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Old 04-27-2013, 05:29 PM   #1
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2 home game problems. rake/beat related

Hi everyone, I've been running a 25NL and 50NL college poker club for about 8 months so far. I've had a great time hosting the club ever since the beginning. So far we have about 15 regulars coming to my weekly 9 max game. However, as more players have been increasing, so has the spectrum of skill level. Which presents my first problem.

I don't host the games at my house, but a fellow buddy of mines, who first introduced me to NL. I only played limit at the casinos prior, and looked up to his aggressive style. Lately in the past 2 months, he's been kicking people(3) out of the club, noticeably those who stacked him tremendously. He would give me a BS excuse as to why he doesn't want them to come anymore. Since the beginning, I've even outpaced him and all the regulars in skill, with a huge profit. Compared to fish, I see them as tadpoles to be brutally honest. These guys are my friends, and I welcome the new blood. But what do I do if he doesn't want anymore new players coming?

I feel that this isn't fair for those who also have a great attraction to the game like myself. I enjoyed the company of those who actually did seem to be challenging, yet as nice as these tough players are, he refuses to invite them back. Since I host the game, but it's not my house, is there anyway I could overcome this by bringing these players back?

However, my profit goes towards beer and new decks. Basically I'm charging myself a $25 rake every week, 1 BI. These days with so many more players, I rarely get to play, since I'm running the game and inadvertently dealing, or else the game would go for 5 hands/hour. It also doesn't help when no one tips me . Is there a way I can implement a rake system? I was thinking something along the lines of an all in pot $15+, I could rake a percentage. Honestly, I'm clueless in this area, so I'm welcome to any suggestions. I'm doing this for the sake of running the game without having to reach into my own pockets anymore.

Any input is appreciated, thanks!
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Old 04-27-2013, 06:00 PM   #2
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Re: 2 home game problems. rake/beat related

What cards are you using? Decks should last you months.

Put out a jar next to the fridge, suggest a donation of $1/beer, or whatever it is. They can pay in chips.

Regarding the players, you are going to have to have a discussion. If you're inviting the players, then how can he kick them out. If he's inviting the players and putting on the games at his house... well, are you sure you're really the person hosting these games?
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:21 PM   #3
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Re: 2 home game problems. rake/beat related

I'm using the standard bicycle decks. Maybe it's time I start investing in some copag plastic ones. A tip jar would be a good idea. I'll definitely make one. That would be a much friendlier alternative than the rake, considering it's still microstakes.

As far as hosting, I run everything from beginning to end. All my friend does is sit and wait till the game starts. He even said that he wouldn't be running the games himself if I wasn't around. Aside from kicking out the good players, he's been getting really tilted and sort of mentioned something about cancelling the club altogether if he keeps losing.

There are some regulars who are even afraid of getting kicked out, so they cash out small increments, just so it doesn't look like they have a big stack. Now there's a small "alliance" formed among the regulars on who they're with and/or against. It's ridiculous.
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:32 PM   #4
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Re: 2 home game problems. rake/beat related

Well, you can't cash out part of your stack in the middle of the game, although house rules always trump standard rules.

If it's his house and he controls in the invite list, I'd say he's hosting it and you're managing it. End of the day, it's his house, so he gets to say who he allows in. It sounds like you're too far down the path of drama. If you can't talk with him and resolve it, then look for a new place to play.

Open, honest, up-front communication. That's the only solution.
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:36 PM   #5
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Re: 2 home game problems. rake/beat related

And yeah, get some Copag. $18 for two decks that will last a very long time.

Unless you're not using a fabric surface. If this game is played on a kitchen table or the like, they'll be dead by the end of the night.
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:22 PM   #6
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Re: 2 home game problems. rake/beat related

yeah you sure are right about his house, his rules. It just sucks for me, because now I have to be really secretive about who gets invited and who doesn't. I can't even publicly post up invites anymore. Also for the players who were kicked out, I have to avoid them around campus, just so I don't get asked whether or not a game is running. I really liked their company, which is why I was on both sides of the fence when writing this post. And the worst part of it all was that those same players were really nice to him.
Thanks for the input. Much appreciated

As far as cashing out, some people have been asking me to secretly cash them out during our breaks.
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:27 PM   #7
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Re: 2 home game problems. rake/beat related

Sounds like your friend is kinda a tool. Anyway to host this game somewhere else so you have control of things?
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:05 PM   #8
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Re: 2 home game problems. rake/beat related

Whenever possible, open and honest is the best first option. Talk to your buddy about how you feel about his recent actions. I personally dislike not giving someone a straight answer, but understand it's easier sometimes to share a part-truth.

