Poker backing was once looked at as rich poker personalities paying buy-ins for washed-up players who couldn’t afford their own tournament entry. And it hasn’t always been looked at as the best investment either since, for every Scotty Nguyen who earns his backer a million dollars, there are hundreds of stories where staking a player turned up nothing for the backer. Another problem with poker backing in the old days was that players would win and then run off with the cash leaving messy court battles in the wake.
However, these fears and premonitions have all but vanished in today’s poker world where backing a poker player is as common as ever. There are even websites and companies dedicated to bringing poker backers and players together in order to make both sides happy. One such website is Poker Pro Exchange which allows backers to stake both online and live pros in various events. They even have their players sign contracts in advance stating they will share whatever winnings they have to ensure that no problems arise.
Those who don’t have thousands of dollars to contribute to buy-ins and also get a piece of the action for very little by using sites like Poker Pro Exchange. Last I checked, people were staking players in the LA Poker Classic for as little as $25. Some of the players on their roster are quite well known too like “Cowboy” Kenna James and 1983 WSOP Tom McEvoy. Major players like these can enter more tournaments when they’re backed which allows them more shots at hitting a big pay day.
And to me, the whole concept of backing a player for as little as $25 over the Internet is very interesting; but it also kind of reminds me of horse racing. After all, you’re putting money on the player who you think will finish in a top spot and you can do it in several different tournaments too. Who know though as it might be kind of fun to throw down a little money sometime and see what happens.