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How to host a no-limit Texas Hold'em poker tournament in your home

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Poker Game Checklist

Days before ...

  1. Buy beer and whisky
  2. Print rules
  3. Ensure you have playing cards for each table
  4. Ensure you have enough poker chips
  5. Beer fridge or picnic coolers with ice?
  6. Find kitchen timer, coasters, seat cushions, aspirin
  7. Radio for music while playing?
  8. Kleenex (some players cry when they bust out)
  9. Paper towels, paper plates
  10. Coffee and/or soda pop
  11. Mustard, mayo, ketchup, etc.
  12. Obtain plenty of $5 and $10 bills (or coins) for making change

The same day ...

  1. Buy and prepare food
  2. Buy pretzels, chips, etc.
  3. Buy ice
  4. Prepare coffee maker and other refreshments
  5. Count out 1000 chips and place in individual jars
  6. Prepare different chips and cards for any side games
  7. Hang posters showing the buyin, rebuys, and payout
  8. Hang posters showing the blinds schedule
  9. Hang posters showing the poker hand ranking
  10. Put out beer towels (to mop up beer spills)
  11. Put out ashtrays and spittoons
  12. Put out radio or other music source
  13. Set up tables and chairs

Just before the guests arrive ...

  1. Put out cards, dealer buttons, and the timer
  2. Put out printed dealer errors and rules
  3. Put out peanuts and pretzels

Just before the game begins ...

  1. Welcome everyone
  2. Do buyin
  3. Draw/deal cards for seats
  4. Announce rebuy and payout structures
  5. Announce coffee-break and food schedule
  6. Announce house rules (check-raising, etc.)
  7. Wish everyone good luck, shuffle up and deal!
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