Posts Tagged ‘backing-deals’

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?


by , May 25, 2012 | 11:59 am

After spending the majority of the past 3 weeks in Detroit, Columbus, and Carlsbad attending weddings, I’m back in my one-bedroom apartment at the intersection of Flamingo and Maryland in Las Vegas. Maybe it’s just the annoyingly vast amounts of construction and “improvements” they’re doing on my building, but there seems to be higher than standard levels of particles and dust in the Vegas air. People are excited, poker players are selling pieces, and Phil Hellmuth moved into the Aria penthouse for 2 months. That electric feeling can mean only one thing… the World Series of Poker is almost here.

I’ve never sold on the open marketplace, so bear with me as I figure this process out. I’m not a high volume tournament player, but I agree with Phil Galfond when he says that strong cash game players can find success in tournaments if they take them seriously.

Poker rooms across town (well, those in Caesars-owned properties anyway) are ramping up their promotion efforts for the series, offering a plethora of ways to win a seat into various events. On top of that, you can step into one of many rooms to pick up a flier for their own mini-series which will run concurrently; events with smaller buy ins but still impressively sized fields and prizes can be found up and down the strip as well as downtown. WSOP time in Las Vegas is awesome. If you like poker, you simply need to see the sheer size of the production that takes place inside the Rio Convention Center. Rows and rows, hundreds of tables (in use, no less…). Strip poker rooms overflowing with players. So many hopefuls, so many fans of the game, all the superstars and several soon-to-be poker-famous players descending on one spot. And let’s not forget… so many fish!


Poker Player Tax Advice

by , Mar 26, 2012 | 7:35 am

With April 15 right around the corner, poker players are undoubtedly thinking about Black Friday Anniversary Parties remembering in the normal-people world that the real “Black Friday” isn’t until November, and oh crap, you mean federal income taxes weren’t just part of the tournament entry fee!?! And while there isn’t a blank specifically on a 1040 for seized funds or PokerStars T$, poker players (particularly those with online money in play) might-should presume they are being looked at more closely than ever for Fiscal 2011 — assuming, of course, you haven’t already been under full investigation and/or negotiated an IRS settlement as part of turning state’s evidence in the cases against your former poker-mates.

OK, before I over-insinuate: some news-you-can-use for poker players looking to play it straight with the Feds:

Attorney Brad Polizzano (aka @taxdood) has a series on PokerFuse about various tax matters pertinent to poker players — such as rakeback, staking agreements, and Form 8-Ben Lamb, I think it’s called?

And Theresa Fox (@TfoxCPAinc) talks taxable income on Strategy with Kristy n — tackling matters for anyone with gambling winnings in play, especially those that may have transpired in some capacity across international borders:


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.

The ABCs of Backing Deals

by , Jun 9, 2011 | 4:28 pm

Here’s a question from a reader that I thought might be useful to answer for everyone, including me! Chuck in Fort Worth writes:

Hi Dan,

Jake and I will be in Vegas the week of June 13. A buddy of his will be staking him in event #26. Do you have access to any kind of staking agreement we could prepare prior to the event? Thanks.


Hey Chuck! I’m not Dan, but I am Dan-ielle so … close enough! 🙂

There are no set-in-stone guidelines for backing players but the most common practice is a 50/50 split of winnings, after the backer has been paid back on his investment. (i.e. the buy-in.) The second most common is for the backer to get his investment back and 60 percent of the remaining winnings, with the player keeping what’s leftover after that. More…

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:

Betting on Air

Sam Grizzle vs. Eskimo Clark

by , Jul 5, 2010 | 4:20 pm

Here’s a story I heard the other night … like much of what we report here, I have no idea whether or not it’s true. My source on this is generally reliable, and he heard it once-removed from some “online pro” who was in a bathroom stall at the Rio to overhear the following …

(And even if it’s totally made up, I’m sure there’s a funny joke in here somewhere … and Sam and Eskimo can consider it a public service graciously provided by Pokerati to let them know what kinda trash people may or may not be saying.)

So supposedly, just a few days ago, Sam Grizzle and Eskimo Clark were in the indoor bathroom outside the Amazon Room taking a leak during a break. Eskimo apparently asked Sam how he was doing, and vice versa … both grunted.

Then Eskimo asked, “You wanna trade 10 percent in this event?” (I believe it was a $1,500 NL) and Sam apparently agreed, saying, “Sure, why not?”

Sam then washed his hands and left, at which point another player said to Eskimo, “Hey Paul, did you just swap with Sam on the $1,500? He just busted out 10 minutes ago!”

At which point Eskimo responded, “That’s OK. I never even registered.”


WSOP Degens, the Developing Legend of Thang Luu, and Scooping Poop for Buy-ins

by , Jun 5, 2010 | 6:17 am

As you may or may not have realized, I took it extra easy today (yesterday) … left KevMath in charge.


Team Pokerati at the 2010 WSOP

John Harris: Weekend WarriorTTU

by , May 18, 2010 | 4:53 am

We wouldn’t be heading to the 2010 WSOP without patches, obv … isn’t that the whole point of the summer? (But we are running out ’em guys, so do be judicious with the sticky side.) The Team Pokerati crew will include some familiar faces and some new ones, too — from across the spectrum of player types who make their way to the Rio each summer. Follow along, root ’em on, and stay tuned leading up to WSOP Opening Day as we reveal the rest of our player line-up.

This year, leading off will be John Harris, aka @JohnHarristtu.

