What is a makeup in poker staking? Staking is when a player gets funds from another person to play in poker tournaments or cash games.
Makeup in poker staking is the dollar amount that a staked player must repay before they start collecting a profit. In a nutshell, that’s the definition of a poker makeup. It’s an amount of staked money that was lost, which must be regained before the player can profit from the arrangement.
We are going to give a detailed definition, talk about how to get out of a makeup, then look at options for players to stake others and sell their own action online.
What is a “Makeup” in Poker?
Two players in a standard staking agreement will talk about their makeup terms before the day of the game.
Here’s a quick example to explain how makeup works with a staker (the backer) and “stakee” (the player/horse).
Let’s say Phil Ivey is playing a cash game with a $100,000 buy-in. He won’t be using his own money because he has a staker. Daniel Negreanu has decided to cover the buy-in 100% and stake Phil in this cash game. Both gentlemen decided on a 50/50 split of the profits.
Unfortunately, things go badly for Phil Ivey. His pocket aces get beaten, his opponents ruthlessly bluff him off stronger hands, and he’s lost $25,000 at the end of the first session.
Phil now has a makeup of $25,000 that he must recoup before he can take any profits from the staking arrangement.
You should view makeup as debt since it has almost identical characteristics.
How Can Poker Players Get Out of Makeup?
Getting out of makeup is not easy and will require the player to choose one of three options.
- Recoup the money that was lost with poker or pay from your own pocket.
- The backer agrees to drop the makeup and staking agreement.
- Quit poker forever.
If you choose to continue playing poker, the makeup needs to be addressed before any other profit can be taken.
The backer has priority and should be the first one to receive any profit you make from poker. That’s usually a non-negotiable term.
Some players might not view makeup as a debt, since you can quit poker and avoid paying the backer (in most cases, but not all).
However, this is very similar to filing for bankruptcy when financial debts build up. Sure, you don’t have to pay the full amount, but you do experience a loss. You won’t be able to play poker again without paying the makeup off, so you could lose all future profits.
Instead of looking for a backer and worrying about makeup costs, most players should reduce the stakes they play at and improve their win rate. Finding the stake level that gives you the best win rate and continuing without a staker is usually the best option.
We recommend heading to a poker site that has a big enough player pool at all stake levels. A thriving tournament lobby is nice too.
PokerStars has a predominantly casual player base at low and mid-stakes for both cash games and tournaments. This could be a good place for you to find your most profitable tables.
Check out our complete PokerStars review for game details, bonus instructions, and everything else.
Online Poker Staking Without Makeup
Becoming a staker can allow you to turn a profit from the results of another player. As long as you are selective and realistic about your investment potential, staking can be a reasonable option.
If you want to sell some of your own action, you can do that too. Most players provide their Sharkscope tournament records so that investors can see what kind of results to expect.
Since there is no makeup clause, any amount that is lost by investors is not a debt for the player. This makes it more attractive for players, but more risky for investors.
Here’s a look at a $3 tournament at GGPoker with a $1,250 GTD prize pool. The Staking section is off to the left and includes every player that is selling action in the tournament. Even in these lower buy-in tournaments, players are still buying and selling action.
You can buy in increments of 1%, but it can be less if the buy-in is larger.
Experienced players will have a link to some sort of tournament record, plus you can click on their player profile to see stats like their turnover (but not profit) in GGPoker tournaments.
If you stake a player, there are two ways that your money can be refunded:
- If the staked player cancels the agreement or unregisters from the tournament
- If GGPoker cancels the tournament
If you aren’t playing at GGPoker yet, here’s how you can sign up.
Register for an account and enter the code vipintern. Once you have the application open, navigate to the tournament section and look for events that have not started yet.
Do your research on the player you want to stake and check each term of the agreement.
The Harsh Reality of Makeup in Poker Staking
A lot of poker players are optimistic about their chances in poker tournaments. Even the best players in the world can bust out of tournaments and go through long periods without cashing in.
Makeup happens more often than not. Be prepared to accept the responsibilities of the staking terms and makeup clause.
Poker players need to consider both possible scenarios when they are staked. Either you will be profitable or not and it’s important to be ready for both outcomes.
Instead of searching for stakers, most players should reduce the stakes they are playing at and focus on improving their win rate.