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  10-Feb-12, 11:06   #1
Starting club based poker ideas please people!!! 0 
Joined: Dec '10
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 30 (M)
Posts: 34
So here’s the thing… many leagues have tried to make poker work in pubs. These mostly failed because they have to charge the pub an exorbitant fee to put on the event, as they cannot rake from players. But members clubs are surely another matter (as legally you can take an entry fee that is not included in the prize pool).

I am just looking for input from mob members of rough ideas of cost to get a workable tourney (ideally at two 10 man tables at least, also workable would be three tables of 10, 9 or 8). Furthermore, if people can comment on my numbers that would be helpful too.

Based on 20+ players venue puts up £30 for the event. I would be looking to generate a further £10-£20 in rake. Buy in would £5 plus a small entry fee dependant on field size. Prize would be £100+

1st 50%
2nd 30%
3rd 20%

Once a table has broken players can use this as a cash table, I would deal for this and take an insignificant rake compared to a casino.

I know a lot will be wrong but I am looking for thoughts as I think if run correctly it can be a decent little earner. Importantly it doesn’t hit anyone particularly hard (as leagues tend to overcharge the pub).

  10-Feb-12, 15:35   #2

Joined: Mar '08
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 37 (M)
Posts: 6714
OK, first poker in pubs do not work as they don't mix, great fun at times, and yes you can get games going, but why would a landloard want upset people, happens to easy in a pub, drunks take things way to harsh. Then there is the matter of people using beer money to play poker, and yep they can not chare the player.

Clubs are different, however you do have some legal issues again, the main killer is you can not advertise, everyone must be a member, most in clubs are domino players, and will have have heart problems when winning a hand, then you can not leavy charges(fees of any sort), actually easier to get a pub game going.
You could go down the privert gains route, but that's money in the clubs pocket not yours, and capped, with loads of other s**tty bits.

OK, in short, its very hard to charge people to play a game of poker, unless a very large business or casino it will only make small amounts of money, great if you want a bit of beer money pubs are better (easier) than clubs to start up.

For the math, lets say 20 people play=fees of 20, add on the 30, so profit 50-fuel-playing cards-chips-tables-advertising, now your time, lets sat a good game 2hrs + organisation 2hrs, so for 4 hrs work you get 50 for 4hrs work, minus all the equipment.
3 decks per game - bulk buy 1 each
3 tables (cheap) 60 each
3 chip sets (cheap) 20 each
fuel 5 per game
timer etc, laptop, lets assume you have one.

1 game a week outlay(20 players) = 656p/y (-takings 2600) = 1944 37 = 9.25ph
I forgot to advertise, thats got to eat min of 10 pw, so 27pw = 6.75ph.
Oh yer, 3 tables, 3 dealers, suppose they want money, guess 40 for both dealers, s**t now you have -13 unlucky for some.

Just roughish, so from what I see fees need higher charges to venue and players, as said, if you enjoy it, happy to "work" for beer money, go for it, I actually think its great as a sideline, a hobby that pays.

Conclusion, clubs are a no no, Pubs are possible but hard and the likes of Nuts will be hard to compete against, and if you find a good pub, they will push you out and use own tables and cheap staff.


  10-Feb-12, 17:23   #3
Joined: Feb '08
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 28 (M)
Posts: 1881
b1gfoot is probably right about a 20% fee tournament in a pub not being a good business model, even without the legal complications

What I can tell you is that the pub I work in uses one of the national leagues, not nuts but something similar. We don't get many participants, rarely more than ten, and the customers do not have to pay anything. The league awards points, which pays out in a place at the national final, but most of the players put cash in a pot for each game. The game is always friendly and the pub makes profit from drink. There is simply no way to compete with this model and make a profit for yourself.

I also help run a student poker society. We run as a non-profit organisation, ploughing all our returns back into the society and for the members. We take a fee for joining the society and charge a tournament fee in our weekly meetings. We don't rake our cash games as this would be incredibly hard and unnecessary. The society organisers make money playing poker the same as everyone else but our extra organisation time is voluntary. We use a local pool club as a venue and they profit from our drinking. They even give us a free pool table.
This year we started hosting occasional tournaments at a casino. The society president worked very hard to negotiate a deal where our members got gaming vouchers and a free alcoholic drink at the casino. But we still pay the usual tournament fee at the casino and the society doesn't get any cut. So it's definitely possible to run a private league but don't expect to make money.

  10-Feb-12, 17:29   #4
Joined: Dec '10
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 30 (M)
Posts: 34
Cheers for the input fellas helpful to say the least.

