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Top Pair Podcast 320: The Right Home Game Environment

  • PODCAST: Do flat screens, headphones, music, and tablets, have a place at home games or should the environment "stay pure?"

  • LISTEN: Should home poker games stay "pure and quiet" or best to enhance them with music, flat screen TVs, etc.?

In episode 320 of the Top Pair Home Game Poker Podcast, Bruce Briggs and Robbie Strazynski discuss different types of environments for home games. Do flat screens and music have a place or is “pure poker” the way to go.

Also, discussing the idea of a home game simulation of the WSOP Main Event final table, and plenty of interesting tales from our hosts’ home game session recaps. Is breaking even contagious?

Plus, Robbie’s headed to Malta and good old Gutterball has another funny line you won’t want to miss.

Top Pair thanks their sponsors, J Design Cards and the Poker Notes Live mobile app for their support. Be sure to check ‘em out!

Show Time Stamps

1:04–22:41How Ya Runnin?
 Robbie: Two home game sessions having bought in for big money, being down a lot, then making it all back in the last 30-60 minutes. One session down $5 and the other session up $5. Learning lessons from having taken notes on previous games and explaining “birthday Joe-maha.” Also, heading to Malta to experience the inaugural Malta Poker Festival.
 Bruce: “Breakeven Bruce” strikes yet again over four sessions. Down $180, then up $185. Down $0.75 then up $5. Thinking about blowing the “entire” four sessions-worth of profits… Also, more listener updates about which poker chips to use.
24:01–45:25 Cards in the Air (Improving the home game experience)
24:06Do you allow cellphones, headphones, and tablets at the table? Should there be a TV in the room? If so, what should be screened? How about music? Helpful or distracting? Bruce finds the extra stimuli helpful. Robbie’s more of a traditional purist.
34:30Reviewing an article by Bernard Lee discussing how one of his Boston-area home games simulates the WSOP Final Table.
36:18Ken Tilden replicates the tournament as best as possible: Uses the same blind levels, same chips stacks, button placement, and creating high denomination chips with a label-maker.
38:26Past WSOP Main Event champions Scott Blumstein and John Cynn have Skyped in to wish the home game group well.
39:13What changes Bernard would make to how the home game runs it, namely that shorter stacks should pay less than the chip leaders.
40:20Reflections on the idea, how it could be tweaked; e.g., bid auction-style on which final tablists’ chip stack you’ll get to start with, with extra money going to prize pool). Why the idea resonates with home game players.
47:00What the #$%& did Gutterball say? – Sometimes you just have the premonition that you’re going to hit the hand you’re chasing…

You can subscribe to PokerNews’ Top Pair Home Game Poker podcast on iTunes here, or you can access the RSS feed here. The PokerNews Podcast family of podcasts is now available on audioBoom.

Follow the show on Facebook and be sure to join in the conversation on Twitter at #PNTopPair.

Follow hosts Bruce Briggs @toppair and Robbie Strazynski @cardplayerlife, also available via email:

Be sure to complete your PokerNews experience by checking out an overview of our mobile and tablet apps here. Stay on top of the poker world from your phone with our mobile iOS and Android app, or fire up our iPad app on your tablet. You can also update your own chip counts from poker tournaments around the world with MyStack on both Android and iOS.

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