

2) you will drive your guests crazy, and some may no longer want to play in your game.


Best thing you can do is send invites out, send a reminder text the day off, and see who shows up. If you don't have a full table, don't stress, just go with it. I've planned a 9 person tournament before, all 8 RSVP'd, but only 5 showed up that night. We went ahead with the tournament, actually played two that night, and it was still fun.

I know some people offer a chip bonus for people that show up by a certain time, you could try that too
Down 3 guys! Ouch, rough, sorry to hear that. Glad you made the best of it! I'm working on not sweating the invite part. This was actually a good one, filled up about a week early, plus the ringer! Also a "new guy" seems like he digs it and I'm hopeful he'll be back.

Eh. If it's a once and a while.... I wouldn't even care.
This was the first time inviting him.

In this situation I would be likely to give Dick one more chance, which if he messes up hes out. All depends on how much I like the guy.
Yeah, fair enough.

The worst offense is a bad defense.

Sounds like you are more wrapped up in this "lack of respect" thing than others at your game. What's wrong with just play with 8? If you have a good game, you will eventually have a line of players waiting to play. Worry about those that showed up, not those that didnt.
Agreed, and mostly I am offended by the lack of respect shown towards the others that do show up, not so much me. I'm working on that, but basically I'm taking a "it's their loss" attitude to people who ghost or RSVP no. Whatever, their choice. But RSVP yes and don't show, that's kind of next-level asshattedness, LOL. And then he did show, really late, and refused to play - dafuq!?
 
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Josh Kifer

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This was the first time inviting him
Then I'd just nicely say that RSVP means you are showing, and that when people RSVP and don't show, it can screw up the blinds and starting stacks. Just clarify the issue and don't make a mountain from a molehill.

Generally once people realize that it creates more work, they are happy to use the system appropriately.
 

legonick

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This..........

I usually host 8 player games (Dealers Choice). if I get a couple of no shows, or last minute cancelations it pisses me off. However, that rarely happens. First off, its out of my control. Why stress about shit that you don't have any control over. Second. There are consequences for your actions.

Recently I had a guy cancel on me the day of the game three sessions in a row. Twice I was able to get a replacement. The other time we played 7 handed, which is perfectly fine. What I did is, I dropped him from the first wave of the invites. The key to this is communication. I informed him that I would only be inviting him if I couldn't fill the game up. This was due to his last minute canceling.

He then apologized several times and said he won't do it again. I invited him to FRI's game. He instantly replied and thanked me for the invite, but that he wasn't going to be able to make it.

Consequences and communication are key for a host!

I have three waves of invites. 10 players that are the most reliable and most fun to play with get invites. The second wave goes out to the next 10 that play a few times a year, but are a little more casual. If I still have a seat open then I filter it out to everyone else.
I started out trying to do waves like you, but my game isn't thick enough yet, and it's too much work. It looks like you have 10 reliable and good players. I have, at best, 4. So the last few games I've just blasted it to everyone, with the notice that it'll be full at 9 players, but others are welcome to come hang out and/or alternate.

Maybe I'll start the tiering now. Like, everyone else in tier 1, and Dick in tier 2. He only gets an invite if it's been like a week of being sub-full, then might as well invite him because if he doesn't show it's probably no different than it was going to be anyways!
 

legonick

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Then I'd just nicely say that RSVP means you are showing, and that when people RSVP and don't show, it can screw up the blinds and starting stacks. Just clarify the issue and don't make a mountain from a molehill.

Generally once people realize that it creates more work, they are happy to use the system appropriately.
Yes, good point.

I had another guy who wasn't quite as bad but close, bailing ~1 hour before the game started. I explained it to him later, and gave him another shot at the next game, and he made it and had a great time. That said, he hasn't returned yet, LOL. 1 time he was busy I think...he ghosted me on the invite. Another time his mother had a stroke that week. I do think he'll make some more games in the future but unlikely to be a reliable regular.
 

