Forming a World Series of Poker League

The World Series of Poker is the Holy Grail of poker. Winning the Main Event and your life instantly changes. All you need is $10000 laying around not earmarked for anything else. Can you imagine winning $8.7 million for playing poker. That is what Pius Heinz of Germany did this year. 6865 players all paid $10000 for the chance, some were from leagues. They had much less on the line, but still got to experience the thrill.

Of the ten players at the table, observers patiently waited on edge at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, host site of the World Series of Poker, to see who would make the coveted final table. At 2 AM, one player's departure solidified the 2011 November Nine group.
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World Series poker leagues are becoming ever more popular. The chance to win a seat at on-line sites went away on Black Friday. Some groups were not affected by the closing of the big three poker sites. I personally have been in a WSOP league for five years now. I have been fortunate enough to win a trip and seat three times. They were lessor events, only $1500 buy-ins, but I got to see first hand what the WSOP experience is all about.

To form a WSOP league you need the following things. 10 to 15 or more players with a passion for good poker and $350 to a $1000 dollars to invest. Yes I said invest, not lose outright. You will need a weekly tournament for these players to play in. You will need about 6 month time period to make this happen.

Every player will put up the same amount of money. ALL, the money will go into an account, to be managed by two or three players the group has trust in. You can set up payment plans, or you can get all the money upfront, whatever works best for the group. Take whatever the total money collected is, divide it by the buy-in amounts, add a little travel money, and someone is off to Vegas.

The following is how our league sent 6 players to represent our group in $1500 buy-in events, and one to the $10000, 2011 Main Event. We had 19 players involved. Each player put up $1000. We played for 16 weeks, tracking our finishing order, each player got to throw out his worst 6 finishes. Finishing first got you 10 points, second got you 9, and so on until 10 places got points. Finishing worst than 10th and you got no points for that week.

At the end of 16 weeks, after totaling the points, the player in first received a buy in to the Main Event. Second thru fifth places received a $1500 buy-in to a smaller event. The following week places six thru 15 played a one table shootout for the last buy-in of $1500. Using this format we sent seven, our best seven players at the time to Vegas. They were representing our group not just themselves. 25% of anything they won, was brought back to the group and split 19 ways. Everybody shared equally in the groups part and the players got to keep 75% for themselves.

Our group has not been lucky enough to win the big one yet. We have won some money and several of us have gotten to chase our poker dream. Without the league, some may never have gotten that chance. I also play in a league where we include $500 travel money to the players who go, which is a nice added benefit. A complete trip with very little cost.

So if you and your buddies have aspirations of going to Vegas for the WSOP. Forming a league may be your best bet to make it happen at a reasonable price. You also have the added benefit of going around Vegas, playing with some of the world's best poker players. It is an experience you will never forget.

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Updated Monday, Dec 12, 2011