Friday, May 06, 2005

When I am King (errr, Host, I mean Host!)

I look forward to hosting some NLHE tourneys this summer, and when I do, I intend for them to be fun (FUN!) experiences. I'll throw my random thoughts here on that subject, and will ask anyone attending my games to sign off on this before they come.

Philosophy: IMPU, Poker is about spirited and healthy competition to be enjoyed by both winners and losers. No player should ever go home at the end of an evening thinking evil thoughts about how they could have better spent that money on the rent, or dinner with their sweetie, etc. All players, winners and losers, should go home thinking that they spent the evening with congenial company, played an honorable game as well as they might hope to, and that the money they spent was no more than they would have spent for any other pleasurable evening out, such as a Night at the Opera, the Whiskey Bar, or wherever.

Having said that, the stakes should be high enough to rule out any players not taking the game seriously. The winner should feel that they were well rewarded for an evening of good playing (and let's face it, a smidgen of luck at least once in the evening.)

Game of Choice: I'm totally in love with the drama of NLHE. If I host a special evening, this is the tourney I'm most likely to have.

Side Table: Any time I have an NLHE tourney, the losers side-game table will be some kind of fixed-limit, low-stakes, dealer's choice open game. IMPU, wild cards are a bad joke, and I will not allow them to come into my home.

Re-Buys: At the main tournament, re-buys will never be allowed, as I feel they change the nature of the tournament too much. There will possibly be one freakish exception in the 'Booby Prize', described below.

At the side games/losers table, there will be a fixed amount of re-buys allowed, so that nobody goes home angry for the reasons mentioned in the philosophy section.

First Tourney Hand of the Evening: In order to start the evening off with a bang, the first round will have a specialized blind structure. Everybody at the table antes the small blind, with the exception of the Big Blind Position, which antes the BB. In the pre-flop bidding, nobody is allowed to bring the total higher than 4XBB, but after the flop, no-limit play officially begins.

After the first hand has concluded, the dealer position WILL shift by one position, as it would have in a normal round.

This is a little bit like the pace car round at the Indy 500. Any questions?

Booby Prize: It sucks to be first eliminated, so for any NLHE tourney with 10 players or more, I will prepare a booby prize for the first player eliminated. It will be in a box that is not to be opened until first player out, and will have minimal cash value, but it will be a desirable object of some sort. It might be a functional household appliance, a book on Poker I have no plans to re-read, a hold-em card protector totem, or whatever I feel like giving away at the time.

The recipient of the booby prize will be the first to look in the box. They can choose to keep the boozy prize, or hold a 'booby prize auction' in exchange for poker chips still in circulation. Any of the players still at the table can bid on the item, with the starting bid being One Big Blind, and going up from there. The auction can take no more than 7 minutes, and those not interested are encouraged to take a bio break or smoke break.

Important Note on the Booby Prize: Even if this 'ersatz rebuy' leads that player back to victory, that player is only eligible for the prize money one position below what they actually earned.

Example 1: Booby Prize Winner (BPW) is the last person standing. BPW is eligible for the second prize money. Second Prize winner gets the top cash prize, Third place winner gets the third cash prize if applicable, and any prizes below that are awarded according to schedule.

Example 2: BPW is the 3rd highest on the cash prize list and there are 3 prizes. BPW switches places with the highest person on-the-bubble, and BPW takes home no cash prize.

Social Drinking: I have no problem at all with social drinking. BYOB.

However: If you have ever been told that you become an a**hole after two drinks, please stop after the first drink. Anybody who looks under the age of 30 will be ID'd before they can drink at my place. Anybody who looks like they maybe shouldn't drive, will be confronted by the host and at least two guests in a friendly but firm manner before they are allowed to leave the premises with a vehicle.

Food: I love to eat well, and I occasionally like to cook, too. I will announce a menu, and will ask interested parties if they prefer to bring a side dish or NA beverage to pass, make a token contribution to the food budget, or abstain from the deeeee - licious food.

Smoking: I'm asthmatic, but tolerant within reason. Cigarrette smoking may be done on the patio/porch, and Cigar (or god-help-us, Clove Tobacco) smoking may be done down in the 'Holler' at a distance of 20 yards from the rest of the humans.

Non-Humans: There is a herd of deer living in our subdivision. If you drive much faster than 30 mph for the last mile, you may take out a clueless fawn. Doing so, apart from damage to your vehicle and the consternation of the deer community, will cause you to be blinded out while you sort out the mess. Any other delay of game from a solid RSVP will also result in blinding out.