Backers: the Venture Capitalists of Poker?

by , May 31, 2012 | 2:18 am

It’s fun talking about how much this poker player won in cash games this week, or how much that person took home for first place in that tournament. But few of us are privy to whether a particular player is grinding it out on their own dime, or if they are staked and thus turning over a large percentage of their score. Online-sicko-turned-poker-staker Chris “GoMukYaSelf” Sparks recently posted the first of a four-part series titled Printing Gold, which details his methodology for successful backing arrangements, presented from the staker’s point of view.

He likens the art of putting the right people in the right games to a venture capitalist firm immersing one’s self in a marketplace and building its brand with strategic networking — so the best opportunities (in this case, strong players who could benefit further from backing) will be aware of and present themselves to the “firm”. Sparks says he then filters potential investments through an application process that discourages “shoppers.”

Sparks’ self-reported results: a total of 58 backing deals between 2008-2011, 85 percent of which provided a profitable exit and average ROI of 153 percent. With a systematic approach achieving numbers like that, I can’t help but wonder which side of the poker grass is greener: staker’s or stakee’s?

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