Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Stakes and Chips II

Thanks for all of the feedback so far. After going over people's comments I wanted to throw out the following proposed format to see if people would be willing to give this a shot:

.50/.50 blinds
$20-$100 buy in
each chip worth .50
optional straddle allowed

This structure would have the following attributes:

* Largely the same blind structure as we are currently playing. In theory this looks like everyone would be paying one extra quarter per orbit though in practice it will be less than that due to the amount of times that the SB actually ends up playing their hand.

* Having chips be worth .50 will cut down on chip bloat that has increased over the years yet still allow for fine resolution betting amounts like seven, 17, or 31.

* The standard $60 buy will provide 120 chips, a rack and a stack, which remains 120xBB and is still deeper than the usual 100xBB buy in for cash games. That will give people buying in for $60 the same amount of room to maneuver as before as opposed to having only 60xBB in a .5/1 game.

* With the straddle on, the game will largely resemble the .50/1 game which some favor.

* An optional straddle is what we currently have and having a "bigger BB" worth $1 is established territory.

* $100 maximum buy in would basically move the middle/late stages of the evening up to sooner in the session. After rebuys the table ends up having a similar amount of money on the table anyway.

* The same stakes would be used whether we are playing one table or more and everyone would have the opportunity to play with each other player.

I think that the above proposal strikes a reasonable balance of addressing everyone's varying concerns which have been voiced so far. Players who don't want the stakes increased would still get 120xBB for a standard $60 buy. Players who want to up the stakes can buy in for $100 and straddle for $1 and have it play like a .50/1 game. Unless anyone feels strongly that we should not head in this direction I would like to use the proposed structure on a trial basis. Then based on feedback from the group we can either keep the format, revert to the original format, or try a different direction. Let me know what you guys think.


jason said...

For what's worth, I like it. A good compromise that will enhance the game. When is the proposed start date on the new structure.

royalbacon said...

I’m in!

Ryan said...

I don't think there is much of an issue trying this out, mainly because it doesn't change much except the quantity of chips on the table.

Since chip bloat is a key thing you are trying to resolve, sure, give this a shot.

Despite the straddle arguments, this doesn't really address the general desire among regulars to up it to .5/1.

That's OK, we don't need to address everything in one move. We can tackle easy stuff like chip bloat right away and work through the tougher stuff like stakes after further discussion and more careful consideration.

I know an $800B stimulus bill that could have used that approach...

And we should definitely bring up stakes around the table. Not all the regulars follow the blog. My further thoughts:

* Two different stake levels on the same night seems undesirable for reasons pointed out by others.

* We don't have a population problem at poker right now. I would hate to never play with Austin, Brant, Royal or whomever again due to a stakes increase, but it's not like the game would die--we just might have elbow room.

* Martin mentioned briefly that his propoal of not running the exact same game every week was shot down. I think it needs to be brought back to life. Those against a stakes increase are generally not "every week" players anyway. If it were .5/1 as standard, but the first game of each month were .25/.50, what's the problem with that? Or, what about once a month we start with a tournament and then break into a .5/1 cash game? One of poker's great beauties is its flexibility. Maybe it's nice to think of WNP as this consistent, known quantity, but we really ought to use the flexibility inherent in the game to our advantage, here.

* Royal: re, what $100 buys: it is always so hard for non-players (and sometimes players) to process long-term EV against "the max buyin." At Surreal, people would hear that we bought in for $25 and just think that was insane, as though everyone were somehow losing $25 a session. (That, of course, is silly, only Mike N. actually lost $25 a session.) I have thoughts on working poker into a life where important people don't get that risking $100--and even losing $100 that session--doesn't mean in the long term what it feels like it means.

Yikes, have to head out for the game. More thoughts later, but really, I think a little flexibility in what "WNP" means from week to week would go a long way towards addressing the stakes issue.

(*If any of the viewpoints expressed here directly contradict statements I've made in past comments, well...that Ryan was just wrong, OK?)

Sushi Cowboy said...

Depends on feedback. Depending on what comments come up I think we could try it as early as next week.

Woodrow said...

Personally, I think that we should go with .50/1 before we test .50/.50, the reason being that if we test drive .50/.50 and nobody complains except for the people who want the blinds up to .50/1, what have we proved? Those people who will be fine with .50/.50 were probably more or less content with the current stakes.