TexRex

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Legonick, several thoughts. I don’t know how well established your rules and policies are. You will get the kind of behavior your rules and policies encourage.
  1. Do you have a registration period? I mean a time when no one else can arrive and start play. You didn’t say, but if you don’t, establish one. Some allow new players for the first hour or two, or a set round number. Whether you encourage or discourage late-comers should be obvious by how long you allow them to show up and still play. Late-comers increase the prize pool. My records show that late-comers are way less likely to cash than those who started on time. I want their money in the prize pool. They are not as likely to cash. I encourage late-comers for two reasons. I want their money in the prize pool and it’s welcoming to players who want to play. Below I’ll mention a great way I’ve found to encourage on-time arrival.
  2. I would not blind stacks unless a player has prepaid. When they pay, they get a full stack. Only blind when they aren’t at the table for some reason. That is a WSOP and TDA rule. While home poker is different, and the WSOP and TDA do that in all likelihood because it makes game management simpler, it also makes a lot of sense for the home host for the same reason. Make your own life easier!
  3. I used to play in a game where if you said you were coming, they put a stack on the table and it was blinded into the pot if you were late. If you didn’t tell them you were coming, and you were late, you got a full stack. To me, that was stupid. Why run the risk of getting the stack blinded if I ran into traffic or something? So I never told them I was coming. I’d say you will see me when I get there if I can make it. I did volunteer to take care of the blinding at my table. The host was happy to have someone who knew how to do it help. I was always happy to help. I put that missing person to my left so I got to be the last to act 2x/round at their 8-player tables. I remember a couple of times 2 late players were at my table. Wow – 3x/round I was in the best position! When the first one arrived, I put them 2 seats to my left. That meant I still was in the best position 2x/round, but I also did that because it was the easiest to manage. One night a person at my table said they were coming but never showed. So I had an advantage all through the registration period. You will get the kind of behavior your rules encourage.
  4. If you want to help the game start on time, do an on-time bonus. Not only has that worked well to help us start on time, it makes it easier to give a full stack to a player who arrives late without trying to blind his stack. He gets a full stack, but it doesn’t include the bonus chip(s). This is fair to everyone and no one can really complain about a late-arrival getting a full stack if they don’t get the bonus.
  5. There is more than one way to blind the stack.
    • Some put the chips in the pot. In a small tournament, that is going to give the same guy the advantage of being the last to act 2x/round. That’s a bigger advantage than most people think. If they haven’t prepaid for their stack, I’m not sure I get the point of blinding. Is it the perception of fairness among some vocal players? I’d ignore them and think of the impact on the game and your game management.
    • You could blind his stack by removing the chips from play. That’s what we do. That empty seat doesn’t receive cards, so it has no effect on play. When the BB hits that stack, remove a BB and SB and take it out of play. However, when the player arrives, he has less than the stack he paid for. I justify that by the fact that the on-time bonus has 2 requirements – [1] pay on time and [2] be on time. If you pay on time but aren’t on time, your bonus starts leaking. It’s still a better deal than showing up late and not getting the bonus chips. Why let someone who is not there negatively impact any other player?
  6. Do your players know the schedule well in advance? A regular game helps attendance. Maybe you are doing that – I can’t tell. I provide my players the planned schedule at the first of the year, and let them know if a game has to change as far in advance as possible. I send 3 invitations. The first is about 2 weeks out (12-14 days). The second is about a week out (6-7 days). The third goes out 2 days before or early the morning before. My players know that if I don’t hear from them, I don’t expect them to come. I don’t read anything in to no response. If they tell me they are coming and no-show without notice, they lose the right to the bonus chip the next time they come. I’ve had only one person do that in the last several years that really had no good reason for not notifying me. I’ve had people no-show without notice when they were sick, in an accident, or something happened to a loved one and not notify me in advance, but they always notified me as to why later. Their not showing up and not notifying me had nothing to do with lack of respect. I have a penalty for lack of respect, but I don’t take it personally. If you don’t really want someone in your game, don’t invite them. Otherwise, penalize lack of respect by something other than removing them.
  7. I have multiple invitation lists. I used to have an A and B list, but recently broke it down a little more. Usually only the A list gets invitations, but I send the other lists just so those people remember I still have a game. I have a couple of people on my A list that are never likely to play, but they are willing to stay on the list and refer others to the game. If I don’t trust someone enough to only refer good folks to the game, they don’t stay on the A list. Once a year, I modify the list. Someone who hasn’t attended from the A list gets an email asking if they want to keep getting invitations. If they don’t respond, they move to one of the other lists. I have 2 tables and allow up to 18. There are currently 57 people on my A list. Our average players per game this year is 13.4. You need an invitation list way bigger than the number of players you can accommodate.
  8. If our game is full, I put additional registrations on a reserve list. If someone doesn’t show, or if someone is KO’d (and doesn’t rebuy if rebuys are allowed), the first person on the reserve list who is present plays. I rarely have a reserve list, but when it comes up, players know the rules. I’ve had players pay in advance to make sure they could get in.
  9. I have a policy that if you want to play, but can’t be there on time, you need to let me know you are still coming to reserve your seat. They know if they haven’t paid in advance, their seat won’t be held if I have a live player show up. Those here to play take priority over those who aren’t here and who haven’t paid.
 

