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Have you ever watched a horse race?

It’s interesting.

Now watch that same horse race after you place a bet that one will win.

It’s absorbing.

Twitch is changing the way that the poker community consumes media. Not only can you watch your favourite’s playing online with hole cards glaring at you, but you can also communicate directly with that player.

The Global Poker Link (GPL) is taking that a step forward.

Now you can invest in that poker player, watch him or her play with full hole cards and communicate directly with them.

It turns an interesting pastime into an absorbing one, and the man behind the idea is Tyler Hancock.

Who is Tyler Hancock?

“In 2003 I started playing online poker. Immediately after I started playing, I learned about the affiliate program and rake back. While I was still in college, I started a website called paidpokerplayers and I made a significant about of money for someone that age.

“Over the years I have started more poker related websites, some involving coaching and training, all geared up to attract people to the site in an affiliate related way. My latest site before Global Poker Link was Pokerbrokers. We were staking a bunch of guys who couldn’t get their money off Full Tilt. They were great players but didn’t have the funds.

“I started to get some investors asking to invest in these players, and we didn’t have the platform to do this efficiently. It gave me the idea for a staking marketplace – and that’s one of the things we do at Global Poker Link.”

So multiple streams of income were important for you right out of the gate?

“To be honest I was more than a business person than a poker player. I can see how poker can provide you with some quick cash, but it was never a long-term thing for me. It was a means to an end. It was a way to get money so I could invest it in different types of projects.

“I never thought I would have stayed in the poker industry as long as I have. I love it, and I have a lot of friends in it, so for the immediate future I don’t see myself getting involved in anything other than poker right now.”

What tips and advice would you give to poker players who can’t create multiple streams of income?

“This is the purpose of the GPL. A lot of poker players don’t understand their value meaning they can’t take advantage of it. We are trying to help them to find other streams of income. Examples are Twitch, coaching and the affiliate side of things.

“A lot of poker player’s are so in love with the game that they don’t have the urge to look at other things. See what Jamie Staples has done. He created a Twitch stream started talking to other companies and took advantage of his position. We aim to offer the same at GPL.

“Poker is an entirely different kind of ‘work’. It’s almost like addiction. Most poker players would turn down opportunities to make money in other areas because they love poker so much.”

How does the staking platform work?

“A lot of people were selling action on 2+2 and Timex criticised them for the markups they were charging. We were coming up with something that would allow the poker players not to put themselves in that position. We changed the rules, so the market dictates the markup and not the player.

“We created an auction format and at first only one person could win each auction. Now we have a multi-way auction where more than one person can win. Dylan {Hortin} and Rupert {Elder} have some auctions going now and if you look at them, their markups will be around 1.2 or 1.3. They will probably get about 50 people bidding and at the end, the top five will get a piece of their action and will be able to sweat it on Twitch.

“If you look at the marketplace you will see the description of the packages on sale, the progress of the auction and how many people can win. They have been selling out every deal with an average of 1.7 markups. They know that’s insane and it won’t continue but that’s how it is for the time being.

“It’s small amounts of money. Rupert is only selling 10% of his action. He is strictly doing it to allow his viewers to get involved in his Twitch stream. It’s a good way of growing viewership. He has been making profits for his viewers. He has made money for his investors three out of the last four auctions.

“Rupert should not be getting a 1.7 markup on a Super Tuesday. Perhaps a 1.1-1.2 markup is more accurate. Instead, he is taking a 70% markup. There is only small supply in the marketplace, and we currently have a ton of demand.

“We are giving the players the chance to grow their stream, engage with their following by sharing their action and allowing them to follow the action on Twitch. Most people know it’s not a stable investment. They want to have fun. They wish to have a sweat. It’s entertainment, and they are fine with spending a few bucks on a higher markups.”

Explain markup for people who don’t understand?

“If Rupert plays in a $1,000 event and he sells 10% at 1.7 markup he is earning a $70 profit on that 10%. He then gives the GPL a 5% transaction fee, so, in theory, he is making $65 on that 10%. They are paying a premium because Rupert is playing for them and they get to watch the action unfold.”

How can people join your staking team?

“Every staking platform in the past has been created for the masses. The goal was to get as many people as possible on their platform. We don’t want to do that. We want to make it exclusive for the sellers. Trust and integrity are necessary. If the players screw the people who invest, then GPL is responsible for that. So we need to ensure we 100% trust people before they come on board.

“We are also looking for the people who we believe can give the investors an excellent chance of making some money. So we are after top tier well-respected players. As long as people don’t abuse the marketplace anyone can make a bid.”

Bryan Paris recently talked about the creation of a Yelp type staking marketplace – is this what you are building?

“That’s something we are developing right now. If a buyer creates a fake bid, then his profile will be marked down. Then after more negative points he won’t be able to bid. Right now we have a zero tolerance policy while we work on creating a more robust platform.”

Who is on your team?

“We have Dylan Hortin and Rupert Elder. We are also talking to other people at the moment, but we don’t have any deals to announce. This month has been a testing process, and Dylan and Rupert have been very impressed with it. In November, our developer will be launching a stack of new features that will work alongside the staking marketplace.

“We are excited about our cashier system. The other day someone invested $15 in Rupert, and he made them a return of around $500. Instead of having to transfer money back and fore. We will have a system where you can put the money into your cashier at GPL and can use it for more investments or cash out. That will launch in November and will make it easier for players and investors.”

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Lee Davy

Life can be viewed as the sum of the parts or the parts themselves. I believe in the holistic view of life, or the sum. When dealing with individual parts you develop whack-a-mole syndrome; each time you clobber one problem with your hammer another one just pops up.

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