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The Lodge Card Club

We’ve Simplified Our Tournament Buy-Ins & Fees (Here’s How)


The tournament fee structure at The Lodge Card Club has changed as of August 8th, 2022.


The goal of these changes is to:

  • Simplify our tournament buy-ins/fees
  • Allow the managers, dealers, and front staff to make more money
  • Grow the prize pools so winning players take home more money too

The rest of this article was written by Doug Polk to explain why we made these changes and what specifically will change.

The Tournament Changes Explained (by Doug)

doug's 5-5-10 cash game

When I first joined The Lodge team around 8 months ago, it was important to me to make well thought out changes to the game offering that would foster a better experience for our members.


Our first focus was the cash game ecosystem. We made some great changes that members, on the whole, seemed to enjoy. These changes immediately allowed the room to run more 2/5 and 5/10 games, which means more choices for our players when they come to play at the Lodge.


The focus today, however, is on our tournament offering. We have spent many hours toiling away at our current tournaments to try to create a comprehensive offering.


Here were some of the problems with our tournaments, previously:


  1. Wide ranging buy-in fees. Some fees were exceptionally low (like if you fired 5 bullets in The Art of Poker) and some were among the highest in the country (The Monthly Monster).
  2. Confusing buy-in process. Players often had to go to multiple places in the room to buy-in.
  3. High fees on first buy-in, but with free rebuys. It makes more sense to meet in the middle with a reasonable fee on every buy-in.
  4. Fees not consistently decreasing as stakes increase. The fee amount (as a percentage of total buy-in) needs to scale with the buy-in amount.
  5. Higher fees at night than during the day. Players shouldn’t pay more just because it’s getting dark outside.
  6. Odd, non-standardized buyins like $65 or $85 or $105. More round numbers is better.
  7. Inconsistent access fee vs staff rates. This doesn’t really impact players, but it was another thing we needed to standardize.

Our new buy-in/fee structure addresses all of these issues in an effort to make our tournaments simple and consistent.


Most importantly, the changes make The Lodge Card Club’s tournaments nationally competitive across all buy-in levels and will be the standard for all future tournaments at your favorite card room.


Here are the specific buy-in levels and fees for all of our future tournaments:


Note that this fee structure does not apply to some special tournaments (such as The Heads-Up Open, which remains a 900 + 100).


Most of these rates are lower than the prior rates, although there are a couple of exceptions (because our fees oscillated so wildly before).


We compared tournament buy-ins/fees to all major rooms around the country to come up with competitive rates.


Additionally, we found that the access fee was too high on the low end buy-ins and probably low on the high end ones.

Final Thoughts

When you play at The Lodge, you should expect to pay a consistent and competitive rate to play poker. By standardizing our tournament buy-ins, members will now know what to expect and its more friendly for new players. The process of trying to understand our tournaments is very complicated from people from out of town. This change will help fix all of these issues.


Don’t worry, though, our freeroll remains unchanged. It wouldn’t be a Texas freeroll if it didn’t cost $30.



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7 replies on “We’ve Simplified Our Tournament Buy-Ins & Fees (Here’s How)”

For clarification. Are we just buying in at one place or still at the two locations? The table makes it look like the tournament will be $60 and the fee with be $20, so will i be paying $80 for the tournament in total, or $60 for the tournament with the fees coming out of the buy in?

One place if buying in with cash (credit card users will still need to go to two locations).

The first column on the table is TOTAL buy-in. A $60 buy-in tournament will cost $60 to buy-in with $40 going to the prize pool.

I’m pretty sure it’s $80 total. $60 goes to prize pool and it’s just $20 in fees and whatnot.

Hey Jacob. I’m a partner at The Lodge — it’s $60 total, which is why it says the fee % is 33% ($20 is 33% of $60).

I just swapped out the image to make it more clear (now says “Total Buy-in”).

Has there been any consideration for scaling the hourly seat fees for cash games so that it’s based off the table blind limit? For instance 1/2 could be $6/hr rate, 1/3 could be $10, 2/5 $15, etc Seems unfair for 1/2 players to pay same rate as higher stakes…$10/hr cuts pretty deep into the 1/2 win rate 😩
Thank you so much 🙏