Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Chopping the Blinds

If everyone folds around to the blinds in holdem, it's common for the two players in the blinds to "chop," meaning they take their blind bets back and move on to the next hand. In Los Angeles, $1 is taken for the house from the person in the small-blind. In Las Vegas, the house takes nothing. On the other hand, if there is a flop, usually there is a lot more taken (eg $5 more is taken in 20-40 limit holdem at the Bike if there are at least 7 players). There is an unwritten rule (it is rather strongly enforced socially at the poker tables) that you should either always or never agree to chop when given the opportunity. This means that you shouldn't be looking at your cards, seeing AA, and deciding not to chop if you have established yourself as someone who does not chop. I'd say that at least 90% of players agree to chop, but if either player refuses, then the two players play the hand out heads-up. 

I recently stopped agreeing to chop. Although I don't like having to pay the extra $5 to the house for what is often a small pot, I think it's worth it because I have a big edge against most players, and lots of players play even more poorly heads-up. One issue for me is that there is social pressure to chop. Some people take offense if I refuse to chop, and in fact, this was the main reason I ever agreed to chopp in the first place. It didn't seem worth making enemies. Since I had been chopping with people for the past several months, I was in particular danger of angering people by not chopping with them all of a sudden. On the advice of another prop player (Johnny), I made myself a little sign on a sticky-note saying "no chop." After a day or so it was defaced with "Please Raise Me!" Now I use a slightly larger sign that a player made for me. It's pink and says "please Raise me! NO CHOP" It's ridiculous enough that it seems to defuse any animosity towards me.


Warren said...

I'm glad you didn't resort to getting a "NO CHOP" tattoo in some prominent place.

David said...

Meant to post this two weeks ago, but Christmas and blah blah blah...

I think I played with you the other day/week. But it wasn't top section, it was down in the Royal on a really dead weekday morning.

What made me think it was you was when the blinds came around you told someone right off that you dont chop.

I would be the fat black guy that sat down at an otherwise sleepy table. And when yu were leaving (if it was you), I asked if you had a blog. Oh, I luckboxed the small jackpot 2 hands in.

Anyways, question for you about the props working the royal section. Not about anyone in particular but in general, what is the income potential for them? Obv, it can be negative as they are playing on their own rolls, but what's your general opinion of the gig?

Keith said...

Thanks for commenting David- yes, that was me at the $80 no limit game that day.

I sort of doubt that more than one or two of the props in that section earn more than $10/hr, although of course they could get lucky.