TR of my Buddy's new Game Room (and crazy last hand)

Trihonda

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Trip Report: Read if interested, don't if you're not :)


One of my neighbors just finished up his game room, and hosted for the first time. It was a 4-table tournament, followed by spirited $1/2 cash game that lasted until 5:00AM.

I offered up the use of my chips (both tournament and cash), but he decided he had his chips already sorted out weeks in advance (gack, dice chips). He did allow me to bring my CPS cash chips, so I banked the cash game after I busted the tournament.

C1DB4519-12F2-4B35-887E-4D0997E0529C.jpg


A note about the tournament. The structure was horrible and the organization even worse. The tournament was very poorly run IMHO. No TD software, no official blind times, just the guy's iPhone stopwatch... The payouts were not set... He collected $35 for the tournament, but deducted all his food/beverage costs from the prize pool... He wasn't sure of his actual food costs, so he just estimated $200, which he just took off the top of the pool (and ya, this wasn't advertised in advance). He wasn't sure how many people were actually playing, so he wasn't sure how much to give away in prize pool money. He also had no concept of seating or balancing tables. At one point, he had two tables of 9, one table of 7, and one table of 5. I'm not sure how I got labeled as a tournament expert, but a few people that were there that have attended my games (and the host) all requested I assist with balancing. Ha, even with my help, it was amateur hour. Hosts intentions were good, but it was an execution fail.


Even though I rose to an early tournament chip lead, after I started to realize how poor the structure and organization were, I lost interest in the tourney and quickly donked off my remaining dice chips to hit the cash game.

The host is a super nice guy, and not a bad poker player. His game room is very nice, and despite the chaos and poor organization, I was ok with donating the $35 tourney entry for all the food/festivities. He has a commercial bar dart game (very cool).

Onto the cash game... The CPS chips were very nice on the felt. We played from around 9pm to 5am (8 hours). With a large player pool, we had a full table for most of the night. As people busted, it always seemed like someone was willing to sit down. Guys just played video games and darts (and drank) when not at the table.


I wanted to share a crazy hand (that played out rather unorthodoxly)...

Nearing the end of our $1/2 session (5am), table is down to 3 players... all of whom are either tired or have had a few too many drinks in them. Within the last few hands, we've lost 3 other players to bust outs or cashouts... We are circling the drain folks...

Lets discuss the players.

Dealer is crafty aggressive player, who has $700+ on a $60 buy in. He has hit some monster pots against everyone (me included). You can tell he feels somewhat embarrassed he's doing so well, and has been trying to donate back some of his winnings by giving action (which only seems to work out well for him, as he's hit several 2-3 outers for big money).

SB is our host. He's a solid player, somewhat aggressive, and has been playing cards for a long time. He's not overly creative, but seems to alternate between TAG and LAG depending on his level of alcohol consumption... He's currently a tad bit inebriated, and has been slowing action for a good portion of the night due to his inattentiveness and talking... He's sitting on $180 on several buyins (not exactly sure how much, but he's stuck).

BB is me. I've had a few beers, but considering the time, I am mostly tired. My table image is TAG. I am sitting on $270 on an initial $120 BI.

The hand (I get that it doesn't demonstrate the most high level thinking... it's 5am, I really want to go home soon):

The dealer limps in for $2, and the SB looks at his hand and says "I don't want to play these" and semi-mucks them (meaning he tosses them out in front him towards the muck). By all accounts (and in any sober person's mind) he has mucked (no question). I look down at :ad::7d: and check my option (if I were playing my normal game, I might have made a small raise here, heads up).

The dealer runs out the flop :6d::7s::8d: Here's where it gets interesting:

The Host (SB) grabs his cards and says "I'm first to act?", he says he wants to bet. Both the dealer and I explain that he has mucked, but the SB doesn't think he has (He's not being aggressive about it). He clearly thinks he is still in the hand. The dealer and I even show the SB how the pot is light his call, and that the flop is already dealt. The SB says, "so I need to add another $1 to make the pot right?" The dealer and I both shrug and agree to allow the SB back into the hand.

The SB proceeds to bet $20 (massive overbet, but it seems to be the table norm). With my middle pair and nut draw, I call, dealer folds. Pot is now $46

Turn runs out: :6d::7s::8d: :9d: Giving me the nut flush and straight flush draw

Before I could take a breath, the SB announces "All-in". I snap call, and trying not to prolong his agony, I show my hand.

River is a :qd: (didn't matter).

SB shows :8s::9c:


This hand effectively killed the game. G'nite!



