Cash Game Our cash game - opinions + help please? (1 Viewer)

QuadNines

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PCF'ers - looking for some suggestions / feedback here. Thanks in advance...

we have a regular Thursday night game with a pretty consistent roster. Most are older guys, who are looking for a more social experience, and occasionally we have a few guys come that want more action. Those gambler-types often grumble a bit about the lower stakes and structure, whereas the regulars (who outnumber the gamblers 4 to 1), are pretty content. This same bunch used to play a weekly tournament with a lot of re-buys, etc - so the gamblers simply re-bought multiple times, were all in more frequently, etc. The table almost always has 10, and sometime even 11 people (crowded, but again, this is a social thing)...

We converted to a cash game about 3 years ago, and most are happy - however, what it took to convert folks to a cash game was some concessions, as follows, and this is where I need advice and objective feedback / opinions.

We have everyone buy in for $40 - to keep deeper pockets from dominating, and play 25c / 50c, no antes. Rather than no-limit (to pacify some the older guys), anytime there is less than $4.00 in the pot, the max raise is $4.00. After that, its pot-limit. Opening raises are almost always $2.50 (5xBB), and occasionally $3.00 or $3.50 - however at 5x, we often get some of even the older regulars (tighter / non-gamblers) willing to pay 5x see a flop - with these folks then typically folding to a 3 be thereafter (as they should). Even with these stacks and stakes / structure, we play a LOT of pots that are over $25.00 - and its not uncommon to see $100 pots being played. I've seen plenty at / over $200.00. Most players are willing to re-buy at least once if they bust out - and we have some who will buy 3 or 4 times. The most I recall seeing anyone lose in one night is $200 (and he is super loose / not experienced) - and the most I've ever seen anyone leave with was up about $250.00

It was somewhat of a chore to get some of the regulars to go from a $20 Tournament to a $40 cash game, so I am hesitant to bump the buy in up - but as you can imagine with this structure, the chief complaint I hear on occasion is that NOT playing No-Limit makes it a bit of a limp-fest, with speculators remaining in hands they shouldn't etc. then making hands, they otherwise would not have. My reply is often along the lines of noting that those speculators will NOT call a $4.00 pre-flop raise - so the gamblers who complain should stop thinking 5x is going to entice a fold.

What do you guys think...? Given the players and the type of game we are interested in (more social than gambling, etc). what changes might you suggest, or adjustments? I was thinking the next evolution might be to go to a $5.00 max raise anytime the pot is under $5 - thinking that would surely kick out speculators...?

Be kind with your feedback here. This game / group is not looking for casino action / big stakes. Most are happy with things. I am primarily hoping to pacify some of the complainers, and maybe attract a couple other new players without running off the core group that was previously happy playing a $20 tournament structure (!!). Given our criteria, would "you" be interested in such a game / format? what might you change? Thanks!
 
I’m not a fan of the 10-handed play, and 11 is just not playable. I would either add another table and some more players or make it 8-9 max.

Capping the buy-ins at $40 is plenty to keep the game in check and I would lose the $4-pot rule. I would also make it 25c/25c to get some deeper stacks. 80bbs doesn’t leave enough room to play
 
You could try to switch to No Limit with blinds only 0.25/0.25 and allow players to buy in/ re buy between $25 and $50 or half stack of the big stack.
 
I’m not a fan of the 10-handed play, and 11 is just not playable. I would either add another table and some more players or make it 8-9 max.

Capping the buy-ins at $40 is plenty to keep the game in check and I would lose the $4-pot rule. I would also make it 25c/25c to get some deeper stacks. 80bbs doesn’t leave enough room to play
100% agree... Hate to turn anyone away when we get that 11th guy show up. Most of us are OK with 10, but prefer 8 or maybe 9. Going to two tables takes the social aspect away for some - so the majority just suck it up to keep 11 at one table. but its tiresome to grind through that many players every hand...!
 
Try a little harder to track the head count to keep it at 9 max, but 10 is acceptable, never 11 at one table.

Keep low stakes. The gamblers may just need to find a new table.

Capable of two tables? Then there are more possibilities as the previous commenters have provided. Good luck.
 
You have a regular game and the majority of the regulars are content maybe even happy with the current structure. Right?
Don't change a thing. Don't let a small group of people screw-up something that works for the majority. Let the minority adjust their game and figure out how to play in the parameters that already exist. Just my opinion.
 
Have you thought about finding more of the loose gambling type and splitting the group in half? I did that and my social group now plays 5¢/10¢ and my gamblers started out at 25¢/50¢ and now play $1/$1. Both groups happy, and both groups slowly expanding. Think about it.
 
I would replace the gamblers with players that are aligned with the majority of the regulars. You could keep the gamblers and make it pot limit pre flop and no limit post flop. I'd still lean towards the former.
 
Going to agree, don't loosen up the game to satisfy 20% of the players, because then the 80% will stop coming. There's really nothing you can do that will be a great compromise for both groups so you should cater to the majority. You can try running more than one game a week with a different format for each, or you can try getting 12+ people and running two tables.
 