As far as seeing others around campus. When asked, be honest in your answer. If Buddy told you not to invite them, let them know and they can work it out.


Re: cashing out during breaks.
It's generally not allowed to reduce your stack size during your stay at the table.

Does cash play at your table? If so, cashing chips back out for bills may keep their stacks less noticeable is cool, if the cash stays on the table and in play.

If cash doesn't play, or the cash isn't going onto the table... then that's just shady behavior, and should be stopped.
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:17 PM   #9
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Re: 2 home game problems. rake/beat related

Yeah, dude, you're taking on too much. His insecurity about his game is causing you to avoid hanging out with people outside of the game? And it's also causing people to be secretive and form alliances?

Nope.

Either you get to invite whomever you want, or you don't have the game at his house.

I'd look for another place to play. This guy is trouble. Stop pandering to him. If the phrase "walking on eggshells" seems to apply, then it's time to move on. Trouble trouble trouble.
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:56 PM   #10
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Re: 2 home game problems. rake/beat related

Nothing personal, but this is a cluster **** home game situation! I know cause I run one. If you don't resolve this with the guy (his house) some how, it will either blow up some nite or simply wither away. You should be looking for somewhere else to "manage" this club. Going South in secret to please the host is really a bad deal!
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:01 AM   #11
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Re: 2 home game problems. rake/beat related

Be looking for a new home for this game. this guy is acting exactly like someone who will lose interest in this game very soon.
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:27 AM   #12
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Re: 2 home game problems. rake/beat related

You all are right. This situation has been swept under the rug for the past couple months. I can definitely feel his tension when some of the player's names are brought up as well. Also the players already notice the big elephant in the room when someone new comes to play. Play wise, I always look forward to these nights as much as everyone else does. I'm trying to see what I can do to keep the game running. However, his attitude is just a buzz kill

As far as cashing out, I allow it because there are players who come and go. It's thursday night college night haha. Eventually the table gets deepstacked after a couple hours, and I also mention the cash on the table rule.They seem to oblige by that at least.
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:51 AM   #13
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Re: 2 home game problems. rake/beat related

It sounds like your friend is really running the game. It's his house and he seems to have the last say and who plays. If I were you I would move on to another game or find another place you can host. Having to cash out players in secret should of been a huge red flag.


For the cards, just pass the hat at thye table and get donations to purchase a couple of decks
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Old 04-29-2013, 06:21 AM   #14
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Re: 2 home game problems. rake/beat related

1) Find a way to host the game yourself, if at all possible. If not, find a new host, perhaps one who isn't going to play to avoid these problems. Offer him/her something in return, say $10-$20 for the trouble.

2) Collect $5 from all players to cover your expenses, especially if you're providing food/beverages. Or make it BYOB and get $2 from everyone to give to the person who is hosting you all.

3) Buy some plastic cards.

4) Don't ever let people cash out during the course of the game, unless they're leaving. If you want people to be able to protect a big stack, make it a cap game where players are all-in once everyone has put $25 or $50 (or whatever amount makes sense to you and your players).
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:59 PM   #15
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Re: 2 home game problems. rake/beat related

Thanks for the input. I decided to cancel this week's game to think about my next course of action. I don't feel like hosting this week with all the drama going on in the club.
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:32 PM   #16
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Re: 2 home game problems. rake/beat related

Mods, should this be in the HP thread as OP keeps referring to this as a club and also mentioned an intention to rake.

OP, not trying to **** on your thread, but also don't want to see a bunch of borderline club game posting start showing up in the general HP forum.
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:54 AM   #17
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Re: 2 home game problems. rake/beat related

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Originally Posted by jzpiano View Post
Mods, should this be in the HP thread as OP keeps referring to this as a club and also mentioned an intention to rake.

OP, not trying to **** on your thread, but also don't want to see a bunch of borderline club game posting start showing up in the general HP forum.
OP's main problem is how to deal with a host who is killing the game. That's definitely an HP problem and belongs here. If the rake is incidental (i.e. the main topic of discussion could apply to an unraked home game as well), then I generally will leave a thread alone.

