Posts Tagged ‘backers’

Staking Agreements FTW + Taxes (Beta)

by , Jul 8, 2012 | 2:52 pm

Kevmath has arrived to play the $10k WSOP main event. He’s currently in the process of trying to collect his pledges, which is clearly a different game than funding a $235 deep stack stab via Twitter. Lets hope his rungood starts today for a final Day 1 buy-in tomorrow … because really, with a new era that doesn’t include Doyle Brunson in the WSOP main event upon us (he’s opting out this year for what I think is only like the third time) don’t we all really need a Kevmath to be properly funded, if not fully backed?

With these kinda arrangements in mind, Pokerati has been working on a basic legal boilerplate to cover typical poker staking arrangements. We’re still working on a few revisions, and customizable blanks to accommodate a variety of backing scenarios. It’s not official yet, and thus not certain to be admissible in court — hey, you get what you pay for — but let me know if you think there’s anything missing or superfluous, especially if you are a practicing attorney in Nevada.

Here is a generic document to solidify your monetary promises in poker, regardless of unfortunate rivers or acts of nature.

Now all we need, I think, is a proper legal disclaimer to make sure yours truly and Pokerati don’t end up on the wrong end of a lawsuit we facilitated.


UPDATE: Tax matters notwithstanding, please add, like the back of my first fake ID, “for entertainment purposes only.”

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?

Ladies and Not-so-Gentlemen

by , Jul 2, 2011 | 9:36 am

The always-controversial WSOP Ladies event got underway this weekend … with 1,055 players, up from last year’s total of 1,054. At least 10 entrants were men, one of whom showed up in drag. While the WSOP can’t legally require players to show their vaginas to the dealer before receiving a hand, the presence of Y-chromosomes in the field suggests that with Shaun Deeb’s breaking through the gender barrier in 2010, it may well become WSOP tradition for this special tournament to appeal to dudes who clearly have issues with their mothers and/or painful memories of oppression at the hands of East German Olympic coaches during the Cold War.

Click here for BJ’s photo gallery from the 2011 WSOP Ladies event … and here for WhoJedi’s … and here for coverage from Wicked Chops … and here to follow the actual tournament, which is currently at the final table and streaming live with only women left and a $192k first prize up for grabs. (The “last man standing” finished 9th.)

annie lepage marie lizette reno peppermill ladies backing

Marie-Lizette (left, brunette) and Annie LePage (right, blonde) share with Pokerati the secrets of forging a successful relationship with backers who may or may not want to sleep with you.

But beyond the inevitable spotlight stealing by a flash mob of penis-wielding hooligans … the WSOP Ladies No-Limit Hold’em Championship is also where many players experience their first shot at being backed in a bracelet event. The low buy-in ($1k) and proportion of men who believe putting a woman in a tournament might some day help them get in her pants makes the hustle for support another ubiquitous part of the ladies event every year … and to that extent, I wanted to know, from the ladies, how they handle it when a guy wanting to give them money might have a different expectation about what it means to book a big score by going deep.

(Men can be so crass and dumb.)

Have a listen as I sit down with Mike Matusow’s girlfriend Annie LePage and Pokerati editrix Marie-Lizette (at the Peppermill in Reno last month, at the party for Jen Harman’s charity event before the HPT’s $1,600 Nevada State Championship) … to learn how it works for women who may want backing but have to be sure all involved — including themselves? — understand that the benefactor really is interested in their potential skills on the table, not under it.

Part 1: Inappropriate Offers
Part 2: Business Women

It’s apparently all about not sending the wrong message for less than a $10k buy-in. While some may believe everyone has a price … I’m not sure if the service this audio really provides is essential listening for up-and-coming women players — on how to draw proper lines when dealing with a potentially horny backer — or more for men, on how to minimize the creepiness factor to be a better big-swinging-dick.

Staker Stakes

by , Sep 6, 2010 | 11:44 am

Good video from WPT-London … with Neil Channing discussing the travails of backing James Akenhead and a more detailed explanation of what goes into staking players, from the guy Brits worldwide look to for bankroll assistance:

Joe Cada Afterparty

by , Nov 11, 2009 | 12:04 am

The RawVegas gang caught up with the new WSOP main event champ at the viewing party held at ESPNzone in New York, New York. Good little glimpse of what he’s all about, how he’s handling friends who will inevitably hit him up for money, and the process of amicably (presumably) parting ways with his backers Eric Haber (“sheets”) and Cliff Josephy (“JohnnyBax”) …

Watch WSOP 2009 Viewing Party at ESPN Zone on

Poker around Town

by , Oct 21, 2009 | 2:22 am

Big players are (back) in Las Vegas … low Festa al Lago prelim field sizes suggest nothing is as it was a couple years ago, but the higher-stakes action is moving at Bellagio … or at least arriving there.

