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Strange home game rule: Need help Strange home game rule: Need help

07-03-2014 , 10:11 AM
So I play at a .25/.50 home game about 3-4 times a week, it plays really deep with the total pool reaching upwards of 1k+ on a busier night. The rake is $2 max and is 10% starting at .50 on $5, and so on and so forth. Not bad, I've seen much much worst. However, the rake used to be this: 10% of your stack was taken by the host at the end of the night or whenever you cashed out when he bought food and drinks. 5% when provided with no food. There was no rake other than that throughout the game. Glad they did away with that system of rake.

However, one rule they have continued to use is this: If there is a waiting list for the game, anyone who busts cannot rebuy, but must give up their seat and wait on the list until they can get back in.

I brought a friend to this game and this happened to him as he attempted to rebuy, and the host even raised his voice at him when he "didn't understand." He's a more serious player who will now no longer come back, and how can I blame him? I've tried to explain to the host how terrible this rule is IMO, but they are both convinced that it's good cause it gets everyone on the table including "the fish." Why is that last reason even relevant? Also, the player pool doesn't understand why it's bad either. They'll gladly give up their seat and wait. A lot of players here don't have experience playing in a real underground home game so they probably assume this rule is normal or just don't get why it's bad. So as you can see, I'm really up against it here!

Can 2p2 help me come up with reasons as to why this rule is horrible for running a game? Or if it's good if someone agrees with them on the forum? I don't think I managed to explain it properly and have hit a wall. I guess just say whether or not you like the rule and why. I've not been to one game other than this that utilizes something like it so I'm guessing it's not very popular.

Fwiw, hosts are friends of mine from high school, so I have long history and they definitely value my opinion although this one is an issue I'm having trouble explaining to them. It's like they don't quite "get it." Hosts also deal the game and one of them has verbally stated how people need to tip them when they don't feel like they're getting enough from the players. Food is usually 3 medium pizzas from some delivery place, probably Dominos, and some beer and water. Should amenities be increased as well? Easily taking in $150-$200 a night plus tips.

Thanks!

Last edited by strongrad50; 07-03-2014 at 10:30 AM.
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07-03-2014 , 10:32 AM
How long is the waiting list usually? Is it a single table game? Is there a max buyin? How often does this game run? Answers to these questions might help clarify why this is being done. Sounds like it falls somewhere between a social home game and a raked underground club. Folks make up their house rules to suit themselves everywhere. Maybe they don't want to turn away folks that show up for fear of losing them to other games. I agree that it is not a very common system to refuse rebuys and I would not do it in my social game.
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07-03-2014 , 11:44 AM
Easy- if there's a penalty for busting (having to wait) then wouldn't the game by default get nittier? If people are less "gambly" then pots will be smaller meaning rake will be lower on average... Just tell the host that it'll hurt his bottom line in the long run if he discourages people from trying to go all in.
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07-03-2014 , 11:45 AM
It seems like this would greatly tighten up the game. If losing an all in not only meant losing my stack, but also included having to sit out for some unknown amount of time, it makes it that much harder to go all in. Bizarre and stupid rule IMO.
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07-03-2014 , 12:04 PM
I don't think its that horrible for a home game. Of course I don't consider this a home game, but the host apparently does.

In a home game situation giving everybody the chance to participate seems like a very reasonable goal.

And to the extent that the majority of player sin this game are not bothered by it .... well it seems silly to me to change it.
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07-03-2014 , 12:07 PM
You bust, you go to the end of the line. Simple.

I don't understand why you would think otherwise.
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07-03-2014 , 12:34 PM
Your edited OP shows that this is clearly a small scale underground room and not a home game mostly for fun. That's cool. So they are obviously interested in keeping folks coming back and it seems that most of the players usually do, even though some ,like your friend and you, don't like their house rule on bustouts. The hosts want maximum butts in the seats I guess and are willing to disregard the diminished rake and the occasional disgruntled player who wants a rebuy. You are likely beating a dead horse here I think, despite being right.
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07-03-2014 , 12:34 PM
This is an underground club, not a home game. That said, the question could apply to any game with a waiting list. Now that that's out of the way...

First, I've never played in a casino or home game that required me to go to the back of the waiting list when I busted and wanted to rebuy. I think this rule is silly. If I have a seat in a cash game, that seat is mine until I decide to give it up. Maybe that sucks for the guy who is waiting, but unfortunately that's the way it goes.

