Update: We’re sold out! It took barely eight hours this year. I’m sorry if you weren’t able to get in. Hopefully we’ll have more opportunities later this year.
Back by popular demand–I am once again offering the opportunity to buy a “piece” of my action in the 2023 World Series of Poker. I long ago booked my flights and hotel for Vegas, and I’ve been studying hard on my tournament game!
Here is a very rough plan of the events I intend to play, as well as the number of buy-ins I am planning for:
|Date (2023)||Event #||Event||Buy-In||Planned Buy-In Bullets||Planned Buy-In Dollars|
|17-Jun||39B||Monster Stack NLH||$1,500||1||$1,500|
|18-Jun||42||Eight-Handed NLH Deepstack||$800||2||$1,600|
|27-Jun||62||Mixed NLH, PLO||$1,500||3||$4,500|
|28-Jun||64||Deepstack Championship NLH||$600||2||$1,200|
|02-Jul||74||Mini Main Event NLH||$1,000||1||$1,000|
|05-Jul||76C||Main Event NLH World Championship||$10,000||1||$10,000|
|12-Jul||81B||Ultra Stack NLH||$600||3||$1,800|
|15-Jul||88B||The Closer NLH||$1,500||2||$3,000|
|Total Entry Cost||$35,000|
Of course, with a schedule this complex, I will certainly have to make adjustments on the fly. If I run deep in one tournament, it might prevent me from entering others. If I’m just not feeling up to it for whatever reason, I might make a game-time decision to skip some events. If I find myself in the middle of a highly profitable cash game, I’m probably not going to stop (or go to bed early) just to squeeze in one of the smaller tournaments. On the other hand, I might add in an unplanned event or two (potentially including some of the many events at other venues around Vegas), or maybe even fire an extra bullet at some event if I believe it makes sense.
So the total package this year is $35,000. In other words, that’s the absolute maximum I would spend on buy-ins as part of this package. In reality, I’m likely to spend a good bit less. Maybe even half that much. But don’t worry–you will get refunded a proportional amount according to the exact total I spend on buy-ins. For example, if I only spend $25,000 on buy-ins, you will get a 28.57% refund even if I don’t win a penny on any of the events I play.
There are several other important things to note, and caveats to be aware of:
- This is only available to my personal friends and family, and only those having a US Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.
- I’m selling this action for a few reasons:
- Because many of you asked
- It’s fun to know I have some interested fans cheering me on
- It does help reduce variance, which is really massive in tournament poker (for the same reason, I am also planning on taking a small piece of action on several other players in various WSOP events)
- I regularly play poker cash games at a wide range of stakes, and I have been a solid winner for many years now. But I have fairly limited experience in tournament poker, and the difference between tournaments and cash games is bigger than most people realize. I have cashed a few WSOP events over the years, as well as some smaller tournaments. So I know I can do it, but I don’t have enough actual tournament results to say anything statistically significant about how profitable (or not) I actually am.
- From a purely financial point of view, I’d prefer to have 100% of my own action here because I think it’s a slightly positive expected value (+EV) investment. In other words, I believe I’m a slightly overall winning player at this level, and the more I personally “invest,” the more I can be expected to “profit.”
- For those who don’t know, the very best tournament poker players in the world produce a return on investment (ROI) over the long run exceeding 50%. Most solid pros are in the range of 30% ROI. That is, for every dollar they use to buy into a tournament, on average, they will get back $1.30 in winnings. Obviously, the vast majority of players are net losers lifetime. If you pressed me, in these fields, I would guess my ROI to be in the neighborhood of 5-10%, maybe a little better on my best days. Of course, I wouldn’t be the first poker player to over-estimate my own skills, and I could be way off base. 🙂
- I am making this offer at zero markup. In other words, you will receive a percentage of net winnings exactly equal to your percentage of the buy-in cost paid. (Most pros charge a markup of 20-50%, commensurate with their expected ROI.)
