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pokerleague pokerleague is offline
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Whats your thoughts?

We are a pub poker league who charges pubs 25 per week to play in our league.

Problem we are having is trying to get pubs to initially sign up.

The start up equipment required is 150, which the pub keeps.


Ideas i had, and problems with them are.

1. Allowing them to sign up for 1 month at a time.

Pub managers dont want to go out and spend 150 on equipment when they are not gauranteed the
nights being a success.

2. If they sign up for 3 months and pay 300 we will supply them with equipment package free of charge.

If we do it this way it takes us 10 weeks to get our money back and due to rest of 300 going into
prizepool, we dont actually make any month from that venue until they sign up after month 3.
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Richard.curran's Avatar Richard.curran Richard.curran is offline
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What is the benefit of being in a Poker league? How is the league structured?
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Richard.curran's Avatar Richard.curran Richard.curran is offline
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Pub managers are normal people who generally speaking have authority to start these nights without actually being the business owner. Their perception of risk is slightly different from yours, as a business owner / operator.

The managers who don't want to spend 150 on making one of their nights successful is likely to be spending 8 per hour on 2 members of staff for the 10 hours they're open, which is 160 just to be open and selling booze.

If they want their poker night to be a success the likelihood is they will want to spend an additional 150 in some form or another promoting the night to their punters and to try and look at it as a longer term plan to bring in a few more customers on a more regular basis.

What you're selling them in your mind appears to be a 1 off shot at boosting profits by more than 150 than they would have been. To make 150 more they'd need an extra 10 customers to come in and spend 15 that they otherwise wouldn't have been spending in that pub on that night.

You seem to think that the pub manager isn't actively seeking out ways of bringing in more customers, but they are.

Your marketing efforts would be a lot more successful with a paradigm shift on your part. Consider this: (Red is what you say, Green is what I'd say)

Problem we are having is trying to get pubs to initially sign up.

The start up equipment required is 150, which the pub keeps.

1. Allowing them to sign up for 1 month at a time.

Pub managers dont want to go out and spend 150 on equipment when they are not gauranteed the
nights being a success.

2. If they sign up for 3 months and pay 300 we will supply them with equipment package free of charge.

If we do it this way it takes us 10 weeks to get our money back and due to rest of 300 going into
prizepool, we dont actually make any month from that venue until they sign up after month 3.




For a bargain investment of only 150 the pub gets professional poker equipment. This is theirs to keep and is a great value piece of kit.

Pubs are encouraged to buy this and set up a night of their own, however, in order to get more customers in on a regular basis and turn the poker night into a poker event pubs can join the [Put name of poker league here] Poker League!

[three or four bullet points about the league benefits]
  1. Poker prize pool
  2. Host tourny events (guaranteed customers)
  3. Free marketing of poker night

There are two membership options to choose from, cost of membership is 25 per week per pub.

1. Pay As You Go - 1 month membership, cancel at any time. Costs 100. No poker equipment supplied.

2. Quarterly - 3 month membership, costs 300 and includes free poker package! Saving of 150!

This great saving over Pay as You Go means that for only 50 you get 2 months additional membership and free poker equipment for your pub. This is a limited offer on a first come first served basis, as long as stocks last.




The two sets of writing are almost the same, yet you present it as a problem and I present it as an opportunity for you and the pubs. I don't even know the benefits as I just made them up but I'm already interested! I'd also suggest some marketing copy like this:

The Pub Poker Night League events run through out the year on a weekly basis throughout numerous local pubs all across the South East of England (I'm making this up as I go along...). The Pub Poker Night League will provide you with marketing flyers for your customers to help spread the word and access to the Pub Poker Night League website where you your local members can view their standing in the league and get all the latest news and updates from the Poker Night League team.

For details of all current venues and to get more information about the league go to blablabla.com etc.

Stick that in an email and send it to pubs, requesting a meeting so you can go and tell them more. I think that you'll get a few replies.

Hope I've helped! If you'd gone to a marketing expert that advice might have cost you hunnerds.
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pokerleague pokerleague is offline
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thanks

Hi Richard, thanks very much for your reply.

I disagree with you saying about me thinking that pub managers are not actively seeking ways to increase income.

A lot of pub managers that i have approached do seem interested in joining our poker league but are put off when they find out they have to pay for the equipment or to get it free have to spend 300 upfront.

Managers are telling me they cant afford to spend it incase it does not work out for them.

I think what i need is to find a way to be able to supply the equipment without asking for such a large amount of cash upfront.

I have been trying to find a company that would be interested in having their company advertise on our tables in exchange for cost of equipment but have so far being unsucsessful.
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Richard.curran's Avatar Richard.curran Richard.curran is offline
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Is 150 good value for what your package of equipment includes? Managers are unable to at least see the value in this? It would be nice if you were selling it to these guys and they were saying "Ah great at the very least I can take it home after a month or two". Is it more the membership fee that is putting them off or the 150 for the equipment?

Will it definitely bring in the punters? You could give them a guarantee that it would.

Is it not possible for them to sign up at 25 per week? Do they have to pay upfront? Can you rent them the equipment or do a HP scheme?
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andypow andypow is offline
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Poker Leagues

I have a lot of expertise in this area and have consulted to leagues, casinos and online and would be happy to take a look and see if I can help.

There are many leagues out there and to be honest some are going down. Leagues were set up by people with no experience in poker, in fact one of the biggest was actually a pub quiz supply company. Jumping on the wagon of popularity in the game and the changes in the 1968 Gaming Act in 2005 allowing cash poker in pubs, many leagues opened.

For the average poker player playing in a pub is the nearest they will get to a live poker tournament. For the pub operator having a poker night or joining a poker league was a way of bolstering business at a time when pub sales are at the lowest they have ever been.

Starting a league at this time is going to be difficult unless you can offer great incentives, prizes. The hardest thing of course is in getting the pub operator to sign up and promote the league within their pub. And for most cost is going to be the only concern.

There is a rule of thumb that every pub landlord/manager brings into play whenever considering any entertainment expense, multiply the cost times three and that is how much drink you must sell before you break even. Therefore they see the expense of poker equipment in the same way as they would be paying for a band for one evening. They would have to raise 375 of bar sales just to get the money back before making anything, if they only expect to get 8 players once a week it is going to be a while before they see any benefit.

Myself, having 25 years experience in organising poker tournaments and also owning a couple of pubs in the past would find it easier to sell the idea to a landlord. Walking into a warm pub on a quiet Tuesday night with 8 guys playing a freindly game of poker is more welcoming to the customer than walking into the same pub with no customers. But you are still going to come up against the same problem, cost.

Without knowing your business, the first question I am asking is why does the equipment cost 125. I set up a Thursday night game in a pub that has a nine player max and has had a waiting list for 10 years, missing only three games in all that time. I started it with two packs of plastic cards from Woolworths at 1 a pack, a set of chips in a nice display case off ebay for 20, a piece of baize from an offcut blagged from a snooker hall for nothing. Sure after a year we could afford the best poker table, chips, Kem cards and even a paid dealer every week. What I am trying to say is do not let this cost of equipment cost you new business. If the only reluctance in joining the league is cost of start up equipment, you need to re-think you strategy.

You need to get the game going, trust me if the landlord sees sales every week he/she will pay for the equipment at a later date rather than lose the revenue.

I would be interested to learn more about the business and hopefully help.

Good Luck
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Richard.curran's Avatar Richard.curran Richard.curran is offline
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Good post, Andy.
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