Definition of Backer

What does the term "backer" means as it applies to the world of poker? What is the definition of the term "backer"?

In poker, a "backer" is somebody who provides a bankroll to another player.

"Backers" are much more prevalent in the world of poker than what many people may realize. Many of the world's most recognizable names in poker are being "backed" by other players.

Definition of Backer - Poker Dictionary - FinancingLet's look at a typical "backing" arrangement:

Player A is a skilled player but has trouble with bankroll management. Player B has a large bankroll.

Player A and Player B come to an agreement - Player B will buy Player A into the World Series of Poker main event. The two players agree that any profits will be split 70/30 in Player B's favor.

Now, there are longer term backing arrangements as well. Let's look at an example of a longer term backing arrangement:

Player A is a skilled player with bankroll management issues. Player B is a wealthy poker player who has done very well for himself in business and poker.

Player A and Player B agree to a backing arrangement for a large variety of high buy-in online poker tournaments.

Player B will give Player A a "bankroll" to buy into all of these events, with the profits being split 70/30 in Player B's favor.

Player A and Player B agree that there will be "makeup", which means that any losses must be paid off before profits can be split. For instance, if Player A loses $10,000 in buy-ins and then makes $15,000 in profit in one tournament, the previous losses will be subtracted from the $15,000, meaning that Player A will receive 30% of $5,000, instead of 30% of $15,000.


The person being backed is usually referred to as a "horse". Some players may have as many as 5-10 "horses" in any one tournament.

Many players are backed for cash game play as well.


Many good players with strong bankroll management skills will accept backing in order to manage their risk or play in tournaments that are too expensive for their bankrolls.


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