Discord Chat

Introducing The Barley Mow Poker League

For those of you that didn’t know as well as my fantasy games I run a small stakes monthly Texas Hold’em poker game in a pub in the suburbs of Reigate, Surrey - RH2. Each game is open to anyone who wishes to buy-in (£20) but is also part of a league format - 12 games a season (Jan - Dec) with 1 game per calendar month on a Sunday (dates chosen by me but usually - not always - the last Sunday in the month).

If you ever find your self in the area and fancy a game then check this Facebook group (or contact me) to find out the next games date:


For those who wish to know more I will post all the rules in the next post in this thread. This league has been running since 2007 but alas poker seems to have had its hey day as these days I just seem to get the same 4-5 regular players most games. When I first started the league I got an average of 11/12 players a game and this continued for about 3 years before waning.


I hope after reading the following you will want to take part (and do please spread the word if you have any friends that like this form of poker and are looking for a fun - but semi-serious - small stakes monthly game).


The league always welcomes new players but as it is a money league does advise people to learn the basics of Texas Hold’em poker first (perhaps in home games) as it’s no fun losing money when you don’t really know what you are doing.


A season consists of 12 games per year and no more than one will be scheduled in any calendar month. Games will always be on a Sunday and have a scheduled start time of 2pm.

These league games will be different to a home game, as in they will be much more protocol based and will follow the rules set out in here. This is so that anyone coming along knows it will be a serious league and also knows what to expect if they have taken the time to read these rules and thus can expect them to be applied.

Disputes will be decided by the letter of these written rules and if there is still a dispute my say will be final as the league creator and General Manager of the Barley Mow poker league. It actually takes a lot of time to run a league and in games when I am knocked out early requires me having to stay to the end to rule on disputes and see everything is done correctly, record results and what have you. It’s not often seen as all other players can just go when knocked out. It is something I am prepared to do though to make this league happen.

In return for being the league GM I get to set the dates of the league games - call it a perk of the job. In the original league I set up I allowed myself to come away from this via peer pressure but not this time as I have many other commitments going on in my life that I need to fit this league in around. However to be fair to both myself and all players taking part will stick to the following:

The dates of games will be decided on and informed to those in attendance at the preceding game. This will then also be advised at the bottom of the monthly updated league table that I send out after each game (to anyone who has provided me with their e-mail address). Lastly an abbreviated version of the league standings table will be posted on to the Barley Mow Poker League Facebook group and shared to the Barley Mow’s own timeline (also the date and time of the next league game will be posted to).

THE NITTY GRITTY (aka Game Play League Rules)

Buy-In = £15 + £5

You will receive £15 in chips which is what you play with on the day. The other £5 goes to the league organiser (me) to put towards buying things for the league (to make the experience better as we go forward) - such as new chip sets, blind timers, end of season trophies with engraving etc. After which whatever is left over is paid out to the top 3 finishes at the end of the league season as follows:

1st - 50%
2nd - 30%
3rd - 20%

If there is a tie for any positions in the league on points then the players’ game average will be used to decide who is higher in the league - this will count all the way through the league and be used to decide the final standings table. The way this will be calculated will be the points earned dived by the number of games actually played in. In essence it means people who have the same amount of points will be split on their game average - thus the player who has played the lesser amount of games will be placed higher in the league. If there is still a tie after this the next tie breaker will be the number of knock outs. Only after this - if it is still a tie - will it be called a tie and any prize split equally between the tying players.

To play in a game you just need to turn up on the day before 2pm and register your interest in playing. Registration involves paying the buy-in (£20) and drawing a seating position. No IOU’s or phone calls will be taken by me with regards to putting in for you if you are attending late - you will need to get a proxy to pay for you and register you but no IOU’s are taken by the league on behalf of anyone - so they will have to front the cash for you - no exceptions!

Seating is decided randomly each game by drawing a number from a bag. The bag will contain bits of card each individually numbered from 1 - 22. People will be seated in numerical order going clockwise around the table with the lowest number choosing their seat and every one else falling in based on their drawn number.

Once everyone is seated a card will be dealt face up to each player - this is to decide who starts as dealer. The person with the highest value card is the dealer - should two or more players tie with the highest card just those tied will be dealt another card each to break the tie, until just one person has the outright highest card. That person then starts as dealer. The two players immediately to the left of the dealer are small blind and big blind respectively.

  1. Blinds will start at 10p & 20p. The big blind will always be double the small blind.

  2. To keep the game flowing blinds will last for 25 minutes and be set on a timer. When the timer goes off the hand in play will conclude, only then at the end of it will a timer be set for 5 minutes break. So those of you already out of a hand when the timer has gone off can go and do what you have to do - toilet, have a smoke, buy a drink - whatever. However to give everyone 5 minutes break the timer will start only when the hand in play has ended.

  3. After each official 5 minute break play resumes and the blinds are doubled (so after the first break blinds will now be 20p & 40p). The timer is re-set for another 25 minutes and the whole process is repeated.