Mr Winberg

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2. Do you "blind them out" or just let them buy in for full if they do show?
3. If "buy in for full", when is the cut off? How long or what blind level?

I'm definitely in the "buy in for full" camp. I used to blind people out, but I'm never ever going back to that and it has nothing to do with TDA rules. If blinding people out, I need to know exactly how many people who will show up. It's such a hassle! I very much prefer the "if you show up, you get a stack" approach! A few players give or take hardly affects the scheduled end of the tournament.

I used to use the first break as a deadline. If you're here before the first post-break level starts, you get a stack. Then a situation arose where a player missed the deadline by a few minutes. There were circumstances involved in this particular situation (I won't go into details) which made me make a judgment call and allow the player to play.

Most players understood the situation and thought I handled it correctly, but there were a few who were incapable of thinking outside the ruleset who thought I should have rejected the player.

While I don't agree with these players one bit, they were right on this: Why have rules that you won't follow?

So now my rules are: Full buy-ins allowed until the break. For every level after the break you get 5k less. That way I won't have to make absolute decisions (play or no play), instead I can be like "Sorry Steve, you get 20k instead of 25k".
 

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A few people ITT have used the term "ghosted" to mean "did not respond to an RSVP". That is a pretty non-standard definition, the use of which risks confusing the symptom for the disease.

If you are not receiving the affirmative responses you need to be confident about game attendance, then you have a player pool / recruitment problem, not a ghosting problem.
 

Coyote

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In the North Americas, you can be strict and picky when it comes to invitees' behaviour.
Ink a country where only backgammon is as popular (and anyway just takes two players) you have to swallow a lot of crap.
 

legonick

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A few people ITT have used the term "ghosted" to mean "did not respond to an RSVP". That is a pretty non-standard definition, the use of which risks confusing the symptom for the disease.

If you are not receiving the affirmative responses you need to be confident about game attendance, then you have a player pool / recruitment problem, not a ghosting problem.
What could it be confused with? It's a pretty common term, although maybe on the younger side. LOL.

In the North Americas, you can be strict and picky when it comes to invitees' behaviour.
Ink a country where only backgammon is as popular (and anyway just takes two players) you have to swallow a lot of crap.
Plenty of crap to be swallowed in the USA, but maybe it's better here than other places. There must be some country where 1. people like to congregate and play cards, 2. they show up when they say they will, and 3. they respond to invitations...maybe even in a timely manner!
 

Frogzilla

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8 handed poker is better than 9 for so many reasons. Y’all owe that guy a beer for not cramping you and making you nit it up with full ring ranges.

As of when I’d allow late reg, if rebuy tournament then any time in that rebuy period. If freezeout probably til either the first break or until someone was eliminated. Would not blind out unless it was some sort of league setup
 

LotsOfChips

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The worst offense? No, that would be standing on the table, dropping trousers, and taking a big steaming dump in the middle of a pot of freshly cleaned Paulsons.

But having said that, Dick sounds well named...
 

GetUrShineBox

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If the guy isn’t a regular then maybe he doesn’t know how much time and effort it takes for you as the host to put these games together.
I think you should send a group text, email, or however you invite/communicate with the group a set of rules so they get the hint. Let everyone know that there will be a list of 11-12 invited each week and to please give you and others the courtesy if you cannot make it.

I also agree with others to give a small chip bonus for those that get there before 7:30 and if room let people enter late with a full stack just like a rebuy.

Ultimately whether you have 7,8,9 it will still be a good time so don’t let it bother you too much.
 
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