How to improve your chances to get staked at GGPoker


In case you missed it I am a big fan of the in-house staking feature from GGPoker. I think it will come into its own during the World Series of Poker.

Last week I wrote about how to find a good value investment in the staking lobby and this week I turn my attention to those of you who want to sell shares. To be honest, you could go back and reread that piece because this is basically the inverse of that article, but here we go again.

A backer will know they are taking a risk investing in anyone, your job is to make it look like you are good value and lower risk than most. 

Buy a piece in the main tournament lobby

Why do you want staking?

The first question to ask is why do you want to be staked in the first place? If it is because you are low on funds, maybe you would be better off playing lower stakes? It may be the case that you are much better off playing for 100% of yourself in a $10 game where the field is softer than to play for 50% of yourself in a $20 game where the field is tougher. 

If you are doing it to motivate yourself to play better that is a good idea, but maybe you need to work on your motivation instead? Doing it as a safe of lowering your variance taking shots at a bigger stake is a good reason to get staking, but you want to be +EV for an investor. Ideally you want to get staked because you think you represent good value for a backer. 

The horse’s profile page

To realistically get staked you have to be, and have to be able to prove, you are a winning player. Staking is business, not charity, and you should not be hoping that it is a chance for a generous backer to take pity on you. With that in mind you probably should not even bother trying to get staked if your GGPoker profile does not show a profit or at least you can post substantial SharkScope profiles for winning accounts at other sites. 

The next part of this, assuming you are a winning player, is charging fair markup. To even charge markup is a statement that you are a particularly good investment and anything over 1.2 should really require you to be able to back up such a claim. You probably should be careful not to undersell, for example charge 0.95 markup, because that also looks like you consider yourself a bad investment. If you are just looking to reduce variance you will probably get the most interest charging no markup.

One last word on markup and that is to tailor it to the event you are playing. If 1,000 people play the tournament typically you can charge a bit higher because the potential prizes will be bigger relatively. If it is a 100 runner MTT then the potential win is much smaller, and therefore so should the markup. If it is a deep structure or skillful format then you can charge a higher markup than in, for example, a Hyper Turbo where more variance is involved. 

The percentage you are selling of yourself is also important. A shrewd backer wants you to be incentivised to play well so selling more than 50% of yourself is a red flag that you won’t be motivated. Again, if you have to sell more than 50% of yourself in a $20 game you would probably be better off all around playing for 100% of yourself in a $10 game instead. 

Markup means you think you are +EV in the field

Finally, your profile page is your chance to show backers you take this seriously. It isn’t much effort to post a few pictures of graphs, your names on other sites and a few statements about why you are a good investment. Tell a backer what they will get for their investment (for example an ROI of x% over a sample of x%) rather than asking for them to show mercy on you by buying a piece. 

The paradox of staking is realistically to get staked you have to be a good enough player not to need backing in the first place. The GGPoker staking feature really is a shop window for people who consider themselves good value, so make sure you treat it as such and frame it in terms of what the backers get, not what you want.

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Barry Carter

Barry Carter

Barry Carter is the editor of and the co-author of The Mental Game of Poker 1 & 2, Poker Satellite Strategy and PKO Poker Strategy

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