Tonight is Guy’s Night here at the house. A bunch of my friends and I get together most Saturday nights to play poker in our guest house.
We’ve got a nice core group of guys that have been playing together for about 6 years. Most of us socialize together in other ways, too. Our billiard team has guys on it that have been together for 10 years or longer. Others play kickball or bowl together. Wow, I just realized we really sound like a bunch of dorks!
We’ve lost just one player, he’s at peace now. And then we’ve got new guys coming around that really helps keep the game fresh.
Like most games we started out real cheap and have steadily moved up the price. I think we started .25-.50 straight across the board, but that’s changed a lot. Now it’ $1-2 with some twists. Hold ’em is pot limit, 7 Stud is $5 on the end, Omaha Hi is $10 anytime, Omaha Hi-Lo we call “85” meaning it’s an 8 low with a $5 bet anytime, and I think that’s it for the strange bets.
We don’t play strange games and never, ever have wild cards. Basically casino games, with a somewhat different betting structure on a few games.
We’ve had some real characters come over a few times. One guy always showed up drunk. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of drinking going on, but we don’t show up drunk. This guy was intent on giving us all his money and I must say he succeeded.
Another guy was a professional dealer. I hated the way he shuffled. As a rule, after the game I would always sort the cards, box them up and put them away to be donated. We never used the same deck twice preferring to pop the seal on a new deck for each game. One night after everyone left I sorted the cards and sure enough I was missing the A-5 Spades. He wasn’t invited back.
We don’t do the new deck thing anymore either. My lovely wife picked me up two sets of KEM cards last year and they’re great. We play with real chips and a $100 buy-in is typical, but should probably be more.
The house, me, doesn’t take a rake or anything, it’s just for fun and they’re my friends, but I don’t mix the drinks. I guess that’s what it costs them, pouring my shots. If someone has too much to drink they’re ok because there’s a bed in the bedroom and futon in the den out there.
I think the worst role to play is banker. That’s me too. Errors made are never in my favor. I swear I’ve been the banker at every game I’ve hosted and the overages have accounted to less than $5 total. Shortages have happened and it’ s always my fault. I may have given out too many chips on a re-buy, or miscounted cashing someone out. Sometimes it’s caught, sometime it’s not.
Tonight will be full of fun, laughter and many, many tense moments as decisions are contemplated, mistakes made, and wins and losses add up.
I’m looking forward to tonight, but when we all sit down I’ll miss Steve sitting in his usual seat directly across the table from me.
As they say, “Shuffle up and deal.”