With entry fees, hotel stays, flights, and general expenses costing plenty for players of any bankroll, selling action or buying a piece of others has become part of the World Series experience in Sin City. With several online sites offering ways to do this, as well as live forums and in-person sweats available, there are more options of either spreading variance or buying up percentages of your favorite players than ever before.

We’ve sorted through the options and have looked at your optimal options when it comes to buying and selling ahead of the 2024 World Series of Poker!

What is Buying or Selling Action?

Selling poker action is very simple. A player might buy into a tournament for $1,000. They’ll put down 50% ($500) of the entry fee themselves, then sell the other 50% in chunks of varying percentages, sometimes charging a ‘markup’ add-on price if they feel they have an edge on the field.

The buyer then receives that percentage in winnings should that player make the paid ‘money’ places in that tournament. If not, no fees are returned to the buyer. It’s the buyer’s risk, not the seller, who can offset variance and cost by spreading their action among either friends, fellow players or members of the general public.

Markup is easily explained in percentile or decimal form. If a player sells $100 chunks of their $1,000 buy-in at a markup of 1.10, then each 10% (or $100) chunk will cost $110 (or 10.1% of the buy-in) to the buyer. The return will still be 10% of whatever money is won.

1. Online Poker Staking Sites

There are a number of online poker staking sites who offer packages, individual tournaments and even competitions via their websites. As on 2024, the biggest of these is PokerStake, with a huge roster of reputable players who win big, such as Jonathan Little, Daniel Negreanu, Victroia Livschitz, Aram Zobian, Jeremy Ausmus and many more.

Pokerstake Logo

The past year has seen PokerStake take several leaps forward past some of their manin rivals in this growing poker sector, which we’ll come too soon. Selling on the site comes at no cost to players, so there is no juice for the player putting their action up for staking. This has revolutionized the game for many players who either couldn’t afford to or didn’t want to deal with additional fees alongside the complications of selling action online as was previously perceived.

When the Poker Hall of Famer Daniel Negreanu, also known as Kid Poker, put his WSOP package up for sale earlier this month, it crashed the website in 10 minutes such was the massive demand – the site was back up almost immediately of course but this only goes to show how popular the players on PokerStake are.

With a raft of American high rollers, first timers and tournament specialists up for grabs, the depositing and withdrawals processes are super-simple, the stars on offer are consistent winners and markup is easily displayed, with more players than on any other selling site putting their action up for sale with no markup whatsoever.

Another popular site among both sellers and buyers is YouStake, which features players such as the popular online and live professional Jon ‘apestyles’ Van Fleet.Once again, as at PokerStake, players at YouStake can add and amend markup or not if they’re selling action. You can also sell to single events or put together a full package. Everyone who sells on YouStake must complete an application form which protects buyers and sellers alike. You will be required to provide a form of government ID as part of your application process.

Youstake Logo

There are a number of withdrawal processes, with Zelle, Bitcoin, Skrill, PrizeOut, and Bank Wire all accepted by the site. While some payment processes listed will charge you a fee, YouStake themselves don’t charge fees for withdrawing your funds. With its strict player verification procedures, multiple supported withdrawal options and legally binding player contracts, YouStake is one of the most trusted staking platforms out there.

Also a strong online action provider is Stake Kings, which features Ethan ‘Rampage’ Yau among its many players and is part of the YouStake platform and has been since 2019. Unlike YouStake, StakeKings is more focused on allowing players to buy action rather than sell action. It’s very choosy on players who can sell, and rather than PokerStake, who are easier to sell with, only 3% of applications are approved for StakeKings. Profile is important for the site which is focused more on elite talent than broader appeal.

StakeKings Green Logo

2. Staking Via Forums

It was always the classic way to sell your poker action. Register as a forum member of 2+2, let people know that you’re looking to sell action to the World Series of Poker and wait for the replies to drop. The player forum is still a hugely popular internet site and is used by old school players who were more used to checking the old Pocket Fives rankings to logging into their paid-for account on Sharkscope. Connecting poker players and fans for many years, 2+2 has broken poker news over the years. Today, sites such as X.com are far more often the place that breaking news appears, but 2+2 has maintained its popularity due to its unfiltered and personal style.

two plus two logo

With no fees to post action on 2+2, each deal is subject to the selling and buying player’s words and as such, is perhaps less trusted in recent years than it was before, primarily because more secure options such as PokerStake are available. Poker players have been burned in the past on 2+2 so make sure you do your due diligence on anyone you’re buying action for.

Another popular method of communication to buy or sell poker action around WSOP time is Discord. In recent years, Discord has become a real go-to destination for poker players to discuss everything about the game we all love. Selling poker action on Discord should be approached with the same caution as you might if you were chatting to someone on 2+2 and verifying the person you are speaking to is of the utmost importance.

3. Staking IRL

Finally, what about selling action to your friends and rivals? Any poker player who wins a WSOP bracelet loves having their friends and family around them when they celebrate and its even better if they have a piece of the action. Selling to people in Las Vegas can come with administrative duties that don’t apply to online staking sites. You’ll need to keep track of those who have your action, in which events, how much markup and for what percentage.

The 2023 WSOP Bracelet on a stand

Add in multiple bullets and you’ve got yourself an ‘open a spreadsheet’ situation. It’s best to get organized from the off and look at exactly what you’re offering those who are staking you, too. Are you going to keep everyone updated? Will this be in the form of videos, photos of tickets, or a Google sheet you can keep updated? The latter is a strong suggestion, as your investors can bookmark it, refresh the piece and look back on your journey as you go like a live diary.

Offering a vicarious sweat to friends and family only is fun and can spread the variance of tournament poker for you, relaxing your mind and helping you bring your best to the felt. Offering people who you don’t know so well part of your action requires you to do more of the legwork, both in terms of collecting investments – make sure anyone has backed you has paid in full before the event starts – and paying out promptly after the event if you make profit.

In Conclusion

Finding the best way to sell or buy action in Las Vegas used to be restricted to who you knew in Sin City. Today, the modern business of poker staking is much easier to be a part of. Whether you’re buying or selling action this World Series of Poker, make sure you know who is investing or who you’re selling to. If you are a seller, always get the backing in before accepting that anyone has a piece of you and if you’re a buyer, do you research and make sure you know what you’re buying.

Winning big in Las Vegas can be the springboard to poker success. Staking is a great way of spreading variance and enabling confidence in your game or others to help boost results. Staking is becoming more and more prevalent in the modern game and with so many WSOP events – as well as other events in Las Vegas, virtually no-one has the full bankroll to play all the tournament they want to take part in.

Good luck and stay safe in the staking streets!

Paul seaton


Paul Seaton, a poker luminary with over a decade of experience, has reported live from iconic poker events, including the World Series of Poker, European Poker Tour, and World Poker Tour. He’s not just a spectator; he’s been the Editor of BLUFF Europe Magazine and Head of Media for partypoker. Paul’s poker insights have graced publications like PokerNews, 888poker, and PokerStake, where he’s interviewed poker legends such as Daniel Negreanu, Erik Seidel, Phil Hellmuth, and The Hendon Mob’s, entire lineup. His exceptional work even earned him a Global Poker Award nomination for Best Written Content. In the poker world, Paul Seaton’s expertise is a force to be reckoned with, captivating enthusiasts worldwide.

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