Topping up during cash game

JScott

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Bit of advice from you guys. If I'm in the wrong here, I'll gladly admit it.

We play a regular cash game, and have been for the last couple of years. 25/50 or 25/25. Min buyin was $20, max $50. Usually everyone but me bought in for $20 (I'd do $50), but the game suffered so I told everyone they should buy in for $50, no resistance on that. Buyins now are min $20, max $100.

Now, where the conflict arose, was when we were playing last I got involved in a large hand early, lost $30, so I added back on to $50. This happened again later in the night, and I topped back up to $70 or something. My friend took an issue with this as he thought I should be at a disadvantage after losing those hands. I tried to explain that cash allows adding on, as we have unlimited rebuys, I just don't wait until I'm felted. He still didn't like it, partly because being a relatively ("relative" being the operative word here) good player they don't like seeing me with a big stack. Important note: These guys used to play poorly structured tournaments (scattered blind levels with no timing, buy in for half largest stack type thing), which may be part of the reason this is faux paux in their minds.


Thoughts? Am I the asshole? Is this like reverse rat-holing? And keep in mind I run the chipbank and bank so I just add on by grabbing more chips from the cage, but I do announce it each time.
 

Statesvegas

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I don't think either of your are "wrong". Rather, It would appear that the absence of a clearly defined protocol is the problem here. How has this issue not surfaced previously in the past couple of years if you guys have been playing that long together?

As long as everyone knows the rules before the game, there should be no conflict.
 

Coyote

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What are you talking about?
Players are free to top up to either the minimum or the maximum (or in-between) buy-in anytime.

You could still establish a minimum amount about which to bother the bank (ie mommy, I 'm losing $3) if this is being abused.

If the above are hard to digest, establish a standard buy-in (100BBs or $50) so that players can understand, and when established, try variable buy-ins.
 

Natskule

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You can top off in between hands, one of the good things about cash games.

But you shouldn't just be grabbing chips. You should be running a bank separate from your own funds. Even if you announce it, make sure they see you put money into the bank. Have to keep cash transactions clear, above board and separate from personal funds.
 

JScott

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I don't think either of your are "wrong". Rather, It would appear that the absence of a clearly defined protocol is the problem here. How has this issue not surfaced previously in the past couple of years if you guys have been playing that long together?
Honestly? It's because this game is so soft that I'm never short stacked. Not trying to sound like I'm an idiot savant at this game, I'm 100% not. Just with this group i can read them like a book. The other day I just had a couple bad runs. Also... I usually bought in for $50 (more than their $20) so I could withstand some drops. And maybe they just didn't notice.
You can top off in between hands, one of the good things about cash games.

But you shouldn't just be grabbing chips. You should be running a bank separate from your own funds. Even if you announce it, make sure they see you put money into the bank. Have to keep cash transactions clear, above board and separate from personal funds.
To be clear on this, I show up with chips and a cashbox with $2000 in it (more than enough to cover every chip in the cage). So every chip is always covered with my cash before the first buyin.

I handle the cashouts and the cashbox so I'm always the one responsible for all of that.
 

JScott

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topping off is 100% okay.

analysis by extremes, does he not expect you to be able to add more chips if you are down to your last $0.25?
That was my argument as well.

Wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something. This friend is very careful with money, so he could also just be protecting his stack, he's usually not a winner, but was that night!
 

Coyote

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That was my argument as well.

Wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something. This friend is very careful with money, so he could also just be protecting his stack, he's usually not a winner, but was that night!
Somehow you got me now "poker-horny" and I wanna meet him:ROFL: :ROFLMAO:
 

abby99

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You are correct. I'm also careful with my money and wouldn't buy in ot top off for the max. Until, that is, when I had the absolute nuts and a depleted stack. Sometimes we learn the hard way.
 

Jimulacrum

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As to the mechanics of rebuying, I agree with the couple people saying that you grabbing chips without moving cash is a little awkward. Even if you're 100% on the level, the mere appearance of impropriety can leave a negative impression with your players. You're the boss, of course, but probably best not to do that, especially if it's a small matter to move the cash from point A to point B.

As to your friend complaining about you topping off, sounds like you have a know-it-all tournament player on your hands. People like this can be a real bummer because (a) they suck the fun out of the game by fixating on perceived advantages and trying to impose tournament rules-nittery at cash games, and (b) they tend to get a chip on their shoulder about this kind of thing because they (erroneously) believe it's unfair.

You can rebuy whenever you want, as long as it's within the parameters. There's nothing unfair about it. Your friend is just whining.
 

JScott

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As to the mechanics of rebuying, I agree with the couple people saying that you grabbing chips without moving cash is a little awkward. Even if you're 100% on the level, the mere appearance of impropriety can leave a negative impression with your players. You're the boss, of course, but probably best not to do that, especially if it's a small matter to move the cash from point A to point B.
Funny thing is that isn't the issue for them, everyone loves that I actually have proper change in the cashbox. If it was an issue I can solve that problem by having money in two places; #1 a baggie for the buy ins, and #2 and a cashbox for the cashouts), which seems way less efficient.

The optics to some of you may seem odd, but I know this way works really well. I can always keep a couple of $50's in my pocket, and put them in the cashbox when I add on, but it just seems unnecessary when I have $2K in there already. :)
 

JScott

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It's a cash game... how does everyone not want you topping up to the max when you are on tilt?!?!!?
tenor.gif
 

codeman00

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Topping off is 100% ok. And as one of the others above said, there should be clear rules set up for this.

