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Old 01-23-2012, 04:49 PM   #1
Mahowny
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Prop Bets On The Success Of Fellow Players

What do you think of the practice of making prop bets based on the success or failure of you fellow home game players?

This is a fairly regular occurrence in our group when there is a multi-table, generally deepstacked, tournament with 18 players or more. A handful of the "regulars" place $5 to $10 bets on other members of the field, who will go out first, who will outlast whom, who will go the deepest, etc. They are not betting on each other as a subset of the group (although they do make separate last longer bets) but on all members of the group besides themselves.

There is not a major production made of this, usually just a quite agreement between the prop bettors before the event starts. Very often other players don't even know these side bets have been placed but inevitably during the course of the tournament, when players are eliminated or win showdowns, comments surface as to "My horse is doing great" "OK, you owe me another $5" and it doesn't take much to figure out what the subject matter of these comments are.

I know these are just innocent wagers, made in fun and not meant to be negative, derogatory or mean spirited but it occurs to me that they could be interpreted as hurtful to players that fall in the early or first out bucket or never make the favored to win slate. They are not always based solely on perceived skill but sometimes the factor of how someone has been running lately and if they are due a turnaround (up or down) in their luck.

Where do you fall on the scale - All In Good Fun, Don't Be So Sensitive ---- Kind Of Mean And Not Conducive To A Friendly, Positive Atmosphere?

We will explore this topic and use your feedback on a future Top Pair Episode (www.toppair.net)
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Old 01-23-2012, 06:23 PM   #2
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Re: Prop Bets On The Success Of Fellow Players

I'd be more concerned about the collusion (?) aspect. Collusion is probably the wrong word. How about improprieties. Soft playing. Chip dumping.

Say I have a bet with Eric about how well Bruce does in a tourney. There might be times that I'm in a position to impact how Bruce does. Does my bet with Eric influence my decision? not a street I want to go down. Even if the side action is "supposedly" too small to impact a players action.
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Old 01-23-2012, 08:02 PM   #3
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Re: Prop Bets On The Success Of Fellow Players

Each case is independent. There doesn't have to be anything wrong for there to be the appearance of something fishy. I'd avoid it on a regular basis, as it's probably only a matter of time before someone gets really sore from either being insulted, or accusing someone of impropriety.


That said, I do often make last longer bets for approx 10% of the buy-in with buddies when we hit the AC tourneys. I don't announce it right away to the table asking others to sign off, but we do make it clear that we know each other, and that there is a 'bounty' for knocking the other(s) out. That and we tend to go even harder at each other anyway, makes for few people accusing us of soft play. I may see a case for being accused of chip dumping, as there is often more action than perhaps you would expect.

Each case is individual...
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Old 01-23-2012, 09:36 PM   #4
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Re: Prop Bets On The Success Of Fellow Players

My own opinion of this is that betting on a player other than yourself is against basic poker etiquette and thus wrong (in a tourney).

However, as we all know, some aspects of etiquette are often overlooked in casual home game settings for the sake of fun. That's a judgement call of those involved. Personally, I don't agree with laxing rules or etiquette in general as sure enough some poker player will go to another game or a casino and carry on with the same attitude and find himself in trouble.

At face value though, I'm willing to bet that if you tried it at a casino and the TD heard about, there would be consequences.

A similar situation that I can think of is play on the bubble. It is common for players to agree to create a "bubble payout" either from their own pocket or from the prize pool. However, if all players have not agreed then it is not allowed. What I mean is that if there are nine payouts and ten players, then a group of four or five of them can't create their own "bubble payout".
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:23 PM   #5
eneely
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Re: Prop Bets On The Success Of Fellow Players

We have only bets on our own success, so I guess it has not come up. I would have a problem if they are at the same table. I guess it depends on the amount of the bet vs the prize pool. $5 bet vs $80 lowest payout, no big deal.

I once had a bet that if I busted, I would have my money in good. That was interesting.
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:17 PM   #6
Mahowny
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Re: Prop Bets On The Success Of Fellow Players

My concern was not so much in how it would affect how you, or your prop bet partner, play in the tournament but how it might affect a regular player, or segment of players, if they got the sense that they were always predicted to be first out. It just seems kind of cold hearted but maybe I am too much of a soft touch.

I appreciate you guys bringing up the aspect of the influence it might have on how you play at the same table with your HORSE or your DONKEY. That is something I hadn't thought of.

How could this practice be stopped in a home game or cardroom? Everyone would seem to have the right to make any mutual agreed upon arrangement with another person and unless you had some strong evidence that their play was shady or inappropriate I could see no way to restrict those types or arrangements.

