Re: So what’s up with …

by , Aug 20, 2006 | 1:22 pm

Friday, Saturday, Sunday … sorry about that … but anyone who spent any time at the WSOP understands how all the days just start to blur together.

Anyhow, to answer some questions: No, I will not be throwing the tournament at the Lodge today. Nor will I be in future weeks. Neither will B. Armendariz, as far as I know. This task has been put in the hands of “Wild Bill & Posse.” To be honest, I don’t know much about them. He clearly understands how to run a poker tournament, but I’m hearing he doesn’t yet see the value of 20-minute levels and non-doubling blind increases. I found that info out here and here.

So people are wondering if I am pissed. I am not. A little sad, maybe — but no differently than when I bid farewell to my kids at St. Mark’s. (When they get all drunk these days and for whatever reason feel the need to call their former teacher in the middle of the night, I strangely feel proud … and then hang up.)*

I will probably have much more to say about all this in coming weeks — or maybe not — because really, when you look at it, the transition Lodge Amateur Poker is going through is simply a microcosm of a new reality faced by poker everywhere, from free games at the neighborhood tavern on up to the WSOP. Inevitable corporate influence is hardly a bad thing — it brings more money and prizes into the game, which theoretically should make the game better. But from there it’s up to players and people who really care to make sure these interests don’t corrupt/pervert/bastardize the game.

Yes, Texas Hold’em could move along faster if you eliminated burn cards and the betting round on the turn and players would stick around longer if you decide kickers don’t count … but really, ask yourself … would Brunson be proud?

With that in mind, do I want “my” players to bolt? Of course not! Lodge poker was an awesome thing, and there’s no reason it can’t still be. After all, the prizes are getting bigger and better. And in many cases, so are the players. Not sure how many of you remember the olden days — but there was a time when our winners received a pair of Lodge driving gloves. Now we have guys like Como kicking The Grinder’s butt at Bellagio for 5-figure payouts.

And as to the game running well … believe it or not, that didn’t have much to do with me. Seriously, I had to learn as we went along, and so will the new guy. During the first year I was there, a week didn’t pass where I didn’t have to make a ruling on the table, then look it up when I got home to see if it was correct. And there was even a time that I forgot to bring cards. You see, here’s a little secret: it was you guys (and ladies) — the volunteer dealers, the real dealers, the players who helped with chip stacks and seat cards … not to mention the rule codifiers, point system analyzers, blind-clock reminders, and semi-regular Tuaca shooters — who made this game what it was. I couldn’t have done it without you. As for the new guy, he won’t be able to either.

That’s how it is in poker, amateur or otherwise … the future of the game is in your/our hands. It will always be what we make it, for better or for worse.

* The drunken ReMarker Campout guys let me know they were calling from a river, and thus were being ritualistically clever; they also were excited about making it back to Dallas in time for the poker tourney at The Lodge.


33 Comments to “Re: So what’s up with …”

  1. TheActorTony

    So who’s up for Sunday afternoon poker at The Men’s Club? Dan, make it happen. And don’t sell yourself short, Lap isn’t LAP without a major dose of the Dan Man…. and everybody knows it, including every piece that’s ever been written about it. Take care. PS – I still like the driving gloves.

  2. Aaron A.

    Tony, you make a good point, but I don’t think I want our game being called MCAP… LAP sounds cooler. 🙂 The Men’s Club isn’t near as nice as The Lodge anyways.

    Also, will you be playing with us on Sunday, Dan? You ought to join in with us and get some kick ass prizes of your own when/if you win a tourney!

    – Aaron

  3. Ed

    This didn’t answer the question on if you would be playing with us? Maybe now I will get a chance to school learn from you at the poker table.