Seen last night at North valet:

bellagio license plate

Also seen a little off to the side by our secret valet informant: David Levi exchanging cash through a car window with presumed backer Eli Elezra. (Not sure which direction it was going, though. New guy, lots of cars to park … )

Tao of Pokerati: Pre-Horsing Around

by , Jun 26, 2009 | 8:31 am

A $2,250 Mega-Sat for the $50k HORSE breaks out right in front of us, where suddenly the seasoned pros are kicking it old-school — playing with jovial intensity and the hope that their real poker dreams can be bought at a bargain. It’s the poker economy, the regular economy, and backer variance in play … with satellite sponsorship deals, backing syndicates, and a question about what kinda team Russian backers will deploy. Special appearances by Michael Mizrachi, Allan Kessler, Bill Chen, et many medium-higher-rolling al.

presented by:

dream team poker

Tao of Pokerati at the 40th WSOP
Las Vegas, NV

Episode 11.21: HORSE Hunting

Episode 11.22: The Satellite Economy

Gonzo Spot-News, Play-by-Play, and Color Commentary All Wrapped up in One

by , Jun 26, 2008 | 3:51 am

Not that we need to do extra pimping for Pauly here on Pokerati, but really, this $50k HORSE event is the one tournament that he theoretically could be providing better up-to-the-hour coverage than PokerNews. The event itself is exciting, of course, and it’s happening right below the press-box, so he can keep an eye on it without being on the floor. Now mix in the fact that there really aren’t that many tables … and presto, you’ve got something a single dude who has been preparing for this one event for months can cover old school — like it’s 2005 — with the skills and wisdom gained from three years of covering tourneys around the world. I mean he can’t keep up with the chip-for-chip hand stuff — and really, how pathetic are any the tens of thousands of you who really care about the finer details of an 8-or-better hand that may or may not be reported in full anyhow — but what Pauly can do that the frontline reporters can’t is see the poker forest through the $50,000 trees. Being hopped up on pharmies while observing from his slightly elevated press-box perch can lead to some interesting perspective(s) … add three weeks worth of repressed violence yet unleashed on fellow WSOPers, a general disregard for the opinions of anyone who doesn’t read his shit, and a little inspirational spark from the recent arrival of Otis, and I think and you’ve got a winner. My best move yet was hooking him up with a piece of the Donkey Bomber, because now , with all my hopes and dreams invested in 1 percent of Tom, I’ve guaranteed my ability to follow my horse in the HORSE start to finish. Seriously, with the hours the dude puts in, he must be on something …

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be following more detailed chip updates here and maybe even on PokerNews where I can chime in on their nifty Shoutbox. Heck, I might even pop in on the action myself on occasion … and California Jen can’t help but give you a few updates and a little extra insight while doing her real WSOP work … but in the interim, just thought Pokerati readers should know that even when sitting right next to Pauly I’ll probably be looking over his shoulder to see what’s really going on.

Tao of Pokerati: Episode 3

by , Jun 9, 2008 | 9:53 am

I didn’t get to the Rio until way late yesterday — like 11:30 pm — so you’re getting yesterday’s episode today … which seems strangely appropriate considering in this episode Dr. Pauly and I are watching Vinny Vinh and his ever-encouraging railbirds at and around the final table in the $1,500 limit event from the Milwaukee’s Best Light No-Limit Lounge.

Episode 3: Milwaukee’s Best Vinny


Going for Broke

by , Jun 1, 2008 | 7:12 am

photo: Jackie Endsley
Putting your last dollar toward a bad-beat jackpot may not have been the best career strategy for this guy.


I got a call yesterday at the WSOP from the Butler. I haven’t seen the guy for a couple months — not since me and my jiu-jitsu coach and heavy metal teacher got booted out of our sweet pad (pool table, poker table, dart board, 65-inch HDTV, Strip-view bedroom, fireplace/jacuzzi bathroom, no utilities) on the Eastside. We of course knew all was headed south when the Butler — the guy who set the whole housing arrangement up — walked into our casa unannounced to do a cocaine deal, and shortly thereafter got busted by The Boss (who owned the house, in theory, though not on paper) for stealing rent money.

(I met the Butler last year at the WSOP, as he was trying to sell his private concierge services to poker players and convince me to turn him into a recurring character on Pokerati.)

Anyhow, so I got a call from an unknown 973 number yesterday that I answered in the press box. “Hey, Dan, it’s John. Are you at the Series? How’s it going?”

“Um, uh, pretty good? We’re just getting rolling … so what’s up? Did you make it to Kansas City?”

“Yeah, and it’s not good. I’m calling because I need a stake.”