If Harris is a minor-league pro, then you might consider him a solid A-ball player. He’s done well at poker, but hasn’t yet made a big splash in the Hendon Mob database. (His profile here.) Harris comes from Dallas, where he took over as the tournament director for the 2007 Pokerati Invitational (and did an awesome job). He now lives in Las Vegas and is currently a dealer at Bellagio and the Venetian. He’s dealt the World Series for the past three years, became a TV-table dealer, and in 2009 was a finalist for WSOP Dealer of the Year. But this year Harris won’t be pitching cards at the Series … he’ll be working instead at the Venetian Deep Stacks and playing at the Rio on his days off.

His first event this year will be Event #1 — the $500 Casino Employees event. Beyond that, Harris will be looking to play all six of the $1,000 weekend events … believing that gives him the best prospects for ROI.

However, as an A-ball player, Harris is working with an A-ball bankroll. Thus, he’s currently locking down backers — friends and poker associates liking his chances of small-cashing repeatedly and/or going deep in at least one of those $1k events.

He’s seeking $6,500 in total, and still has shares available. So help Harris get in the game! He’s even got a nifty PowerPoint presentation laying out his tournament stats and the backing arrangement he’s offering.

Go Harris! And if you win a bracelet, we’ll definitely buy more patches.

Donkeybomber Looking to Buy His Way in to TOC

Schneider seeks freeroll backing deal with his fans

by , Mar 24, 2010 | 4:00 pm

Supposedly some 140,000 ballots came in during the first week of WSOP TOC fan voting. Our eligible pal Tom Schneider’s not in the Top 50 yet, let alone the all-important Top 20. As Harrah’s continues its First Annual Worldwide Email Harvest Tournament of Champions All-Star game, many pros are realizing that they may not get in just on the merits of being tied for 39th among all-time bracelet winners (with dozens of others holding two) and having a twitter account.

So DonkeyBomber is making a desperate unique attempt at getting himself on this uber-elite invite list … check it out … this just showed up in my inbox from everyone’s favorite 2007 Player of the Year:

This year, the World Series of Poker is having a Tournament of Champions. Only 27 players will play and 21 [sic.] of them must be voted in.

Here’s the deal.

You vote for me, Tom Schneider, and ONLY ME, and you will be part of the pool that will split half of what I win. First place pays $500,000. 50% of what I win will be split by people who have voted for me. If I win $500,000, $250,000 will be split by my voters. It’s that simple, and if I get voted in, I will be competing against only 27 players.

The site below is where you vote.

They will send you an email with a code in it. That code must be entered when voting.

After you have voted. Send this email to me and the verification email you receive from the WSOP site to [email protected] and you will be part of the pool. I really would like to play in this tournament and your vote is very important to me. That’s why I’m paying for it.

One more important request. Please email this to any friends or family you have that you think might find it fun to own a piece of someone playing in the WSOP Tournament of Champions.

Please vote and then wish me luck.

Thanks again,

Tom Schneider
2007 WSOP Player of the Year

GL Tom! I will so laugh if you make it to #21 and think you’re in when you’re not. I kid, I kid — I haven’t even voted yet, nor decided how I will. If you win, I’m concerned about the cost of stamps eating away profits.

Click below for the current Top 50 (in random order):


A Little More Joe Cada on ESPN

by , Nov 23, 2009 | 7:59 am

Joe Cada is no longer a 21-year-old — he turned 22 last week … and spent the weekend on the sidelines of the Michigan-Ohio State game (Wolverines < Buckeyes) after this recent (to me) appearance on ESPN's First Take. He breaks down his backer deal (again) ... and also says, as might be expected from a young online pro, that he doesn't put much stock in physical tells. Gotta wonder though what Joe Navarro might say about his comfort level when discussing the age when he got his start.


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

Players at the Gate

by , Jun 25, 2009 | 6:16 pm

There’s an interesting little mini tourney taking shape right in front of the press box … it’s the $2,250 HORSE Mega-satellite (for tomorrow’s big $50k event).

It doesn’t look too different from many satellites or second-chance tourneys that get started in the eve, except there are a few more chips in play, and a lot more recognizable players.

27 entrants so far … cards are already in the air … 28. Alan Kessler showed up early. He’s wearing a Doyle’s Room patch. Mike Mizrachi is trying to get Bill Chen in a lasts-longest … there’s Michael Binger (wearing UB, No-Limit Management, and Deep Stacks University … a few other players that I kinda-sorta recognize, but not really. One guy hovering around who I can assume is a backer, but not sure who he’s behind …

29 entrants. Low-key, relaxed, but serious. Will find out if this is their only stab.

Go Team! (WSOP Event #1)

by , May 27, 2009 | 11:41 am

As Kevin points out, today is the $500 casino employees event … and Pokerati’s got one of our guys in the seats: John Harris, whom will be making his debut as a poker twitterer here:

Should be interesting. John’s a good player who has taken his game quite seriously over the past year+ … and he’s been playing on a backer’s money in his efforts to build a bankroll (while making a living as a WSOP Circuit dealer). There’ve been lots of ups and downs along the way, a few needle-moving tournament cashes, and overall he has grown his wad … but that process has been a slow grind to say the least. A big score here would go a long way toward helping him to step up to a level where he could do some real damage (or get his ass handed to him and get sent back down to the minors).

Here’s to hoping he can go deep — or at least last until after the UEFA Champions League final so we can patch him up appropriately and get a picture for the Team Pokerati photo album!

BTW: Though this will become more relevant as more events move forward, you can click here to follow all the twitterings of all Pokerati peeps together.