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Rules is Rules

WHEN: Usually the First Friday of the month @ 7:30 pm.

WHERE: Clay’s House
WHAT TO BRING: Cash to play.
Munchies and Soda provided. BYOBeer/Beverage. Donations accepted for food costs. Feel free to bring something if you like.
Cell 301-775-3248, Home 301-614-0809.

Beginners Welcome. Come early and we’ll run some practice rounds and teach you the game.  This is a low stakes social game. The most you can lose is a lousy $20 bucks.
  • Equal opportunity poker game.  Wives/girlfriends and Ladies of all kinds are welcome.
  • Seating is limited to 34 players and is by invitation only. You must reserve your seat in advance via the service.
    • Your RSVP commits your $20 and reserves your chips and a chair.
    • The evite will allow you to bring one guest.
  • Play starts at 7:30 SHARP! This tourney will take approximately 4-5 hours to complete
  • How to not be invited back.
    • Be a Jerk. This is low stakes. The whole idea is to have fun and meet new people or just hang out with our pals. It’s not really about the poker. Don’t take it too serious. I strive for a cheap nights of entertainment where people new to the game can have a good time as well as regulars. Have patience, Have Fun, don’t be a Jerk.
    • Bring a Jerk. See above
    • Hold a seat on Evite then don’t show up or call. This makes life tough for me. Don’t do it.
  • CLAY’S #1 RULE: Have fun. This is low stakes social poker. Get to know the people at your table. Have a brew. Don’t take it too seriously. If you want a casino game go to a casino.


  • Each player will receive T$1000 worth of “clay bucks” in chips for their $20 buy-in. You are eliminated from the tourney when you lose all your chips. The tourney will not stop (except for short breaks) until one player holds all the chips. That player will be declared the winner. The last player eliminated will be the 2nd place finisher, the second last player eliminated will be the 3rd place finisher, etc..

BLINDS: How much are the bets?

  • This is NO LIMIT tournament so there is no maximum bet. A player may go “All-In” and bet their entire chip stack.
  • A blind is a forced bet by the two players to the left of the dealer. Blind bets are made without looking at your cards. HERE is a good explanation of how Texas Hold Em and blinds work.
  • Blinds start small (T$1 small blind and T$2 big blind) and increase every 20 minutes. (Schedule here)
  • The large blind is the also the minimum bet allowed. Unless going all-in, the opening bet must be at least equal to the big blind bet and any raise must be at least equal to the previous bet or raise on that betting round.

PAYOUT: How much can I win? What is the houses take? What about the Charity?

  • There is no “house rake.” All Money is distributed as follows.
  • Total Prize Money = Number of Players * $20. (Example with 32 players $640 = 32 x $20)  
    • Charity = $100 
    •   Points Race Tourney = (ex $50 held out) 
    •  NET Prize Money = Whatever is Left.  (ex $490) 
      • 4th = 10% rounded up to $5. ($50)
      • 3rd = 15% rounded up to $5. ($75)
      • 2nd = 30% rounded up to $5. ($145)
      • 1st = 45% Whatever is left. ($220)
  • I will have a can set up for donation to help pay for food and soda.
  • The winner of the tourney gets to pick the designated Charity.

The Re-Buy and Bounty:

  • RE-BUY: There is no re-buy. This is a single elimination tourney. There is no add-on either. 

  • BOUNTY: We have a optional bounty. The "Bounty" is a special lanyard worn around the neck that is worth $5. When one player eliminates another they claim the Bounty. If you want to partake in the bounty put on the yellow lanyard and have $5 in your pocket ready  to give up. Remember only those playing the bounty can collect a bounty. 

The Tournament of Champions. (TOC)

  • Every month I’ll pull out $50 from the prize money for the TOC.
  • After 6 months we will have a TOC with $300 in prize money.
  • Every month you will get points based on how you did in the regular tourney.
  • How are points awarded?
    • Tourney Win. Points = Twice the number of players * 10 
    • Final Table . Points = [(#Players +1) – your rank] * 10
    • Everyone else Points = Half the points received by the last person to make the final table.
    • Example 28 players. 1st=560pts 2nd=270pts 3rd=260pts 4th=250pts 5th=240pts 6th=230pts 7th=220pts 8th=210pts 9th =200pts 10th thru 28th= 100pts
  • Why are points awarded this way? Because I wanted to give big props for winning an event and high incentive to make the final table, and something for the regulars without having to care what order they finished in.
  • For the TOC ANYONE who has points can play!
  • Your starting chip count is = Your Points. If you have 1500 pts you start the PRT with 1500 chips. 200pts = 200 chips. So the more points you get the better off you are for the PRT.
  • The TOC will NOT have rebuys. I’m not kidding. Seriously.
  • Cost for the TOC? NOTHING! Abso-friggin-loutly FREE! Although maybe I’ll have an optional Charity donation bucket.
  • Bottom line… Win baby win. Or at least make the final table and you will rack up points. If you can’t do that and you just show up you should get around 60pts.