“Yeow, dude … can’t help you out. Wouldn’t know how to get you money if I could.”

“Western Union.”

“Sorry, man Have you tried Tom? His number is 602-97… .”


All aboard the K-Train. Woo-woo!

by , May 20, 2008 | 9:34 pm

…Okay, that title may be the single gayest line I’ve ever typed. My bad. I’m draining Dos Equis and blogging via Hooters WiFi.

I’m about to fire off an email to friends, family, etc., inviting them to take a piece of me in a second $1,500 NLHE Event, which I wasn’t originally planning on playing. I’m actually interested to hear your opinions on how I’m handling the two-event split and the Main Event equity parlay.

Check out the details at my super-new personal blog (, and let me know if you think I’m drawing dead.

ALT HED: For sale: – $1,500

Poker 4 Sale

And Some Services Wanted

by , May 9, 2008 | 2:19 am

I like to troll Craigslist every so often for some hot, anonymous NSA poker action. Not looking for games — there’s no shortage of ’em here in LV — just wanting to take the pulse of what people are pushing related to poker. Look at the ads all together and you get some interesting tells on the state of the poker world and its semi-anonymous inhabitants:

There are a lot of chips , tables, fancy custom tables and chips and tables for sale, of course, and for $15 a made-for-TV WPT video game. WSOP: Tournament of Champions for the Playstation goes for $8

For $150k you can have documentary footage of the rise and fall of Jamie Gold.

A WSOP baby’s blanket.

More chips, from the Aladdin, and from the Atlantic City Playboy Club. “Omaha Table” from Sante Fe Station.

Perhaps frighteningly, there are even poker bots for sale. At least one suspicious reader is questioning whether or not this is legal.


How to Be a Mid-Stakes Pro, Part 2

by , May 8, 2008 | 11:46 pm

From Craigslist:

well know poker player needs backer – $25 (Las Vegas)
Date: 2008-04-17, 1:28AM PDT
I will only accept the right person. I currently have a backer and we will be parting ways if I find a bigger backer. You are welcome to review my results and talk to my current backer. I made him $52,000 last year. I use to have my own money but I started a business that didn’t work out and I lost a few hundred K! Last year 07 I made $104,000 playing 2-5NL. We started with $15k and split everything 50/50. I want need to move up to where I use to play 5-10 and 10-20 and I need a bigger backer. I have an $1,800 mortgage and a $1,000 car payment so playing 2-5 doesn’t make enough for me to move up. My current backer has the same problem and cannot increase his stake. I am looking for someone to put up a min. of $25k for 5-10 and above. Since I made $104k in 2-5 it is easy to see I will make $200k playing bigger and it is the game I am use to playing in the past. I just cannot pay my bills plus save money making only $52,000. My nut is about $40k a year! We can meet and talk and I will choose who I let back me. My current backer knows I will be leaving and there is no bad blood there, just not enough money for me to split at my current level!

From the way the hedline sounds, I’d guess this guy is Asian. Just sayin’ … regardless, I suspect Men the Master might see a flaw in Danielsan’s plan.

Poker Tells: Bankroll Support

by , Mar 18, 2008 | 9:52 pm

Red River Roundupdates: Field Wilting

by , Aug 26, 2007 | 2:52 pm

THACKERVILLE, Okla.–North Texas player Abteen Vaziri just said now that I know his name I can delete it. He is out. He wins $2,500 for finishing in 55th place. Much of Abteen’s recent success has come from study of Joe Navarro’s book on tells. But he misread a pulsing neck vain for weakness when in reality it was pocket queens.

Sorry dude.

Looks like it’s up to Josh, Troy, and/or TJ to do the Dallas gamers (whose names Pokerati knows) proud.

UPDATE: Troy “Darling” Phillips is out. He got pocket jacks on the button and raised. The ever-aggressive big blind pushed all-in … Troy called … and would learn the sad news that he was up against aces. Ouch!

50th place. $3,000. Still, nice job by the Batfaces favorite sugar daddy curly haired representative. It’s only a matter of time before he runs out of money makes another final table.

UPDATE: Josh Evans also appears to be out. Turned away for a second and his table was gone … and he couldn’t be found elsewhere in the field.

Interestingly enough, while Kido Pham and Greg Raymer were brought out here (and presumably bought in) by WinStar … TJ Cloutier simply showed up on his own and plunked down $1,100. Definitely not a charity event for him. And to think, they don’t even have craps in Oklahoma. Can we say positive EV?

With 45 players left and blinds at 4k/8k+500, Cloutier has about 165,000 chips. Average stack is 111,000.

UPDATE: Just learned that Cloutier was bought into this event by a heretofore unnamed military-ish backer in Dallas … who has 50 percent of the poker hall-of-famer.