A horse gets their buy-in back from a guilty player who eliminated him, does his backer have any rights to some or all of that money?
Our good friend Pleno1 split the poker world this week with a very tricky staking dispute he was asked to settle for two players.
One player was eliminated in a $10,000 tournament which he had been staked for. The player who bust him found him and feeling guilty about eliminating him, gave him $10,000.
The question is, is the staker entitled to all, or part, of this $10,000 gift?
Lol weird staking arbitration I had to do. Player A is backed by Staker for MTTs, he plays 10k tournament, amateur knocks him out and then finds him on the next break and hands him 10k and says sorry for knocking you out, please take it. Does Player A keep the money or on stake?
— Patrick Leonard (@padspoker) April 6, 2021
While most players will feel a gut instinct response that the backer is entitled to at least half of the $10,000, it is not as simple as that. This was a ‘gift’ it was not won or earned by the horse.
Similar staking disputes arise when a player wins a promotional prize or earn a reward outside of the main prize pool. For example if they win a ‘last longer’ prize or if they got some money for wearing a poker room patch because they went deep in a televised tournament. Staking deals are usually for the advertised prize pool itself and what to do with any additional prizes has to be agreed upon in advance. Of course the counter argument to that is none of those additional prizes would be possible without having been staked beforehand.
The simple answer is to split it 50/50, but as Patrick stated, both parties felt they were 100% right and wanted a ruling based on that.
As you can imagine, a lot of big names in the poker world had their opinions on this:
This is a gift, separate and external from the stake. Player keeps it
— TonyDunstTV (@tonydunsttv) April 6, 2021
I cant imagine taking this 10k, if im player A I lost fair and square I dont want to be a charity case.
— Doug Polk (@DougPolkVids) April 6, 2021
I wouldn’t take the money off someone!
But if you did you don’t get this chance without being staked so back in it goes.
— Fintan Hand (@EasyWithAces) April 6, 2021
If they were running a promo “bust with a full house and get your buyin back” = stake gets 10k
If a random saw him playing and said “I’m such a big fan- here’s a gift” – horse keeps the 10k
This seems very much in the middle? If I had to pick I’d say 6k to horse, 4k to stake
— Mike McDonald (@MikeMcDonald89) April 6, 2021
save 50% of the drink to return to staker obv, if in makeup hide it and return 100% to staker
— Max Silver (@max_silver) April 6, 2021
— Ryan Riess (@RyanRiess1) April 6, 2021
I was playing 1k/2k stud8 and about 5 people had pieces of me.
Guy makes the case 2 on the river to make a wheel.
Standard right? No, he was so drunk he played his hand blind. He felt so bad he threw me the river raise back (2k)
I put it back in the stack where it belonged
— Melissa Burr (@burrrrrberry) April 7, 2021
So what did Pads decide? While it no doubt went against what he felt in his heart, he had to come down on the side of the horse. That $10,000 was a gift just like if the player had bought him a drink instead. But clearly, as Patrick states, if the horse wants to sleep at night they should give the backer part of that gift.
Technically / by the rules “unfortunately” I don’t think backer is actually bound by anything to receive $ if not offered by stakee. So for this reason the only side I can see who can “win” is player A.
— Patrick Leonard (@padspoker) April 7, 2021
Who is right? Let us know in the poll and comments below: