Partypoker Introduces Staking Contracts for Live Events

January 8th, 2020 | by Greg Shaun

A downloadable staking agreement from Partypoker could bring an end to disputes between backers and tournament players.

John Duthie

John Duthie and the team at Partypoker Live have devised a way to stop staking disputes. (Image: YouTube/Partypoker)

Available for Partypoker Live events, the contract means players no longer have to rely on trust and a handshake.

Initially born out of a Twitter conversation between Rob Yong and Bill Perkins, the “join instruction form” outlines the exact parameters of a deal.

As well a personal details about any backers and players, the agreement defines how much everyone is owed in the event any prize money is collected.

Backing Players in Black and White

Players are under no obligation to use the new system. However, those that do will have to sign and submit the form to Partypoker’s Live tournament team. Once this happens, the contract is deemed active and winnings will only be released under the terms of the agreement.

To ensure fairness, cashiers at all Partypoker Live host venues will be aware of any staking agreements. It is then their job to distribute the funds as noted on the form.

The agreements may or may not stand up in a court of law should anything go wrong. However, they are a step in the right direction. Although staking has been common practice in poker for decades, it often leads to feuds, disputes and, in some cases, lawsuits.

In 2019, WSOP Main Event finalist Nick Marchington ran into trouble when he cashed for $1.5 million. Despite agreeing to sell 10 percent of his action before the $10,000 tournament, Marchington said he canceled the deal before sitting down to play. His backers refuted the claim and filed a lawsuit.

Had a third-party agreement been signed by all involved and then handled in an official way, legal action may not have occurred. That’s something the tournament team at Partypoker wants to see happen its Live events.

Partypoker Protecting Backers and Players

Although everyone is free to make their own staking arrangements, provisions are now in place to bring extra clarity and transparency to the process.

The move is yet another innovation overseen by Partypoker Live President John Duthie. When he assumed his role in 2017, he vowed to listen. By taking on board feedback from the community, he’s authorized a number of changes, including the introduction of Partypoker Tournament Dollars.

While the written contracts may not bring a complete end to staking disputes, they’re a good look for poker.

As regulation and player protection become more important, formalizing a practice that’s open to exploitation can only be a positive for tournament operators, backers and players.


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