In a regular home game I can see where an announcement that the host feels such deals are counter to the spirit of fair play and a comfortable, friendly environment would probably be enough for the regulars to curtail their side action. In a cardroom I would imagine players ignoring any attempts with an "I paid my money and I am not conducting myself, or the way I am playing, in violation of any standard patterns or procedures so butt out" attitude.
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Old 01-24-2012, 08:33 PM   #7
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Re: Prop Bets On The Success Of Fellow Players

Player wants to continue to play then he needs to abide by the rules - either of the home host or the casino.

As you already mentioned it's hard to keep it a secret. This isn't a court where there's going to be standards of proof required before being declared guilty. I wouldn't invite a player back to my home game that I thought was doing things that might effect the integrity of my game
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:49 PM   #8
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Re: Prop Bets On The Success Of Fellow Players

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahowny View Post
, usually just a quite (sic) agreement between the prop bettors before the event starts.
How quiet is this? How sensitive are the bad-playing players? Are they regs, or occasional players?

How stable is the game?


Quote:

Where do you fall on the scale - All In Good Fun, Don't Be So Sensitive ---- Kind Of Mean And Not Conducive To A Friendly, Positive Atmosphere?
Can't answer it. Personally, I lean towards AIGF. As a host, I would need to be pulled up from KOMANC... especially if there is an air of "hiding" it.


On a different side of this- What's the ratio of prop bet to buy-in/prize pool size? Any risk of effects on the tourney itself?
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:51 PM   #9
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Re: Prop Bets On The Success Of Fellow Players

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Originally Posted by Mahowny View Post
In a cardroom I would imagine players ignoring any attempts with an "I paid my money and I am not conducting myself, or the way I am playing, in violation of any standard patterns or procedures so butt out" attitude.
If prop bets are their worst treatment of the fish.... I'd be impressed.
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Old 01-25-2012, 01:03 AM   #10
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Re: Prop Bets On The Success Of Fellow Players

The chances of a situation coming up where players are going to "collude", "soft play", or "chip dump" in a multi table tournament do not come up enough for it to really be an issue. Especially in relation to generating some side action for the purposes of having horses. I'd be more worried if there is a group that all swaps pieces of themselves but even then, it's still a minor issue.

No real way to enforce against it IMO. If people are getting upset, discretely ask the individuals involved to tone it down or not reveal the bets in front of people. Easy to explain if it's affecting the game and if they can recognize who the fishes are then they are probably smart enough to not want to chase them away.

Sounds like gamblers just looking for more gambol. Let 'em gambol, damn it.
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:39 AM   #11
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Re: Prop Bets On The Success Of Fellow Players

I misunderstood the OP, I guess. I thought it was player A betting with player B about which of the two of them would go out first. I have no problem with that.

But if it is A and B talking about and betting on whether C or D will bust first, that is really rude and I would discourage it. Do they want C and D to stop playing? No one wants to be ridiculed.
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Old 01-25-2012, 12:43 PM   #12
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Re: Prop Bets On The Success Of Fellow Players

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Originally Posted by eneely View Post
I misunderstood the OP, I guess. I thought it was player A betting with player B about which of the two of them would go out first. I have no problem with that.

But if it is A and B talking about and betting on whether C or D will bust first, that is really rude and I would discourage it. Do they want C and D to stop playing? No one wants to be ridiculed.
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:47 PM   #13
David Lyons
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It depends on the home game, and the players.

I played in a SNG where one player put a 20 as a bounty on his friend, as a joke/needle.

Nobody objects, deal the cards.
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:30 AM   #14
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Re: Prop Bets On The Success Of Fellow Players

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Originally Posted by David Lyons View Post
It depends on the home game, and the players.

I played in a SNG where one player put a 20 as a bounty on his friend, as a joke/needle.

Nobody objects, deal the cards.
I think we are comparing apples to oranges when you do a self bounty, not to mention, it could play into his style of play if he knows people are gunning for the extra 20 and may make a few mistakes trying to get it.

I'm somewhat aware of how those prop bets went.... I can see it both ways (not trying to not make a decision here) It is all in good clean fun between the people doing it and the play is no different for them. Hell they would bet on who farts in the room first. I don't think there is a prop bet they wouldn't entertain.... On the other hand if the people found out, feelings could be hurt and they may not take it as so friendly....

I don't think you can control it, but I think I would ask that those type of bets be kept on the downlow side or hell if I was there, they could just tell me that I was the one they thought was going out first and it would make me try to play smarter poker... (pipe dream on that last part)
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