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Thread: I'm still alive!

  1. #1
    bambini's Avatar
    bambini is offline Senior Member
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    Default I'm still alive!

    Hey dudes, sorry I've not posted in a while, just wanted to tell you that I'm still around and haven't abandoned you!

    It has been a mental few weeks: my wife and I are having a baby (yay!) so I'm on a frantic rush to get major DIY projects finished before the baby arrives in April. Jobs like completely overhauling the bathroom, painting the kitchen and redecorating the lounge. All at the same time.

    On top of various baby things, working full time and my various course demands, this DIY frenzy has given me little time for poker, let alone catching up with you guys. When I've had some down time I've been too damn tired to play effective poker, so I've not been at the tables much. Instead, I've become addicted to GTA V and have been watching trashy TV and films. Anything that doesn't require too much actual thinking ;)

    I have had time to host a (disastrous) home tourney a couple of weeks back, which I'll probably tell you about soon, but I'm taking a breather over Christmas so I'm hoping to get some poker in over the next couple of weeks. My bankroll is looking quite healthy at the moment, so I've bumped myself up to to a higher buy in. You've got to speculate to accumulate, eh?

    Anyhow, hope y'all are keeping out of trouble.
    "Never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city" - Coach Finstock, Teen Wolf

  2. #2
    Tim's Avatar
    Tim
    Tim is offline quintessential chopbuster
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    Hey Bambini. It's good to hear that you're still alive.

    I have had time to host a (disastrous) home tourney a couple of weeks back, which I'll probably tell you about soon
    Come on then. Spill the beans!

  3. #3
    bambini's Avatar
    bambini is offline Senior Member
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    Default I'm still alive!

    Ugh. What a mess that tourney was. Basically, I have a couple of groups of poker buddies, most of whom are a bit fishy or haven't really played much poker. This particular group of friends seem to like to play poker for the chat and banter, rather than to play the game. This typically riles up the few amongst us who take the game more seriously (we'll come back to that later) but in general we all have a laugh and a couple of us go home with a bit of extra cash.

    I figured I'd host a game one Saturday, and to mix it up a bit I thought I'd run a tourney. We usually play cash games, occasionally playing a casual tourney (i.e. A tourney where the blinds go up just as and when we feel like it) but this time I thought I'd do it properly. 20 minute blinds, proper blind structure and starting stacks, etc.

    All very well, except that half my mates suddenly said they couldn't make it til half 8, so we didn't start the game until 9pm. They were car sharing and the driver had to work til late. Cue problem #1. I had to speed up the tourney to fit it in, but this meant the blinds were rising too quickly, especially because everyone was talking.

    That's problem #2. I couldn't focus on the game at all because there was endless chatter. Every 5 minutes someone would whip our their phone to show off some new app, or there was a discussion on Star Wars or some news article. And it wasn't just one conversation at a time. There were several conversations happening at once, all while trying to play a game. Now, I like chat (hell, I do it for a living), and I get that as a group we don't get together that often so poker is a good time to catch up. But I also come to play poker, and that got lost somewhere. One of my buddies now just turns up to talk and doesn't even bother playing! The sheer amount of stuff happening around me just felt a bit overwhelming if I'm honest.

    The problem with tourneys in home games is that there's always a risk that someone busts out early and then has to wait for a few hours until the game finishes. No problem, I thought, we can just have rebuys for the first couple of hours. Well. That was problem #3. Rebuys are a pretty standard tournament thing, right? You would believe the controversy they caused among some of the less seasoned players. "Doesn't it make it unfair?" "Doesn't that mean some people get more chips?" "What's to stop me busting out, rebuying and then folding to the money?" Some of their points were well made, some just came out of misunderstanding the principles of rebuys or tourneys. The overarching point was that some people thought that rebuys were unfair, and people were clearly disgruntled. Then after the agreed end of rebuys, one of the more experienced guys busted out and insisted on rebuying again. Even more anger and annoyance.