Secondly, as others have already said, you can appeal to their greed. Players will tighten up whenever there is a waiting list, and tight players mean smaller pots and less rake. Allowing players to rebuy without fear of losing their seat loosens up the game and maximizes rake - it's good business.
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07-03-2014 , 12:52 PM
From the look of things, your friends are trying to squeeze a full-time living out of a quarter-blind home game, and they're not even committed to it enough to expand the game as their player base—customer base, more appropriately—demands it.

Pulling down $150–200 in rake a night, these guys should have enough money to put some back into the game. It costs nowhere near that much to run a small game, per night, plus $20 or $30 worth of pizza. They owe it to their paying customers to not have stupid policies like this waiting-list nonsense. Worse yet, they're punishing their on-time players, the people who get their game going every night.

The reason they're doing it is pretty clear: it keeps a larger player base active, where people might otherwise leave because they can't get a seat. It makes the hosts more money by keeping the game going longer. (So they figure, anyway, but who knows how many people refuse to play there because of the rule? I know I wouldn't.) But it's an insult to all of you, that they would make some of you who showed up on time sit around and wait to get back in, all so they can squeeze more quarters out of the game each night.

And the host also complained that people weren't tipping him, or tipping him enough? How greedy. He's the house! He's pulling money from the game at a rate proportional to casino rake, with nowhere near the expenses to cover. Dealers get tips because they're underpaid service employees. This guy is not an underpaid employee; he's a co-owner of the business. Players shouldn't feel obliged to tip him at all. They are already paying him quite a bit for his lackluster services.
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07-03-2014 , 12:55 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by OneOrbit
You bust, you go to the end of the line. Simple.

I don't understand why you would think otherwise.
Because in almost every other cash game in the world, you have your seat as long as you're still willing to play and have money to play with. Everywhere else, the people on the waiting list are the ones who showed up late or didn't lock up a seat in advance, and they have to wait until someone else is done playing to get a seat.
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07-03-2014 , 01:00 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by strongrad50
So I play at a .25/.50 home game about 3-4 times a week, it plays really deep with the total pool reaching upwards of 1k+ on a busier night.
Ell-oh-ell at 2,000 BB in the purse being "really deep." I play in a game where there are multiple stacks that deep by mid-evening.
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07-03-2014 , 01:04 PM
He's much more likely to get tips on big pots. People will be more willing to play big pots if they won't lose their seat. Add to that the additional rake he would bring in if the game were looser and I think it's easy to see this policy is likely hurting his bottom line.
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07-03-2014 , 03:00 PM
Just about everyone here agrees that this is not a good structure I think. But the Hosts want it that way for their own reasons, and the OP has stated that the majority, maybe most, of the players go along with it without complaint. OP must either deal with it as it is or find another game. I would likely look around some myself.
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07-03-2014 , 03:31 PM
I would think that this would encourage extreme nittiness (I'm pretty sure that's not a word) because the nits would settle into their seats while all the loose players took turns either getting big stacks and sitting out. I would not return to this game once I was told that I could not re-buy.
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07-03-2014 , 04:06 PM
Let me raise a question that's been rolling around since I read the OP.

Do you get the impression that the hosts rely on this game as their sole or primary source of income?
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07-03-2014 , 04:10 PM
Can you add on to your stack or match someone else's stack?
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07-03-2014 , 04:15 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimulacrum
Let me raise a question that's been rolling around since I read the OP.

Do you get the impression that the hosts rely on this game as their sole or primary source of income?
Atlanta is Not LA or NYC, but it is not on the cheap side either, so I would doubt that would be enough by its self.
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07-03-2014 , 04:43 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bene Gesserit
Atlanta is Not LA or NYC, but it is not on the cheap side either, so I would doubt that would be enough by its self.
Pulling down $150–$200 a day, 4 days a weeK? It ain't much, but it does come out to $2,400–$3,200 per month, assuming they don't run the game more days than that. I'd lay odds that they're not paying any taxes on it either. It's not very much to split two ways, but it's quite enough to cover rent and basic expenses.

