One of the most popular pros with casual poker fans, Daniel Negreanu, has announced a markup-free backing package for those fans who wish to be a small financial part of his 2021 World Series of Poker (WSOP) experience. It’s a replay of sorts from 2019, when Negreanu broke his entire WSOP schedule into three buy-in-based tiers and sold backing shares to each group of event.
This year, Negreanu has done away with the tiers, and is instead offering the backing opportunity to his fans on an event-by-event basis. The latest approach adds more variance but avoids one of the problems his self-promotion encountered in 2019. In that year’s WSOP, Negreanu logged a profit in high and medium-priced events, but lost money over all his lower-priced WSOP tourneys.
Negreanu has listed the first four of his available backed events via PocketFives. He announced the 2021 WSOP backing promotion in one of his popular vlogs, which he then posted to Twitter.
Negreanu dodges ongoing markup controversy
In posting the markup-free backing opportunities, Negreanu might be seen as taking a stance against poker pros who’ve been accused of using excessive markup as a form of poker welfare. Mike Matusow recently generated such controversy when he listed many WSOP backing opportunities with markups as high as 1.5. At that figure, one-third of all backing funds go immediately into Matusow’s own pocket.
Negreanu in large part ignored taking sides in that debate, instead noting that fans and backers were always free to do as they wished. In announcing his own markup-free offerings, he instead reaffirmed that it wasn’t about the money. “First and foremost, I don’t need to sell pieces,” Negreanu told PocketFives. “I’m not doing this as a business because, if it was, I could actually charge and make a profit from it. But I don’t. I give people a chance to take the ride.”
Of course, Negreanu still profits from a markup-free package in indirect ways. By offering a slice of his WSOP action, even without markup, Negreanu lowers his own financial exposure. That in turn gives him the opportunity to enter more WSOP events, if he chooses, to continue his hunt for a seventh WSOP bracelet.
It also increases the personal brand exposure for Negreanu, one of poker’s savviest self-marketers. Though Negreanu has many detractors within the professional side of the poker world, he’s been among the very best at converting his career and image into something marketable to casual fans. That in turn supports and expands his own endorsement opportunities. His markup-free backing packages can then be seen as a way of re-investing into that brand-marketing cycle. Win or lose, his fans come away feeling satisfied from the experience.
Featured image source: PokerGO