There is a huge overlap between the poker and the crypto community. We should therefore form a professional poker team to represent us in both online and live tournaments. After the allocation of an initial budget that can be anywhere between 50k and 20m TON, the team would be financially self-sustaining and can be a great tool for marketing and our public visibility.
What is Poker Staking?
Due to the high influence of luck in poker tournaments, many professional players enter staking agreements with other players. In essence, the player (stakee) is backed by an investor (staker) who, partially or fully, pays the tournament buy-ins for the stakee and receives a part of the stakee’s eventual winnings in return.
Ideally, staking agreements are mutually beneficial to both parties. In a typical short-term agreement, the stakee sells a part of his action in one or multiple tournaments and charges the staker a markup on top of his buy-in, thus essentially selling that part of his action at a fixed Return On Investment. This allows the stakee to play tournaments at a higher level than he would otherwise and reduces the risk factor on the player’s regular stakes.
The staker on the other hand acts similar to an insurance company. He distributes the risk by giving investments to a multitude of players, estimating the Return On Investment each player can expect at each tournament and deciding whether the markup a player is asking for is justified or not. Professional stakers typically look for markups that are at least 5 percentage points lower than the player’s estimated ROI, thus allowing them to sustain their operations.
Some players enter long-term staking agreements with a professional poker team, also called stable. In long-term agreements, the stable typically pays the tournament buy-ins in full and the net winnings are split evenly between the stable and the player. Usually, the stable also provides regular coaching sessions to associated players.
I will lead Team Free TON as General Manager. My primary task in this role is to evaluate the strength of players who ask for staking using online statistics, and to enter staking agreements with deserving players. For my duties, I will receive a fixed monthly salary and a bonus based on the team’s monthly net winnings.
Furthermore, I will enter a professional staking contract for my own tournament action, representing Team Free TON both on and offside the table. I am a semi-professional player since 2015 with focus on online tournaments and tournament staking, as well as live tournaments and cashgame. Lately, I have been successfully grinding $3 Flip&Go tournaments on GGPoker (see the chart below). As part of my staking agreement, I will move up to $20 Flip&Go tournaments and occasionally play scheduled tournaments with buy-ins of up to $250, splitting my net winnings 50/50 with the team.
In later stages, we will enter long-term staking agreements with other professional players. At this stage, Team Free TON will need a subgovernance with jury members. The jury’s task is to verify that team members adhere to their staking agreements and to evaluate their efforts in recurring monthly contests. Other roles that need to be filled are scouts that evaluate players and contact them for a potential long-term agreement. Also, Team Free TON should have at least one coach for weekly training sessions.
Depending on the budget allocated to Free TON, the rollout of our professional staking stable will occur in four stages.
Stage 1: Decentralized Online Staking
- Initial budget: 50,000 TON
- Monthly salary: 2,000 TON
- Bonus: 10% of the net winnings
The online poker room GGPoker has a feature that allows users to stake players directly through the GGPoker client. Players who use the Team Free TON logo as their avatar on GGPoker can contact us and ask us to come up with an evaluation of a fair markup. The results of the evaluation will be published by us, inviting other stakers to make an investment in the player. Free TON will then buy out all of the player’s unsold action.
In this stage, our staking operations are decentralized, meaning that stakees will not play exclusively for Team Free TON, but we can quickly attract a fair amount of players who use the team logo in their avatars on GGPoker. Since we publish all evaluations, similar to a rating agency, other investors can use Team Free TON as a reference to make sound decisions.
Stage 2: Professional Stable
- Initial budget: 200,000 TON
- Monthly salary: 4,000 TON
- Bonus: 8% of the net winnings
In this stage, we will expand our operations to onboard more professionals in long-term staking agreements for mid- to high-stakes online poker, regional live tournaments, and occasionally national-level tournaments. Team Free TON will be fitted with a subgovernance, jury, scouts, and at least one coach.
Stage 3: WSOP here we come
- Initial budget: 2,000,000 TON
- Monthly salary, 8,000 TON
- Bonus: 7 % of the net winnings
We are an established staking group on the highest online stakes, as well as national-level live tournaments. Occasionally, we will sponsor players for international tournaments such as the World Series of Poker, World Poker Series, or European Poker Series. At this stage, we should also consider tokenizing Team Free TON.
Stage 4: Let’s get crazy!
- Initial budget: 20,000,000 TON
- Monthly salary: 16,000 TON
- Bonus: 5% of the net winnings
At this stage, we are aiming for nothing less than world domination. We will be staking world-class players in international tournament series and occasionally international high-roller tournaments.
- Stage 1 (50k TON)
- Stage 2 (200k TON)
- Stage 3 (2m TON)
- Stage 4 (20m TON)
- Nothing - we don’t need a professional poker team
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