  4. DanM

    Ed, are you kidding me? I have MUCH BETTER things to do with my Sundays than playing poker with a bunch of degenerate geeks while surrounded by hot young gyrating naked ladies, like … er … um …

  5. Ed

    Well besides the game being a bit hectic it was not bad. Enjoyed myself and then donked off my chips and split by 6:30 to go hand with the wife and her family. The blinds were nice and the only issue was they still need work on balancing the tables. Taking away guys just as someone gets knocked out from the same table is not the best way to do that. 🙂


  6. Derek

    Overall it was a decent run game, toward the end, table balancing was an issue. One table had 9, the other had 5. Also the 25-50 blind was skipped and instead went to 40-80. Don’t know what happened after that, was blinded out and left. Hopefully just the learning curve of running the tourney.

  7. the new Earl

    gonna have to find a new place to play sundays. these new guys are no fun. we need Dan back. How do we complain to the lady that runs that joint? what is the lodge website and her name so we can send her hundreds of emails complaining?

  8. DanM

    New Earl, I appreciate your desire to complain, but complaining becomes just that … complaining, with maybe a little whining and bitching tossed in. However, were you to express disappointment — because you loved playing at the lodge and wish you still could play at the lodge but just can’t because the poker isn’t the excellent quality you’ve grown to expect from the lodge … well maybe then someone will begin to ask you questions why.

    Remember, non-poker people would have no clue why one tournament is better than another. Complaining is probably not the right way to educate them.

  9. Ed

    I think just not showing up is one good way to educate them.

    The guys were trying…but when you have half the field complaining because the tables are so lopsided then do something about it instead of telling them to play poker and leave the balancing to them. One reason i donked off my chips is because it was annyong playing 6-7 handed when just about every other table was full.

    The game felt more chaotic but I was enjoying it until after the break when the balance issues really kicked in. Had a great table with a lot of good people and some of the friendliest (Kayri, Sang, B, Aaron, Torrey, Bob and a few I had seen before but did not really know).

  10. TheActorTony

    Well, I’m not known to complain, BUT… the jump to the 40-80 blind level pretty much killed me. Didn’t quite follow the color ups either. Lack of an official timer really hurts at the higher blind levels. Coloring up in the middle of a hand (literally moving the pot over to make room, etc) confused the dealers and probably some of the players. The guys running it are as personable as an ironing board. But, they still had girls displaying their talents, so all is forgiven. But it needs Dan back. Is it because Dan drinks Miller Lite?? Oh, PS Just in case “Satan” reads this… nice 666.

  11. alicia

    i know Dan is going to tell everyone to go despite him not being there b/c that’s the kind of guy he is. But I’ll say it…. FOR SHAME you people continuing to go. WHERE IS YOUR LOYALTY!?!??! Dan not only did a great job running and growing that tourney, but I also consider him a friend so as long as Dan’s been screwed, I’m giving the Lodge the middle finger. I thought you guys would have felt the same.

    Dan has done so much work developing that game. I’m surprised that Dawn decided to go in another direction. Nevertheless, Dawn is a business woman and will certainly take note of a decrease in business. I would also be shocked if she didn’t welcome feedback on the new guys. Let your feelings known, but more importantly, show your opinion with your wallets!!!

  12. josue

    Well, here is what I believe needs to be address at our, once home away from home, in hopes of retuning it to its former glory. Have some one that is exited about poker, and has an outgoing personality that makes it easy for people to approach and want to talk to them. Some of the best time I had at The Lodge Sunday games were after the tables where empty and the chips where long put away. We would hang out with the host and the veteran players in the back room or upstairs; all the while we talked about our bad beats, well played hands and enjoyed all the lodge had to offer. The previous tournament director made players want to hang out even after the game was over, and made the game feel like it was more then just a game but a place to hang out and relax with your friends and that is what the lodge is lacking right now. You desperately need someone that can hype the players up before the game, someone that is open to constructive criticisms, and most of all, someone that can be a good host in a place that already has a standard set so high.

    Oh yea, while I’m at it, a blind structure that makes sense and gives people the chance to play real poker would be a great idea. Any one of the players would be more than happy to give their opinions; so it wouldn’t hurt to ask a couple of them to see what their thoughts on the subject are.

  13. Ed

    Alicia, I only went because I thought was going to be there playing. I was upset to see it was not so.