Have you thought about finding more of the loose gambling type and splitting the group in half? I did that and my social group now plays 5¢/10¢ and my gamblers started out at 25¢/50¢ and now play $1/$1. Both groups happy, and both groups slowly expanding. Think about it.

This is what I'd try. It would also help get your games down to 8 max maybe which is still plenty social and more enjoyable (imo)
 
Have you thought about finding more of the loose gambling type and splitting the group in half? I did that and my social group now plays 5¢/10¢ and my gamblers started out at 25¢/50¢ and now play $1/$1. Both groups happy, and both groups slowly expanding. Think about it.
Yes - something along these lines makes the most sense. Not looking to upset the apple cart when the core 7 or 8 (that play the most often) are happy... Would love to get to a pace where we can make both options available...
 
Two ways to do it would be to either...
  1. Run two tables at two different buy-ins/antes
  2. Alternate games if they're frequent enough. One week or month the smaller buy-in, the other the higher
Otherwise , keep it as is and let folks make their own choice to play or not.
 
I had a 10 seat table, and found it way too crowded, even though I could fill it without any trouble. I have a dedicated room, and was not interested in setting up 2 tables, then scramble to fill them...
I decided to turn my table into an 8 seat table, and I invite my core players that are aligned with the buy in and social aspect of our cash game.
I sent my regular 7 guys a text or email, and ask to let me know by a certain day, then if some can't play, then I go to my spare list of 5-6 guys that will fill in and
play and not get their feelings hurt if they aren't invited to play each session.
We all belong to the same golf club, including the spares, and we have known each other for decades. We all like gambling, being competitive, and we all enjoy playing poker. It has worked since 2010.
We only do a $20.00 buy in, $0.10-$0.25 blinds. Our game Friday evening had multiple buy ins, and the big winner took home $112.00, but he had 1 buy in, so $72 profit.
No-one spent more than $40, and we all had a great time for 4.5 hours of play.
 
I had a 10 seat table, and found it way too crowded, even though I could fill it without any trouble. I have a dedicated room, and was not interested in setting up 2 tables, then scramble to fill them...
I decided to turn my table into an 8 seat table, and I invite my core players that are aligned with the buy in and social aspect of our cash game.
I sent my regular 7 guys a text or email, and ask to let me know by a certain day, then if some can't play, then I go to my spare list of 5-6 guys that will fill in and
play and not get their feelings hurt if they aren't invited to play each session.
We all belong to the same golf club, including the spares, and we have known each other for decades. We all like gambling, being competitive, and we all enjoy playing poker. It has worked since 2010.
We only do a $20.00 buy in, $0.10-$0.25 blinds. Our game Friday evening had multiple buy ins, and the big winner took home $112.00, but he had 1 buy in, so $72 profit.
No-one spent more than $40, and we all had a great time for 4.5 hours of play.
In a lot of ways, this is our game as well... We all play golf together, then play our thursday night poker in the locker room of the county club... its largely the same thing on the course as well.... Some of us play for $5 a hole (before the presses kick in and it eventually becomes $25 a hole) and some of us play for $5 for the match... I am thinking you may be on to something. Instead of sending out the typical mass-text to all 40 guys on the distribution list, I start with the core 7 or 8 - and if we fill the 8 seats, we roll on...!
 
I had a 10 seat table, and found it way too crowded, even though I could fill it without any trouble. I have a dedicated room, and was not interested in setting up 2 tables, then scramble to fill them...
I decided to turn my table into an 8 seat table, and I invite my core players that are aligned with the buy in and social aspect of our cash game.
I sent my regular 7 guys a text or email, and ask to let me know by a certain day, then if some can't play, then I go to my spare list of 5-6 guys that will fill in and
play and not get their feelings hurt if they aren't invited to play each session.
We all belong to the same golf club, including the spares, and we have known each other for decades. We all like gambling, being competitive, and we all enjoy playing poker. It has worked since 2010.
We only do a $20.00 buy in, $0.10-$0.25 blinds. Our game Friday evening had multiple buy ins, and the big winner took home $112.00, but he had 1 buy in, so $72 profit.
No-one spent more than $40, and we all had a great time for 4.5 hours of play.
$20 buy in with $.25 blind isn't that deep
 
In a lot of ways, this is our game as well... We all play golf together, then play our thursday night poker in the locker room of the county club... its largely the same thing on the course as well.... Some of us play for $5 a hole (before the presses kick in and it eventually becomes $25 a hole) and some of us play for $5 for the match... I am thinking you may be on to something. Instead of sending out the typical mass-text to all 40 guys on the distribution list, I start with the core 7 or 8 - and if we fill the 8 seats, we roll on...!
It works for me. After the golf season, starting in November until April, we play online once a week on a private 9 player table, so 7 of the guys are my regulars, so they get first dibs for my home games when I need you have a real game, then I go to the spare list.
We play at my home one night game or month, and one day game during that same month...yes, we are all retired except for a few on my spare list.
I'm raising my buy in to $25 next game you make it 100 big blinds and doing $0.25 / $0.25 blinds and taking my $0.05 chips out of play.
 
