When Do You Cutoff a Blackout Player?

AR_poker

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[This might have been discussed elsewhere, so sorry if I'm asking a redundant question, but I wanted input from some wiser people.]

.25/.50 home game with some vaccinated folks. Obviously everyone drinks during the game, and a couple of players vape to get a little cross-faded. But two weeks ago, the splashiest player got absolutely blacked out. Calling almost all bets on all streets with any two, insisting on re-loading, ultimately nodding off at the table a couple of times during hands he was or wasn't involved in. I usually run the game, and as he deteriorated I felt gross about giving him more money (he was already *buried* for a .25/.50 game) and decided to cut him off. Other people at the table disagreed and said it's his money and if he seems competent enough he should be allowed to keep buying in. While I'm sure that flies at the casino (and I get that he's an adult and can be responsible for his choices), I just felt gross about doing that at a home game, especially one where we want this guy to keep coming and having fun since he's splashy loose action.

Do y'all cut people off if you think they've had enough? If so, how do you make that determination--unilaterally or via group consensus? How many buy-ins would you allow a blackout player?
 

ChipEnvy

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At a home game, at micro stakes rebuy all night and I'm fine with it. Grown ups make grown up decisions. Even if they lose $1K, it'll sting, but it's not breaking anyone, so it might actually be a lesson learned.

My much bigger concern is this guys transportation home. If he is falling asleep at the table there is 0 chance I am letting that guy drive. That is the only thing I'd be worried about.
 
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AR_poker

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At a home game, at micro stakes rebuy all night and I'm fine with it. Grown ups make grown up decisions. Even if they lose $1K, it'll sting, but it's not breaking anyone, so it might actually be a lesson learned.

My much bigger concern is this guys transportation home. If he is falling asleep at the table there is 0 chance I am letting that guy drive. That is the only thing I'd be worried about. Not just for my buddy but for the families of other people that are out on the road at that time.
Should've included the fact that I ended up driving this dude home, despite his insistence that he was fine to drive lol. But that's a good reminder.
 

upNdown

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That guy is putting you, the host, in a tough position, but it’s YOUR position. You can’t really make any decisions by consensus.

It’s another good reason why home games should be cash buyins only - no PayPal, no loans. Let him spend what’s in his pocket, then he’s cut off.
 

RowlettTexasChipGuy

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you cut him off, you send him home in an Uber or you drive him home like you did

As for the other guys saying let him play it is his money, if this a group of friends that is wrong

they should think what if it was me, they would want the host or the group to help them out and make sure a bad situation does not get way worse

You did the right thing, props to you
 

ChipEnvy

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That guy is putting you, the host, in a tough position, but it’s YOUR position. You can’t really make any decisions by consensus.

It’s another good reason why home games should be cash buyins only - no PayPal, no loans. Let him spend what’s in his pocket, then he’s cut off.

I was under the assumption that he had the money on him. Re-reading the OP that is not clear to me now. I am not extending credit to anyone who may not remember... Can you imagine how awkward of a conversation that's gonna be?

"Hey remember the other night? Can I get that $800 you owe me? .... Oh wait, you don't remember. Well you owe me $800."
 

RowlettTexasChipGuy

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On a side note

Our main group has 1 or 2 players that can get like this from time to time

we do have a rule if you get to sloppy to continue to play, the next game you have to sponsor a 1 hand showdown for 5 dollars per player, winner takes the penalty, the slop does get a hand as well and a chance to get away scot free other than they are responsible for Pizza, wings or some other food
 

AR_poker

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That guy is putting you, the host, in a tough position, but it’s YOUR position. You can’t really make any decisions by consensus.

It’s another good reason why home games should be cash buyins only - no PayPal, no loans. Let him spend what’s in his pocket, then he’s cut off.
Should've clarified that, too, and that's a good point. It was a credit situation, and he was good for it the next day. We've got a good rapport, and he trusts me to not make up something like that. But cash would've obviated any worry about collecting, that's fair.
 

Taghkanic

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I assume that this home game is comprised of friends, plus maybe the occasional friend-of-a-friend?

If so, I would expect the group to be pretty understanding about the host deciding to cut off someone who is essentially not there and has lost control of his senses.

If I got into that situation in a home game (though I wouldn’t—I never drink heavily while playing), I’d feel pretty let down if my buddies didn’t intervene and instead were cool with milking me for 5-10 buyins when I was clearly blotto.

If not... Then it’s not a very friendly game. Sure, the guy made his own mess. But unless he’s a complete jerk who you only invite to exploit, the decision seems clear.