    Oh more thing that happened and I wish Jose had said something at the time. The guy dealing at his table…PULLED HIS CARDS OUT OF THE MUCK!!! This happening after Jose had gone all in!!! We told him to say something but he didnt want to bitch because it was a free game. Free game or not…we don’t need new blood coming to our game and turning it into an APL eventfucking it up.

  14. TommyTwoToes

    is this the “wild bill” that ran the stagecaoch?

    ( i think that was his “name” )

    yall mentioned tournament structures several times in your posts… and you mention the poker game becoming more and more corporate… sadly its true… the companies will make the structures worse and worse as time goes on… pretty soon we will think that blinds doubling every 20 minutes is a great deal. whatever happened to half-stepping…

    the winstar putting on their RRR tourney seemd like the typical blinds doubling every half hour that we can expect from a casino… ( i think it sucks) … but then they do one more thing that screws over the majority of players… instead of the normal 10% pay out … they only pay out the top 18 (regardless of how many players)
    in a field of 500 which is what they expected, normally the top 10%( 50 ) would get paid, but here it is only the top 18….that drastically reduces your chances of making the money and it turns the game into even more of a crap-shoot…

  15. TheActorTony

    I think it would take an alternate venue to get the majority of Dan supporters out of LAP. Between LAP and nothing, most would choose LAP. Not saying it’s right, but that’s how it is. But hey, I mean there’s approximately 43,856,310,461 gentlemen’s clubs in Dallas. Let’s just play somewhere else.

  16. TBR

    Having been Dan’s best friend since we were both six years old, I’m touched by the outpouring of support for our loveable (albeit somewhat pathetic) little friend. Sadly, I’ve never actually played in the Lodge tournies (not permitted to view boobies on the Sabbath), but from what I’ve heard over the years, it just got better and better; and without a doubt, it was always a good time had by all. I agree with Alicia and TAT. If you guys want a game like you had, you’re going to have to vote with your nonparticipation. And why can’t you guys go somewhere else? Surely with this new-fangled internet, their could be some sort of grass roots effort. Plus, wouldn’t it be sufficient if just Sang said he was never going back?

    I don’t know how much the Lodge has benefitted over the past, what, 20+ months of Sunday poker, but I do know that it is prominently marketed on their website and a very positive quote from Jim McManus about the Lodge is also front and center. They certainly don’t have that without Dan.

  17. LAYGO

    I know the guy that runs it. I’ve played with him countless times, from when he was running home games, to managing a card room he let me attempt to structure a tourney, to now running these strip club tournies @ Silver City & now The Lodge.

    Does he know what he’s doing? Yes.

    Does he do it better than anyone else? Subjective.

    Does he like player friendly structure? Probably not. He wants you in the cash game as fast as possible, or getting lap dances asap.

    Does he have bigger/better/etc prizes? He’s got Budweiser behind him.

    I’ve always been iffy about his crew in their are some great guys, and some assholes as with anything.

    Let me know if you want more info.

  18. Willie

    LAP was the first structured tourney I’ve ever been in, so it’s kinda what I set the bar on as far as how these things are run. After seeing a few more in person and being there this Sunday, I think I’ve been spoiled. I drove all the way from Fort Worth to these games because they were fun and I was learning from some pretty good tournament players. Some of the players were still there, but the atmosphere was definitely a little sour. (sigh) As SNL Frankenstein would say, “GRRRRRRRRR… CHANGE BAD”

  19. aj wilkinson

    I haven’t shown up yet to the lodge tourney this season but I will try it out this sunday. After reading the posts and listening to a couple friends the lodge does in fact sound like an apl tournament. This will probably keep me from attending on a regular basis. Without Dan this game is gonna SUCK. DAN IS THE MAN!

  20. Tiny B

    Who would admit to being Dan’s best friend?

  21. Alley

    woof woof!

  22. henry

    woof woof, too!

