Going from your home game to the World Series of Poker!
On my last trip to Vegas, I ran into a few guys from a Home Poker Tour league (what are the odds of that?!).
For the last 3 years, they have been pooling their funds to send their poker league's season champion to Vegas
to play in the $1500 No Limit Hold'em event.
I thought this was a great idea, so my league's next season will
be a 2009 WSOP satellite! The 7 of us will be pooling enough money to cover the buy in for a $1500 WSOP event,
playing 11 tournaments, and flying to Vegas to cheer on our league champion for the 2009 WSOP!
One thing I decided to do differently for our league was this: If our poker league champion cashes in the WSOP event,
the prize money he earns will be distributed between all of the league players. The league champ will receive
50% of the WSOP prize, and the other 50% will be distributed to the remaining league members proportionate to
their season ending points.
For example, lets assume our poker league champ cashes for $100K, and season
ending standings are:
The champ gets $50,000
Total loser points: 70+50+30=150
Player1 receives 70/150x50K = $23,333
Player2 receives 50/150x50K = $16,667
Player3 receives 30/150x50K = $10,000
Why does the season champion only get 50%? Because all poker players in the league are essentially staking
the league champion, and according to Knish from the movie Rounders, the standard deal for staking someone to
play poker is 50% for the player, and 50% for the backer. Not to mention that we're all friends too!
Sharing the WSOP prize pool is a great way to keep all league members interested, and participating, to the end
of the season as more points equals more WSOP prize money. I would love to take credit for this idea, but I
found out that there are a lot of poker leagues that have already been doing this.
If your home game is more serious and you don't want to share any of the WSOP prize money, another way to keep
your league members interested to the end of the season is to hold a season finale tournament.
Here's an example of how this tournament might work. Lets assume you have 20 players in your league:
- This would be a "final table tournament" with 8 seats. You may want to reduce the number of seats if you have less players in your league.
- Award the first 7 seats to the season's top 7 players.
- Hold a satellite tournament for the players that didn't make it into the top 7, and award the final seat to the winner of this satellite.
- Each player's starting chip stack would be proportionate to their season points. The more points you have, the more chips you start with.
- The winner of the season finale tournament gets to play in the WSOP event.
A season finale poker tournament like this ensures your that your poker league's best players have a good chance
of winning, but it also gives your league's fish another shot, albeit a long-shot, at winning too.
If you don't want to send one of your poker league members to play in a larger buy in tournament, how about giving 50% of the league's
prize pool to your end of season points leader, and using the remaining 50% for the free roll tournament? Again, this structure will
ensure your best player is rewarded, give the leagues best players a good chance to win the free roll (as they will have bigger starting
stacks than the donks), and finally keep the donkeys interested throughout the season while minimizing their chances to win the free roll
(as they will have smaller starting stacks for the free roll).