I agree. Going to $25 buy in for 100 BB. Well see how that goes...maybe a few less buy ins. We can top up an extra buy in anytime our stack gets to $5.00 or less.
A $20 buy in is what most of my guys do for 5¢/10¢. Have you considered lowering the blinds for the social crowd?
 
In a lot of ways, this is our game as well... We all play golf together, then play our thursday night poker in the locker room of the county club... its largely the same thing on the course as well.... Some of us play for $5 a hole (before the presses kick in and it eventually becomes $25 a hole) and some of us play for $5 for the match... I am thinking you may be on to something. Instead of sending out the typical mass-text to all 40 guys on the distribution list, I start with the core 7 or 8 - and if we fill the 8 seats, we roll on...!
We play 6-6-6 with our foursomes, straight up if the caps are within 2-3 of each other, but the most strokes we will give anyone is one stroke per 6 holes.
We do $5.00 per 6 holes, partners best ball, using the cap if applicable, and change partners every 6 holes.
We also do greenies at $1.00 so the most anyone can lose on a bad day is $19.
 
A $20 buy in is what most of my guys do for 5¢/10¢. Have you considered lowering the blinds for the social crowd?
That would be too many blinds in my opinion. We only play for 4.5 hours each session, so 100 BB would be the sweet spot. I think.
 
What about capping the pot? Something like $50-$100 cap might give the players looking to gamble a little more thrill given they can put in a big bet at any time to “cap” the pot. The more conservative players should be on board as well since they know the exact amount they can possibly lose in any given pot.
 
In a lot of ways, this is our game as well... We all play golf together, then play our thursday night poker in the locker room of the county club... its largely the same thing on the course as well.... Some of us play for $5 a hole (before the presses kick in and it eventually becomes $25 a hole) and some of us play for $5 for the match... I am thinking you may be on to something. Instead of sending out the typical mass-text to all 40 guys on the distribution list, I start with the core 7 or 8 - and if we fill the 8 seats, we roll on...!

This is similar to my game - the core group are high school friends, and I fill empty seats with work friends or neighbors that I know will fit in with the core group.

Having an A list, B list, etc. is very common.
 
It sounds like you are compromising, to try to make everyone happy and no one is, its better to pick a direction and go with it.

with a $40 buy in, it should be a .05/.10 game imo, you should play Pot Limit Hold'em, with no other concessions.

Once you make these changes the guys that don't want to play micro stakes will leave, and the guys that want to play will. The game will thrive and be enjoyable, or it won't, and you can make changes to accommodate the game structure that the majority of players want.
 
I agree that you should make the game straight PL or NL to simplify things but it's a home game, so your rules apply. You didn't mention what, if any, re-load structure you have. Is it the same as the initial $40?
I'll just give you an example of a weekly game I've played in for 17 years. It's a social game, but all are serious poker players who don't want to leave a mortgage payment on the table.
The game limits/structure is this: .25/.50 NL holdem. Fixed $30 initial buy-in. Re-load allowed if you get to $10 or less and all re-loads must be no less than $30 and no greater than $50 .
The same core group has played this game for 17 years and we have a stand-by list as well. I think the same structure would be fine for PL too. I do not like playing with 11 though.
I guess you've got to find a game that's going to please the majority (and YOU) and stick with it.
Good Luck.
 
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the chief complaint I hear on occasion is that NOT playing No-Limit makes it a bit of a limp-fest, with speculators remaining in hands they shouldn't etc. then making hands, they otherwise would not have.
This argument drives me crazy.
 
I agree that you should make the game straight PL or NL to simplify things but it's a home game, so your rules apply. You didn't mention what, if any, re-load structure you have. Is it the same as the initial $40?
I'll just give you an example of a weekly game I've played in for 17 years. It's a social game, but all are serious poker players who don't want to leave a mortgage payment on the table.
The game limits/structure is this: .25/.50 NL holdem. Fixed $30 initial buy-in. Re-load allowed if you get to $10 or less and all re-loads must be no less than $30 and no greater than $50 .
The same core group has played this game for 17 years and we have a stand-by list as well. I think the same structure would be fine for PL too. I do not like playing with 11 though.
I guess you've got to find a game that's going to please the majority (and YOU) and stick with it.
Good Luck.
@KingZilla Ours is similar. $40 initial buy, with unlimited rebuys, anytime you are at / under $10 (not in a hand of course). We are a little loose on the $10 threshold - $12, $14 is typically fine.

We have stopped sending out a mass text message to 40 people, and then sometimes ending up with 11 to 14 people. Last few weeks, I took @4SUMERZ advice - and sent a group text to our core 12 people, knowing 7, 8 or 9 would commit to playing. I then selectively open it up to the rest of the crowd, to fill one table of 10. Worked out great the last 2 weeks....
 
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