Some pics of the CPS chips in action:

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Trihonda

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How can a guy with that Game room use Dice chips and No tournament software?

Um, my thoughts exactly.. He's played a couple of my tournaments/games and has seen how I do things. He's played like he understands how tournaments run...

I post payout schedules, I use TD software displayed for all to see, I have decent chips and other equipment, and I track players seating, it's not that complicated. (an aside, I credit people here for helping me learn how to do this all correctly). I don't think my game is better run than everyone else's games. There are lots of well run local games. Pretty standard stuff. ...When I was invited (and a week prior), I casually offered to help with chips and/or any other equipment/setup needs he might have. He said he had it covered. When I showed up, he whisked me into his office to ask about payouts (which he was calculating on some overly complicated excel chart). He and I came up with amicable payouts, but it was later thrown out the window since he had no real idea what was in the prize pool... :rolleyes:

His structure was this (going from memory):

1,000 chip starting stacks

Blinds (15 mins)

5/10
10/20
15/30
20/40
break color up 5's
30/60 (huh?, why'd we color up the 5's)
40/80
50/100
75/150
100/200

Starting stacks were something like:

40 red T5
20 Blue T10 (ack, I know...)
20 Green T25
1 Black T100
 

Mr Tree

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I have to jump on that bandwagon. He needs to better utilize that beautiful poker space and upgrade on the chips!
 

Tommy

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Was that padded folding chair your seat. ;)
 

Trihonda

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Was that padded folding chair your seat. ;)

No, but that is fellow PCF'r Highlander3 sitting to the right of the empty chair. I was at the kiddie table during the tournament, stuck in a back room. We played 5 handed for a while, until we realized there were two tables playing with 8-9 players each in the big kids room...

Our table was similar to this... but not in as good of condition (if that's even possible, lol).

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200 Motels

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I love this story. Serves him right for trying to get back into the hand. Dice chips and Tourney Structure/breakdown are tilting as frig.

I had a game ending hand with the first session with my CPS cash chips.

Uber aggressive villain who's on tilt after getting felted twice after failed bluff attempts. I'm BB, 3 handed at this point.

$.25/$.50 - $60 effective stack size

Villain raises to $2, SB call, I raise to $10 with 4s4d. (I've only squoze like this once this evening. Can't remember if I showed the goods but I don't squeeze with garbage in this game very often)

He thinks for a couple seconds and calls. (he's been doing this with almost any two cards).

SB folds.

Flop (very hazy but I think it was) 8h 7d 3h.

I check, Villain check.

Turn Qs. (confident this was actually the turn, wtg memory!)

I check. Villain bets $9, I call.

(POT $40)

River 6d (not sure if this is accurate, but it didn't complete the flush.)

I check. Action to villain.... he tanks for a good minute before announcing 'all-een'.

During his tank, I though that if he tank shoves it's a bluff most of the time since the value bet shove is a pretty easy decision. If he had a weak one pair hand he's prolly gonna check the river.

So I call and have him covered, and I'm good.

Guy drive me home and goes on about how he'll prolly not be back any time soon. Which he's said many times before.
 
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Mental Nomad

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How can a guy with that Game room use Dice chips and No tournament software?

Answer: his first time only. I'll bet he realizes now why the software is so valuable, why structure needs to be better planned, etc. I'll bet he just developed a deep appreciation for details others have had to worry about.

If not, you'll just have to adjust yourself to the situation if you want to keep playing there.

At least they were decent cards to go with your CPS set - looks like KEM Arrowbacks.
 

Trihonda

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Answer: his first time only. I'll bet he realizes now why the software is so valuable, why structure needs to be better planned, etc. I'll bet he just developed a deep appreciation for details others have had to worry about.

If not, you'll just have to adjust yourself to the situation if you want to keep playing there.

At least they were decent cards to go with your CPS set - looks like KEM Arrowbacks.

yup, agree! I mentioned TD to him today, and he's already planning to snag a copy. Cards were indeed KEMs. :)
 

BGinGA

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A note about the tournament. The structure was horrible and the organization even worse. The tournament was very poorly run IMHO. No TD software, no official blind times, just the guy's iPhone stopwatch...

Nothing really horrible about any of those, except the "no official blind times". Did he reset his iPhone after every blind level? lol


The payouts were not set... He collected $35 for the tournament, but deducted all his food/beverage costs from the prize pool... He wasn't sure of his actual food costs, so he just estimated $200, which he just took off the top of the pool (and ya, this wasn't advertised in advance).

This is pretty poor planning.... but not the end of the world. I don't mind if the host pulls expenses out of the prize pool, but it should be known ahead of time and preferably be broken down per-player (i.e., $30+5 -- which is essentially what he did, if there were 40 players).