That he needed credit to continue makes it even clearer.
 

Rieguy

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This is interesting because unlike a lot of blackout folks I do not get the impression this person was being belligerent. Personally, my biggest pet-peeve outside of blatant disrespect for the host and their rules is someone not able to pay attention to the regular flow of the game and having to constantly be reminded to post blinds etc. Once someone starts "nodding off at the table a couple of times", as the host and as a friend, I would give a verbal cue that if it happens again they would be cut off.

However, you know these people so it is harder for us to gauge what y'all consider as normalcy. Like is this guy going to wake up pissed that he lost X amount of money due to being blackout drunk and not cut off, or is he going to laugh and would actually be bothered about being cut off if he vaguely remembers a little here and there? I would feel fine about cutting them off because that action protects both the drunk person and honestly improves the game for all of the other players, but ultimately, you likely will know best based on the specific people.
 

AR_poker

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I assume that this home game is comprised of friends, plus maybe the occasional friend-of-a-friend?

If so, I would expect the group to be pretty understanding about the host deciding to cut off someone who is essentially not there and has lost control of his senses.

If I got into that situation in a home game (though I wouldn’t—I never drink heavily while playing), I’d feel pretty let down if my buddies didn’t intervene and instead were cool with milking me for 5-10 buyins when I was clearly blotto.

If not... Then it’s not a very friendly game. Sure, the guy made his own mess. But unless he’s a complete jerk who you only invite to exploit, the decision seems clear.

That he needed credit to continue makes it even clearer.
Yeah that's definitely the sort of home game it is. There's a new guy who's kind of a dick and was insistent about the blackout guy being allowed to reload, and then everyone else in the game was going to be deferential to whatever I decided.
 

upNdown

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As for the other guys saying let him play it is his money, if this a group of friends that is wrong
they should think what if it was me, they would want the host or the group to help them out and make sure a bad situation does not get way worse
You did the right thing, props to you
I really can’t draw a morality line here, because how is it different than playing against somebody who just sucks at poker? We’ve all got people in our games who are dead money when they sit down. If you don’t want to take chips from a drunk, how is that different than taking chips from somebody who just stinks? Or somebody who’s tilting?
And for whatever it’s worth, If I’m gonna get drunk and dump off all my cash, I’d rather it be to friends than strangers.
 

AR_poker

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This is interesting because unlike a lot of blackout folks I do not get the impression this person was being belligerent. Personally, my biggest pet-peeve outside of blatant disrespect for the host and their rules is someone not able to pay attention to the regular flow of the game and having to constantly be reminded to post blinds etc. Once someone starts "nodding off at the table a couple of times", as the host and as a friend, I would give a verbal cue that if it happens again they would be cut off.

However, you know these people so it is harder for us to gauge what y'all consider as normalcy. Like is this guy going to wake up pissed that he lost X amount of money due to being blackout drunk and not cut off, or is he going to laugh and would actually be bothered about being cut off if he vaguely remembers a little here and there? I would feel fine about cutting them off because that action protects both the drunk person and honestly improves the game for all of the other players, but ultimately, you likely will know best based on the specific people.
True, definitely not belligerent. And he was pretty good spirited about it the next day. We chatted and he was just like, "Welp, guess I learned not to play poker while absolutely blackout, just while drunk!" Which was definitely the best-case coda to the night.
 

RowlettTexasChipGuy

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I really can’t draw a morality line here, because how is it different than playing against somebody who just sucks at poker? We’ve all got people in our games who are dead money when they sit down. If you don’t want to take chips from a drunk, how is that different than taking chips from somebody who just stinks? Or somebody who’s tilting?
And for whatever it’s worth, If I’m gonna get drunk and dump off all my cash, I’d rather it be to friends than strangers.

I am far from the morality police

But I am making the assumption it is a friends "friendly" game

I agree, the person that sucks is just as bad as the person that is drunk

However if you are new, unlucky or just suck, i will try to help you out in our games and teach you basic skills and thoughts, it is on you to learn, if you don't DONK on Sir

If the friend is Blackout Drunk - especially if once or twice I will do my best to save them, if it is a common theme at poker night for him/her, let them lose it all, but I will not be asking that person back as it does ruin the flow of the game more than anything else
 

XBobdog

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I would not offer credit and might give a little coaching, but adults make their own decisions. I'm not shutting anyone down. That being said, I play with some very experienced, cross faced, drunk gamblers. Most would be insulted to be shut down.

Besides, good decisions make bad stories.
 

