Min-Buy Guy

If you’ve played poker you have most definitely run into this guy. The guy who min-buys every time he plays. The casino sets a min buy pretty low, like $20 for a 2/4 limit game or $40 for a 1/2 NL game and the min buy moves up with limit. $150 for a 15/30 game and $100 for a 2/5 NL game etc. If you have ever tried to min-buy you feel like your at a disadvantage, short stacked already and really feel you should tighten your game because if you see one flop your committing your whole stack. There are just a few of these min-buy regulars but they do it every single time they play. Over the years, as I always do, I profile these players psychologically with my own reasoning for their play.

First you have to understand how winning poker works. You have to be able to extract as much value out of every winning hand and lose as little as possible for every losing hand. Of course this is impossible. If you are at a huge advantage and get all the chips in and lose the maximum you DID extract as much value out of the hand and in the long run the more you do this the more profitable you will be. The min-buy and short stack for that matter have lost this ability. They have no way to protect their hand, they have no way to get more chips in when they have a huge advantage. The only thing I can see is they left their testicles at home with the wife, because undoubtedly she runs his life worse then their helicopter mom did. The reason I get a little edgy about the min-buy guys is that they are cheap, they win a pot(of course its not very big) and they give me that sad look saying I would tip but I’m short stacked. Of course you are short stacked you idiot you can’t turn 40 into 200 without a monster pot. With this mentality, when they do get chips they are so weak and timid they don’t know how to play a hand, how to risk the money that they didn’t even start with in the first place. I’ve said before I understand not tipping on a small pot, or if you’re short stacked or losing quite a bit. Here are a couple reasons TO tip on a desperation pot:

1. If it weren’t for me saving your ass, yes I saved it because you had no chips to protect your hand, you would be at the ATM or on your way home. Because of ME you are still here playing and giving yourself a chance to salvage your day or your latest buy in.

2. Since you are short stacked you will most likely lose all the chips anyways, I’m not being mean but if you can think of how many times you have made a miracle comeback as opposed to losing that little stack, wouldn’t you rather reward the guy who kept you alive with a dollar instead of giving MORE to the guys that have been sucking out on you all day? I did deal you a WINNING hand, since you’re short stacked you probably didn’t see many of those today. It will make you feel better knowing that the dollar will go to a great charity and not to those guys at the table that will most likely use it to fund terrorism or prostitution.

Quit being the min-buy guy who is scared to take risks and live a little, the world is a big place. Who knows you may actually win a big pot. It’s kind of fun, you should try it. Every one is thinking it at the table as you reapeatedly buy in over and over and over and complain about how your aces didn’t hold up.(It’s because he got to the river for free idiot).

3 thoughts on “Min-Buy Guy

  • November 18, 2014 at 10:12 am

    Love your blog – read it and enjoy it. And I always tip my dealers – good session or bad. But in your comment:
    “1. If it weren’t for me saving your ass, yes I saved it because you had no chips to protect your hand, you would be at the ATM or on your way home. Because of ME you are still here playing and giving yourself a chance to salvage your day or your latest buy in.”

    How did you save him? By dealing him a winner? That’s cool, but in taking credit for “saving him” aren’t you also buying in to the opposite side of that idea? – The notion that if you deal someone a bad beat – that you are also responsible?

    You don’t really want that right? The cards are the cards and you just deliver them in a solid, professional way, right?

    Just curious. Maybe I misinterpreted that? Help me out if so.


    – G

    • November 18, 2014 at 5:41 pm

      Some days i write angry and this was one of the days. Theres 2 ways to look at tipping dealers. First is its a reward for giving you a winning pot. The way our pay is structured is that we are paid a low wage and the cusomers are expected to make up the difference in tips. The 2nd way to look at it is you are tipping us for fast ,efficient, fairly dealt games, but if we dont give you a winner you dont tip.

  • May 15, 2017 at 10:28 am

    i have to admit, when I was just starting out into cash games, 2/5 NL with $100 min buy, that was me. I was genuinely “timid” at first, and saw the results of min-buying early on. I would get squashed if I made even a modest raise, and would be forced to commit most if not all my chips nearly every hand.

    games with a $300 max, i buy in for $250-300, depending on what I see at the table. if someone has a BIG stack, say double the buy in or more, I want to be able to hit that stack for the max.
    As for tipping, i see way to little genuine tipping at the Poker tables. Someone wins a $500 pot and tosses a $1 chip to the dealer.
    thats just embarrassing…
    and the ones where someone wins a $50, $75 pot..and doesnt tip at all..
    I have seen 4 figure pots, and the dealer get tossed a $5 spot… wow.. hope he can buy a drink…house liquors only, after work…
    Most of my play is in Vegas, and I appreciate good dealers, they make the game more enjoyable, even if not having the best nite. and they CAN save your ass, if you mis-read your hand, maybe miss that flush, think you lost, but the dealer says HEY, you have the nuts, you won…… seen it.. done it….

    and yea, even a dealer can have an off nite… they have the same “bills, worries, issues” when they get off work or while at work a lot of us have…


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