They'd still be kinda poor, though, and that's my concern. If they run a game 4 or more days a week, I don't see a lot of time for them to earn money elsewhere. It would also explain why one of the hosts bitched at his players about tips despite being the recipient of half of the rake. The money must matter to him beyond just funding the game.
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07-03-2014 , 05:05 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koko the munkey
Can you add on to your stack or match someone else's stack?
This is the most relevant point, I think. If you can top up your stack, there's an easy way to never go bust. Everyone at the table just agrees before hand to never go all in or put someone all in. Instead, make a bet that is one big blind short of doing so then you or the other guy can just top up when you lose.

If you cannot top up your stack, this goes against the entire spirit of a cash game. If this is the case, I would guess these people are coming from a tournament background and don't really understand cash games.
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07-03-2014 , 07:37 PM
I am the friend in the op.
Both of host have part time job but these games give them a large portion of their monthly income. I normally play 1/2-5/5 but I just moved back to ATL so was looking for those games but in the mean time my friend took me to this game. I normally am a little nitish but since it was .25/.50 and I had not played in a few weeks I played a little loser then normally chasing drawls and straights more. Most people bought in between 30-50 while me and the op bought in for 100. Through the game players busted and left to go smoke/play beer or shot hoops and came back 45 mins to an hour later and buy in for 20 ish that many of them borrowed from a friend on the table. I did not think anything of it. If anything I thought they just decided to get back on and try there luck again. There were also 8-12 people at the house that were not there to play.

Add on's allowed. I had added 60 more when my stack got low but no one else had added on the whole night but the op.

On my last hand had I had lost a bit from my add on and was about to add on but I got it all in on the turn with an open ended straight flush drawl and a pair against a short stack already in and a super loose player I would get in back from soon. Clearly I would normally not make this play and I know that I should not let the stakes effect my play that much but I was in a mood to play a little crazier since the risk was not much at these levels. I already pulled out another hundred before the river ready to reload. Then I was informed that I have to give up my seat. I was really confused and did not understand why I had to give up my seat if I was already there ready to rebuy. I was told by a very drunk host that it's not fair to the players who got there late to have to wait hours till there is a seat open. I replied with so you take the seat from a player that was there on time and now has to wait to have a chance to get my money back. They said that was how it's always been done and that it makes it so players waiting won't leave and never come back.

I waited around for op and a seat for about hour and then we just left. I never plan on going back. While the situation sucks I was frustrated because I would have not played at all as loose as I did if I knew that I would lose my seat if I busted and I defiantly would not have called on the last hand knowing I was far behind. I also could not understand how no one else beside op and the player in the final hand understood how silly and uncommon this rule was.


On a side note I feel that the op over stated what all was being provided at the game. On the night I was there it took over 3 hours for them to Oder pizza for the game and it did not get there till well after 11. The two mediums from domino pizza were gone in under a min and when a players at the table complained that they did not get a piece since the people that were there to hang out got them the host said well you should have gotten up quicker. When the player said I am the one giving money for that he was told sorry. No other food was provided and when the beer ran out they asked for cash from the players to buy more and made a player on the table go get more.

Last edited by Scotchtape13; 07-03-2014 at 07:45 PM.
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07-03-2014 , 07:50 PM
Thanks for the additional info. Don't think that situation is going to change. Finding a better structured game is your best move. It would be mine anyway
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07-03-2014 , 07:52 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotchtape13
Both of host have part time job but these games give them a large portion of their monthly income.
There's problem number one, IMO. A lot of these other problems—the rake, being rude about tips, the dumb rule (which is probably, ironically, a money-loser)—are predictable results of the money mattering more to them than running a good game.

Sure, they're just trying to earn some coin by providing a valued service. I can't fault them there, and I give them credit for their entrepreneurship, but I wouldn't play in this game. They seem too eager to scrape money out of it, at the expense of the players in one way or another.
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07-03-2014 , 07:56 PM
I feel basically the same about this rule as you do, Scotchtape. It's ridiculous to me, as a player and a host, to punish your early birds. These people make your game happen and keep it going. If you drive them away, the droppers-in who show up late and donk off a short stack won't have a game to drop into.
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07-03-2014 , 10:50 PM
I have one tip:
Spoiler:
ban OP
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07-04-2014 , 06:37 AM
I think you need to look at the bigger picture.

The kinds of players who prefer this rotation system view poker as "take a shot, go big or go home". If you're allowed to top up, then you're golden. Okay, sometimes you'll get booted off and be forced to socialize with the other players off the table. This can be extremely profitable long-term.

If you're going to raise a fuss at someone else's game your first time there and just starting to network into the local scene... well, good luck with that.

Adapt.
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