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Alternate blind structure for cash games?

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Firstly, having played only 1 cash No Limit Hold Em game at BYOC and twice at Lucky Chances in Colma, I am not certainly no expert on NL cash games and by all means trying to tell people how to run their games, but I would like to make some suggestions and comments.

Some background on the games I have played.

At Hagar's cash NL game on 9/4:

Buy in: $25 for 1000 in chips
Rebuys (Optional): anytime a player falls under 200
Blinds: 10 (small) 25 (big)
Minimum Bet: 25

At Lucky Chances (small NL game):

Buy in: Min. $40, Max. $100 (chips are at face value)
Rebuys (Optional): anytime a player falls under $100 can buy enough chips to bring it back to $100
Blinds: $1 (button) $1 (small) $2 (big)
Minimum Bet: $4 (i.e., before the flop in order to play the minimum bring in is $4, after flop the minimum is still $4)

Here are my suggestions:

Buy in: Min. $25 for 1000, Max. $50 for 2000 (of course the host is free to set the dollar value per chip, say $20, $30, or $40 for 1000 in chips)
Rebuys (Optional): anytime a player falls under 500
Blinds: 10 (button) 10 (small) 20 (big) (Alternatively, depending on the make up of denominations that the host has the big blind may be increased to 25)
Minimum Bet: 40 (i.e., before the flop in order to play the minimum bring in is 40, after flop the minimum is still 40), in the alternate 10-10-25 structure the minimum would be 50.

This structure may allow more action (with 3 blinds instead of 2, and making the pot look bigger, with that I mean more chips) and let players to protect their hands better (which is the way NL should be played). Also, there may be more blind steals since the big blind would never get a free flop.

I am not trying to raise the limit (i.e., the cash requirements) on the game (i.e., the amount a player can win or lose on any given session is only relevent vis-a-vis what each chip is worth). After all, I am sure most of the BYOCers have steady source of income and are not trying to make a living on this game (you could probably make $20-$25 an hour if you are a very good player in a $9-18 game if you want to "work" as a pro.) I am simply trying to introduce a new structure. After all, the host and the invited players have the final say on face value per chip as long as the blinds are 1 unit-1 unit-2 units (or 2.5 units) and the minimum bring in is twice the big blind.


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One more thing to add:

Most cash NL games in the brink and mortar casinos have 3 blinds (one on the button) and no antes. On the other hand, I have not seen a NL tourney with 3 blinds.

AS a point of history - we used to have a smaller blind structure:$5/10 using the same chip structure that we do now. One night we tried the $10/25 and the action seemed to be much better and we've pretty much settled on that format.

I'm personally not in favor of adding more forced blinds to our struture, but am not opposed to trying something new.

Our theory (at least my theory) behind the buy-in strucure is this: No player can buy a big stack - they have to earn it. This limits somebody with way too much money from being able to sit down and scare the table to death all night just because they have deep pockets.

We hav played (in former games) where you're allowed a double buy-in to start the night and then single buy-ins thereafter and seemed to work OK, but I think that many of our players prefer our strucuture the way it is so I'm not real anxious to mess with it.

It looks like you need to host a game soon - our policy is that the host calls the strucural rules for the evening. We advise that you tell everyone upfront what the deal is so that no one is surprised to find something differrent when they show up.
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Yes, H, players with more chips tend to be able to boss others around. The reason I suggested a double buy-in of 2000 chips is that if the bring-in bet is going to be 40 or 50 instead of 20 or 25 in my proposal 1000 chips are not going to be enough. But certainly if we roll back the blinds to 5-5-10 and a bring in bet of 20 or 25 we are back in line again (that 1000-chip buy-in will do).

I have propose to co-host with someone since it is inconvenient to have it at my place due to the new baby and my garage, unlike yours, is full of junk.

I'll tell you what Tom. If we can find a weekend that works for both of us (not too hard for me), I'll let you "run a show" at my place. I have all the gear and plenty of space. I'm sure we can get a second (or third) table if needed.

You take care of the invites, game structure, cash, and snacks. I don't mind hosting at all. You'd have complete control over the game.
Sorry Hagar, I guess we are split hairs here (you say toMAYto, I say toMAHto). It is like you ask Picasso and Da Vinci to draw a tree and each one will have his own interpretation. So let's put this discussion to rest. I am a newcomer and I am not trying to change things.

