Patrick "pads1161" Leonard
I’ve read so much about staking over the last 10 years of being in and around the poker community. Initially I was backed, then I was backed again by somebody else, then backed again by another somebody before going “on my own”. I started staking people as almost a hobby around 4 years ago and for the last 2 years I’ve been doing it as almost a full time job taking up most of my time, money and emotions!
In this article I’m going to answer a lot of common questions and most likely divulge and go completely off topic whilst trying to push my company bitB Staking as much and as obviously as possible!
I’m going to speak initially about my first experiences being staked, the reasons why I chose to be staked, what went good and what I would do differently if I could go back in
The good: I was first staked by two good heads up cash game players, I didn’t have a bankroll and they offered both a bankroll, flexible contract and a lot of coaching. I knew they were both winning $150k+ a year from this exact format in poker and I really wanted to get to that point, they were more than just a bankroll, more than just mentors, they were people I wanted to emulate and they let me get inside their minds and find out about not only how they play A6o vs a 3bet but also how they approached preparing for sessions, winding down after sessions and how to analyse their game using different softwares. Great first experience.
The bad: I was playing 100nl and doing pretty well, lets say 8bb/100. A friend wrote to me and said “You would definitely crush 200nl, I’ll stake you if you want” Back in the day moving up stake levels in cash games was a big thing, you always just assumed everybody at the higher stake level was just a complete sicko that knew lots of secrets. I found it exciting that I could move up, I played a bunch, my win rate was probably 4bb/100 but I had to give 2bb of that to the staker. So I went from 8bb/100 winner at 100nl to a 2bb/100 winner at 200nl. You can do the maths yourself, but it wasn’t a good idea.
The ugly: I was doing really well in cash games, but fancied some glory. My friend was staked by some “Russian sickos” and had just won $21,000 in the big109. “$21,000?! do you know how many hands I have to play to win that and you won it in 1 night? Sign me up Sergey. I agreed a deal with the Russians and they were infact really good players. However they were too good, their time was really valuable and it turned out they were just the bankroll behind the stable and my coaching would come from a withered American pro who didn’t relocate after Black Friday that was behind the times. I didn’t get any private attention, all we did was a weekly hand history review which was mediocre at best. I won’t go naming and shaming but I jumped into the deal way too quick without understanding exactly how it worked.
I’m going to tackle the most common question I hear about staking. How does it work?
Every staking deal has the opportunity to be unique, backers can decide on different % shares depending on ability, trustworthiness, volume expectations and results. Notice I said ability and results separately, we’ll get back to that later. The traditional staking deal is typically 50/50 with makeup. Makeup is accured whenever a horse loses and thus a horse is always in makeup because once they are in profit they “chop it” and then start again. It’s probably easier to explain in numbers.
Patricio sends $5000 to DanistheQueen
At the end of session 1 the balance of all of the accounts that were funded is $4400, this means DanistheQueen starts his next session in $600 makeup that he must claw back before being able to cash out any money
At the end of session 2 DanistheQueen profits $500, meaning his makeup is $100 (it was $600 at the start of the session) and his account bankroll is $4900
At the end of session 3 DanistheQueen profits $1000 meaning he is in $900 profit and his account bankroll is $5900
DanistheQueen cashes out $450 to his bank account and sends Patricio $450. The bankroll is thus set back at $5000
Different %s should be enforced depending on a few small time committel things such as
- Staker spends no time with horse, only acts as bankroll. Horse should demand somewhere better 95-70% of the profits
- Stake spends additional resources with the horse. Horse should receive somewhere between 40-50% of the profits.
I was speaking to my Mum on holiday last week about the business and she asked me a question every player who is staked should ask themselves:
“Why should I get staked?”
My view is that most people should not be staked. Most of the reasons for getting staked are pretty absurd and usually end up in “lol aren’t you a professional poker player?”
“I have really bad mental problems” my answer.. “lol aren’t you a professional poker player?” … if your ev/year is $100,000 in a good mental state then it means you’re suggesting that your “mental problems” cost you $50,000/year. This is not only unlikely, but a terrible reason to be staked. If you spend 1 hour/day every day of the year that you play poker you would undoubtedly already be “giving away” less than $50,000.
“I want to learn” my answer.. This is a good reason to be staked but the vast majority of people are staked by people who wouldn’t be able to beat the game they are teaching. Most of this coaching ends up being either outdated or uneducated and if anything it can have a negative impact on your game, definitely not justifiable for giving away equity in YOUR BUSINESS.
“The guy staking me is a complete boss, I can learn so much from him” … This is in general the biggest myth. 1) Most people who are staking in online MTT’s don’t win in online MTT’s or the people you will be learning from will be players who won’t benefit your game nearly as much as they should for the sacrifice you’re giving (50-60% of your business). The second thing is if you are getting staked by a one man hero such as lets say Phil Ivey or Jason Mercier or anybody else travelling a lot is that they simply won’t have time, energy and likely attention for you. If they are playing $50,000 high rollers will they really want to sit and go through an $11 hand history with you? How frustrating will it be for you when they are travelling all around the world playing poker and struggling to see or reply to your Skype messages? Never mind the fact they will be in different timezones to you all of the time too.
