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Old 11-01-2013, 02:19 AM   #1
jzpiano
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Holiday Game Ideas

I'm usually out of town during the Christmas season traveling to see the wife's family in NY and usually don't get in a game. However, it looks like I might have to time to host one before we head out this year and was thinking of adding some fun twist onto our usual game to make it more interesting.

My thoughts thus far:

1) Everyone bring some "white elephant" type gift (not a crappy one, but one in the $20 range that people at the game would like) then on the top of every hour we do a flip, winner gets to pick a gift. If a person wins a second time they can "steal" a gift from another player. Only one prize per person, or obv. I would win them all.

2) Have everyone either 4 x $5 or 2 x $10 gift card to a variety of places. Whenever someone wins a hand with a or King (santa?) in it they get to pick a gift card.

3) Collect $20 from everyone at the beginning of the night and turn those into 4 x $5 chips that are combined and held separately from player stacks. Every time a or King flops the next hand has a $5 "splash" pot taken from this separate stack.


Anybody ever done something like this for a cash game? Other ideas or suggestions that I could add to the list.
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Old 11-01-2013, 07:00 AM   #2
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Did #2 one year, worked out nicely.

I generally have a hard time getting enough players for games around the holidays, though. Ppl so busy. Gl.
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:42 AM   #3
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Re: Holiday Game Ideas

Your idea #2...I think it was Schmendr1ck who gave me the idea of having a Santa Game (I think that is the name). Buy some cheap things to give away. Scratch-off lottery games are good. Maybe a couple of $5 bills. Put them in envelopes, and whenever someone wins by using a red king in their hand (the Santa), they get to draw an envelope. It was a fun addition to our game when I did it a couple of years ago. I might pull it out again this year.
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:58 AM   #4
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Re: Holiday Game Ideas

http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&...55819444,d.b2I


This might be a more complicated structure than you want, but it is a hell of a lot of fun . . .
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Old 11-01-2013, 09:11 AM   #5
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Re: Holiday Game Ideas

Our game is every Friday, but we have included a special New Years Eve session for the last few years. Most folks bring a lot of food and goodies extra. Also some of the guys usually decide to add some adult beverages that they usually don't do on a regular Friday. That often changes the table dynamic in favor of non drinkers.
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Old 11-01-2013, 11:01 AM   #6
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Re: Holiday Game Ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by eneely View Post
Your idea #2...I think it was Schmendr1ck who gave me the idea of having a Santa Game (I think that is the name). Buy some cheap things to give away. Scratch-off lottery games are good. Maybe a couple of $5 bills. Put them in envelopes, and whenever someone wins by using a red king in their hand (the Santa), they get to draw an envelope. It was a fun addition to our game when I did it a couple of years ago. I might pull it out again this year.
I've done the Santa Claus game for 2-3 years now, and my players always enjoy it. It wasn't my idea originally - I read it here but can't recall who first suggested it (dug?).

Last year I stuffed 20 envelopes with the following:
  • 4 Restaurant gift cards (1 x $10, 3 x $5)
  • 12 Scratch off lottery tickets (10 x $1, 2 x $5)
  • 2 Index cards that said "Fish Food," which I exchanged for a $5 chip that went into the player's stack.
  • 2 Index cards that said "Zonk!" which I exchanged for a 25¢ chip that went into the player's stack.
Every time a player won with a red king in the hole, they drew a random envelope until they were gone. It's always a blast, and it costs me less than $60. Laughing at the guys who get the Zonks are a big part of the fun, especially since everyone typically gets to choose a couple of times.
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Old 11-01-2013, 11:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schmendr1ck View Post
I've done the Santa Claus game for 2-3 years now, and my players always enjoy it. It wasn't my idea originally - I read it here but can't recall who first suggested it (dug?).
I thought i got it from you lol
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Old 11-01-2013, 11:48 AM   #8
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Re: Holiday Game Ideas

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Originally Posted by dugthefish View Post
I thought i got it from you lol
Found the source, an old HP reg came up with the idea about 4 years ago:

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Originally Posted by Sarge85 View Post
Here's what I decided ---

Red Kings are Santa!!!

If you win a hand with a red King in your hand (two cards) - you will receive a $1 lottery ticket.

I'm purchasing 15 tickets, I have no idea how many will be given away. Any not given away will be distributed into the prize pool.

Sound good?