Schmendr1ck

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I really can’t draw a morality line here, because how is it different than playing against somebody who just sucks at poker? We’ve all got people in our games who are dead money when they sit down. If you don’t want to take chips from a drunk, how is that different than taking chips from somebody who just stinks? Or somebody who’s tilting?
And for whatever it’s worth, If I’m gonna get drunk and dump off all my cash, I’d rather it be to friends than strangers.
Because when the terrible poker player dusts off their fifth or sixth BI, they're competent enough to make a rational decision on whether they should quit or not.

Add drugs or gambling addiction into the mix, and that competency no longer exists.
 

Schmendr1ck

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My cash players drink and often get drunk, but never to the point of blacking out. And while I require cash in hand to buy in, I'll take PP/Venmo or loan my regs cash out of my pocket (not the bank!) if they need it. I've known most of these guys for many years, and I've never gotten stiffed on a loan.

I'm glad this thread came up, because it forced me to think about a situation I've never been in as a host. I'd say that for my specific game (.25/.50 $100 max), I'd cut off a hammered player at $500. That's a good max pain threshold for these stakes, and it's rare that players get into my game deeper than that.
 

Jake14mw

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I really can’t draw a morality line here, because how is it different than playing against somebody who just sucks at poker? We’ve all got people in our games who are dead money when they sit down. If you don’t want to take chips from a drunk, how is that different than taking chips from somebody who just stinks? Or somebody who’s tilting?
And for whatever it’s worth, If I’m gonna get drunk and dump off all my cash, I’d rather it be to friends than strangers.
You don't know how these two situations are different? Really?
 

Taghkanic

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Exactly, @schmendrick. A bad player knows they are bad. They know their own results. If they are coming back game after game, unless they are a “problem” gambler, they are consciously paying for entertainment/cameraderie.

If I have a player who seems to have a problem with gambling, or who I know is playing way above their means, I would talk with them out of game. Likewise if I know they have a drinking/drug problem.

A wasted player doesn’t know what they are doing anymore. As a host, I don’t want to be in the position the next day of saying to a friend, “Uh, so, you remember rebuying 13 times on credit, right?”

And if one takes the approach of “it’s their life, let it ride,” I guess the question is how far one would take that? If I know the guy struggles sometime to make rent, and is already stuck for a couple months’ worth, can I in good conscience let him keep going?
 

AR_poker

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My cash players drink and often get drunk, but never to the point of blacking out. And while I require cash in hand to buy in, I'll take PP/Venmo or loan my regs cash out of my pocket (not the bank!) if they need it. I've known most of these guys for many years, and I've never gotten stiffed on a loan.

I'm glad this thread came up, because it forced me to think about a situation I've never been in as a host. I'd say that for my specific game (.25/.50 $100 max), I'd cut off a hammered player at $500. That's a good max pain threshold for these stakes, and it's rare that players get into my game deeper than that.
Funny, that's exactly where I cut him off. Didn't know if that's too low, too high, or just right (thoughts?), but it was the biggest loss booked by a single person in our game, and 1000 BBs felt nice and round.
 

RowlettTexasChipGuy

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I would not offer credit and might give a little coaching, but adults make their own decisions. I'm not shutting anyone down. That being said, I play with some very experienced, cross faced, drunk gamblers. Most would be insulted to be shut down.

Besides, good decisions make bad stories.
drunk is one thing

but passing out on the table is a whole new ball game
 

Jake14mw

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Really.
You don’t know how these two situations are similar? Really?
I didn't say that I didn't see any similarities. You asked how was it different winning money from a bad player vs. a very drunk player. I was thinking that the difference was obvious, that's why I asked. You answered my question honestly, so we're all good.
 

cosmokramer

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Yeah that's definitely the sort of home game it is. There's a new guy who's kind of a dick and was insistent about the blackout guy being allowed to reload, and then everyone else in the game was going to be deferential to whatever I decided.
You did the right thing imo.
Now cut off / kick out the new dick as well ;)
 

Schmendr1ck

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And if one takes the approach of “it’s their life, let it ride,” I guess the question is how far one would take that? If I know the guy struggles sometime to make rent, and is already stuck for a couple months’ worth, can I in good conscience let him keep going?
The players in my game are all friends - some outside of poker, some poker only, but all people that I have a relationship with.

I would be hard pressed to let any of my friends go even to the 5 BI limit if I knew they were having financial problems. I don't want to mommy my players, but I also don't want them to put money in a game that they can't afford to lose. Fortunately, I've never had to deal with this type of problem, and I hope I never have to.
 
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