Investors in poker

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The online casino industry has grown year on year over the last decade. Poker has become one of the most popular casino games, due to a mixture of TV / online coverage, high profile tournaments, star players and ease of access via mobile gaming.
Successful poker players can expect much more than just the pot, with many enjoying celebrity status and big money sponsorship deals. Superstar Dan Bilzerian often flaunts his multi-millionaire lifestyle on social media, built using poker winnings, movie appearances and investments, generating an estimated net worth of $150million.
This image of individuals raking in vast sums of money by using their poker skills has of course attracted the attention of investors looking for their next big project. Tournament winnings are becoming larger as media interest and tournament sponsorship increases. The backers who staked Greg Raymer in 2004 World Series of Poker saw their 50/50 investment of $5,000 turn into tournament winnings of $2,500,000 and winners can expect double that figure and more today. This is a great example of how it can go very right if you do your homework and pick the ‘right horse’.
The benefit for the player is that the often large buy in fee required to enter a tournament is paid by someone else. Players may end up entering multiple online and physical tournaments over a short period of time and can encounter cash flow problems if they hit a bad streak. Offering their services to an investor allows players to enter more tournaments and increase their chances of a big win. For investors, backing several prospects is a good way of hedging your bets; if multiple players that you back win, then you’re in for one hell of a payday. You can also agree to share the liability with the player, so that your losses are limited if they end up walking away empty handed. And of course, it’s a great way of exploiting an cash rich ‘sport’ that you may be completely useless at.
Approaching a poker player and offering an investment may be as simple as a handshake and payment of a tournament entry fee, or a more formal multi-tournament contract with built in clauses. Investors will often front half the entry fee and expect half the winnings, but experienced poker players may look to sell their skills for a bigger cut of, if they feel they can win the tournament. As with any investment, it takes a lot of homework and a great deal of trust.
Backing players isn’t just limited to live events. You can also back online players, but it’s worth creating a real-life relationship before making any online investment. By using sites like Sharkscope, you can keep an eye on player’s statistics and look at trends in order to back the best prospects.
Investing in poker winners is neither easy nor cheap. You will need to know exactly what you are doing and it really helps if you have experience of playing yourself or know how the investing scene works. The best players may have multiple backers and will only be interested in ensuring they have the best chance of taking home their winnings and avoiding any debts, leaving you and your investment in the dirt if they feel it isn’t happening. Make sure you use caution and have a written contract in place before making any payments and always make sure you are aware of the tax requirements of the territory in which the tournament is taking place.

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