Other People’s Money

by , Mar 28, 2007 | 3:03 am

Bundas in Dallas writes in wondering about how sponsorship and backing works for big events … and also has me wondering if Pokerati should open up a forum. (Any volunteers to moderate?)

Perhaps looking for someone to rip him a new one, Bundas says:

OK Dan I’m sending this to you and hopefully you can pass on to all the pokerati writers or create a post and get each of there thoughts.

There is no way for me to post and have them respond but I would love to see what how each would answer.

OK in a recent posts I brought up the idea of Pokerati sponsoring me at the Holdem Radio live Event. I really was only kidding as that event is only $310.00 and I know there are no real funds at Pokerati for sponsorships.

I was listening to Holdem Radio last night and the subject of sponsorships for tournaments came up. Susie Isaacs brought up the point that she does not use her own money in the big events for example $5000.00 or above, she gets sponsors or backers.

Can you please have Tom Schneider or Michele Lewis our resident Pro’s explain what they do in regards to sponsorships or backers (Dan and Karridy could also give there opinions here)?

Do they use there own money? Or get sponsors and backers and if they do what is the impact to there winnings if they happen to cash. Also do they play different when there not using there own money?

We all assume as poker spectators that each person is paying $10,000 of there own money to play in these big events when in actuality it sound like that may not be the case.

Thanks I hope that everyone will chime in and give us there thought and experiences on this subject. Also If i could make a suggestion in the about section you should add E-mail addresses for each of the writes.

P.S — OK by the way I’m not really Kidding about a Pokerati sponsorship for me at the Holdem Radio event at Binions in May. Where do I pick up the check Dan.


12 Comments to “Other People’s Money”

  1. Bundas

    Wow Thanks Dan but I guess I kind thought being you are an editor and all you would have fixed up my Grammar. But I’m sure everyone will get the point.
    Hopefully we will find out the story behind the big buy in tourneys.
    And seriously were do I pick up the check, May is just around the corner!

  2. Ed

    Dan don’t do that editing thang. He is a true believer of that there cut and paste shit.


  3. DanM

    yes, i am a purist.

  4. Fresh Princess

    After my final table at the WSOP…here is what Full Tilt said when i approached them “We only sponsor people who make a televised final table or has an interview by ESPN. Sorry and Good Luck”.
    After a day of grinding with Phil Gordon he did offer to back me in any limit event. Phil if you are out there feel free to back me this summer.
    I do know pros that are backed/sponsored. They all have different deals. Some have clothing allowances, some get credits in their online accounts, some get a full ride with out repaying the buy-in. I have never seen anyone’s contract so who knows for sure.

    The bottom line…I have been looking for a poker tournament sponsor sine June 2006 and have not had much luck. Although, I’ve have not and I’m not sure exactly who to approach. If anyone knows give them my name….

  5. Woody

    Putting corporate sponsorships aside, the most traditional “private” backing arrangement is that the backer pays the tournament entry fee or stakes the money for a cash game, and the profits are then split 50/50. No downside for the player, only the backer. That’s the general starting point. It can be moved up and down depending on the people involved (“everything’s negotiable”). Travel expenses are usually another item for negotiation.

  6. Woody

    Thomas Keller wrote a good two-part article about staking that appeared in CardPlayer a year or two ago.


  7. Karridy

    I’m interested to hear the Donkey Bomber’s opinion on this. As I remember, he’s not a fan of 50/50. If you are backing somebody with a financial motive, it doesn’t take long to find out that 50/50 doesn’t work and honestly doesn’t make sense. Tom, if you read this please reply with what I remember to be your very well stated position on the matter.

    The only buy-in’s that I would consider being backed on are ones that I can afford myself. I don’t understand playing on somebody else’s money if you can afford to play on your own. I know that sound’s stupid to a lot of you, but that’s my .02

  8. Donkey Bomber

    Here it is as I see it.

    For every backer that has made money, there are 100 that haven’t. Not just me saying that, it’s true. Why is that?

    1) There are numerous bad reasons why someone needs a backer and only one good one. The bad ones are. I’ve been running real bad. My crack dealer cut me off. I’ve been getting killed in sports betting, especially on my lock games. My girlfriend left me for another girl and she wouldn’t let me partipate, etc.