He wasn't sure how many people were actually playing, so he wasn't sure how much to give away in prize pool money.

^^This, however, is totally unacceptable. Was he not tracking entries anywhere? on paper, at least? Unbelievable stupidity or ignorance, and I'm not sure which is worse.


He also had no concept of seating or balancing tables. At one point, he had two tables of 9, one table of 7, and one table of 5.

Again, not the end of the world, but I hope it was corrected once his tournament management errors were pointed out. Let's hope he learned something.
 

TexRex

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Trihonda, that does barely qualify as running a poker tournament! Big failure in lots of ways. Has he ever been to a well-run tournament? If so, he sure didn’t pick up much.

I’m just guessing that his “guestimate” of costs constitutes an illegal rake in most states. I can’t say about states other than Texas, but that would be illegal here. That should be separate from the buy-in, and how you cover those costs is tricky. There may not be a legal way to do it without being really creative.

The reality is that hosting costs money, and if you are going to try to recover from guests, there are better ways to do it. There are several problems with trying to charge -- the imprecise nature of costs, lack of advance notice, may be illegal, etc. Do you have receipts? Did you provide advance notice of your intent to have them pay for that?

I get that he’s spent money on his place, bought tables, chairs, pays the increased electricity use for the evening, gas use, water use, and suffers wear and tear on both equipment and home. He’s spent for chips, cards, dealer buttons, racks, cases, software (maybe), printing charts, and even his cell phone timer. It would be nice if guests chip in for that stuff, but they rarely will. With the exception of cards, which I consider an expendable item because they are used up over time whereas the other things are more permanent in nature, I expect to provide that stuff to host a game and I expect nothing in return for that.

Then there is refreshments. It costs to provide those, but without advance notice, it’s really not fair. Then guests have the opportunity to say yes or no to the invitation with complete knowledge of what they are getting into. For me, I want to know the deal before I commit to going. If I don’t like the total deal, I don’t go. But I can’t know the total deal if it isn’t laid out in advance.

Discussion about costs reminds me of our last beach vacation. I was walking along the beach, and I saw a lamp. I picked up, rubbed it, and sure enough a giant genie popped out. He wasn’t the pretty and practically handy type like astronauts get, but hey, I’m just a lawyer. After thanking me for letting him out after hundreds of years in there, he said he’d grant me one wish – anything I wanted! In an altruistic mood unbecoming of a lawyer, I said, “I’d really like to see peace in the Middle East.” The genie said, “Where is that, exactly?” So I pulled out the trusty world map I always carry with me when walking on beaches looking for magic lamps and showed him. His face tensed up and he started shaking his head. “Look,” he said, “I came from that area. Those people were fighting for thousands of years before I came along. They’ve been fighting all this time. They are always going to be fighting. There is just no way I can grant that wish. But I will let you pick anything else you want.” So I thought about how much fun it is hosting poker tournaments, and the cost, and said, “I’d like to host a poker tournament that doesn’t cost the host anything (other than buy-ins of course) and guests are happy to pick up the actual cost of them coming.” The genie stroked his chin, gave me a knowing nod, and then said, “Let me have another look at that map.”

What I do is I rarely provide snacks or drinks. That is clear from my invitation. It’s BYOB and snacks. I’ll provide room in the fridge or ice chest. Once a year we provide a snack; 2-3 times a year we also do punch (keeping with some specific theme nights). But my guests always bring enough. I find some like to contribute in that way. It’s a lot less work on us, and I don’t have to worry about providing stuff that some can’t eat due to allergies, dislike, or religious reasons. What players to get at my home is a nice setting, good equipment (usually better than any other home games they might play in), a good structure, and a well-organized, well-run event. It's the steak; they provide the sizzle with what they bring.

Tournament software is not required to run an organized tournament, though it may help some people do it. I do not use tournament software. However, I do post blind schedules and payout schedules. I use a kitchen timer. I keep the official time, so wherever I’m sitting, that’s where I keep the time. I offer to let others have a timer at their table that would be unofficial, but no one does it. They can come pretty close with a watch.

I use seating chips that players draw at the beginning. Chips have a label on one side. I put the label face down, shuffle the chips, and let players pick a chip. The seating chip gives them their table, their seat, and their starting position. There is nothing wrong with software that does the same thing, but no one questions that the chips are random.

Some people don’t get how much help they really need. You can’t always help those people because not all of them are open to it. It sounds though like he's at least open to helping, and I agree with the suggestions others have made.
 
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