Regarding the discussion of rake itself, OP was looking for a way to cover incidental hosting expenses (beer and cards), and a small player fee would work. I don't have a problem with this as long as we don't move into raking-for-profit territory.

FWIW, I host a monthly tourney where I typically spend up to $10 per person on dinner, drinks, and snacks, and I require players to kick in $5 on top of their tourney entry. I'm never making a profit; most months I'm in the red, and at best have broken even a couple times. Players appreciate the effort and expense, and it makes running the game regularly a little easier on my wallet.

Last edited by Schmendr1ck; 05-02-2013 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:51 PM   #18
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Re: 2 home game problems. rake/beat related

^^ Well said. This is how I view the subject as well. I don't want to squash discussions on the challenges of hosting just because someone uses the R word.
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Old 05-02-2013, 05:00 PM   #19
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Cool. I figured that's probably why but wanted to see where you guys draw the line.

Sent from my EVO 3D
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:37 PM   #20
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Re: 2 home game problems. rake/beat related

For exactly one game, I asked for either $8 or a donation of some sort of food item. I realized I didn't want to be on the hook to offer extensive snacks. Sometimes, yes. Other times, I just wanted to play poker.

So I decided to foot the bill for sodas, chips and peanuts, and beer for the very few people who drink at our games. Not fancy, but no one complains. Of course, one of the players owns a pizza shop, so a common 9:30 pizza drop helps a lot.
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:22 PM   #21
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Re: 2 home game problems. rake/beat related

Do your players not tip? Sorry, I'm new here. I've run three different home games of varying levels over the last two years, and I've never had a night where I didn't break even.

I don't profit, mind you, I take money I'm given and put it straight back into the game. Someone doesn't like the cards? They tip me and mention we might want some new ones.

I'm shocked to discover that there are home games where people are required to rake, or require donations, or have any other problems.

The way I see it is this: If you had fun, tip. If you didn't, don't. The more fun people have, the more they tip. The more they tip, the better the food, the beer, and the equipment, and the more fun it is, and the more they tip.

Is my game the exception, or is OP's?
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:17 PM   #22
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Re: 2 home game problems. rake/beat related

I think you are the exception, but I smell the need for a poll.
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:36 PM   #23
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Re: 2 home game problems. rake/beat related

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Originally Posted by Bartimaeus View Post
Do your players not tip? Sorry, I'm new here. I've run three different home games of varying levels over the last two years, and I've never had a night where I didn't break even.

I don't profit, mind you, I take money I'm given and put it straight back into the game. Someone doesn't like the cards? They tip me and mention we might want some new ones.

I'm shocked to discover that there are home games where people are required to rake, or require donations, or have any other problems.

The way I see it is this: If you had fun, tip. If you didn't, don't. The more fun people have, the more they tip. The more they tip, the better the food, the beer, and the equipment, and the more fun it is, and the more they tip.

Is my game the exception, or is OP's?
Running a home poker game isn't like serving food in a restaurant where you get tipped for good service. It's inviting friends over for a night of cards.
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:45 AM   #24
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Re: 2 home game problems. rake/beat related

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Running a home poker game isn't like serving food in a restaurant where you get tipped for good service. It's inviting friends over for a night of cards.
This.

When i host a poker game its the same as when I have people over for dinner and a movie, a BBQ and a bonfire, or anything else. The point is to have fun and hang out. I'm not expecting a tip. If someone wants to show up with beer or snacks then that's great, but it's not required.
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:43 AM   #25
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Re: 2 home game problems. rake/beat related

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Originally Posted by Syon View Post
This.

When i host a poker game its the same as when I have people over for dinner and a movie, a BBQ and a bonfire, or anything else. The point is to have fun and hang out. I'm not expecting a tip. If someone wants to show up with beer or snacks then that's great, but it's not required.
Most of the time when you have people over, it is reciprocated with an invitation to other friend's homes. Things don't balance out evenly all the time, but most people think, "Hey, we've been to their place a couple of times. We need to host a get-together."

Not so with poker. Usually there are a few hosts, and lots of guests who never host.

That may be fine with the hosts. But I can understand where it can become a burden. The host wants to have a game, but bears the burden. It becomes a one-way street.
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