    The only good reason for someone that needs or wants a backer is that they have been winning steadily and moving up in limits, but would like to play in this tournament and can’t afford to play based upon the size of their bankroll.

    2) In general, if you are a winning player, you don’t need a backer. People that lose or are running bad, need backers. This is not the time to put someone in a game.

    3) Many people make one of 2 mistakes when playing other peoples money. Too tight and afraid to do something stupid (at least this person has a conscience) or too loose gambling trying to take big risks with your money shooting for the big score. It’s very hard to play other peoples money.

    If you want to put someone in a tournament and offer them 50/50, I would first consider wiping yourself with $20 bills. You’ll go broke more slowly.

    Consider how good someone needs to be to put them in the tank with J.C. Tran and Phil Ivey and you only get 50%. Sure, there are some bad players in the tourney too, but they don’t make up for having to beat these types of players when you get down to the end. Check out the list of players that made the money in Reno and the several good players that didn’t, and ask yourself, is it a good idea to invest 100% and get 50%. Hell no!

    Here’s an idea. Take the top 100 players in Card Player last year. Figure they paid $250,000 in tournament entry fees, and then take 1/2 of their winnings. You would be lucky to break even in that spot. Now put your cousin Louie in there and figure out how you’d do.

    If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m not much in favor of putting people in. It’s cost me more $20 bills than I could have flushed in the last 15 years.

    One more thing. PUT YOURSELF IN. BET ON YOU.

    Most big players these days don’t consider putting someone in for 50/50. It is closer to 1/3 if you are lucky. One well known good player sold 9% of his action for 10% of the buy-in just so he could play in the $50,000 horse event. Very reasonable investment. He finished in the top 20. He was playing for only about 10%.

    Good luck to all on finding someone to put you in. If you want to know more about it in cash games, let me know. You can virtually never give someone a complete freeroll.

    Bye for now.

  9. DanM

    Tom, everything you say is right. And by the transitive property, a businessman should put all his money in his own business and his own business only. Diversified portfolios are for chumps!

    While you may be right as backing applies to one person behind one person, I gotta think there are good “professional backers” out there who do quite well as basically fund managers.

    It’s all about the Gonz Theory … which is an age-ole belief, that if a gang of Batfaces enters a tourney … someone’s gonna get that combination of good cards, playing well, and decent luck to win some bank.

    Now imagine if you applied that concept to top pros. Like, oh, I dunno … the Full Tilt Team? It’s gotta be profitable over the long run, no?

    Just last week, there were seven of us (a Batface-Pokeratizen consortium) in a last-longest bet. $2,240 to buy in all seven. Two of us busted out early, two went out in the middle, one near-bubbled, one eeked into the money, and one cashed big. Sounds about what you might expect from seven “serious” players, no? Total payout: about $12,700. That would mean a full backer woulda gotten $6,350. Not a bad return on one day’s work!

    ***One well known good player sold 9% of his action for 10% of the buy-in just so he could play in the $50,000 horse event.

    You’re not gonna tell us who? You’re allowed to say these things on a blog, you know. Or just whisper it in my ear, OK.

    Kinda joking, kinda not. There are a lot of people who believe at big major tournaments such as the WSOP, backing deals and exchanged action should be publicly disclosed. I think I might be one of them.

  10. Bundas

    Thanks everyone for your feed back !!
    Lets see if Donkey Bombers Idea works.

    Dan – I’ve been running real bad. My crack dealer cut me off. I’ve been getting killed in sports betting, especially on my lock games. My girlfriend left me for another girl and she wouldn’t let me partipate, etc.
    Can Pokerati please back me in the two tournys I am playing in at Binions in may.

  11. Donkey Bomber

    Dan, this is your chance. Back Bundas. He sounds perfect.

  12. Bundas

    Thanks Tom !
    That’s what I have been saying all along. But I’m sure dane won’t even reply. So if Dan will Not respond I have another idea. Tom Do you have a book that you would like me to push when in vegas? My promotion fee just happens to be the same as the buy-in