Sarge
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:07 PM   #9
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Re: Holiday Game Ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by eneely View Post
Your idea #2...I think it was Schmendr1ck who gave me the idea of having a Santa Game (I think that is the name). Buy some cheap things to give away. Scratch-off lottery games are good. Maybe a couple of $5 bills. Put them in envelopes, and whenever someone wins by using a red king in their hand (the Santa), they get to draw an envelope. It was a fun addition to our game when I did it a couple of years ago. I might pull it out again this year.
Glad to hear the feedback on this!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Milo013 View Post
http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&...55819444,d.b2I


This might be a more complicated structure than you want, but it is a hell of a lot of fun . . .
Have you played in this tourney? Seems like somewhat of a crapshoot, but with buyins be low then meh whatever. Time to get together player some super friendly cards and have a good time. Not sure how my mostly cash game players would feel about it, but maybe if we did a turbo format of it before a cash game then it would be cool with a dinner or something in the middle.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bene Gesserit View Post
Our game is every Friday, but we have included a special New Years Eve session for the last few years. Most folks bring a lot of food and goodies extra. Also some of the guys usually decide to add some adult beverages that they usually don't do on a regular Friday. That often changes the table dynamic in favor of non drinkers.
I figure the holiday are times to have some fun and while I usually don't play during the x-mas/new years time that it might be fun for a change to get something going. Hard with us traveling, but more people are off work, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schmendr1ck View Post
I've done the Santa Claus game for 2-3 years now, and my players always enjoy it. It wasn't my idea originally - I read it here but can't recall who first suggested it (dug?).

Last year I stuffed 20 envelopes with the following:
  • 4 Restaurant gift cards (1 x $10, 3 x $5)
  • 12 Scratch off lottery tickets (10 x $1, 2 x $5)
  • 2 Index cards that said "Fish Food," which I exchanged for a $5 chip that went into the player's stack.
  • 2 Index cards that said "Zonk!" which I exchanged for a 25¢ chip that went into the player's stack.
Every time a player won with a red king in the hole, they drew a random envelope until they were gone. It's always a blast, and it costs me less than $60. Laughing at the guys who get the Zonks are a big part of the fun, especially since everyone typically gets to choose a couple of times.

Something like this is pretty cool. I thought I remember reading something on this forum about it, but couldn't find it. That being said. I love my players and am happy to pick up extraneous costs on a lot of things throughout the year, but not having a job especially during x-mas time I don't want to fund this on my own this year. Any other year I would for sure! Thankfully my group is good about chipping in for things without complaining when asked.

My concern with people bringing things is they might forget (like I would...) so I could pick up things and just have people just give money at the door.


Great suggestions so far. Keep'em coming!
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Old 11-20-2013, 03:31 AM   #10
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Re: Holiday Game Ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Milo013 View Post
http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&...55819444,d.b2I


This might be a more complicated structure than you want, but it is a hell of a lot of fun . . .
Milo I thought about this. I'm going to pull the trigger on this for the afternoon session before the cash games. I basically took what you linked and made some very minor changes. This could flop, but I'm going to at least try and get it going. I think I will also do some of the Santa stuff in the evening session. Basically looking for a fun day of poker for people. Here's hoping!

Here is what I have:

The Game: NLHE
Doors Open: 1:30 pm
Limit: 20
Structure: Rebuy Tournament
Buy-In: $5 entry for 5,000 chips + Secret Santa Gift

Rebuys: $5 for 5,000 chips, must be busto to rebuy

Add On: One add on for $5 for 15,000 chips will be available during the first break

Special #1: Starting 3 tables of 7+7+6. Combine to 2 tables at 17, 1 table at 10.

Special #2: Bag 'o Presents at every table!

#1 Rule for this tournament: HAVE FUN!

At the beginning of the tournament, each table receives one "Bag 'o Presents". If you play a hand down to the river and win with one of your hole cards that is a "A of Spades" OR "2 of Hearts" you MUST pull one present (at random) from the Bag 'o Presents. Each bag will contain the following:

Three Purple 500 chips

Three Tan 1,000 chips

Three Orange 5,000 chip

Three "Special" White chips

Three "Special" Red chips

Three "Special" Blue chips

Three "Special" Purple chips

Three "Special" Yellow chips

Three "Special" Green Chips

Three "Special" Orange Chips

Special Chips


White - "Merry Christmas" - May exchange for one free buy in when busto. If you have this chip at the break exchange for a free add on.

Red - "Secret Santa" - Your feeling so generous you will be moving ALL-IN blind next hand.

Blue - "Gift Exchange" - Exchange all of your chips, including special ones, with the player on your left.

Purple - "Christmas in Omaha" - At any point, trade in this chip for 2 more hole cards. Use any combination of the board cards and your four cards to make the best hand. If you have this chip after the first break exchange it for a T3000 chips.

Yellow - "Bah Humbug!" - Keep this chip until you win a pot or bust. While you have this chip you only get dealt one hole card. If you have this chip after the break exchange it for a T100 chip. Bah Humbug to you too!

Green - "Company's Coming" - You must exchange places with another player at any other table and that player takes your spot. Take all of your chips with you.