    On top of all that, I busted out dead last on an 8TT flop with A8. I didn't believe my villain had a T. He did.

    So there you have it. The blind structure went up too sharply, there was an overwhelming amount of chatter and rebuys were as controversial as slapping kittens. I didn't enjoy the game particularly, and if I'm honest i think it's part of the reason I've not been playing much poker.

    Ok, rant over.
    "Never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city" - Coach Finstock, Teen Wolf

  4. #4
    Tim's Avatar
    Tim
    Tim is offline quintessential chopbuster
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    Oh dear. What a mess.

    I don't like playing poker with friends who aren't all that interested in having a proper game. It's been years since I've played with my non-poker playing friends (who know the rules of the game, but aren't regular players), because it's frustrating.

    I'm lucky to have played in a regular home game where the rules and structure are respected, but it's still very much a social game. For example, there'll be chatter about random stuff, jokes, etc - but if someone's involved in a big pot then people will be quiet until the hand is over. Essentially, there's an understanding of poker etiquette.

    If you're going to run a tournament then you need to be very clear on the structure from the outset. Use a clock and define the levels before your begin - and ensure everyone knows. There's nothing unfair about rebuys, but it has to be "rebuys for the first x levels" not "for a couple of hours". At my local home game we use the following structure for our rebuy games:

    1,500 starting stack

    3 x 30 minute levels of rebuys:

    25/50
    50/100
    75/150

    Players can rebuy if they have 1,000 chips or less (obviously not during a hand).

    At the end of the 3rd level (when the alarm goes off) it's announced that there are 3 more hands of the rebuy period. After the last hand players can top up and get an additional 1,500 chips for one rebuy. We often do a double top-up for the cost of 2 rebuys. If someone has < 1,000 at the end of the rebuy then they can re-buy and do a top-up / double top-up. For example, if someone has 0 they can get 4,500 (rebuy + double top-up).

    We then have a 15 to 20 minute break before resuming.

    Before the freezeout starts the prizepool is sorted out and everyone is told how much is up for grabs.

    The freezeout then begins with 20 minute levels; 200/400, 300/600, 400/800, 500/1000, and so on. The clock goes to 10 minutes when heads-up.

    If you set a structure and stick to it then I'm sure you'll find your games will run much smoother in the future. Of course it helps if you only invite those who want to play rather than chat, or at least get the majority onside and create the right dynamic. Oh and good luck!

  5. #5
    bambini's Avatar
    bambini is offline Senior Member
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    Yeah, I must admit I don't particularly enjoy the poker when I play with these guys. I like the banter, but I'd probably have just as much (if not more) fun if we just went to the pub and gave up on trying to play poker altogether. I think my new year's resolution will be to just give up on this game - go for the kicks but stop trying to make it into a proper poker game. Luckily I have another group who take the game more seriously and who, as you say, quieten down when the action gets big.

    I was clear about the blind structure from the outset, but TBH I think I set them up poorly, meaning that they went up too steep and too quickly. There was also so much arguing about rebuys that there was no sort of consensus. At least half the group would probably have preferred to do away with rebuys, and the other half couldn't see any problem with them.

    I like your idea of setting the blinds at 30 mins, then 20 mins, then 15. I had orginally set blinds at 20 mins throughout but then set the blinds at 15 mins throughout because people didn't turn up til late. Far too quick.

    Incidentally, if you have an iPad or iPhone, I'd highly recommend this poker timer app:

    https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/poke...340175157?mt=8

    You can program in your blind structure and it'll keep track of it for you. Nice and clear as well. Just adds that casino feeling ;)

    Out of interest, what's the US law on home games? I know that many states have strict gambling laws, but is it the same with home games?
    "Never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city" - Coach Finstock, Teen Wolf

  6. #6
    RyckyRych's Avatar
    RyckyRych is offline Retired Micro Grinder
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    I think its a state-by-state thing. I really have no idea now that I moved.
    I do a new thing now. Hidden Content

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