Why don't we test drive the highest suggested stakes (being .50/1) and if we're getting negative feedback or a sharp drop in participation scale back from there? That way, Marsh and others, like myself, who desire .50/1 pretty much have to shut up about raising them if it turns out to be a disaster, unless (as I predict) everyone turns out to be fine with it. If we compromise we're just going to end up having the same discussion a few months from now I'm guessing.

Anonymous said...

Ryan, thanks for summing up my entire existence and impact on TNP/WNP as "elbow room"....

As I've said before and Ryan has restated, I have no bearing on this game so bringing my name up at all is inconsequential. The only real impact you guys will see is that there is a little less money in your pocket at cashout since my DEAD-ASS cash is not in play.

Raise the stakes and enjoy the game, majority rules and I've got elbow room to provide...

I'll simply save up my regular weekely buy ins for a bi-monthly deal instead, or better yet, save for my kids college.



Ryan said...

"I have no bearing on this game so bringing my name up at all is inconsequential."

Oh Brant, you are such an Eeyore...

Don't cherry pick my comments and miss my main point: I would be bummed if you, Royal, or anyone else I enjoy playing poker with never played again because of stakes.

Since I hear nobody who plays pretty much *every week* saying they are against .5/1, I am of the now-strong opinion that we should try out .5/1 as the new regular like Woody suggests. If it does turn out to be a deal breaker for Brant or anyone else, we make a point to offer up either a .25/.50 game or a tournament-->cash night as appropriate so we get those folks to the felt on a regular basis.

I would just suggest that before deciding .5/1 is a deal-breaker, Eeyore, try buying in "short" (60BB is really not that short) as suggested and see how it feels.

Woodrow said...

I mean to be honest, the stake increase can only benefit a player like Brant who is more or less a tight/solid player who doesn't enjoy being sucked out on. Doubling the stakes means the game will get a lot less station-ey and play will improve.

So if a player enjoys waiting for that big hand and than protecting that shit, higher stakes are the way to go. It's all us limpy pansies that really should be scared of the stakes doubling.

Anonymous said...

Ryan, I was kidding.

Woody, you can call me what you think I am (read: NIT)- I played 2-3Off 4 times last time and bluffed three of them.

and I shouldn't have any bearing on the decision Ryan, since it may be very soon that I will be dealing with financial issues that would preclude me from playing at all. I have stated that I will play when and if I have the ability to do so. As it is now, it's sketchy week to week, a raise in stakes WILL hurt my play since I do a LOT of call-call open fold to a min bet on the river..... wait, I just told you all my strategy...crap.

And woody, I don't see how it will benefit me since if I am in a pot my advertised range is so tiny that it will entice a lot of you guys who are looking for a good story later. " I knew he had aces so when the board came 2-7-9, he couldn't call!!!!" - if you don't believe me, just wait and watch.

All the above doesn't matter, I WILL play when I can, since I like all of you (except Ryan and Marsh, Jeh, Jason, Woody, Joe and Austin... Martin and Chuck, Austin too....hmmm) and I like the game. Raise em up and I'll see you when I can. oh yeah :)

Woodrow said...

Tight/Solid isn't an insult, that's how most books suggest you play, didn't mean any offense by it. As stated earlier though if the stakes are increased and you buy in short, it really works to your advantage in my opinion, as you're more likely to get action from bigger stacks when you have a big hand, you're not risking any more when you shove.

It's not an ideal situation, but I'd rather short buy into a higher stakes game and nit it up than play one bullet in a game for half the stakes.

Woodrow said...

Also, why couldn't you call with aces if the board came 2-7-9?

royalbacon said...

I’m so glad Brant didn’t call me out in his list of people he doesn’t like. He likes me! He really likes me!

And he apparently really DOESN’T like Austin.

Anonymous said...

Awsome catch on my example woody. I'm not offended at all man. I just love to mix it up on this forum since some of these discussions get WAY too involved for me to keep track. The stakes will be what the market will bear. I love to play the unlucky player but the truth is Im just so far behind in experience and ability to most of these guys that I have to complain about something else or I'd just be effing stupid keep coming back at such a disadvantage. I've learned more at this game in the last year than the previous two at the casino tables and I was hoping tuition would remain relatively low. I ain't ready for grad school yet.

Marshall said...

I am definitely in the camp of trying out .50-1 and seeing how it goes. I am not trying to lose any players or anything but I think that if we give it a shot we will see that it's not all that bad. If however it is, and some people aren't able to attend after trying it, I am totally open to other options.

The fact is that the majority of players want to try it at this time I think. Basically just read Ryan's post for my reasoning.