- Minimum share this year is 0.25% ($87.50). Maximum for any one person is 2.00% ($700). If I get a big response (last year, I sold out in 24 hours), I might have to lower the cap to 1.50 or even 1.00%. I’d like to keep the total action I sell to under 25%, and I am setting an absolute hard cap of 30% ($10,500). In other words, I will have at least 70% of my own action in all cases.
- Again, I reserve the right to make adjustments to the plan above in whatever way I think is best for maximizing profit. But your percentage of the total will not change, and I will not exceed the total buy-in budget of $35,000. In fact, it’s likely that the total budget will be considerably less, and you will receive a proportional rebate in addition to any share of the winnings.
- This offer does not include any cash game action. Sorry.
- Please understand that tournament poker is very high risk and high variance from a financial point of view–much more so than poker cash games. There is absolutely no guarantee of any return. If you choose to participate, please use only money that you are fully willing and able to lose without creating any financial hardship.
- At WSOP events, 85% of the players in any given tournament do not cash anything, and thus lose their entire buy-in. So if you assume I am an average player in this field, then the most likely outcome in any given event is that I lose the buy-in and do not make any profit. Actually, this is true even for the very best of the best players. Since an average player at random would be expected to cash 15% of the time, you might be surprised to learn that many of the best players actually cash at a rate of 13-14%. They simply play in a way that reduces their odds of making a min cash, but maximizes their chances to win, or at least finish in one of the top positions. That is where all the money is. To give you an idea, if you finish just inside the top 15% at the Main Event, you win $15,000. But if you finish in 10th place, you will make close to $1,000,000. And the winner gets ten times that!
- In short, tournament poker involves a lot of losing. Over and over again. Every now and then, you make a small score, and on very rare occasions, you hit a big score that more than makes up for all the losing. But the normal expectation is that you’re going to lose. I can’t imagine the life of those poker pros who play only tournaments.
- Prior to 2022, I was admittedly playing a style in tournaments that improved my chances of making a “min cash,” just squeaking in to the top 13-15%. But that also limited my opportunities to make a really big score. I cashed in a very high 60% of the tournaments I entered, but made nearly the minimum payout every time I did cash.
- At WSOP 2022, I started playing a more aggressive, higher-variance style that gave me a better chance at the big money, but also increased the chances that I busted out with nothing. I made the top 2.5% in one tournament (my smallest buy-in, unfortunately), and busted out of all the others. I also entered two small tournaments in the Philippines earlier in 2023 and cashed both of them, making the final table in one, and having the third biggest stack at the end of Day 1 in the other. I know I have a lot of room to improve, but I feel like I’m on the right track.
- IMPORTANT: For a number of reasons, I am requiring everyone who participates to sign a simple contract. I will make it very easy for electronic signature via Docusign. As part of that contract, you must agree that you will provide me with an IRS Form W-9 if requested. And because of the way Caesars handles payouts and taxes, if I win more than $5000 in any given event, I will be making this request. Then I will have to send you a 1099-MISC at the end of the year. The other bad option is that I take 50% of your winnings and pay your taxes out of that. Trust me, I don’t like this any more than you do, but this is how taxes work for anyone under the boot of the IRS.
- I will be posting live updates throughout the WSOP on Twitter @N4GN (https://twitter.com/n4gn/). Feel free to follow the action there and cheer me on. If you really want to be among the first to know, you can hit the little bell icon to turn on notifications on your phone every time I post.
If you’re interested in participating, please contact me directly with any questions. If you are ready to participate, I will need two pieces of information from you:
- Your e-mail address (where I will send the contract via Docusign)
- The maximum size of the stake you would like to make (recognizing that we might have to reduce it, depending on demand):
- 0.25% – $87.50
- 0.50% – $175.00
- 0.75% – $262.50
- 1.00% – $350.00
- 1.25% – $437.50
- 1.50% – $525.00
- 1.75% – $612.50
- 2.00% – $700.00
Once I have your e-mail and we have confirmed the staking amount, you will receive an e-mail with link to sign the contract via Docusign. Once the contract is complete, you can pay me using a wide array of payment methods. Please do not send payment until we have confirmed the amount of the stake. My first entry is expected to be 15 June. So I will need all contracts executed and payments completed by 14 June.