Sunday, October 7, 2007


Need input from the WNP crowd on two things: bumping up the maximum buy-in and capping the maximum amount any player can put into one hand.

First, what does everyone think about bumping the maximum buy-in/rebuy to $100? Blinds would remain .25/.50 so it is not a stake increase, just making the stacks deeper to 200 times the BB. We already do .25/.50 $100 on weekends and in the later hours of WNP we have stacks that routinely exceed $100 and at times even have the average stack be that size. Everyone would still of course have the option to buy in for the current standard of $60 or less. Since we have the straps to facilitate deeper stack poker and I think that the deep stack nature of the game is one of the things that appeals to this crowd, I figured why not just start with our stacks at full speed instead of waiting until half the session is over.

Secondly, would there be interest in a cap per hand? I was thinking $100 max limit per hand to throttle the amount that anyone could lose (though you could win more if the pot is multi-way) in one hand. Compare that to the $100,000 cap at Bellagio's big game where they have games with blinds hovering in the low thousands so the big game cap actually represents a much smaller multiple of the blinds.

Let me know what you guys think and as a reminder, keep in mind that running it twice is always available to reduce variance in large hands between two players.


Bob Loblaw said...

I’m against a larger buy-in at WNP. For a few reasons, all of which can easily be disputed.

1) Often we have trouble accommodating the number of people we draw at WNP. With 4 more stacks in front of each of us, it just gets that much more crowded.

2) I like the feeling of playing for more money every once and a while on Fridays. I don't play at every weekend game, so buying in for $100 feels like a “special” night when we do it.

3) The larger buy-in cap will only drive away new players from our table. $60 is a lot of money to most everybody I know. Upping the buy-in to $100, even if you can buy in for less if you want to, will be more intimidating to new players. $100 has that magical “This table means business” kinda feel which will make a lot of people we try to introduce to the game shy away from it.

4) Lastly, even if we do end up raising the buy-in to $100, I’ll continue to be buying in for only $60. I tend to only bring enough $$ with me to allow for 2 buy-ins on any given night. I’d rather not have to come into the evening with the potential of losing $200.

As an aside: why do you suggest the one-two punch of increasing the buy-in but capping the per-hand betting? Seems like the two points have conflicting goals in mind. One is to get more money on the table, and to potentially be won by each of us, and two is to make sure you don't lose (or win) too much on any given hand.

I don't think I mind the per-hand cap. But only using it in practice will tell me for sure.

On second thought, is it ok if I just take these two racks of chips and put them under the table?

Marshall said...

I agree with a lot of what Royal said. Increasing the stacks even deeper but then limiting the pot size makes no sense to me. I see it in two different ways:

Group perspective:
60ish buys is good for a wide range of people. I like to get new faces and different people coming in and out of WNP. I want the core group there, but I want new people too. We can have it both ways.

Marsh perspective:
I want to up the stakes. I would much rather be playing .50-1.00 at this point. I feel like the action at WNP has gotten way too loose, with nights where we have near constant straddling (which makes the preflop pot bigger than it would be at .50-1.00 btw), and "normal" preflop raises of 3x basically scoffed at. I think that our play as a group has taken a hit from the calling station, gambling nature of WNP. It has become painfully obvious that the stakes are too small for us, but at the same time we need to keep the game accessible.

I think we should probably just keep it the same as it is.

Sushi Cowboy said...

1) Straps

2) Every night with poker is "special." ;)

3) Blinds are still .25/.50 but I see your point. Stories abound about the Wynn's 1/3 game where there is no cap and players buy in for thousands so that the little players get stack whipped. I don't see that as a problem at our games but I could see how new players could be intimidated by that.

Again, we are already playing $100 stacks routinely later in the sessions. I wanted to offer up the idea because I think playing deeper stacks from the start will mean that players have more meaningful decisions for more of the night.

4) Don't have to bring any more or buy in for anymore. If someone doubles up in the first orbit you already have someone with more than $100 in their stack.

Aside: The cap is to mitigate potential swinginess and is not necessarily coupled with the increase in stack size. As the night wears on we already have players with 400+ chips in front of them and when they clash the variance is huge. I think that $100 is plenty big enough of a club to wield so I don't see much downside to the cap.

Austin said...

The $100 buyin just seems intimidating, even if you don't use it. It really doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense to increase it because if what you say is true in that we get to the $100 barrier fairly soon, then I see no point in increasing it there initially. It scares off people who think $100 is a lot of money and aren't that sure of their game (like me), which I don't think you want to do. Also, if you lose a whole buyin on a bad beat hand, you're going to lose the whole $100, which is certainly not fun because then you have to buyin for a huge amount again.

I don't mind allowing them later on in the game when a majority of the people playing have $100+ stacks, but I'm not a huge fan of it early on.

I like deep stack poker as it's something that's totally different from what I've played before, but I also like it the other way too. There are very different skills in the two realms, so taking away one of them seems to limit the ways we're able to play poker which I also disagree with a bit.

Marshall said...

The most interesting thing about WNP is the deep stack element. I mean anyone can wait for a good hand and just ship and pray.

With deep stack, you have to have balls. If we were to cap the betting, it takes away the deep stack element because someone knows they can only lose a certain amount. I want to wield my stack like a weapon, and I don't want it limited. If someone longs for variance reduction, then they can run it twice.

Marshall said...

Also, Austin, remember that you don't have to buy in for the full 100.00, you could buy in for as little as 20 I believe.

Ryan said...

Agree with the general sentiment. While .50/1 would be my "ideal" stakes right now given my bankroll, I think $.25/.50 is the right level for T/WNP.

I think we should just try for .50/1 on the Friday/Saturday games when we can, based on who can come. I mean, it has been shown that .5/1 drives some people away...we've planned for .5/1 nights and then dialed it back down after turnout was affected.

No matter what, Martin, you might want to start calling out the minimum buy in your emails as well as the max, whether max is $60 or $100.

Some of the people I continue to invite that have never played yet would be much more likely to do so if they saw "Minimum: $20" instead of just "Maximum: $100" or whatever.

Finally, I understand the deep-stack appeal and the idea of starting deep, but I also like the natural progression to it over the course of a session.

I also don't mind being the guy with 12 stacks staring at 40 (except for the part where it means I'm almost certainly stuck), it's just a different challenge to play with a normal stack against a bunch of deep stacks.

Austin said...

Oh, I know you don't have to buy in for the full amount, but that just seems like a terrible idea to have $20 against $100. If I were to buy in for that little I see myself getting pushed around quite a bit and having to pick battles very carefully. I could certainly do it, I just see it being much harder and almost not worth it :).

Sushi Cowboy said...

Just a reminder to everyone that the blinds are not increasing. So unless there is constant pre-flop aggression, the stack sizes do not come into play in terms of being pushed around and having to pick your battles.

Sounds like overall there isn't exactly a groundswell of interest so we'll keep everything the same.

Thanks for the feedback.

For those interested in higher stakey-stakes look for a 1/2 evening session with Jason's buddies.