Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Home Game Musings

I headed off to the G-Vegas big game last night.  Before we started, a conversation took place on how to increase attendance on Monday night’s premier $2/$5 game.  Some regular players felt that the NLO8 game had caused some people to shy away from the game due to its inherently high variance and luck factor.  The discussion got interesting because it brought up some of the pitfalls of maintaining a long-term viable home game.

I mentioned to the group how the game I normally set up just migrated from .25/.50 NLHE to .50/1.00 NLHE (each with 100xBB max buy-ins) and that we had most likely lost some of the player base due to the increase.  I hazarded a guess that besides G-Rob, Otis and myself, perhaps only one or two other regulars might be tempted to play in this game.  Consideration was made to the possibility of turning the game into a $1/$2 $200 buy-in strictly hold ‘em game.  I was in favor of that option, because from my perspective, I get the most enjoyment out of being able to use strategy and tactics, not just waiting for the nuts in O8 and pushing.

Over the years, I’ve learned that the stakes need to matter.  There’s no going back.  TheRick mentioned he just couldn’t play in the $100 buy-in game because he wouldn’t take it seriously.  That same haphazard attitude had caused TheMark to donk off many of his chips after building a formidable stack in many of our $50 buy-in games.

Finding a happy medium ground will be difficult.  As is expected, each player plays for different reasons and each player will improve at different rates.  What this means is that as the game changes, some players will simply stop playing because the game no longer satisfies their needs.

Thankfully, many of G-Vegas veterans have taken steps to host more often.  The Axeman in fact, hosted a small tourney on Saturday night featuring the debut of his new table.  Shep (8-ball) Tiltstein is also rumored to be building a table once he recovers from the bird-flu.  And when you host, you get to set the stakes.  Granted, we may never again have the 16-player home game of years past, but we should be able to have games every now and then where most everyone can find stakes and skill-levels that suit them.

And if I can, I’ll probably try to play in most of them.  Because the bottom line is this:  The G-Vegas poker crew is good people.

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