The Surprising Story of Poker League Franchise
It was the afternoon of Tuesday, April 13, 2004 when I was driving back to Iowa when I received a phone call that would forever change the course of our business. It was my business partner Spry. He excitedly told me he had talked to Jeffrey's Sports Bar in Suwanee, GA about hosting a No Limit Hold 'Em Tournament that next Tuesday night and they bought in. Awesome!
APC Lands Opening Night Full House
We had no idea how our take on the pub poker league concept would be received and how many people would show up that first night. A lot of marketing was done throughout the week, online and at the venue, leading up to the game, so we were hopeful for a decent turnout. Maybe 20? 25? When we pulled into the venue, 90 minutes before the game and 45 minutes before signup, the parking lot was packed. When we walked inside, over 50 players were awaiting our arrival.
Online Poker Promotion Turns Into Legit Business Model
We had been talking about ways to promote our online poker sites, and a poker league was on the list. It turned out to be a good promotion for our websites, but would turn out to be an even better business model. A free pub poker league that would become the Atlanta Poker Club and first official Poker League Franchise.
We Made It Happen With Limited Resources
I took the first shift as opening night dealer, despite not having any professional poker dealing experience. Nobody on that opening night crew did. We didn't know any local poker dealers either. So, we did with what we had at the time. Our own personal, hands on experience received in home games and the like. Plus we had a few hours practice the night before in Spry's garage, where the original idea had come to be.
Experienced Dealers And Directors Needed
The limited amount of real poker dealing and directing experience would work great for that night, but even before that first event we saw the need for experienced poker dealers and tournament directors. The opening night poker league and dealing experience lead me to develop the ideas of Dealer Training, the online poker dealer school, and Director Training, the online tournament director school. Send candidates to Vegas to learn how to deal and direct or develop our own courses. We decided on the latter.
Managing Our Poker League: Points, Dealer Hours, Director Hours, Payroll, Payment Collection, etc
Along with my early marketing, game setup, and dealing duties, I was also responsible for managing several other aspects of our new pub poker league including:
- collecting all the tournament paperwork and payments
- processing points based on player finish positions
- processing payroll for dealers and tournament directors
- administering the league website
- book-keeping and accounting
Each day after a game night, I would drive around the Atlanta area meeting up with our Tournament Directors to collect paperwork and payments. I'd then return to the office to enter the information into an excel spreadsheet and then upload our website. I'd then process and deposit the venue payments.
I knew as we started to grow our league, that it would become a full time job to keep up with all of this information and money. And it would be nearly impossible to keep track of unless the process was automated and streamlined. So I decided to design the software that is now the back-bone of the PokerLeaderboards.com online service.
In April of 2004 the APC began with 1 event a week. So, tracking and processing all of the league information for 1 event wasn't really that difficult or time consuming .
However, today the APC now has over 50 events a week. If we were still doing everything in excel it would be miserable to manage. That is why PokerLeaderboards.com was built to be a powerful poker league management software, able to handle the highest level of poker league management with such ease, efficiency, reliability and security.
It handles all aspects of running the Atlanta Poker Club league to this day.
Your Poker League Needs
I knew that if our pub poker league needed these tools for our poker league to succeed, then other leagues would need them too. So I designed the tools specifically for our league, but also so other leagues could use them too.
Several engineers, designers and programmers have contributed to the development of each tool, now with dedicated software developers, programmers and graphic design team, always on the ready for improvements, fixes and updates.
Run Your Poker League For Free
If you don't mind the non-intrusive ads on your leaderboards, then the Poker Leaderboards Free Account will work fine for you. If you would like to have access to the Ads to change them to your ads or shut them off, and you plan to grow your poker league or already have a big league, then take a look at what the Executive Account can do for you.
Thanks for your support and the kind words about what Poker Leaderboards and the other poker league tools have done for your poker league. Please continue to send in suggestions for it's improvement.
P.S. The best way to contact us is to submit a ticket here.