I’ve heard a lot about players in the past who have poker backers. Basically what happens here is that the backers will put up some money for another player’s buy-in and possibly hotel room (or players) as something of an investment. There are different arrangements depending on who the backer is but in the end, the backers always expect more in return than they give (hence the investment idea).
These backers can come in the form of major players or as just companies that invest in different interests and they almost always take some kind of huge cut from a big cash the player makes. In addition to taking a cut, sometimes the backers will even want past money they put up for the player back as well. Over the weekend I actually had the chance to talk to one of these backed players and get a little more insight into the backer world.
He said that he was backed by a company out of New York and had made some cashes during the WSOP this year and had cashed in some previous major tournaments as well. However, he also said that he found himself almost 120K in debt to these backers before the WSOP and has had to win a lot of that money back. With his WSOP cashes and mostly through online play, he has cut that debt down to about 15K but all of this has me wondering about something.
Why doesn’t he play exclusively online? It seems as if he makes a lot more money that way and he won’t have some outstanding debt owed to a backing company either. Sure he won’t get to travel to all the cool places that he does under the backing company as he’d be pretty busy playing online most of the time but eventually he’ll earn enough money to do what he wants anyways.
In the end though, it’s his decision and it would be hard to give up all that traveling to different cities and countries to focus exclusively online.