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Help with two league issues

Discussion in 'Home Game General' started by brains613, Sep 27, 2014.

  1. brains613

    brains613 Well-Known Member
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    I am currently running a league, and need help with two things. Little bit of background first. There is a six game season, with the top four scores counting. The league currently has 14 points players, including me. Each has payed a $100 league fee, and most have attended all four of the six games thus far. The monthly tourney is a $40 buy-in, with $10 going towards the prize pool. Each game has had more than the points players in attendance. Those players still pay the $40. My two issues -

    1.) A player came to the first game back in June. He was new to my group, but had decided to play in the league. He paid his league fee. He hasn't been to any of the subsequent three games. A couple days ago, he contacted me via text, saying "I came to one of your games this summer and ended up paying the 100 entry for the points race. I took 3rd or 4th that night. I thought I would be able to play in the minimum 4 games but it looks like that is not going to be the case. Any chance I can get that money back? I sincerely apologize." Should I give him the money back? Why or why not? Let's consider it as not a binary question. I'm willing to consider a partial refund as well, but if so, how much?

    2.) I can't seem to decide how to do the payouts. How many players should be in the money? At what percentages? (This wasn't determined before the league started, and I will concede that this is a mistake on my part.) Consider that I want to encourage maximum participation. The total prize pool is the league fees, plus the $10 for each entry in the monthly game.

    3.) Follow to questions two: What formula should I use for the next season's payouts. I want to have it worked out and determined so I can hand out flyers at the final game next month. (containing rules, the refund policy, and the payouts.)
     
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  2. mrtree

    mrtree ChipTalk.net Supporter
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    Just a quick answer to 1.

    No way in hell. You put your money up it's up to you to defend it. You pay him back and Pandora's Box is open.
     
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  3. Sat Guru

    Sat Guru ChipTalk.net Supporter
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    #1:

    I agree with mrtree that tourney seasons are pay, then play or lose your entry fee (especially when your league is four games in before he contacts you). Could he really have an expectation that he can get his money back if he couldn't make the required number of games? That doesn't seem reasonable.

    This player's action has also created an expectation from the other players (who presumably know the total number ("N") of league players) that the prize pool is a minimum of N*$100 in addition to the $10 per player per game going to the prize pool. A refund also sets a bad precedent for your current players for the remainder of this season: what happens if I played three games, miss two, and can't make the sixth: is there any refund then? Why not?

    If there is some incentive (because of unforeseen and exceptional personal circumstances) to issue a full or partial refund you could also offer no refund but his full (or partial) entry fee to apply to next season's tourney (with the new rules clearly enunciated).
     
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  4. Sat Guru

    Sat Guru ChipTalk.net Supporter
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    #3: Something to consider is whether to put everything into a google doc that you can share with everyone via email. It makes it much easier to distribute and you can share the document so that people can view it without making changes.

    PM me if you have questions about this as I can show you an example of how I have mine set up if you're not familiar with google docs.
     
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  5. Sat Guru

    Sat Guru ChipTalk.net Supporter
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    #2: At this stage the number of people paid out is semi-arbitrary because no one has an expectation: How are your current games paid out? Why wouldn't you replicate that?

    I like to have a good payout for the winner. Obvious is top 4 or 5:

    4 peeps: 50/25/15/10
    5 peeps: 40/25/20/10/5

    You can replicate that structure next year (or modify) because you'll have set the ground rules up before next season's league.
     
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  6. brains613

    brains613 Well-Known Member
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    This is a good question, but it has (what I think is) an obvious answer. The monthly games have more players. Including non-league players, there have been no fewer than 20 players. So I have paid out 4 or five places, depending on the totals number. With a player pool of 14, paying out four (28%) or five (35%) places doesn't seem right.
     
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  7. Mojo1312

    Mojo1312 Well-Known Member

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    FWIW, I paid out top four on the rare occasions where we had 18 players. Like you, I dislike paying out 25% of the field; however, others in our league felt there should be one additional pay-out for the CG considering the amount of money we had in the prize pool.

    As the host, TD and organizer, I did not want to have 4 full pay-outs, so I took a middle of the road approach. We had 14 players attend our CG, and the top four were paid out:

    $800
    $525
    $345
    $100

    You are going to have $2,600 for your CG if you continue to average 20 players in your monthly tournaments.

    I would probably give fourth place $150, and distribute the rest of the prize pool 50/30/20 amongst the first, second, and first place finishers.
     
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  8. Sat Guru

    Sat Guru ChipTalk.net Supporter
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    Totally get where you're coming from on payout field %. But now I'm curious about what you mean by the quote above. Do you want more peeps to play in the league going forward?

    There is an argument that paying out to a larger field is warranted because the league is points based rather than single tourney based. Therefore a wider spread might be more appropriate especially as the prize pool is supplemented by the monthly $10 a head per game. The wider spread may encourage more people to join the league next time. You could poll your players and see what they think.

