Get It Quietly

Football, bollocks and a bit of poker if you're lucky.

Location: Enfield, London, United Kingdom

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Effective Sponsorship

My attention was drawn to a post on the Mob Forum from a new on-line poker site. They were looking for a 5th player to join their team of professionals jetting round the world. I had a think about it (who wouldn't !) but was saved too much wasted time when someone posted the reply they received, which confirmed that it was a promotion aimed at attracting players to the site. Those who played the most hands in a month would be in a position to qualify.

My mistake - I thought they were looking for someone who would actually be any good at promoting their site. What they will get is the luckiest of those people who can spend every waking hour for a month playing online. Now I can see what they're doing by trying to attract players to kick-start the games, but is this really going to offset the cost of sending someone all around Europe to play big tournaments which they almost certainly will not be qualified to play ?

I can't help thinking that the whole idea of putting players into tournaments is not at all cost-effective. You might get lucky and they'll win you some money, but given that you're picking up the tab for everything, it's unlikely. And with a bad run, it could cost you an absolute fortune. And for what ? To have guys wearing your shirt in massive tournaments where no one has time or inclination to chit-chat and where 90% of the field would never go near a small internet poker room anyway.

If it was me, I would pay my horses on a proposition basis. Proposition players or "props" in the US are paid a flat rate by cardrooms to keep games going, play short-handed etc. They play poker with their own money. I'd be looking for personable, intelligent people to go out and play in £10 tournaments and beginners' nights, with a brief to always be friendly and helpful. I'd pay expenses and a flat per hour rate, but they'd be playing poker with their own money. The last thing you want to do is to give a "professional" carte blanche in a rebuy tournament ; most of them will take the piss. If I paid for anyone to visit a festival, the same would apply. I would encourage them to play satellites and "second chance" tournaments as that would ensure a quicker turnover of opponents and a better demographic of the people you are trying to attract.

If someone wanted me to do that, and I was prepared to do it (two big ifs !), I'd do a damn good job. I wouldn't come cheap per hour, but compared to flying people round the world and putting them in $10K tournaments with your money, it would be an absolute bargain.


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