Buying In for the Minimum
The minimum buy in for live poker games varies for limit to limit and casino to casino. Though you are not required to buy in for anything more than the absolute minimum, it is generally considered disrespectful to the other players to sit down with a relatively small amount of money. A lot of people don’t even realize that players tend to dislike short stackers, but the truth is that they do. By buying in short at a table, you are limiting the potential for big pots and are eliminating the possibility of a bad player with a lot of money sitting down. Again, it is not against any rules to buy in short, not by any means, but you won’t be making a lot of friends if you are playing $2/$5 no limit without enough money for the max buy in at $1/$2.
Most players who buy in for the minimum are complete amateurs or beginners who want to lose as little as possible. If you fit into this category, hopefully this article will be enough to convince you that it is a better idea to buy in for the max at a lower limit than it is to buy in for the minimum at a higher limit. With all of that said, it is hard for any players to get upset at someone who is clearly new to the game for buying in with a small amount. To a random player, the max buy in might be perceived in the same way as a max bet on a blackjack table. In a game of blackjack, no one cares how much money you are playing with since you are not using it against them. In poker, however, it is an entirely different story.
Ruining the Game
The true scoundrels of buying in for the minimum are the players who do it only so they can shoot for a quick double up and then leave. These are the type of people who ruin games and are no good for the poker community as a whole. There isn’t much reason to have spite towards players who don’t see a real issue with buying in for minimum, but players who only want to shove pre flop and hope for a quick double up deserve every evil eye that they get. In the end, they know what they are doing and they know that it probably makes you upset. While it is their prerogative to short stack and run, you can take comfort in knowing that they are probably terrible at poker and will often times lose their stack anyway.
This article was written by Jonathan Wanchalk.