Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

More About Poker

In an attempt to reduce arguments during games, I drew up a set of "house rules" for SMOFCon Dealers Choice based on an adaptation from Dealer's Choice: The Complete Handbook of Saturday Night Poker. As apparently befits a fannish gathering, we threatened to spend more time arguing the rules than actually playing the game. There were only a couple of contentious clauses:

Table Stakes: Except for certain pot-doubling games (where IMO you shouldn't play if you can't potentially afford it), I don't think you should be forced to "go light" (potentially having to put in more money than you already bought in chips), and therefore can only bet what you already have on the table.

Minimum/maximum bets: I like having the minimum raise be the previous raise amount, with a three raise maximum (except when heads up), mainly because I don't like to see a betting round be "killed" by two minimum-bet raises. It was Kent Bloom who proposed raising the min/max up 10 cents/1 dollar just because the nickle-ante bets are the same stakes he's been playing for twenty years. I see his point.

Fortunately, we didn't get too deep in the argument and agreed over a few changes to the house rules. Of course, a dealer is usually free to call any exception to the rules on any game. But nobody has to play a game if they don't like the rules.

We now have eighteen people signed up for the twenty-person Hold-Em tournament. I'm thinking of asking if there is objection (should there be demand) in increasing the field to 24 (8*3 starting field instead of 10*2). I tend to think "the more the merrier -- and more money for the winner," but I can see how some people might think "I don't want to play all night" and "If you put more people in, the odds of me being one of the last three go down."

The other issue is how to set the initial chip stacks and the blind progression so that we don't have either trivially-low bets or foolishly-small initial chip stacks. For instance, $5 buying 1000 chips can be initially set up thus, if you plan for the intial blinds to be 10/20 with 20-minute progression (probably pretty steep progression, too):

White = 10 * 10 = 100
Red = 50 * 8 = 400
Blue = 100 * 5 = 500
Green = 500 * 0 = 0
Black = 1000 * 0 = 0

The green and black chips aren't in your initial chip stack and will only be used when you "chip up" later in the game and the lower-denomination chips go out of play when the blinds go up beyond 100.

The idea is to balance the need for the tournament to end in less than three hours (we don't expect to start until after 10 PM, and we can't be here all night) and the desire to give people a reasonable amount of play time before people start dropping out (aside from first-hand crash-and-burns such as I've seen).
Tags: smofcon

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