The once thriving poker backing industry seems to have taken a major hit following Black Friday, where several of the world’s largest poker sites were forced to stop offering services to US players. With this being said, many online poker pros still have lots of money wrapped up on these sites (especially Full Tilt Poker), and they have no way to access the money. All of this leads to the top pros being unable to back other players like they once did.
If you’re unfamiliar with poker backing, the process involves a businessman or poker player paying tournament entry fees, and/or providing a cash game bankroll for promising players. In return, the backed players will split all of their profits with the backer. Unfortunately, these deals have become less and less common since many professional US players are quitting the game because they can’t play at the largest sites, and are looking for new opportunities.
Furthermore, online poker tournaments were a huge part of the backing industry since good players could play multiple tournaments at once, and easily turn a solid profit due to the large tournament volume. But with this option taken away, both backers and the talent they backed are finding it difficult to survive post-Black Friday.
So does this mean the poker backing industry is completely dead? Not at all since there are still many non-US-backed players who can play at PokerStars, Party Poker and Titan Poker. Even in the US, players can still get a decent volume of tournaments in at some of the smaller sites, and there are plenty of big live tournaments left too.
The only thing is that few people expect poker backing to ever return to the same height it was at before Black Friday. However, we could see some new developments depending on how the possible US poker regulation turns out.