News: Staking dispute – who deserves the $10k ‘gift’?

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?

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:

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. 

Who is right? Let us know in the poll and comments below:

Who should get the $10k if only one of them can get it?

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