Top Pair Home Game Poker Podcast Ep. #351: Online Home Games

With the poker world and world as a whole consumed by the Coronavirus pandemic, Bruce and Robbie tackle the topic of moving home games online. They speak to a home game host, Robert, about what the experience has been like to play in private online poker home games, settling up via money transfer apps after the fact.

Robbie also shares his personal experiences playing in online home games with his regular group, including all the customization options, playing for play money, and using Zoom video meetings to replicate the fun atmosphere of camaraderie.

George Chao of BBO Poker Tables joins us to talk about social distancing at the felt, and Ben Ludlow caps off the show with a One Outer talking about an unrecognizable Las Vegas and returning to the online poker grind.

Time Stamps

1:11Special announcement
1:37How Ya Runnin?
2:09Longtime listener and home game host Robert talks about his experience moving his home poker game online.
2:36PokerStars.net is the platform of choice for running a private home game.
3:45Best to use a PC rather than a mobile device.
4:40Two pieces of advice: only play in private online home games with people you know and trust in real life, and it’s best to stick to tournaments rather than cash games.
6:15Using Venmo or other payment apps to “settle up” after the end of private online home game tournaments. Players send buy ins before the start of a tournament and the host is trusted to disburse winnings.
10:55Numerous different poker variants offered on PokerStars, including HORSE and 8-game mix. Lots of other customization options for creating all sorts of tournaments for your home game group online.
14:58Bruce hasn’t played in any home games, live or online, recently, but got a couple emails from listeners, Martin and Cody.
17:12Robbie shares a recap of his final live home game – hand sanitizers for the win.
20:00Robbie’s home games move online, hold’em tournaments and 8-game mix tournaments. Last time playing online poker before this was over 10 years ago.
22:15MASSIVE Sunday Million for real money at PokerStars; third-largest tournament ever by number of participants. Online poker booming as a direct result of people staying home, in isolation, with time on their hands.
24:05Anyone from anywhere in the world can enjoy private online home games because it’s for play money. You just need to remember to top up your play money chip balance (extra 15,000 given every 4 hours).
27:24Why are private group cash games essentially impossible with play money? You can adjust the time limits on each blind level, and there’s always a scheduled break at 55 minutes past the hour.
29:25Robbie recaps the online poker home games he’s played in. One hold’em tournament and two 8-game mix tournaments. Unfortunately no results to show for it other than having had a good time.
30:45Dad stacks his chips for the first time! Also, reflecting on how Zoom video conference calls enhances the online play.
32:45Robbie pays dearly for not agreeing to chop… twice.
37:30PokerGO offering 1 month free of their service, just use the promo code: WATCHPARTY and you can consume all of their content, including old High Stakes Poker shows, library of poker streams, WSOP Main Event broadcasts, and original programming.
40:22Poker Notes Live mobile app ad
41:06Table Talk: George Chao of BBO Poker Tables shares proper social distancing tips for those of us still able to get together for in-person home games. You can still have the human connection with others without having to fully isolate, but you need to take all the necessary precautions.
46:32Ben Ludlow’s One Outer: Las Vegas has become a ghost town in the wake of the Coronavirus. The silver lining of no live poker is that there’s plenty of online poker to enjoy.


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Written By.

Robbie Strazynski

Robbie founded Cardplayerlifestyle.com in 2009. A veteran member of the poker media corps, in addition to writing and video presenting, Robbie has hosted multiple poker podcasts over the years, including Top Pair, the Red Chip Poker Podcast, The Orbit, and the CardsChat Podcast. In 2019, Robbie translated the autobiography of Poker Hall of Famer Eli […]


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