Orange - "I think I saw Santa" - This chip may be played at any time. At random expose one hole card of every opponent left in the hand.

Rules for Bag 'o Presents

1) You do not need to win the hand at showdown to claim a present (but you must show your cards!) Your hand needs to just be in play after the final round of begging, or All in with a caller.

2) If you bust out, but win a present, the present you've drawn is applied after you re-buy. If you choose not to re-buy, you don't pull a present. If it is after the rebuy period and you bust out you are still in the game with the one chip you pull from the bag as a "Last Minute X-Mas Gift"

3) During the first break the red, white, & blue chips will be removed from the bags and replaced with a T5000 chip.

3) If you pull a present that's already been colored up, the present is discarded. Feel free to shout, "Bah, humbug" if you'd like.

4) If a table collapses and there are presents on it, the presents are randomly distributed to the other bags. Players will redraw for seats at each table collapse.

5) "The Night Before XMas" When there are 10 minutes left in the 4th blind level, the clock is paused and play on all tables is paused once the current hands are done. The puck is moved and, starting with the small blind, each player may optionally draw once from the bag 'o presents. Once everything's resolved, the clock is unpaused and play continues.

Secret Santa Gift

In addition to your $5 buy-in, you are to bring in a wrapped Secret Santa gift of undetermined value. This gift can really be anything you want; something cool, a funny joke, or something politically incorrect. When you bust out of the tournament, you get to pick one of the Secret Santa gifts, open it, and display it proudly for all to see

Payouts (Rounded to Nearest $5):

1st Place - 30%

2nd Place - 25%

3rd Place - 20%

4th Place - 15%

5th Place - 10%






Blind Structure
-------------------------------------------------------------
Level Time(min) Small Blind Big Blind Ante Running Time
-------------------------------------------------------------
1 20 100 200 0:20
2 20 200 400 0:40
3 20 300 600 100 1:00
4 20 400 800 100 1:20
BREAK 10 min
5 20 500 1000 100 1:40
6 20 600 1200 100 2:00
7 20 800 1600 200 2:20
8 20 1000 2000 300 2:40
9 20 1500 3000 400 3:00
BREAK 10 min
10 20 2000 4000 500 3:20
11 20 3000 6000 500 3:40
12 20 4000 8000 1000 4:00
13 20 6000 12000 1500 4:20
14 20 8000 16000 2000 4:40
15 20 10000 20000 3000 5:00
BREAK 10 min
16 20 15000 30000 4000 5:20
17 20 20000 40000 5000 5:40
18 20 30000 60000 5000 6:00
19 20 40000 80000 10000 6:20

Cash games will be running as bust outs happen. I will send out another invite for the cash games. Your host will probably be the one starting them....
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Old 11-20-2013, 12:47 PM   #11
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Re: Holiday Game Ideas

Holy Toledo, I have to do this. My casual tourney group would go NUTS over this game, and it looks like a helluva lot of cheap fun.
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Old 11-20-2013, 01:19 PM   #12
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Re: Holiday Game Ideas

Looking forward to this, jz. I'll set aside my distaste for tournaments for a day and am actually looking forward to a day of holiday spirit and silliness. Please send me a "save the date" email so I can make sure I'm in town.
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Old 11-20-2013, 01:35 PM   #13
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Re: Holiday Game Ideas

That looks like a hell of a lot of fun. What happens to the special chips after they are used?
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Old 11-20-2013, 05:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schmendr1ck View Post
Holy Toledo, I have to do this. My casual tourney group would go NUTS over this game, and it looks like a helluva lot of cheap fun.
I'm planning on having a wad of $5 bills... Anyone say Rebuy?

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Originally Posted by abby99 View Post
Looking forward to this, jz. I'll set aside my distaste for tournaments for a day and am actually looking forward to a day of holiday spirit and silliness. Please send me a "save the date" email so I can make sure I'm in town.
I hate tournaments too as you know, UT I figured this way it would be so bad as we can have some fun. Was thinking about the afternoon on Saturday the 21st since it's right before the holidays. Might have to reschedule that hair appointment of yours.




Quote:
Originally Posted by eneely View Post
That looks like a hell of a lot of fun. What happens to the special chips after they are used?
Just going to remove them from play.
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Old 11-20-2013, 05:55 PM   #15
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Re: Holiday Game Ideas

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Originally Posted by jzpiano View Post
Might have to reschedule that hair appointment of yours.
Ah, I failed to connect the dots. I'll see what I can work out.

Rebuying Daniel Negreanu style?
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Old 11-20-2013, 09:31 PM   #16
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Ah, I failed to connect the dots. I'll see what I can work out.

