It’s really interesting to see what’s involved in a big poker tournament – besides players, cards and chips, of course. It’s also pretty amazing to see what’s involved in such an event and how much of it has already developed into niche professions and is driving many other industries. Here is an incomplete overview.

Worldwide there are many established big poker tournaments and top poker events that are held regularly. The biggest poker tournaments are organized by independent companies, because the monetary and organizational effort behind such events is really enormous. A bird’s eye view roughly reveals the structure of a poker tournament. At the very top is the tournament organizer – the organizing committee is the big control center that organizes everything and bears the entire responsibility. This includes many customer service staff in special call centres who keep everything on track and support everyone involved. By the way, for a while now there have also been special service companies that can be hired by anyone who wants to organize and host private or public poker tournaments.

When casinos organise poker tournaments, the effort involved is usually similarly high. In the middle of it all is the poker room manager who organizes the tournaments and is also the know-it-all in poker matters. Very often he trains the dealers and takes care of advertising and marketing. The tournament director and all the referees (also called Floorman) report to him. Floormen can be found both in casinos and at independent poker tournaments. They are also responsible for ensuring that everything runs smoothly on the floor, staffing the poker tables with players, mediating conflicts, and monitoring and supporting the dealers at the tables. They also take care of solving technical problems around the tables and provide the tables with decks of cards. If there are multiple floors, they may be headed by a head floorman.

The right number of dealers for a tournament then also has to be organized, set up and scheduled. Usually they work in shifts at the tables and are exposed to direct contact with the players and all their emotions. Obviously, poker players are part of a poker tournament and, depending on the type of tournament, they have to qualify to play. The situation is different for participation in very exclusive poker rounds with buy-ins in seven or eight figures. Here, players, mostly well-to-do VIPs, celebrities or poker professionals are specially nominated and personally invited. Poker players all over the world today have a good chance to prove their skills in an online or live poker tournament. There are now countless poker tournaments that do not lack participants. The field of participants in the famous Worldseries of Poker, for example, is just over 293,000 players and online poker tournaments often have tens of thousands of participants.

In addition to the countless excellent amateur players, there are a growing number of professional poker players and many of the best poker professionals can only be contacted through their agent these days. Poker agent is still a rather rare profession, although it probably existed since the mid 2000’s when the poker boom really took off. Poker Agents look for poker talent and also arrange sponsorship contracts.

If the play date of a Poker tournament is certain, it goes for all involved ones only correctly loosely with the organization. A sufficiently large venue must be rented for live events, which almost seems easier than setting up an online platform for a poker tournament. In addition to the Internet service provider, a whole range of IT professions must also be involved in the latter type of tournament until the online tournament is finally set up. For live events, cameras of all kinds have to be organized and installed, supervisory staff for the surveillance cameras have to be hired and trained. Finally, permits and insurance for the events have to be obtained.

The prize money has to be fixed and sponsors have to be brought on board. In addition, a marketing manager has to do a lot of advertising. The price pool of a tournament has quite influence on the participant field and the attractiveness of the Poker tournament. It decides how high the winnings of the tournament winner and the best placed are. Cups and trophies for the winners must also be organized, and possibly gifts or perhaps goodie bags for the players and officials. Finally, the tournament schedule has to be created and published.

Of course, chips and decks of cards have to be procured, and once the official number of participants is known, the appropriate amount of furniture and lighting has to be rented. A supporting programme for the event may also have to be organised, because entertainment and music are as much a part of a tournament as good food and drinks. Catering companies are usually responsible for the latter.

And depending on how big and well-known the event is, it is also necessary to invite TV or livestream commentators or presenters, to inform the press as well as poker bloggers and photographers. Very often the organizers also work together with many other service providers as partners. These include, for example, masseurs who massage the players during the tournament. Anyone who smiles at this must remember that poker at such a level is actually a top-class sport.

It is now clear that the modern game of poker has led to a quite incredible development of its own high-turnover industry. Many special and niche professions have developed from the poker boom, as poker players and enthusiasts have made their passion and knowledge of the game of poker their profession. Although some believe that the big poker boom is long gone, the big tournaments, new tournament formats and newly emerging professions show that it is likely to continue for a long time to come. Not to be forgotten are all the rivet users in many other industries that are making incredible profits, such as the hotel and restaurant industry, the tourism industry and the travel industry.