I thought I’d explain how “The Boblagio” came about.
First, I’ll begin with a little about my personal background in poker. My parents taught me how to play Five-card draw when I was a child, probably when I was around 8 to 10 years old. They wouldn’t let me play for money; we used toothpicks for our chips. Sometime in my early adult life I learned to play Seven-card stud. In the early 80′s, a handful of co-workers and I would get together about once a month and play. I only played sporadically throughout the years.
Then, in early 2004 a small group of co-workers started a game playing primarily Texas hold ‘em. The initial members of the group were: WallyG, Dan, Bruce, Larry, Bob K, and myself. Others, like “Tall Walter” and Brett, joined the group. Other people played periodically, some played only once and others played a few times. We usually had about 6-8 players and occasionally would have to cancel a game because we didn’t have enough players.
Then, WallyG connected with Chris W., also an employee at our company, but in a different area. Chris also hosted a small home game and sometimes had trouble getting enough players for his game. So, Chris and a couple of members from his game joined ours.
Somewhere around that time, I “fell in love” with the game of poker and everything surrounding it: the socializing, the competition, the strategy, the cards, the chips, everything. I started searching the net, trying to learn as much as I could. I don’t remember how, but I stumbled on homepokertourney.com, and gained a lot of valuable information about rules, etiquette, “good” poker chips, and numerous other tidbits.
I decided that I wanted to begin hosting a home game, and to also use it as a means to prepare me for playing in a real casino someday. So, I studied the rules, Robert’s Rules of Poker to be exact, and HPT’s forums for information about how to improve my game and how to handle issues that will “always” arise at a poker game.
Anyway, one of the players from Chris’ game, Chris H., made a comment about my game being “The Boblagio”, since my first name is Bob; I liked it, and the name stuck.
Motivated by what I had read on the forums, and if I was going to have an actual name for my game, I decided the inexpensive table toppers and cheap chips that I had would not suffice. So, using the information I had found at homepokertourney, pcpotato.com, Scott Keen’s site, and perfectmancave.com, I began building my tables. I figured one wasn’t enough, but two tables would do just fine - I was wrong. Another one of my regular players, Derrick, took my basic idea and designed my “Boblagio” chips for me. Pics of one of the tables and the chips are under the Photos section on this site.
From feedback that I’ve received from the players at my game, it’s become known as a “tight”, well-run game; but I will concede there’s always room from improvement.
We have a very diverse group, consisting of young and old(er) players, 2-3 women (who are all very good, by-the-way) often play. There are accountants, attorneys, college students, IT people, small business owners, chemists, salesmen, band directors and so on that play. Many of the players regularly play in casinos, online, at local bars, and other home games. One of our occasional players, Robin, hosted a league (which she won), where the prize was a seat in this past WSOP Main Event.
I recently built a third table, and now LIMIT the game to the first 27 players that respond to my email invitations, because I don’t want it any larger for several reasons. I try to send out the invitations about 8 days prior to a game. The last time I had a game, the invitation was sent about 6:30 AM, and the game was half-full within 3 hours.
We usually start with a No-Limit Hold ‘em tournament, although I’m thinking about having a HO (Hold ‘em/Omaha) tournament soon. Then as players are knocked-out, and we combine to 2 tables, a cash game is started. I don’t really like wild games but I try to be accommodating since a lot of the players like some variety, so house rules limit the games to: Hold em, Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo, Pineapple, Crazy Pineapple, and Low Chicago. I only allow Low Chicago because one of my regular players, Kevin K., will fore-go a scheduled trip to Tunica to play with us, and he really likes that game.
I guess the following best summarizes my game. During a visit, I was telling my in-laws about my game (like I said earlier, I tell people about it every chance I get), and my sister-in-law asked if I wasn’t concerned about it becoming rowdy (I guess she was envisioning a big drunken poker game). And before I could respond, my wife, who usually sequesters herself upstairs during the games, surprised me with the reply: “That’s never a problem, the people come here for one reason, and that’s to play poker”!