The Lodge Card Club

the lodge stacked logo
Picture of The Lodge Card Club

The Lodge Card Club

We’re Changing Our Cash Games (Based On Your Feedback)


You shared your feedback and now we’re acting on it.


A few weeks ago Doug Polk donned his visor and went into survey mode, passing around a questionnaire to players at The Lodge Card Club.

survey doug

The results are in and we’re making a few changes to our $1/$3 and $2/$5 No Limit games based on your answers. All other games are unaffected.

Bomb Pots Changes

1. Bomb Pots Are Back (with a Cap) at $1/$3 No Limit Hold’em

We’re re-adding bomb pots to one of our most popular games: $1/$3 No Limit Hold’em.


These bomb pots will be capped at $500 per player. In other words, each player can put in a maximum of $500 in a bomb pot. Once that cap has been reached, the hand will proceed as if players are all-in.

2. $2/$5 Bomb Pots Now Have a Cap

Bomb pots at $2/$5 No Limit Hold’em will have a 200 big blind ($1,000) cap.

The “Why” Behind Bomb Pot Changes

Bomb pots are a Texas poker staple, and our survey results back up that statement.


65% of players said they like bomb pots. When given the choice between capped bomb pots and uncapped bomb pots, most players said they preferred capped bomb pots.

In addition to being the more popular option, capped bomb pots are a much better choice for protecting the ecosystem at The Lodge. In other words, games will run longer and break less often with a cap in place.

Buy-In Changes

1. The Max Buy-In for $1/$3 Has Been Raised to $1,000

It was previously a $200 to $600 buy-in game, but we’re making it $200 to $1,000 instead (no match the stack).

2. The Max Buy-In for $2/$5 Has Been Raised to $2,000 with No More Match the Stack

This buy-in range was previously set at $200 to $1,000 with an option to match the biggest stack at the table. We’ve removed match the stack and increased the maximum to $1,500.

The “Why” Behind Buy-In Changes

Players were given 4 different buy-in structures on which to share their preferences:

  1. 150 big blind cap
  2. 300 big blind cap
  3. Match the Stack
  4. Uncapped


For each buy-in structure, the players had 4 options:

  • Favorite
  • Like
  • Dislike
  • Least Favorite


Uncapped and 150 big blind cap had a huge chunk of people vote “Least Favorite” and relatively few said “Favorite”, so those two were out of the running immediately.


When it came to Match the Stack vs 300 big blind cap, interpreting the results was a bit trickier.


Slightly more players had a favorable opinion of 300 big blind cap (73%) versus Match the Stack (70%). More players said Match the Stack was their favorite, but there were four times as many players who said it was their least favorite.


These results were too close to call based on just the data, so our team decided to go with the option that is less disliked and better for the longevity of the games: 300 big blind cap.


To quote Doug Polk:

I think match the stack (MTS) is incredibly predatory. At basically every table I’ve been at with MTS, the moment a weaker player doubles every regular pulls out money to cover him.


How are recreational players supposed to feel about that? I dont think its a good look for the game or the room. Now, additionally, that player has to play way bigger in a game that might have multiple straddles and the players to their direct left are deep stacked to try to stack them. This forces that player to either play tight (bad for the game), get stacked and leave (bad for the game), or just leave because they are uncomfortable (bad for the game).


I think MTS is truly a terrible buyin option for the average players at these limits and is one of the reasons why $1/$3 and $2/$5 run so much less often.

Thank You, Lodge Members

Our team put a lot of time and thought into these decisions and we hope this article helped shed light on that decision-making process.


We appreciate your patience and understanding as we experimented with different structures, all with the goal of creating the best possible poker ecosystem for every Lodge member.


More to explore

$30K Guaranteed “Big One” Re-Entry (June 8)

Who Won At The Lodge From June 3-9?

The “Big One” Re-Entry event returned to the Lodge schedule this week, and tournament winner Sean Gillings came away with more than

15 replies on “We’re Changing Our Cash Games (Based On Your Feedback)”

Doug, quit trying to make the cash games more likeable to grinders. These games will become like Vegas cash games and no one sane should want that. Capping 2/5 is going to make those games super tight becauae you cant bluff off a stack then match that person and overall make the quality of game nitty and less enjoyable for the recreational. You already make enough in rake from tournaments to not care about cash games. Doing this won’t increase the number of games running and will just make the games across the street more enticing because of the standard Texas way of playing these games. Please leave the 2/5 alone. It is in a great spot and was literally the reason I moved here.

Hey Andrew, thanks for your feedback. After hearing from players like yourself, we increased the bomb pot cap by 100% at 2/5 and raised the max buy-in to 2K. We think this is a great middle-ground that should satisfy everyone.

I don’t fully understand the message being sent by the club. The expansion, the live stream, and the tournament guarantees suggest the club is trying to attract action from all over and represents itself as the place for pros to migrate. However, this ruling suggests nearly the exact opposite framing itself as a club for recreational players. I have no skin in the game, have never played here, but enjoy the stream and the story the club has created for the industry. I’m just confused on what the long term goals are now.

The long-term goal is to have the best room, tournaments, and stream for the widest group of players.

Regarding our cash games, pros can still attain incredibly high win-rates in our games (especially after we again tweaked the capped bomb pots/max buy-in to be higher) and now recreational players who signed up to play No Limit Hold’em won’t get stacked for 500bb after playing terribly in a double board PLO bomb pot.

Define match the stack? does that mean your buy-in matches the biggest stack or buy-in?

Any chance the lodge brand is coming to the Dallas area? I am a twitch poker streamer tht lives in the DFW area. However I have a reg job and it’s hard to get to Austin if I ever can tht is. And when people ask me where I live at the tables when I’m in Vegas. They say “Texas, have you played with brad or Doug Polk at the lodge?” Or just do you play at the lodge? I do love what brad and Doug and Andrew have done this far. So I thought I would ask.

I personally think irrespective of a cash game or a tournament table everytime cards are pulled in they should be washed

And no it doesn’t slow down the game that much ….if you argue about that then get automatic card shufflers

Also imo no of cards in the deck should be counted no matter what every 10/15 hands without fail

People often don’t realize this one fundamental thing that is true everywhere, at any sub-nosebleed stakes:

If it makes the game more attractive to rec players, it’s good for the game.

As a 20+ year reg of low and mid stakes, I can say with confidence that MTS is terrible for low and mid stakes games, for precisely the reasons outlined by Doug.

More rake is better? No, but changes aimed at increasing the fun and comfort for rec players are nearly always actually better for the game, and therefore ultimately better for regs…even if they are theoretically ‘worse’ for the regs.

Nice work; I can’t wait to visit.