  10-Feb-12, 21:25   #5

Joined: Jan '11
Location: United States
Age: 35 (M)
Posts: 852
I've been to a poker tournament or two in bars here in the States, & I'd have to agree poker & booze are a volatile combination. Usually the structures were terrible(little chips,short blind levels), the equipment in shambles(cards,chips,table's, everything was dirty), and the competition rarely sober or competent. I mean most players are there to have fun, which is cool if thats what you're looking for. When it comes to running them, I'm just glad I wasn't the one responsible. It looked like a headache.
Just a thought why not try to get a good home game together? Its an equal amount of work but if you get a good group of rotating players coming in every week or two weeks, & take a small rake. The results can be favorable. The biggest problem that I have with my own home games is keeping the players. I've taught a lot of the regulars how to play at least a decent game of poker, & most of the fish that ever show, lose once or twice & never return.
I"m interested in the results of your endeavor, as I plan to try and put on a charity poker tournament later this year. My younger brother has a brain tumor & is trying to raise funds for medical expenses. Poker players love charity, so I'm thinking about trying to run one later this year for him. So let me know how it goes.

  10-Feb-12, 23:56   #6
Joined: Dec '11
Location: Macedonia, The former Yugoslav Republic of
Age: 45 (M)
Posts: 107
What a you talking man... pub is for drinking.Casinos is place to play games for money not pubs.LOL Johny.You will be next Las Vegas tournament director

  11-Feb-12, 00:44   #7
Joined: Nov '10
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 29 (M)
Posts: 102
Wow people saying poker in pubs do not work, have never even looked on the internet for one??

There a multiple leagues throughout the UK that run poker in pubs. And thousands of venues that run these games. To name a few

TheNuts Poker League
Redtooth Poker
Poker In the Pub
Champions Poker

Most of these leagues offer huge prizes at national level such as WSOP packages, IPO packages etc.. So that on its own, counteracts your arguments saying it does not work, nor its not profitable etc.

To answer your initial question. From someone that has been behind the scenes in these types of setups, what you are setting out as guidelines will never work, and is in fact illegal.

The gambling law in the UK states, that a venue without an adiquete gaming license, cannot charge fees from players to play poker (rake) And you are by law allowed to play for money, as long as it is no more than £5 per player and not totaling over £100.

So to comply with UK gambling law a 2 table tournament with 10 players each can play for no more than £5 per person and all monies are to be placed in the prize pool.

These are the figures you should be asking.

  11-Feb-12, 00:54   #8

Joined: Apr '09
Location: Australia
Age: 32 (M)
Posts: 6440
In Australia - one way to get around the non-gambling in pubs laws is to make a charity event.

My local hosts a buyin game - it is $20 buyin with $10 rebuys for the first hour. $10 from every entrance goes to a charity..

So - it's not really the best value around, but I don't know if you could possibly lower the cut the charity takes (no offence to charities - but I'm just thinking about getting a good poker game going here and charities are a whole other thing).

  11-Feb-12, 02:42   #9

Joined: Aug '08
Location: Canada
Age: 35 (M)
Posts: 657
Like the aussie says it can be set up if some of the proceeds go to charity. I played in one at the local Off track betting spot and it was 20$ horse betting voucher to enter. Winner take all final table can do whatever. The otb insisted on either a 3 drink minimum or food order of similar value. At the end we would take a cut for charity and then winner took the rest in vouchers. He then cashed out the vouchers at the otb cashier and would chop any monies owed by ft deals.

The venue was the key here and once the owner sold and the otb was moved to a sportsbar already established the game was impossible to host. Since like BF says, most bars/pubs have rowdy drunks who fight for fun.

If you want to give some people something fun to do and collect some easy coin run a footy pool. just pick ten games that go off saturday and make a list then just photocopy and hand em out at ten bucks a pop. U could also run a year leaderboard from the results and ask another ten$ to put in a pot for that.

Telling the owner to keep the sheets behind the bar and that it will draw each patron in twice. Once to grab the sheet and once to hand it in should be enough. Being trustworthy and someone able to draw in a few people normally not likely to go there is a huge +.

I overstated everything knowing most people already understand pools. Never know tho.

  11-Feb-12, 03:45   #10
Joined: Dec '10
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 30 (M)
Posts: 34

The leagues are failing as they represent poor value for a venue. They also offer little for people who cannot attend every week. I know I am not allowed to rake a pub game you moron, I said club, if you cannot learn to type please learn to read.

  11-Feb-12, 14:17   #11
Joined: Nov '10
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 29 (M)
Posts: 102
Lol. Before you call me a moron, take a read of what i actually said. As i quoted gambling LAW. That is for any venue, weather it be pub, casino, hall or CLUB.

And considering you only have 5 posts on this site, i don't think that you are putting yourself in good stead with the other members of BRM, when you are coming here for help!

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