    I like MoJo1312's idea of fixing the lower payouts at a certain value and paying percentages on the rest. (Your rules can change based on the participation of the numbers of players next season.)
     
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  9. JeromyinWV

    JeromyinWV ChipTalk.net Supporter
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    Negative on the refund. As far as payout, not outlining it before the season will result in somebody always feeling like they got screwed ( if you pay 4, you should have paid 5). You can't please everybody. A good idea is to take $100 of the prize pool and give to the bubble boy then splitthe remaining prize pool. In essence you are paying out an extra person and guaranteeing a player for next year.
     
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  10. daschuck77

    daschuck77 Well-Known Member

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    I'm in agreement that he should not have an expectation for a refund. The reasonable best 4 out of 6 games is plenty of time, cushion, and opportunity for him to figure out if he can make a full season run. It's a $100 dollar roll of toilet paper for him as far as I am concerned. I'm sure all points players, even those that are not in the hunt to cash would back you on.

    Perry, you should have also mentioned that he was threatening to post negative comments about the meetup group and that we were out to rip him off or not hear him out.
     
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  11. daschuck77

    daschuck77 Well-Known Member

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    AND glad most folks agree that he should eat the loss. Perry, how much did he make for his good finish in the first game? That mitigated his loss anyway. It almost sounds like he is super strapped for cash and is looking under every couch cusion, car seat, and pants pocket for some loot.

    And after re-reading the text he sent and his threatening language...screw the guy. Deadbeat flake and slug.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 29, 2014
  12. daschuck77

    daschuck77 Well-Known Member

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    A transcript of the conversation between Brains and the protesting league player. Names have been changed to protect the idiotic.

    Richard Head: Hey Brains. My name is Richard Head. I came to one of your games this summer and ended up paying the 100 entry for the points race. I took 3rd or 4th that night. I thought I would be able to play in the minimum 4 games but it looks like that is not going to be the case. Any chance I can get that money back? I sincerely apologize. 12:47 PM

    Brains: Greetings, Dick. I'm not ignoring you. I'm considering your request, and consulting a few opinions. I'll let you know by tomorrow night. 2:34 PM

    Richard Head: Thank you. And know I wouldn't ask if I had played more than one or in any other game than the first one. 12:54 PM

    Brains: Unfortunately, I'm going to have to decline your request. There are still two games remaining, which you're welcome to attend. I'm unwilling to set the precedent that league fees can be refunded. I think the system has been set up fairly to allow for a certain amount of missed games. 3:07 PM

    Richard Head: Wow! I am going have to say that is very shady. There is no precedent. I have been to ONE game. And it was the first one. The dues were not even due until the 2nd or 3rd one if I am not mistaken. Fair? Not at all. If I had been to more than one I get your point. I didn't even need to pay but I did knowing I was not going to be at the second one and still wanted in. My schedule unfortunately has not allowed for me to play since. And I will not be able to play in the next one. I want my money back and deservedly so. I will never come to your games again if it means I get my money back. 100 is a nice chunk of change. And no one should be splitting an entry fee for someone that has been unable to play. 3:29 PM

    Brains: I'm sorry you feel that way, but I disagree. What's shady about it? What if everybody who paid decided later that they weren't going to attend the games? There would be no league at all. I can understand that you don't agree. But I don't understand how any of it can be seen as shady. 3:46 PM

    Richard Head: I paid BEFORE it was needed. And I didn't need to. That is what is shady. I trusted that you were running a quality game. I enjoyed my time there. But this isn't about everyone. This is about me. I am the only one that is asking and if it was the second, third, or fourth game, I would understand. I have not played in any one but the first one. Which you specifically said it was not needed to pay for the points race. I could have waited. But I didn't. 4:15 PM
    Brains: I don't see how that's relevant. You paid when everyone else did. Every single player in this current league season paid either before or at the first game. You yourself said that you paid when you did because you knew you wouldn't be at the second game. So how can that possibly be the crux of your argument? 4:19 PM

    Richard Head: The long and short of it is I haven't played. I want my money back. Yes I had every intention of playing the entire season with the exception of the second game which is when you said the money needed to be paid by. So I chose to pay because I was going to play. Life happens. Again this isn't about whether or not other people ask for their money back and there would be no league. It's about a situation that is clear and is easy to define. I haven't played since and will be unable to going forward. Hence my asking for the money. 4:25 PM

    Richard Head: I even asked very nicely, 3 times before I received a response. I could have been pissed and thought that was shady but I gave you the opportunity to respond. And then you said you would respond by Sunday night. Which you did not. Again, could be considered shady. But I hear you are a respectable man and I will do my best to treat you with respect. Which is why I have been as pleasant as possible when it comes to this. 4:29 PM

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    So I feel like this guy is trying to invent a loophole because there was not explicit language in our league guidelines saying that once league fees are paid they are non-refundable. Reasonable people that pay the league entry fee should know they can potentially lose this $100, even through no fault of their own if they miss more than two games. It's a pledge and commitment to the league and fellow points players. Brains is right, it would set a horrible precedent allowing other league players to look for a reason to bail out if they started poorly or were also missing games too. But here's the thing; Most of the players in Brains' meetup and our league have tons more class, integrity, and character (including Brains) than this guy so that would not happen. Just reading his language addressing the issue suggests to me, that HE is the shady one...and kind of dumb too. He can piss off.
     
