What’s the Deal: Bar Games

Dealt by Tim Bangs.

It‚Äôs ridiculous. 


When the Atlanta Journal Constitution recently ran an article on bar games, they talked about how bars and restaurants were doubling their profits on slow nights.  And what do we‚Äîthe patrons of these games—win for our, um, patronization?  A $20 tab to a bar that I would never be at unless I was playing poker. Img_6081

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg…

I recently played at a local bar that had 10 qualifying rounds we had to shuffle up and deal in order to collect enough points to gain entry to‚Ķone more final game.  The final game had a total of 40 people.  First place won a trip to (are you ready for this‚Ķit‚Äôll blow you away‚Ķbuilding suspense‚Ķbuilding tension‚Ķand‚Ķrelease!)…

Tunica, MS

So basically top prize was the equivalent of $40 in gas and 2 nights at the Super 8 Motel.  Whoooopeeeee!!!! 

Regardless, no matter what the stakes, I play poker to win.  And I played that final game with gusto (yes, gusto).  After enduring 4 hours of play against a bunch of yahoos overvaluing their A-x and Q-Jo (I smell a future What‚Äôs the Deal on bar game players coming up), I finally crapped out in 3rd place.  You couldn’t believe my excitement when, after all of my efforts and valuable time spent pounding the felt, I was presented with‚Ķ a Samuel Adams visor and a button down Samuel Adams denim shirt!   I haven‚Äôt worn a denim shirt since the 1980‚Äôs.  And by 1980‚Äôs, I mean last Tuesday. 

I don’t understand why bars are so cheap.  If you are doubling your profits every night you host a bar game, you’d think you could have a grand prize that was worth more than Darryl Strawberry’s 1984 rookie card.

This leads to the point:  LEGALIZE POKER!!!!  Sure, playing online is a nice fix, but there‚Äôs nothing like actually sitting there at a table, riffling your chips, staring someone down, and taking his stack.  My co-hort the Snake once compared playing poker online to playing Golden Tee.  Sure, technically you‚Äôre playing golf, but it ain‚Äôt the same.  Nothing can replace the physical presence of being there. 

But until we get our fine game of strategy legalized, I have three words for all of you bars milking profits and giving so little back: "WSOP Satellite Buy-ins."  (Maybe it’s four words, not sure if a hyphen forms two words).  Eventually, other bar patrons will get wise (like myself) and stop frequenting joints where we give so much, but get so little in return.

Until then, you‚Äôll find me grinding it out at home games and on the road at Tunica.  I‚Äôm the guy wearing the denim Samuel Adams shirt.    


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