Monthly home game in a weird spot...thoughts? (1 Viewer)

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"everyone just go all in, we all just want to play cash anyway"
You make a great point about crossover with different players.
And you know, people say that quote all the time here, in strategy threads, just kidding of course. Except they’re really not kidding. And I find it mildly annoying just in a discussion thread - it’s disrespectful and dismissive. So in real life, in the midst of a tournament, when a guy is saying that, yeah, I’m sure it bothers some people. Good for you, if you’re the kind of host who’s aware of that and who can manage it.
 

Eriks

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I think that no matter if you’re doing cash or tourney, the stakes need to be right for everyone. And by right I mean that the money won or lost has to be somewhat significant, but not to the point where it’s somebody’s rent money. I realize that that number most likely will be different for poker players vs casual people. I do strive at getting mostly poker players anyway though as I have done my fair share of explaining possible actions, reminding people to act, ”no you gotta burn first” etc. I’m at the very least trying to get casual players that I know won’t mind forking up a few buy-ins. It sucks to have people that are one and done at the table.
 

Moxie Mike

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Anyways, any tips for mixing oil and water players? Or getting "water" (casual dudes) to be more committed to coming and RSVPing in a timely fashion?

Also, any tips for recruiting from a bar league?
I haven't read all the responses so if this is redundant please ignore.

One general comment to start: You are passionate enough about the game of poker to (presumably, since you're on PCF) spend money on nice equipment, organize and then host the game. This might not seem like it, but this is a level of dedication that most people - even strong enthusiasts - don't possess.

It's unreasonable for you to assume all your potential guests will share that level of commitment. So try to chill a bit.

Now in fairness, it's perfectly OK to be irritated with flaky people. If people show up to my game and expect a full table, there better be a full table or I'm personally going to be embarrassed by setting the expectation. The best advice I can give you is to populate your list with high quality people and purge the flakes. For me, I have about 90 people on the list and we usually get around 15-20 to show up to the league I run. And 80% of the people that show up are the ones who ALWAYS show up.

As to the 'oil and water' thing - you can't run a game that's all things to all people. My game is not for everyone. The buy-ins range from $65 to $250 and the player pool is comprised of multiple people with 6-figure Hendon Mob profiles. And these are all professional people 40+... Doctors, Entrepreneurs, University Instructors, etc. So when I'm looking to recruit, I look for players who might be a good fit with the crowd and the environment.

Where do I look you might wonder? I started 4 summers ago without really knowing anyone in the poker community. In MI we have charity poker, so I started hanging out in the charity rooms and getting to know people. I eventually met a lady who seemed to know and be on good terms with basically everyone... so I found her on FB and told her what I was looking to accomplish in terms of the league.

Local FB groups can also be a good way to meet potential players.

So run the game YOU want to run. If you do a good job, your list will grow over time and you'll be spoiled for choice in terms of who you let in. And if someone ghosts after committing to play, you might give them one more shot but after that they're out because you don't need them.
 

MrCatPants

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Switch to pot limit pre, no limit post.
We do that. For my more casual players who are limpers extraordinaire, they get upset that seeing a flop always costs them more because someone is raising. Have a maniac who will literally pot raise 100% of pots in a small stakes game.
 

Jake14mw

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One other place where a tournament helps vs. a cash game is income disparity. If you are playing a tournament, if it's a $50 buyin, there is still one winner, and the winner is the winner. If Michael Jordan shows up at my tournament, he would play the same way as others to win. You need to use strategy to win. If he shows up to my cash game with a $50 buyin, he can play like a maniac because $50 means nothing to him. It's about the action, gambling. But Joe Minimum Wage can't do that. Now, granted, most of us probably play with people with income levels that are at least in the same ballpark, so not an issue for most.
 

legonick

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Regarding Cash vs. Tournaments - I really look at them as completely different things, attractive to different people. A tournament is a game. You all get together and you play a game, and there is a winner at the end. The money is really more of a side issue. To me, this type of event is more attractive to regular folks who are not gamblers. The whole vibe is more friendly and casual. On the other hand, a cash game is all about the money. Much more attractive to gambler personalities and more serious poker players, as over the night, there is less luck involved, and in most cases the better players will be ahead at the end of the night.

