Why Startup Poker 2.0?

Does the startup world really need another poker game… or yet another networking event? Aren’t there already lots of poker games played in startup offices, law firms and founder and investor homes all around the country?  Truly.

I play in many of those games and they’re terrific.  But there are some important differences between those games and Startup Poker 2.0.

  • Poker 2.0 games are first and foremost to support and connect the broader founder community, not just the friends and colleagues of the host.  Once you’ve played in a one of the regular poker games around town, you’ve pretty much met the 15 or so regulars.   This is a lot of fun, or course, and great relationships are built in this way.
  • Poker 2.0 puts this kind of connections on steroids.  A typical Startup Poker 2.0 game is 30 – 40+ players, with hundreds on the invitee list.  So your chances of meeting a dozen new high-quality contacts at every event is pretty high.  Hours of close, structured engagement with plenty time for chatting between hands and the inevitable crescendos of big pots and bad beats that get’s the whole table fired up.
  • Come to Poker 2.0 regularly for a year and I think you’ll be amazed at the what Poker 2.0 will do to expand the depth and breadth of your personal network.
  • Most of the regular poker games are cash games, often no-limit cash games.  Even at the lower end of the spectrum, the stakes can get pretty big pretty fast and many founders lack the skill or financial resources to play well in these games.  Poker 2.0 games are low stakes, tournament style.  This limits everyone’s downside and keeps the game friendly.  But there’s still plenty at stake and you’d be surprised at the prize that builds when 40 players are contributing buyins.
  • The friendly, low stakes and tournament structure makes Poker 2.0 great for novice and card sharks alike.  For novice players, there’s no better way to learn to play the game.  For more experienced players it’s a terrific way to hone your game.
  • Poker 2.0 is an “un-networking” event like no other. Traditional startup networking events are packed full of service providers.  Poker 2.0 invitees are exclusively startup founders, execs, investors and leaders of the core startup ecosystem.  The only exceptions are a very few sponsors who buy all the food and beer.
  • Because Poker 2.0 is a sponsored event, it’s always free to attend if you’re one of the poker players.  And even if all the poker seats are full, founders and investors are welcome to come and just hang out and have dinner with the rest of the founders and investors.  (Although there is sometimes a very modest fee for dinner guests.)

If your startup founder, exec or investor, now would be a good time to apply for the invite list!