Beware Home Games Charging Rake
Depending on how long you have been reading my blog, you may be aware of my dislike of many home games. Part of it stems from the fact that many home games are either blatantly crooked or they there is usually a lot of angling going on to favor a certain few players.
I ran into an old buddy of mine yesterday who used to go to a local home game with me and I asked about his current playing habit. He happened to bring up a certain person in a nearby city that we used to frequent. I quit going to his games after he started selectively enforcing rules which usually wound up either benefiting him or his buddies. In addition, he was the type who liked to fight when drunk and the last time I was there, he tried to beat up a woman.
Anyway, now I hear that this same guy now runs weekly games and the centerpiece is a $30 tournament with $30 rebuys. This guy also gets $5 of each $30 that goes into the prize pool.
First, that is illegal by Va law, but that is not why I bring it up. From what I have heard, he is making a nice tidy profit off these games. I haven't heard much about whether or not he is actually playing in the games or not, which makes me believe that he isn't playing much and pretty much just collecting rake.
This is an age old practice by many underground games. They run the game and take rake and hardly ever play. Many times, they are the only real winners in the game. I don't know whether this guy runs cash games, but if he does, I would not be surprised if this guy takes rake there as well. That is usually what happens.
For those of you out there that don't regularly play home games, be very careful in the games that you do play. Look out for hosts that take a cut or charge rake regularly. By this, I don't mean the guy that leaves a donation jar to cover the snacks. I mean actual rake.
I know some of you are going to defend the practice of home games taking rake, but it is a practice that I personally frown upon. If we wanted to pay rake, we would go to a casino.
Also, for the handful of you that read this column and are in the Lynchburg Va area, you probably have an idea of the person I am talking about. My only suggestion to you is to be very careful and do not be shocked if your game gets raided at any point.