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  13. SixSpeedFury

    SixSpeedFury Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty sure that a one time league fee is non-refundable. End of story.
     
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  14. Mojo1312

    Mojo1312 Well-Known Member

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    I avoided offering my opinion as to whether or not Mr. Head deserved a refund. Clearly, he does not, although I do agree with his statement that "life happens." And I think he had every intention of playing in the other games.

    So even though I agree with others that he does not have any right to a refund, that does not necessarily mean that he shouldn't receive one. Poker is a recreational activity that brings people together. I sometimes think this aspect of the game is forgotten or lost by some people who host.

    I don't think exchanging texts is the best way to handle this situation. Personally, I would call Mr. Head with an open mind, and try to reach some type of resolution that will not leave any bitter feelings. I doubt he will respect you if you give him a full refund any more than if you refuse to give him one, and IMO, it is unreasonable of him to expect that he is entitled to a full reimbursement. He made a commitment, and things beyond his or your control changed, to the loss of both of you. (He lost $100, you have lost a player.)

    Mr. Head sounds like a reasonable person. I would give him a call and offer him a partial refund of $50. Next year, you can address this issue in advance so that it will not happen again.
     
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  15. daschuck77

    daschuck77 Well-Known Member

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    I didn't like the whole 'Shady' bombardment in his texts otherwise a $50 refund would have been reasonable, fair, and can be corrected in the league policy for the next season. But I hated his tone here. Smug, entitled, and selfish.

    Clearly I am more worked up over this whole issue than Brains!
     
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  16. BGinGA

    BGinGA Banned

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    Consider this mathematical approach:

    player payout:
    $100 (league registration fee)
    $30 (entry fee, tournament #1)
    $10 (league rake, tournament #1)
    ------
    $140 total payout

    player winnings:
    $X (3rd/4th place, tournament #1)

    non-refundable league charges:
    $17 (1/6 x $100)
    $30 (entry fee, tournament #1)
    $10 (league rake, tournament #1)
    $X ((3rd/4th place prize, tournament #1)
    $20 (administrative costs associated with issuing refund)
    -----
    $77+X


    Issue a refund of 140-(77+X), whatever amount that works out to. Certainly less than the full $100, and better than nothing. Although he may owe you money. :wink:

    He certainly should not be able to show a profit from this little scam.
     
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  17. pokerplayingpisces

    pokerplayingpisces Well-Known Member

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    Our Thursday night league ran into this a few years ago. Now, since I'm in charge of the league, every season starts with this reminder; "First game is (enter date). ($X) is due that night for leagues fees. Please make sure that you are committed for the full upcoming season, because once you have paid ($X), it is non-refundable.
     
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  18. mrtree

    mrtree ChipTalk.net Supporter
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    I find this guy to be a horrible whiner. Poker is for keepsies. Don't like it? Then find a group that doesn't play for money. Once cash goes in it should only come out after you win it.

    I'm short I would give him a piece of advice that involves long walks and piers...
     
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  19. Mojo1312

    Mojo1312 Well-Known Member

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    Surprising to see how many poker players have a low tolerance for variance.
     
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  20. Poker Zombie

    Poker Zombie Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I find the idea of an up-front league fee to be a bad idea. I get that they are common, and allow for a bigger prize for the league champion, but I am also quite sympathetic for the "life happens" argument. For that reason, every player in any of my events is automatically in my league. 10% of every tournament entry fee (rounded to the nearest $10 increment) is raked for the end of the year bonus. I could see going as high as 20% to further encourage participation, but I honestly believe my players try to make as many games as possible and don't need further encouragement. The fact that 44% of them make less than 50% of the eight games is a result of life happening. At the end of the night, nobody has ever complained about the $10 or $20 that did not land in that night's prize pool.

    That said, let's problem solve.

    I like BG's suggestion to ding his refund. It is a show of good faith (more so than his "shady" accusations), and keeps the game on a friendly level. I would also support the no-refund decision, if I knew him to be an otherwise stand-up guy. If he is the type that comes into your house empty-handed, drinks your best liquor, and eats your food, (i.e. he is a mooch) I would have a much tougher time handing it back.

    I would also consider the following: Tell him he cannot have it back, but under the circumstances you are willing to waive his entry fee for next season. If he does not attend then, it AND ALL OTHER entry fees will be non-refundable. This is a bitter pill for everyone, from the players that are getting shorted because the $100 is being taken out of the prize pool, to the players that paid their money but are deep in losing territory at this point of the season. The only player that benefits is Mr. Head, and if he really thinks your game is shady, he won't return anyway - but I doubt that's the case.
     
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