Hosting a local poker tournament can be a good and entertaining fundraiser idea. Fundraising events are starting to change and inviting people to play games such as poker could bring bigger crowds and raise more money. Before hosting you need to know a few basic things first. Let’s get started!
Where to do it?
The first thing that you are going to need is a spacious location. This could be either a meeting hall, a hotel conference room or even a big gym. Before renting the location, check what your local regulations are on gambling and which venues are acceptable. Now let’s talk about the set-up. A common and recommended set-up is to have 8 or 10 players at a table. No-limit Texas Hold’em is usually the go to variation of poker for local tournaments. If you’re unsure how to play it, make sure you get in a few practice rounds first. You can try your hand at online poker first to make sure you know the rules.
What do I need?
After deciding on the set-up and the game, you need supplies. Think about how many people are going to show up and plan accordingly. You’ll need tables and chairs and of course poker chips and cards. You don’t want to run out of chips in the middle of the tournament. Of course, players could bring their own, but it is recommended not to, because having all those different chips can cause confusion. It’s best to have the same poker chips and card decks across all tables.
Buy-ins and Prizes
After the logistics are all sorted out, you need to set a buy-in or entry fee. Set the entry fee at about $10 or $20 per person so that everyone can chip in. You can even allow for re-buys in the first part of the game. This way, the total prize will be even bigger and new players won’t feel left out. Depending on the number of charities you want to donate to, you can either have a big prize or break the jackpot to the top three players. For more fun, you can also groups your tables into categories like: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced, each one having their own set of prizes. In this way, everyone can play and enjoy the game.
How long will it take?
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A good idea is to set the length of the tournament. You don’t want to play forever and you don’t want your guests to get bored. You could either try a long 2 or 4 hours tournament, or two quick 1 or 2 hours tournaments. Each tournament has a set amount of levels that determine the number of blind each player has to play. Don’t forget to set the chip values and inform players where to cash in their prizes. Also, make sure that each table has an assigned dealer.
Don’t forget refreshments!
Each tournament should have a number of breaks so that players can grab refreshments and socialize. Hire a catering team and provide guests with drinks and snacks. During breaks you can also host auctions with items donated by the players. You can do all sorts of fundraising activities. Keep people constantly invested in your event so that they donate to your fundraiser.
Before starting your tournament you’ll need to advertise it first. Write an engaging press release clearly stating the purpose of the fundraiser and how and when it will take place. Make sure that it reaches the right media outlets and highlight the prizes. You can either donate all the money to charity or a percent of the winnings. The choice is all yours.
Fundraising through a local poker tournament can be a new and innovative way to raise money for a charity. Setting it up is not that hard and people will surely show up. People will remember you and you will help raise money for a good cause.