I think it is very hard to have a single game that satisfies all of the different types of players that people get. Try to cater to the type of people that make your poker nights more enjoyable. Having said that, I know it's hard. Most of us are always trying to keep all our current players as it's difficult to keep your game going/growing.
Some really good points here, and I think you hit on some of why I prefer tournament to cash currently. Because that fits the #4 ("enthusiast") player much better. It makes it a game, where everyone is on equal-ish footing (depending on rebuys, but I've actually only done, get this, freezeouts so far). It also plays well to the "league" aspect in trying to climb some leaderboard, learn the other players, and come out on top over a series of games. Those are all things that swing in the enthusiast's favor. And that is the type of game I'm trying to build at the moment.

I've also found the enthusiasts are some of the more reliable players, although not perfect. But I'd say, just off the top of my head, my 1st and 3rd "best players" are more in the enthusiast category. They are also friends, but they are more interested in the league rankings etc. than others. My 2nd and 4th "best players" are more in the "friends" category.
 

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I'm rather fond of limit poker. When else can you have 2000 chips on the table and it makes perfect sense?
I remember playing some $15-$30 limit in vegas and we used $5 chips. I'd buy in for 2-3 racks and there was a huge pile-o-chips on the table.
 

Dude

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One thing to consider is many casual players don't adjust well between cash and tournaments. I know for me I started off with a lot of tournaments and online SNGs. So, I developed a very aggressive style that served me quite well for those games. It took me a while to retool it and learn to play much deeper stacked cash games.
 

Josh Kifer

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Best method is consistent play weekly. It smooths out. We chose Monday nights so Football became funner. If you can get the buy in regularly for the time without poker being the drive, but making the fun the drive. Then they buy in. Once they are in, they take poker more serious. Then it kinda grows and fades thru the years. Ya just gotta water it weekly.
 

Poker Zombie

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Best method is consistent play weekly. It smooths out. We chose Monday nights so Football became funner. If you can get the buy in regularly for the time without poker being the drive, but making the fun the drive. Then they buy in. Once they are in, they take poker more serious. Then it kinda grows and fades thru the years. Ya just gotta water it weekly.
I read this twice.

I'm convinced you've milled one too many leaded chips. ;)
 

carl91

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+1 for cash. Or maybe do turbo like sit n goes that ends in an hour. Adding a forced equity chop when down to heads-up is a way to speed things up even further.
How do the others feel about the forced equity chop HU? I'm new to home games but dealing HU can be a pain and I did consider it. It does feel anticlimactic though as you don't really crown the "winner. "
 

Eriks

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How do the others feel about the forced equity chop HU? I'm new to home games but dealing HU can be a pain and I did consider it. It does feel anticlimactic though as you don't really crown the "winner. "
To honest I haven’t played that way more than once or twice. It was very low buy-in sit n go style tournaments designed to not last too long. We probably played like 5 of them through the night and nobody objected to the equity chop
 

Poker Zombie

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How do the others feel about the forced equity chop HU? I'm new to home games but dealing HU can be a pain and I did consider it. It does feel anticlimactic though as you don't really crown the "winner. "
We did one tournament using a cash set where the top 4 (of 17) were paid whatever they had left in their stack when down to the final 4. There were a few issues (it was short-stacked, and our blind timer doesn't handle fracs), but once we got up to $2-$4 the fracs were raced off and it played quite well, with a very interesting final hand.

Best part about it was that we could use the tv that usually shows the payout structure to show some sporting event that people wanted to watch.
 

TomC727

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I think the issue with a lot of casual poker players switching from tournament to cash is they don't know what they don't know. For many less serious players, the only exposure they may have to poker is the WSOP, so they may assume that a tournament that plays down to just one winner holding all the chips is the way no-limit hold'em poker is supposed to be played. It may just take a little gentle convincing to get these players to realize they can have just as much, and maybe even more fun playing in a cash game. You just have to play up the advantages. Come and go as you please. We don't have to wait for Joe who's always late before we can start. The player can determine how much they want to risk. I always have a range, albeit a fairly tight one, for cash buy-ins. Usually $10-30 for my micro stakes .05/.10 games and raised accordingly for higher stakes. And for the wilder players, one huge advantage is unlimited rebuys. So they certainly don't have to go home if they bust out in the first 15 minutes. To me, cash just lends itself so much better to home games than tournaments which have to be strictly scheduled and there is so much to keep track of by the host. It's hard for me to even play and have fun myself when I'm running a tournament.
Absolutely right.