That being said I did post a few days back offering to co-host a game. I thank you for your offer and I would like to take you up on it. However, I want to fit Doc into the schedule since he is the one who got me into this mess and he is offering to bring his table. However, from his reply he will not be available on 9/25 weekend nor 10/2, and I will be gone 10/9.

How about this: Tentatively, I will co-host a game with you at your place on either 10/16 or 10/25, whatever is convenient for you, Doc and me. I will bring 4 decks of kem cards and my set of 500 Paulson chips that I am dying to use. And the snacks, of course (no Chinese beef jerky however, they are too expensive.)

All BYOCers, please give me some feedback on the following structures (tourney and cash game) when I am co-hosting the game (assuming 2 tables, 20 +/- players).

First, we will plan a NL HE tourney with a buy-in of $40 (no rebuys). We will pay to 5 places (30-25-20-15-10). I am flexible as far as High Hand is concerned, although I prefer not to have one. I rather let that money go to the prize pool. You get $200 in chips for your $40 cash (my chips have denominations on them). With an estimated field of 20 +/- player there will be $4000 chips in play ($800 in cash). All times are 20-minute increments until the next blind increase (when it is down to 3 player I may immediately raise the blind to the next level, and I may do the same when it is down to 2 player). Since the prize distribution is relatively flat (there is only 5% difference from place to place) there isn't too much to fight for once you are in the last 3 (deals between players are fine, as long as they are equitable).

Blinds (chips)
Break, color up (race off $1 chips)
Break, color up (race off $5 chips)
Break, color up (race off $25 chips)
and so on until we have a winner

After we have enough busted out players to fill a table we will plan a cash NL HE game with $25 buy-ins (say 7-handed to start, with additional 5 more to join as they bust out from the tourney for the 1st cash table). With $25 you will get 250 in chips. Blinds will be 2(button)-2(small)-5(big) with a minimum bring-in bet of 10. At any time you are down to less than 150 in chips you have the option to buy more chip to fill in back up to a maximum 250. However, chip will only be sold at $5 increments (e.g., if you have 120 in chips you may elect to buy $10 worth of chips which will bring you back to 220 in chips). Cash out any time.

Just a quick question for future reference, Hagar (or anyone who has used evite before): How do you load the BYOC email list on to evite, since I have never used evite before.

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Only critique I have is diverting to a totally different blind structure from our normal $10/25. Although I know the new blind structure is completely accurate for the number of chips we are buying in for, I think the normal buy-in of $1,000 or $1,600 chips has become such a habit that you may have some confusion on that night with the new structure of chips.

Just offering some devil's advocate advice as I am completely fine with whatever structure we end up using.

(Don't take the following the wrong way - it's just some words "from experience")

1) You could wait until hell freezes over if you try to plan on Doc being available. He has a very busy social schedule and is lucky to be available a couple of times a month. I wish he could make more games, but, it is what it is.

2) The weekend of the Oct 23rd is definatly a no-go for me, I'll be out of town.

3) With the exception of about 6-10 players, the only way we get feedback with this group is when you actually try something. Asking opinions is (for the most part) a huge waste of time. Decide what you're gonna do, tell us what you're gonna do and hope for the best.

4) I would highly reccomend that you pay attention to Kahuna's comments about messing with our standard chip values. We pretty much have everybody trained and... well this kind of goes back to keeping things simple. But do what you want to do.

5) I'd highly reccomend you don't "promise" x number of payouts until you know how many people will attend. We have a fairly standard payout structure that we use, depending on number of players.

(when it is down to 3 player I may immediately raise the blind to the next level, and I may do the same when it is down to 2 player)
Words like "may" on a rule sheet are bad news. Rules should be 100% in place before things start. (I personally don't care for the concept, but that's not the point. If that is your plan, then do it - don't maybe do it.)

7) I have plenty of chips and cards, but if you want to drag them over, knock yourself out.
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Thanks for the tips. No offense taken. I will respond in random.

I am fairly certain the BYOCers are smart enough to figure out proportions (or ratios). What I mean is that the amount of money you pay per chip is irrelevent as long as the blinds and the bets are proportional to the total amount of chips you get. I am using it because my chips have denominations on them. Specifically, I have the following:

150 $1 Blue
150 $5 Red
100 $25 Green
50 $100 Black
50 $500 Purple

If we have only 1 table, then there is enough mid and high denominations to supply enough chips similarly to the game you ran last Sat. If we go to 2 tables I will have to use the structure I proposed.