Rebuying Daniel Negreanu style?
Lol. I'm going to send out the invite soon. Should be fun and I image that there will be a lot of rebuys. Gotta amass a stack quickly in this format.
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Old 11-20-2013, 09:55 PM   #17
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Re: Holiday Game Ideas

Why did you pick the A and 2?

Do you think with just two cards, and one of them a deuce, they will be played as a winner that often?

Will some people choose to fold those cards to avoid the penalties of some of those chips?
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Old 11-20-2013, 10:22 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eneely View Post
Why did you pick the A and 2?

Do you think with just two cards, and one of them a deuce, they will be played as a winner that often?

Will some people choose to fold those cards to avoid the penalties of some of those chips?
I used the two cards that were picked by the original creator who had been doing this for 9 years. Seems like it works for them so why mess with what works.

Don't feel like doing the math but with 2 cards to use and lets say you have 8 people at a table. 16/52 cards are being dealt out that they should come up frequently enough to add some excitement, but not be in every hand.

I bet some of the nits will probably just fold them so they don't have to suffer through some of them, but they also won't get some of the big rewards. Plus this tournament is fun so why avoid them, worst thing that can happen is you might have to spend another $5. Not to mention they can still be affected by seat changes or swapping stacks anyways Sooooo why avoid it
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Old 11-20-2013, 10:25 PM   #19
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Re: Holiday Game Ideas

I am very sad I don't live near jz. That game is slathered in awesomesauce.
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Old 11-20-2013, 10:39 PM   #20
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I see now. You don't have to win the hand, just show it down. Yeah that helps.

I might try this too, but I am thinking red kings (Santa cards).
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Old 11-20-2013, 10:51 PM   #21
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Re: Holiday Game Ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schmendr1ck View Post
Holy Toledo, I have to do this. My casual tourney group would go NUTS over this game, and it looks like a helluva lot of cheap fun.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pfapfap View Post
I am very sad I don't live near jz. That game is slathered in awesomesauce.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eneely View Post
I see now. You don't have to win the hand, just show it down. Yeah that helps.

I might try this too, but I am thinking red kings (Santa cards).
LOLZ. 2+2 tournament madness. Would be great if a few of us did this so we could compare notes after the event.


Eneely, I thought about doing the Santa game idea, but with the tournament already going + I'm planning dinner + cash games afterwards I don't want to think about anything else. Perhaps another host in my area will pick up on it since many of them area 2+2'ers.
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Old 11-20-2013, 11:01 PM   #22
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Re: Holiday Game Ideas

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Originally Posted by eneely View Post
I see now. You don't have to win the hand, just show it down. Yeah that helps.
There seems to be a contradiction in the rules. Early on, it says you must play a hand to the river and win. Then later in the rules, it says you don't have to win but just have to get to showdown. Which is it?

I ask because I've run it by the host of my Tuesday night group, and he loves it. So we have our big end-of-year "championship" game on December 10th, and then we will do this the following week for our final game of the year.
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Old 11-21-2013, 12:16 AM   #23
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Re: Holiday Game Ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schmendr1ck View Post
There seems to be a contradiction in the rules. Early on, it says you must play a hand to the river and win. Then later in the rules, it says you don't have to win but just have to get to showdown. Which is it?

I ask because I've run it by the host of my Tuesday night group, and he loves it. So we have our big end-of-year "championship" game on December 10th, and then we will do this the following week for our final game of the year.

Here is what I was thinking. If your hand goes to the river and you win, you are obviously showing your cards, and must take a present. You don't have an option. Whereas if you go to a showdown and you lose, you have the option to flip over your cards and show to collect a present. It's your option.

The only exception to that is all in pots that you lose as your cards would already be exposed. Mandatory or no? I'm thinking since they are now exposed that it should be mandatory.

Also just noticed that instead of betting I wrote begging.......
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Old 11-21-2013, 09:02 AM   #24
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Re: Holiday Game Ideas

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Originally Posted by jzpiano View Post

Eneely, I thought about doing the Santa game idea, but with the tournament already going + I'm planning dinner + cash games afterwards I don't want to think about anything else. Perhaps another host in my area will pick up on it since many of them area 2+2'ers.
No, I am considering the game Milo and you came up with, I am just thinking about using the red kings instead of the A,2.

Maybe call it Santa Gone Wild!
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Old 11-21-2013, 10:31 AM   #25
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Re: Holiday Game Ideas

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I bet some of the nits will probably just fold them so they don't have to suffer through some of them, but they also won't get some of the big rewards. Plus this tournament is fun so why avoid them, worst thing that can happen is you might have to spend another $5. Not to mention they can still be affected by seat changes or swapping stacks anyways Sooooo why avoid it
Only two of the chip colors are bad. Those are pretty brutal, though. Two colors could be good or bad (trade chips and trade seats). The other colors are good. So the enticement to play is there.
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