I found that hosting a tournament and entertaining the non players to be difficult, and can take some attention away from my tournament playing, where for cash, I can come in late if I’m tending bar or entertaining and not feel rushed to get the tournament going.

It is definitely very tricky to balance the poker players and non players, and to try to entice the non players.

Even low stakes $20 tourneys, some of my non players feel “intimidated” by some of the more skilled players (don’t know why, we all have fun) so it really doesn’t even matter what the tourney stakes are.

No great answers.
 

MrCatPants

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Absolutely right.

I found that hosting a tournament and entertaining the non players to be difficult, and can take some attention away from my tournament playing, where for cash, I can come in late if I’m tending bar or entertaining and not feel rushed to get the tournament going.

It is definitely very tricky to balance the poker players and non players, and to try to entice the non players.

Even low stakes $20 tourneys, some of my non players feel “intimidated” by some of the more skilled players (don’t know why, we all have fun) so it really doesn’t even matter what the tourney stakes are.

No great answers.
I do really hate that about tournaments. I never get to really socialize and some of my friends who only come for tournaments I effectively never really get to talk to.
 

legonick

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How do the others feel about the forced equity chop HU? I'm new to home games but dealing HU can be a pain and I did consider it. It does feel anticlimactic though as you don't really crown the "winner. "
At my home, we don't currently allow it. It's a STT $15 or $20 buy-in. Chopping up the <$200 on the table doesn't make much sense. Play it out, let variance rule, top 3 get paid anyways. Also, as talked about in this thread, I want the gamesmanship, the battle for the "crown"...for the "league points"...for the bragging rights. Chopping takes away from that. Often people will chop the money but play it out for the points. I think that makes sense at a big buy-in. $100*9 = $900. It can make sense for that type of money. But <$200 total prize pool, whatever dude, just have fun with it!
 

carl91

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Yea for the prize pool we typically have it doesn't make sense either. I'll have to brainstorm some other ideas so that the HU portion doesn't drag out too long.
 

TX_Golf_N_Poker

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At my home, we don't currently allow it. It's a STT $15 or $20 buy-in. Chopping up the <$200 on the table doesn't make much sense. Play it out, let variance rule, top 3 get paid anyways. Also, as talked about in this thread, I want the gamesmanship, the battle for the "crown"...for the "league points"...for the bragging rights. Chopping takes away from that. Often people will chop the money but play it out for the points. I think that makes sense at a big buy-in. $100*9 = $900. It can make sense for that type of money. But <$200 total prize pool, whatever dude, just have fun with it!
I suspect you would use this in a situation where you were trying to get a tournament wrapped up in a shorter amount of time, for whatever reason. Maybe to move on to a cash game afterwards? And if I'm understanding correctly, by equity chop, I'm assuming the amount you win is dependant on the chips each player has left? So if the two are close to 50/50 it's about the same as a regular chop, but if one dominates the other then it's more like a typical first place / second place split? Or otherwise somewhere in between?

And since he says forced - then there is no agreeing to it by the last two players. Organizer of the game has decided in advance that the tournament stops once it is down to two players, and equity is used to determine the amount of the payouts. I can see that it has some advantages, but I'm like you @legonick I prefer to Play it out.
 

4SUMERZ

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Monthly home game in a weird spot...thoughts?

First off, I'm not complaining! We had our first 2022 game this past Friday night and I had a blast, as I think most others did too. 9-handed STT. 1 player dinked us bad though, RSVPed yes then just totally ghosted. I called him at game start time, 8 PM, he's like "I'm at home, not going to make it." Tried to get a last minute fill but no takers. 2nd time he's done this, so he's on a 6 month black-list and bottom of the list after that, heh.

Anyways, the game is in a bit of a weird spot. It's mostly neighbors, co-workers, ex-co-workers, and friends right now. I haven't had much luck with friends-of-friends sticking around. I've had a few good poker players grace the game, but the slower pace of a few people turn them off, and even when they win they don't tend to come back (this has happened twice, possibly 3 times). It could be the stakes are too low - they were mostly $15 last year, and I upped them to $20 for simplicity this year, but I won't be raising them higher for normal games for the foreseeable future.

