Key Tips
Table of Contents -- You can view the table of contents by clicking this button from anywhere in the course.
Search -- Find relative topics using the search function.
Bookmarks -- Use our intuitive bookmarking system for quick recall of your favorite topics. This feature supports bookmarks from all courses you have access too.
User Notes -- Store personal notes as you study each topic.
User Menu -- Course navigation, account access, and other user options.
Question or suggestion?

What Is a Bar Poker League?

Do you love playing poker, and wish there was a way you could match your skills against real life opponents competitively for free? Joining a bar poker league is a wonderful way to develop your skills, compete for prizes, and get to know other poker players in a fun, friendly environment. And if you operate a bar, teaming up with a bar poker league is a great way to draw crowds to your venue and drive business. Here’s how it works:

  • Players who are interested in joining the league register for membership. Bar poker leagues usually offer free play, but may offer VIP memberships for an added cost. VIP memberships may include bonus chips and other great benefits. Otherwise, there is no buy-in for games, and players are stocked up with a certain number of chips at the start of the season.
  • Bars interested in hosting games join the league. Tournament directors for the league host home games in their own venues, following the same procedures as professional poker tournament directors. The goal is to offer players an experience that would be worthy of any casino poker tournament, but outside of the casino environment and without the need for a costly buy-in.
  • Every day, poker games are held throughout the area at different pubs and restaurants. Members of the league log into the league’s website to find out where tournaments are taking place. Local leagues may have dozens of hosts, while nationwide leagues may have hundreds.
  • Dealers volunteer to join the poker league in return for benefits including bonus chips and other prizes and extras. Dealers with the APC also can sign up for free dealer training.
  • Every year, poker players compete in competitions offered by the bar poker league. Some of these competitions may be annual, while others might run every month. Generally players are competing for cash prizes. For example, the Atlanta Poker Club offers $10,000, a buy-in at the World Series of Poker, and $1,000 of travel money. There are also daily poker games at different bars and restaurants.

Bar poker leagues depend on all participants in order to stay in operation. Players patron the pubs which serve as host locations by purchasing food and beverages. The league in turn depends on the locations to stay in business. When you join a bar poker league as a player, dealer, or tournament director, you are becoming part of a tight-knit local community. It costs a lot to offer free poker events, but when everybody works together, everybody can have fun and a chance to profit.

If you decide to become part of the APC as a tournament director, you will have a great opportunity to grow your business. If you join as a dealer, you can take advantage of free training to pursue your dealer certification. And if you join as a player, you will have the time of your life playing for free in the Atlanta area.

Free Pub Poker Explained

Bar or pub poker leagues have been springing up all over the world since Chris Moneymaker won the 2003 WSOP Main Event. It's become a viable business in many areas.

  • A pub poker league could be compared to a band that plays at bars and pubs. The bar pays the band to play on a certain night of the week with hopes to attract a crowd to the bar to watch the performance, eat the food and drink the drinks.
  • As a pub poker league, the bar pays the organizers to setup and run a poker tournament on a given day and time, with hopes to attract a crowd to play free poker, eat the food and drink the drinks.
  • The poker league is created when points are kept for player finish positions. Daily winners get bar cash, poker chips and other prizes as well as points. The higher you finish the more you win and the more points you get.
  • Points are tabulated on a leaderboard and winners are invited to special events where they win larger prizes, including cash, trips, WSOP main event seats and more.

There are many different business models that have been successful.