  4. If you are not at the table when it is your turn your hand is auto folded - there is no waiting around or shouting from the doorway while you have a ciggy - this was one of the biggest problems in the original league and has been a similar issue in some games in the re-boot. Any player is welcome to go for a smoke or leave the game at any time for whatever reason but the game does not stop for anyone and your chips as and when it’s your turn for the blinds will be put in for you. Likewise when it gets to a players turn that is not at their seat and able to make a decision an auto check is given if they are able to - i.e. there is no bet (post flop) or they were big blind pre-flop etc. However if a check is not viable (because someone bet or raised before them) their hand is automatically folded even if chips were invested (blinds etc.). It is etiquette to be at the table while the game is in play so by not being so for whatever reason it’s not fair to expect everyone else to wait for you. This is a league game - please treat it as such. If you are looking after children or pets you can’t really focus on the game and you are not really being fair to either them or the other players so probably best you do not play - but if you do still play - the game will not stop for you. Same goes if you’re working. The game does not stop so if you decide to pay to play do so with that in mind.

  5. Only the 12 official games count for league points. All players taking part in a league game must pay the league rake of £5 on top of the £15 game buy-in. This is compulsory and cannot be opted out of. You only pay this rake in the official league games.

  6. League Points are earned in 3 ways - a) your finishing position, b) your finishing bonus & c) your knock outs.

    a. First person eliminated will get 1 point, second 2 points and so on. This means the winner of the game will get points equal to the number of players in that particular game. This means the bigger the game (players wise) the more points on offer.

    b. There are extra bonus points awarded to the top 3 finishers in each league game as follows:

    1st - 10 bonus points
    2nd - 7 bonus points
    3rd - 4 bonus points

    c. A bonus point will be awarded each time you knock another player out - meaning extra points are on offer throughout each league game. Should more than one person be involved in a hand at a showdown that eliminates a player the player winning the hand is credited with the bonus point. In the eventuality of a rare split pot scenario that results in the elimination of another player then half a point (0.5) will be credited to those who split the pot and thus equally eliminated the other player.

  7. If two or more players are eliminated in the same hand then those players starting chip stacks at the beginning of the hand are used to determine their league game finishing positions - with the larger starting chip stack player finishing higher.

  8. ON THE CLOCK. To speed decision making (and the game flow) at any time any player can be put on the clock. However the golden rule is only a player still involved in the hand can do this. Any player still left in the hand can announce he wants the clock put on the player who’s taking their time. At this point I will start another timer (most likely using my phone) for 1 minute and when this time is up - signalled by a beep/ring etc. I will start a further verbal count down from 10 to 0 (zero). If the player has not made a move by clear action or verbal announcement before I reach zero - upon my saying zero there hand is declared dead and mucked.

  9. At show downs the person who made the last aggressive action (raise) shows their hand first and from them on (going clockwise) subsequent players must show their hand in full (both hole cards) to prove they have beaten that hand (or drawn with it). However if they so wish they can muck their hand without showing it, if they accept they have lost. They can of course still show their hand if they want to - but it’s down to that players personal choice.

  10. STRIKES. No one must expose any other players cards - mucked or not. Only the player whose cards they were can opt to show them when the hand is over. Please do not discuss what you have folded during a hand that is still in play as this information is relevant to the players left in the hand. Anyone who shows others cards after a hand is over without that persons express permission or who talks about what they have folded in a hand that is still in play will be issued a strike. If someone earns three strikes in the same game upon earning the third strike they will have to pay 50p to the pot before the next hand is dealt. This is a fine and does not make up that persons blinds or bet - however from now on if the same person makes any more strikes it’s a 50p fine each time a further strike is issued for the rest of that game.

  11. These rules should have been read by all players taking part in a league game and by playing in a league game signifies your acceptance of all these rules.

So that’s it – only question now is do you fancy some competitive armature poker?


2-5 PLAYERS = W.T.A. (Winner Takes All) x £15 per player (maximum £75).

6 Players = £75 / £15

7 Players = £75 / £30

8 Players = £80 / £40

9 Players = £90 / £45

10 Players = £100 / £50

11 Players = £110 / £55

12 Players = £120 / £60

13 Players = £130 / £65

14 Players = £140 / £70

15 Players = £150 / £75

16 Players = £160 / £80

17 Players = £170 / £85

18 Players = £180 / £90

19 Players = £190 / £95

20 Players = £200 / £100

21 Players = £210 / £105

22 Players = £220 / £110

*22 is the maximum amount of players due to the number of cards.


  1. The Buy-in per game is £20 (£15+£5)
  2. League games will always take place on a Sunday.
  3. League games will always have a scheduled start of 14:00.
  4. A league season will consist of 12 games.
  5. Game dates will be advised of in advance by me at the preceding game and later posted on the Barley Mow Poker League Facebook group page as well as sent by e-mail to all those who have provided me with their e-mail address.

Link to The Barley Mow Poker Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/36582758876/

Link to The Barley Mow’s Facebook page (venue): https://www.facebook.com/barleymow.southpark?fref=ts