Regarding the tourney and payout I will adhere to the standard payout schedule the group uses. Yes, the number of places paid will be dependent on numbers of players. The decision on raising blinds immediately as we go down to 2 or 3 players will be decided before the tourney starts.

I have email Mike (Doc) to see if he is available on 10/16. If he can't make it I will ask another table owner to bring one. However, I have no problem keep it to just one table.

BTW, Hagar, can you clue me on the evite process as far as how to set it up?


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I checked my schedule again. There is a good possibility I will be going to the Cal-UCLA game on 10/16 so we will have to shoot for some time in Nov cause a few BYOCers are going to Reno at the end of Oct.

Hagar said:
1) You could wait until hell freezes over if you try to plan on Doc being available.
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Thanks for the laugh this morning. I'm flattered that you seem to think that I'm on the top of somebody's "socially desirable" list... :wink: Nonetheless though...My name seems to have come up a couple of times in this thread so I owe it a response as well as my input about Tom's proposed format changes...

1.) Tom...I appreciate the chance to help and your pausing to check on my availability. I'd be happy to hump my table over to Hagar's for this little suaret. I just got some other plans made for me and I'm changing this post. I am available on the following Saturdays over the next 2 months (Fridays may be more open)...Sept 18, Oct 9, Oct 23 (but Hagar's gone 10/23), and anytime in November before the holiday. Just let me know when. The sooner the better 'cuz my social calendar does get booked about a month in advance. :)

As for the format...

2.) I'm skeptical, but willing to give it a shot. I'm not skeptical about whether it's solid, just about whether people will like it. So my advice to you Tom is don't set your expectations too high for the format receiving a "warm reception" here. I hate to see you disappointed about people's responses. It's got nothing to do with the format being "bad," it's just different and you know how people don't like change. I've got a reputation around here though as somebody who likes to shake things up myself, so I'll be the first to get on your bandwagon and say let's try it.

3.) About this comment...
I am fairly certain the BYOCers are smart enough to figure out proportions (or ratios).
I might be a dufus (just ask my wife), but I think the format is complicated. I'd be warmer and fuzzier about it if it were easier to understand. As for me, I'm the kinda person who likes to look at a stack of black chips in front of me and know that's $25. I like to know what a game dollar equals in real money. Some people will tell you it doesn't matter, but it does to me.

4.) Echoing things that Hagar said earlier (and I think maybe you already acknowledged this)...
- Wait until you know how many players we have before you decide on the payouts.
- Don't leave anything about the format open to interpretation. Your rules should be written in stone in advance.

5.) About Evite...There is a way to upload a list of names and email addresses into your Evite address book, but I'm not sure how. The instructions are on the site but I've never bothered. I've always just typed mine in. Tom...When the time comes and you need our email list...I can send it to you as a text file or an Excel sheet or whatever other way you want it. I think Hagar and Quads and I have pretty much kept our lists the same.

Well...That's my nickel's worth. Let me know what else I can do to help...
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Hi Doc,

I guess you can't stop people from talking about you behind your back, even in cyberspace. It's probably a good idea to defend oneself one in a while before one's reputation gets ruined.

As far as the format goes my proposals are not too outrageous, especially if you have already ventured the group into trying Crazy Pineapple and OH/8. Compare to that experiment my plans almost look kind of lame. I promise I would not try to deal Indian poker, 7/27, or midnight baseball in my game.

We will get some thing set up in November among you, Hagar, and myself.

Excellent point...I was the chief idiot who came up with the Omaha Hi/Lo experiment, so I have no room to criticize new efforts, that's for sure.


Anyway...We have done some of those other things, but we did limit the invite to those regular players who we knew understood that it was an experiment and whom we knew would be tolerant of such a thing. Just be careful trying to organize such a big experiment for the whole group at large. People have expectations for what they get when they come to one of our events, and your format is bound to meet some rough water the first time it's played.


Hey...What's wrong with baseball, high chicago, and stupid poker like that??? I'll be sure you get an invite next time we get one of those games together!!!
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