On of my games is a $0.25/$0.50 NLHE cash game with $40 starting stacks. I notice several players that will run their stack down to as little as a few dollars without buying in. Ultimately they hit a monster when they get down to the lowest of stacks and only double or triple up for the minimum. I'm not sure why they do that. In this game, I can tell the host doesn't like constant top offs and he too always rides his stack down really low without topping off. I started topping off (buying in for an extra $40 buy in) when I get around $20 because usually by then someone at the table has a $60 stack anyway. I got a couple of looks and sighs from the host early on but now he doesn't say anything. I'll never be one to ride my stack down low...that's not the way to play the game if you want to make money.
 

TheDuke

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Quite simple, you're playing a cash game. Not a tournament.

Your friend should be happy you're topping up all the time. More for him to win. And he should be educated that playing deeper in a cash game is actually more difficult than playing short.

Even though you've explained that no one has any issue of you just grabbing chips because you have $2k in the bank, I just think it's wrong to have funds co-mingling like that. You probably only need a hundred in small bills in there to make change. The rest should be in your pocket and correspond to you actually buying in and reloading.

It sounds like the actual issue is the stakes. It sounds like your friends want to keep it small and you're looking for a bigger game than they're comfortable with.
 

JScott

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It sounds like the actual issue is the stakes. It sounds like your friends want to keep it small and you're looking for a bigger game than they're comfortable with.

That could be the issue for sure. Especially with this guy.

I’ve already decided to change up the buy in procedure. Just decided that I’ll go casino style and put it on the table the hand before. It won’t be an issue keeping a couple $50’s in my pocket instead of in the cage. I’ll keep the bank as it was though, guys like that part.
 

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You're definitely right in this case...but house rules can mess you up if you play at the wrong venue.

I was playing at a 1/2 game with $20 min, $200 max and I bought in for $100...took a brutal beat on the river early on so I was down to $40. I topped up to $100 and a couple hands later my aces were cracked vs. a short-stack's kings. I had about $20 left and I tried to top up again (literally played 10 hands at this point) and the host said the house rules is one top-up per night. I played a couple more hand then cashed out my $20 and left (never returned).
 

Darthhoodie

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You're definitely right in this case...but house rules can mess you up if you play at the wrong venue.

I was playing at a 1/2 game with $20 min, $200 max and I bought in for $100...took a brutal beat on the river early on so I was down to $40. I topped up to $100 and a couple hands later my aces were cracked vs. a short-stack's kings. I had about $20 left and I tried to top up again (literally played 10 hands at this point) and the host said the house rules is one top-up per night. I played a couple more hand then cashed out my $20 and left (never returned).

This is nuts, any cash game I ever played in will let you put your last dollar on the table. Sounds like tournament rules leaking into a cash game. We get pissed if people don't bring at least 2 or 3 bullets.
 

scaredmoney

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You're fine topping off. Also you're the host/ house and you make the rules. It sounds like these players aren't very experienced or have never been to a casino cash game. It happens all the time there maybe, they need to see it done in a "professional place" or show them a poker vlog where someone else did it.

The whole point is to get more money on the table it's a cash game.

I just have one question to test their comfort level. When this person is dealing do they wait for the small blind and big blind to be posted before they'll start dealing and make a big deal about it being posted before dealing? That usually means fresh fish to me whereas a more experienced player knows to deal and not hold up the game, the blinds will eventually get posted no matter what. Same litmus test can be done on if they don't have exact change for the blinds and freak out or don't just post a bigger chip.
 

TX_Golf_N_Poker

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You're definitely right in this case...but house rules can mess you up if you play at the wrong venue.

I was playing at a 1/2 game with $20 min, $200 max and I bought in for $100...took a brutal beat on the river early on so I was down to $40. I topped up to $100 and a couple hands later my aces were cracked vs. a short-stack's kings. I had about $20 left and I tried to top up again (literally played 10 hands at this point) and the host said the house rules is one top-up per night. I played a couple more hand then cashed out my $20 and left (never returned).
What kind of moronic host (& group of players) doesn't want MORE MONEY on the table. Good riddance to that game!
 

JScott

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Just realized I replied to the wrong post.
Anyways. Good advice here. Seems like he’s probably uncomfortable with the stakes.
 

RainmanTrail

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That's poker. If he doesn't like it, tell him to play checkers.
 

JustinInMN

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Now, where the conflict arose, was when we were playing last I got involved in a large hand early, lost $30, so I added back on to $50. This happened again later in the night, and I topped back up to $70 or something. My friend took an issue with this as he thought I should be at a disadvantage after losing those hands. I tried to explain that cash allows adding on, as we have unlimited rebuys, I just don't wait until I'm felted.
If you set the max at $100 and everyone agreed, you have done nothing wrong. If your friend understood the max to be only $50 somehow (or some mis-understaing on these lines would be the only explanation I would have for this behavior) then obviously you did something wrong from your friend's view.

That said, why were your previous add-ons only to $50 and then suddenly you are going to $70? Not saying this is against the rules but if your friend noticed the change and got jarred by it, maybe he didn't understand what "$100 max" means? Maybe he thought it meant $100 limit per player for the whole game, and this last buy in put you over that? Would kind of explain the comment that you should be put at a disadvantage for losing. I can see previous experience in tournament informing that opinion too.

It sounds like the actual issue is the stakes. It sounds like your friends want to keep it small and you're looking for a bigger game than they're comfortable with.
I agree this is most likely what's going on.

When this person is dealing do they wait for the small blind and big blind to be posted before they'll start dealing and make a big deal about it being posted before dealing? That usually means fresh fish to me whereas a more experienced player knows to deal and not hold up the game, the blinds will eventually get posted no matter what.
Agreed, I usually don't slow down for this, but even at my regular casino, they started instructing dealers not to deal the second hole card until blinds are posted. I'm guessing it became an issue at some point somehow.

You're fine topping off. Also you're the host/ house and you make the rules.
I mean to a point, the host can't just change rules past what others agree to play. So the key here is whether or not $100 was the understood max.
 
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