SEATING: Usually I use a computer to track seating. When you walk in look at the computer and find your seat.  Sometimes seating assignments are made using the "CARD" method. There will be cards set up face down on the main table when you come in. There is one card for each seat. The suit determines the table. The tables going counter clockwise are Head Table (Spades), Table2 (Hearts), Table3 (Diamonds), Table4 (Clubs). The card you draw is your seat. Whoever draws the Ace is the dealer.  If you want to trade seats with someone it is fine with me as long as the other person agrees. Once the tourney starts though you are locked in. So if you draw 5-spades you're at seat 5 at the head table. The seats are not labeled anymore. As long as you sit in the right order it doesn't matter which seat you take. I will collect the cards when I come around and collect the money. We will seat the final table the same way.

MOVING PLAYERS: The computer will decide when players get moved and tables get consolidated.

LATE PLAYERS: What if I can’t get there on time? CALL-ME!

  • Try and get there on time. If you are running late give me a call.
  • If you have reserved a seat but do not arrive in time, at the Tournament Directors discretion, you will be assigned a seat and chips and your blinds will be posted in your absence.
  • If I have not heard from you and I do not see your smiling face by 7:30 you will not be in the tourney.

PLAYERS LEAVING: What if I get sleepy and want to go home?

  • This is a tournament so you should be committing to play the whole thing. The blinds are structured so the longest it will last is about 5 hours. Besides you’ll be out long before that!
  • You can’t just give your chips to someone if you want to leave. If you must leave you can forfeit all your remaining chips which are split evenly among the remaining players at that table. Odd chips are returned to the bank.
  • The Mullen Rule: You can NOT elect to have someone play for you.  
  • There will be no refunds or cash-outs given to players who leave after the first hand of the tourney is dealt.

PLAYERS NOT AT THE TABLE: What if I need a Break?

  • We have a 10 min break every hour. PLAY DOES NOT STOP:
  • You may leave the table however play does not stop. Play will only stop for designated breaks and briefly for seating reassignments.
  • Do not wait for players. This just slows things down for everyone else at the table.
  • If a player leaves the table for any reason his hand will be folded during his absence when it is his turn to act. Dealers continues to deal two cards to the absent player.
  • Players remaining at the table, or another person designated by the absentee, will post all blinds for the absent player.

CHIP COLOR-UP: This is boring. Don’t read it.

  • At certain points of the game lower denomination chips are replaced with higher chips. 
  • All lower-denomination chips that are of sufficient quantity for a new chip will be changed up directly.
  • The method for removal of odd chips is to round up.

Help with the button: This is boring too.

  • Heads-Up Play: The small blind is the (dealer) button and is first to act before the flop and last to act after the flop.
  • Dead Button Rule: The big blind is posted by the player due for it, and the small blind and button are positioned accordingly, even if this means the small blind or the button is placed in front of an empty seat, giving the same player the privilege of last action on consecutive hands.
    • Small Blind is Eliminated: The player who was the big blind now posts the small blind and the player to his left posts the big blind. The button does not move and the player who was the button, will be the button once again.
    • Big Blind is Eliminated: The player to the left of the eliminated big blind now posts the big blind and there is no small blind for that hand. The button moves to the player who was the small blind. On the following hand, the button does not move and the two blinds are posted normally.
    • Both Blinds Eliminated: The same player will be the button three hands in a row. The button moves to the now empty seat (the seat vacated by the eliminated small blind player) and the player to the left of the eliminated big blind posts the big blind. There is no small blind for that hand. On the following deal, the button moves to the next empty seat (the seat vacated by the eliminated big blind player) and the two players to the left post the normal blinds.

POKER ETIQUETTE: This is not boring. Read THIS page for the rules of the roost. 

Dealer Errors: Boring. Snooze fest. It happens. No big deal.

  • If the first or second holecard dealt is exposed, a misdeal results. The dealer will retrieve the card, reshuffle, and recut the cards.
  • If any other holecard is exposed due to a dealer error, the deal continues. The exposed card may not be kept. After completing the hand, the dealer replaces the card with the top card on the deck, and the exposed card is then used for the burncard. If more than one holecard is exposed, this is a misdeal and there must be a redeal.
  • If the flop needs to be redealt because the cards were prematurely flopped before the betting was complete, or the flop contained too many cards, the boardcards are mixed with the remainder of the deck. The burncard remains on the table. After shuffling, the dealer cuts the deck and deals a new flop without burning a card.
  • If the dealer fails to burn a card before the flop, turn or river, the card will be shown to all players and then discarded, the next card will take its place.
  • If the dealer turns the fourth card on the board before the betting round is complete, the card is taken out of play for that round, even if subsequent players elect to fold. The betting is then completed. The dealer burns and turns what would have been the fifth card in the fourth card’s place. After this round of betting, the dealer reshuffles the deck, including the card that was taken out of play, but not including the burncards or discards. The dealer then cuts the deck and turns the final card without burning a card. If the fifth card is turned up prematurely, the deck is reshuffled and dealt in the same manner.