So that's where the game is in a bit of a strange spot. I've been managing to get 7 or 8, rarely 9, with friends who aren't into poker that much reasonable well, but it's a battle because they are often "fair weather players" - they'll come if they have nothing "better to do" and they tend to RSVP very very late, which drives me crazy. The guys who are poker players, battling it out in local card rooms, would make more of an effort to be here, but the friend players are too slow/wonky for them. They can't range them well, and the slower hands-per-hour drives them off.

I've played a few times in a local bar league recently and the speed at which the game is pushed is stupid fast. It's not really the player's fault - the blind levels are fast. 10 minute blinds and lots of doubling, yuck. They get 2 tournaments in when they play so it has to be fast. I don't remember the full structure but for example, there is this section: 500/1000 - break - 1000/2000 - 2000/4000. Damn. Best win some flips in there. So the players and dealers are really pushing you to make a move fast and it takes some of the fun out of it for me personally. My home game isn't like that. I get irked when people aren't aware of the action, but if some dude is in the tank for a big decision, that's fine, and even adds to the moment. If I'm the dealer and am dealing an all-in or something, it's fun to put the cards out slow, talk about outs, etc. Sweat it up, make it seem like the final table of the WSOP! Revel in the action! Don't just whack 5 cards out and shove the chips and deal the next one. Make it a sweat!

Anyways, any tips for mixing oil and water players? Or getting "water" (casual dudes) to be more committed to coming and RSVPing in a timely fashion?

Also, any tips for recruiting from a bar league? One of the TDs of the bar league is a really cool guy and he was down to play this past Friday but I thought we were full until that dink guy ghosted. When I pinged the new guy he said he was already in his PJs, LOL. It was worth a shot. There is another guy at the bar league who seems like my ideal player. Very chill guy, seems like a higher level of patience, just enjoys the game, but he didn't seem that excited about joining my home game. I'll show him a few pictures from the last one to show him the setup is legit and it's not some dirty basement with dirtbags or something, maybe he'll come around. Worth a shot. He wasn't excited but didn't exactly say no. He said maybe, but he's usually wiped out on Fridays, and we didn't exchange numbers yet, so yeah, we'll see. But I think he'd be a perfect guy who'd commit early and show up and have fun and do well.

There seems like maybe 4 types of players.

1. "Pros" - won't play most home games because the stakes are too low. Better off grinding cash at a local card room.
2. "Gamblers" - they just want to see lots of hands. Would get mad in a tournament setting without rebuys. Don't seem to be too cheerful. Maybe when they bink?
3. "Friends" - there for the drinks and chatter more than the cards. Usually not great poker players, but usually cheerful and have higher patience. But they tend to not RSVP and don't much care about the game...if something else comes up that they'd rather do, the game is left in the dust.
4. "Enthusiasts" - "noob pros"...they study the game some, enjoy poker, but don't feel like they are good enough/rich enough to play for high stakes. Like to play home games. Love cards, and are cheerful most of the time. Relatively high patience with newer players, even like to teach them sometimes.

I feel like I'm looking for a game full of 4s, but have mostly 3s with the occasional 1s who come in, crush, and never return. I've probably never had a 2 at the game, but I see them a good amount at the bar league.
When I first started my home games, tournament style, the biggest complaint was when people lost their chips, they had to wait awhile before the next games would start. We all love playing poker, and my table only sits 8 so we decided that playing cash games would be much better. I have 12+ players that want in on the games, so I invite the same 8 regulars, give them a day that they have to commit, or I go to the wait list.
Those on the wait list love playing but realize that they are on the call list. We all play other home games, so it's not a big deal. We all get lot's of game play. Our games are $20.00 buy in for 200 chips, 4 hour game, then cash out. Unlimited buy in. Blinds 2/4. See post # 13904
https://www.pokerchipforum.com/threads/official-home-game-pics-thread.4135/page-464#post-1821139
 
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ChipJunkie

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How do the others feel about the forced equity chop HU? I'm new to home games but dealing HU can be a pain and I did consider it. It does feel anticlimactic though as you don't really crown the "winner. "
Nothing wrong with a chop. IMHO most people I play with are happy to chop. Usually because there's a chance we can play another tournament. It's never forced.
 
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