Is this one of the greatest ideas the poker world has ever seen?

Crowdfunded Poker Playing with YouStake

Perhaps one of the greatest ideas the poker world has ever seen

By Alex J. Coyne © 2018 Great Bridge Links

The power of crowdfunding has turned a lot of great concepts into a reality, and now a website called YouStake is hoping to give poker players the chance to give their poker careers the necessary boost by putting the power of crowdfunding behind their poker game. Great Bridge Links and Alex J. Coyne took a closer look at YouStake and the phenomenon of crowdfunded poker playing – and why it might just be one of the greatest ideas the poker world has ever seen.

The Start of YouStake

According to the official website, YouStake was founded in October 2013 as the brainchild of CEO Frank DeGeorge and Co-Founder Scott Hansbury. Simply put, the concept of YouStake is crowdfunding aimed at poker, a card game which is now considered to be firmly planted in the realm of electronic sports.

Backers are put in touch with players, both of which are invited to sign up to the website. The backers sign up with the money, and the players are invited to sign up to YouStake with a description of their stats, events, player history and a picture. On the site, backers can choose the events and/or players that they want to sponsor – and it rests on the idea that the sponsored player just might be the next big thing in poker.

The site has gotten considerable media attention and made waves in the world of professional and semi-professional cards: Players Phil Hellmuth Jr., Anthony Zinno and Todd Brunson have all signed up as ambassadors to the brand.

Most professional poker players have a fan base, and this gives the fans the unique opportunity to interact with their favourite poker players and help their careers along the way.

Normally, this role would be conducted by professional sponsorships, which are usually large, corporate and out of reach for most players who want to go professional. In the manner similar to other crowdfunding and sharing systems such as Uber and AirBnB, YouStake is a way to make gap between investor and poker player smaller, their connections more intimate and availalbe. This model might even be largely successful if it is applied to other forms of eSports as well – maybe even bridge. Time will tell!

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Speaking to YouStake

According to the website, it’s easy to sign up. All players have to do is start a campaign, share the post, register any pending events they might have and get right down to playing poker.

We tracked down the co-founder Scott Hansbury for a quick Q&A at cyberspace. Here’s what he had to say:

“Visible, transparent, safe and secure staking is a game-changer for the players and fans. Game life for players improves by bringing more fans and players to the game, increasing prize pools, helps manage the inherent variance in playing multiple tournaments, and assists in building the players’ brand in the community – including commercial sponsorship.”

The Faception/YouStake Experiment

Think the YouStake story stops there? Nope. They have even been involved in some super high-tech experiments and partnered with software company Faception in 2016. The experiment involved the uploading of images featuring 50 different poker players to see if their behaviour could be predicted by the software – and the answer, shortly, was yes: Intelligent software can see right through your best poker face. Now you know.