How to crowdfund your poker stake
Long before the days of the Internet, crowdfunding already existed (kind of) in the world of poker games. In poker it’s necessary to front up a buy-in to enter each competition. In competitions like the World Series of Poker, the longest running and most prestigious poker tournament in the world, these buy-ins can range from $500 to $100,000 – and not all players have that cash just laying around the house. Here’s where crowdfunding can come in handy – but exactly how do you persuade investors to back you to win?
Investing in poker has grown in popularity, but the investor will only receive the amount they fronted you back and their share of the winnings if you go on to seize victory. Therefore – you need to be good. You can’t just play online poker for a month or two and then assume you’re ready for the big leagues. To get backed, you will need to have the experience and the stats to warrant these savvy poker backers investing cash in your career. They need to believe in you as a poker player and believe there is a good chance that you will win. The more experience you have, and the more tangible proof of big wins – the easier you’ll find it to source investors to crowdfund your entry into a big competition like the World Series of Poker.
Despite being played by millions of people around the world, the poker scene is relatively close knit. If you abuse the trust of investors, word will soon get around that you are not reliable. There have been instances of poker players receiving backing and then losing it all before the events in question. Websites like YouStake and StakeKings, which act as a middleman for these types of poker staking transactions, have introduced safeguards and greater transparency to ensure this kind of thing rarely happens, and to offer some protection to the investors when it does. If you break your word, or are seeking investment well out of your talent range, rest assured, you will be found out. Be honest, realistic and show evidence of your experience to investors – that way you both know what you’re entering into.
While you can find investors on the websites mentioned above, how much you’re able to raise and how quickly will depend hugely on how connected you are within the sport. If you know people, and they know you – and know that you are a talented player with a high chance of taking home the top prize – you won’t struggle to find people to contribute to your stake. If the idea of all that mingling makes you feel a little queasy, fear not – you don’t have to physically talk to everyone, mostly, you can let your poker skills speak for you. However, it pays to be polite. The more people you can connect with, the more chance you have of raising the funds to play in the big leagues.