  23. Aaron A.

    TBR, I’m with you there.
    I say, if Dan wants to find another place, or we can find another place somewhere, then let’s do it… but where can we place to play free poker? Hmmmmm

  24. Ed

    Would have to be another boob bar. Think about it…they charge 5-10x for drinks so they make more than enough just on Sang each week. This gives them plenty of reasons to give good prizes which in turn gets us to show up. I think that is one of the reasons we are still going. We hate the game now but the prizes are nice. 🙂

    BTW, I won’t be there this Sunday. Doubt they will miss me. 🙂

  25. Tim B

    oh well… i guess all good things come to an end. count me out.

    not that i played all THAT often anyhow, but ive got zero interest in playing an event with the typically-unfriendly “free bar poker” structure… if i want that, i can get it just about anywhere, any day of the week… and i dont much care about a bevy of new, fantastic prizes. im not playing to win prizes, im playing to WIN, period. keep the prizes, i just like winning. if/when i decide i want to play for the prizes, ill do it playing casino tourneys and not bar tourneys, where the prizes are both more immediate and generally more worthwhile.

    i played at the lodge for one reason only: it was an extremely well-run, well-structured event. so much so that i came back, even though i hate the venue. now that thats changed, theres no compelling reason for me to play there.

    dan, if you ever run another game elsewhere, ill be there. if not, thanks for helming what had to be the best regular free poker tourney series ever…

  26. Derek Boswell

    I agree too. I have played at many free poker tourneys at bars around the city and Dan ran by far the best one I have ever been to. It just so happens to be at a strip club. This tourney has the best blind structure I have seen at a free event because it favors more skill than luck. I am so tired of playing well at other venues and just because I don’t catch cards toward the end, I am forced to either play stupid hands or be blinded out by the insane blinds.

    I don’t care about winning the “new” prizes that Budweiser is giving away from leftovers in their warehouse. I came for the poker, the players and Dan. The tourney just doesn’t feel the same, there camaraderie between the players and the hosts just isn’t there and I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

    Dan, let me know when you start a new gig and I will be there.

  27. Wade

    Dan gone = The Lodge on Sunday’s is dead. Let’s face it…that’s the reality of the whole thing. Dawn can ignore it all she wants. Time will show her.


  28. Omar

    I don’t know if ya’ll noticed, but they started taking out all the red $5 chips by 80-160 level, which made it more difficult because a lot of time was wasted just making change from the pot w/o the red chips. Dan was also a lot more engaging and friendly than the other guys (they hardly talked at all). I hope Dan will be able to host some tourneys elsewhere when I come back for my next vacation. Keep me posted Dan, I’ll miss ya!

  29. Evil Omaha Sharron

    I don’t think this is one of those situations where time will heal!? The common thread in all the posts is that it just isn’t the same without Dan, and that speaks for itself! Unfortunately I love the Lodge and until Dan finds it in his heart (and schedule) to start another Sunday afternoon tourney elsewhere (I really don’t see that happening) I will probaly still go to the Lodge, at least for a while….. sorry Alicia.

    In closing, I have to concur with Alley and Henry WOOF WOOF and if I were Henry, I would lift my leg and pee on the person(s) responsible for the demise of our little “Poker School”.

  30. TFB

    yeah that sucks… i was finally getting to the point where I could play on Sundays. Sundays just arent the same without the Bad Chuck 😉

  31. B

    “A TOAST” (shots of Tuaca everyone) ” To DAN.” I’m with you Dan (in putting the blame on that dirty hispanic kid that ran the tourney those two weeks you were out of town) That KID screwed it up for everyone. Now look at what the venue turned into. Someone should send him back (across the border that is). It hurts me to see what has happened to our little tourney. You spent so much time refining it to run and feel the way it did; and in just two weeks, they’ve manage to piss so many people off. Hopefully one day it can be brought back to its former glory and (maybe) we could once again enjoy our poker-home away from home.

  32. Dan E

    I echo the consensus; the tenor of the Lodge game was due largely to Dan’s experience and the affability with which he applies it.

    I wonder if there are enough regular players to fill a cheap, rather than free, tourney that charged a fee large enough to pay Dan without being disproportionate to the payout.

  33. DanM

    Thanks guys. Seriously, thanks a ton. I don’t know what to say. Really.