“I don’t have any money to play” I’ll refrain from “lol aren’t you a professional poker player?” but it is an issue. But I guess this is the first legitimate reason. You have no other option than to get staked because of finance reasons.
Sorry Mum, I’ll answer the question, you know I like to go off at unnecessary tangents. “Why should somebody get staked?” I think I can answer this pretty well. Somebody should get staked if the immediate or future ev will make up for the initial loss in earnings. If you’re really going to learn from the best players in the world and receive information that will help you for years and increase the EV of every year of your poker future then that is a really good thing and if… Hey Sherlock, you can see where I’m going here can’t you? Ok, who is bitB, what do we do and why should we be the guys you come to to be staked?
I founded bitB Staking (best in the business Staking) in 2014, starting by myself and a few guys and then adding partners Elmerixx, European and omyg0t in January 2015. Our reasoning behind going into staking was that we had accumulated over $4m in profit and $15m in cashes in these games and believed we knew how to beat them very well and as we were very good friends we would be able to have fun whilst hopefully making a bunch of money.
Fast forward to August 2016, we are a much bigger company, have a CEO and 14 freelance coaches.
People always initially join our company because we undoubtedly offer the best MTT coaching in the world. You can be staked and coached by dozens of stables, so choosing the stable that will make you the best player you can be is a no brainer. However the reason that people stay is because of the community we have created. By having 18 active coaches and 60 very hungry, intelligent and driven poker players we have a likeminded community that speaks about poker, food, diet, politics and every day to day stuff. That is something a lot of poker players don’t have. They may be naturally very good at poker, but I think its understood in the poker world that who you speak poker with is one of if not the biggest influence on your progression as a player. In our application process we have turned down over 40 people with $500k+ lifetime profit that would no doubt make us 5 figures profit a year, but to us personality, age, and desire is really important as we want the community to be as big, as happy, as successful and thus as active as possible. To enhance the community aspect we take our players on four “holidays” a year. This year we have just had a great meet up in Budapest and this month 30 of our hungriest Honeybadgers will be in Barcelona for 10 days developing friendships between each other, socialising with the coaches and hopefully winning some money at the biggest European Poker Tour live stop of the year.
Previously we only wanted “sickos” in the stable, but since understanding what makes a “sicko” we have identified the common traits we look for and introduced “development stables” these stables are ran by our top players from the “main stable”. We try and identify 6-10 players for each development stable that will play between $15-$25 average buy in. They will have very intense coaching with up to 36 hours of accessible coaching every month and have 2 mentors directly from the top of the main stable working 1on1 with them with the goal of improving them to the point of being able to move up to the main stable and get 1on1 coaching from the “main coaches” in the stable. It allows us to bring players from different game types such as HU SNG’s, Zoom Cash games and Spin & Go’s, and nurture them a little bit.
So once these players move up who can they be coaches by (of course we have a direct route straight to the main stable for players with the right ability)
Here is a list of the main stable coaches working every month at bitB Staking. You can find out more information about them all individually on our "coaches" page.
We also work with Jared Tendler, Elliot Roe and James Whittet every month regarding the mental game, including but not restricted to motivation, dealing with variance, managing your time and setting future goals.
Our players are crushing at higher win rates than we’ve ever seen before, every players statistics and approach to poker has improved since being with us and we aren’t afraid to tell you the truth. The fact is in poker that everybody thinks they are a better poker player than they are. Me, Elmerixx, my Mum, you, Phil Ivey… it’s a natural thing in poker, we blame variance too much and we over estimate our edge. Working with some of the smartest minds outside of poker we have created an amazing tool to show us exactly what games players should be playing. We take into account the ability of the game, over 60 statistics from PokerTracker and detailed analysis from different previous results as well as confidence ratings and seasonality (when everybody is playing WCOOP games are generally up to five times as tough as during Summer when everybody is gallivanting around Vegas)
We are forever expanding our stable to allow us to have the resources to take on more and more players. We believe that we are by far the best community in the world to learn tournament poker. We want to invest our time in you, bring you to places around the world and create meaningful lasting relationships, both with the other stakees but with us aswell. To me that is the most important thing, sure the money is fantastic but I’ve genuinely created real friendships with players that I’ve met because of bitB Staking.
If you are staked by another company I want you to ask yourself why am I staked by them and not by bitB Staking? If its because you think I’m a fucking tool, don’t worry, you can request the other guys coach you instead, you can even mute me from the communication tool we’ve developed! If its because you think Romeopro is the worst and you can learn from him (obv nobody would think this don’t worry Roman <3 ) then don’t worry, you will have minimum 18 hours content from other top players and access to hundreds of hours of other content from previous months including content from Fedor Holz in our video library.
Join now! Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you in the next 72 hours.