Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Why Poker Staking?

Why should you get involved in poker staking? This is a question I asked myself many times over my poker playing years. I honestly did not think I would get involved in staking. I thought, why should I give my money to someone else to split the profits when I could get one hundred percent of the profits for myself. Not to mention I did not like the thought of giving my money to someone I did not know. So why should you get involved in poker staking? Well read on and I'll show you why staking can be a lucrative investment that you should not be so quick to overlook it.

Online poker staking has grown in popularity in the last couple of years. You don't have to go far to understand how popular poker staking has become. Go to any poker site like twoplustwo.com, pocketfives.com just to name a few, and it will not be long before you can find posts about staking. Run a search in google for poker blogs and you will notice most of them will talk about some ongoing stakes they have. It seems to have become widely accepted in the online poker world. Why are so many players willing to give their money to people they have never met in person?

There are several reasons for this. First and foremost is a player's reputation is on the line when he is given money from another player. Thus it is in his best interest to treat that money as if it were his/her own. The great thing about online poker is you can't change your username in most poker rooms once created. This allows a person to keep track of a player's statistics. This brings us to the second reason why people are so willing to give money to strangers, which is poker staking sites. Sites like parttimepoker have a system setup allowing players to sell shares of their action to multiple persons or create a stake between two parties. On these staking sites a player is made to post his poker room usernames which cannot be changed. There are strict rules to be followed by the stakee. If the stakee breaks a rule he can be given gear, which is now seen by everyone. There are different types of gear that shows a person what rule you have broken. Gear can be permanent or temperary depending on the situation. In some cases banned gear can be given. This is usually done when a stakee does not return the money to the stakers. With all these deterents in place their is a strong incentive by players to follow the rules so they can continue to get staked. In essence what the poker staking sites have done is create an honor system that works well. This system was a big hurdle for me in getting involved in online poker staking.

Another reason why I got involved in poker staking is for the profit of course. As an investment poker staking can provide a better return then most traditional forms of investments. For instance stocks have a long term investment of about 10% annually. To put this into perspective, if you invest $1000 in various stocks that gives you a 10% annual return, it will take about 7 years to double that. That works out to be a return of $143 a year. With the reality of todays stock market you would be very lucky to find a 10% annual return. To compare with poker staking, your annual ROI could be much higher. I read a thread on parttimepoker discussing annual return versus monthly return. The average monthly ROI of the OP in this thread is about 8%, which works out to be about a 92% ROI annually. If you look through more threads you will notice this number is not uncommon, if you are choosing your investments wisely. Not only does poker staking have a better ROI, it is easier to research your investments. When buying stocks in a company you can find information on them that the company provides. As we all know they like to tailor their information to inflate their value. When investing in a player you can find out every game he has played as well as his ROI. You can also ask questions to players and watch their games. You can't watch companies at work unless you are Warren Buffett who can afford to fly there. As you can see this was one of the main reasons I was drawn to poker staking.

Another reason to get involved in poker staking is to invest idle money. Depending on the game you are playing you are only playing a certain percentage of your money at any given time. Even players who multitable more than 16 tables can only have a certain percentage of their money in play. If you have 60% of your money just sitting there idle, why not have someone grow it for you. As of this moment I have about 80% of my bankroll invested which does not leave me much to play poker with. But I could always get staked and use my bankroll for staking others. I think this is a better use of my time and money. It is a good feeling knowing you dont have to grind to grow your bankroll. Allowing others to play with your money will allow you to buy into more games than you would if you were only playing with your money, which brings me to my final point.

Your worst enemy in poker is variance. As you know poker is a game for the long run. The more games or hands you play the more skill will take effect. If you look at a graph of a good player with 100 games played you will see many bumps in that graph. If you look at a graph of a good player with 10,000 games you will see an almost perfectly straight positive line. Poker staking allows you to get involved in more games at once, thus allowing you to reduce the luck factor providing you choose your investments correctly.

As you can see there are many reasons to get involved in poker staking. Poker staking has become mainstream in the online poker world thanks to online poker staking sites creating a system of trust among players. Thus poker staking has become more common and in my opinion has made poker more profitable overall. So if you are new to poker staking please feel free to post any questions or comments you have. For those of you who are already involved in poker staking on a small scale I encourage you to stake more and stake more often. Thank you for reading.