Posts Tagged ‘PokerStars Twitch’

Jaime Staples lands PokerStars Deal – Another Sign of Poker Twitch Growth

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

jaime-staples-online-pokerWith a very solid $467k in online poker winnings, Jaime Staples is certainly a good player. But is the mid-stakes tournament grinder deserving of a sponsorship deal from a major site?

PokerStars certainly thinks so, especially given Staples’ presence on the live-streaming site Twitch. The Canadian has become one of the most-followed players on Twitch, and he recently shared his victory in the PokerStars Big $109 with over 4,800 viewers. Following the biggest score of his career, Staples received a dream call from Stars asking him to sign a Friend of PokerStars deal.

“I really do think Twitch will be an integral part of growing the game. In the same way online poker influenced live poker, streaming on Twitch will revolutionize poker viewing: more hands, fewer commercials, and completely on demand,” said the 23-year-old. “Best of all, there’s no barrier of entry for production.”

It’s obvious that PokerStars is banking on the growing Twitch phenomenon to bring them more customers. And they appear to be assigning great value to anybody who can score a sizable Twitch audience through self-promotion, strategy teaching skills and overall likability. Going further, guys like Staples can now land sponsorship deals with $467k in online winnings, an amount that would otherwise require model-like looks and at least a double-C rack to attain any kind of deal.

Again, I’m not trying to bash Staples’ skills because $467k is far more than I’ve ever won in internet poker. But on the other hand, there are players who’ve earned millions without any hope of landing a sponsorship in today’s poker climate. In any case, the reason why Stars signed Staples is because they think that he and his Twitch audience are worth it.

A few weeks ago, PokerStars signed Jason Somerville to a presumably much-bigger deal. Somerville, a very accomplished pro with over $6 million in combined online and live earnings, has amassed over 50k Twitch followers. So Stars tabbed him to kick off their new Twitch channel and help poker grow in general through this streaming service. Considering the Somerville and Staples signings, they definitely haven’t lost faith in Twitch’s potential.

Jason Somerville signs with Team PokerStars, will headline PokerStars Twitch Channel Launch

Friday, February 27th, 2015

jason-somerville-pokerstarsJason Somerville just goes to show that if you have a great idea and put hard work behind it, then you’re going to be rewarded. The WSOP bracelet winner and host of the popular podcast show Run It Up just signed a big deal with Team PokerStars.

Somerville certainly has multi-value as the face of Run It Up, where he plays online poker and offers players tips in real time. Additionally, he also challenges himself on the show, such as the time he streamed himself running a starting bankroll of $50 up to $10,000.

Previously a member of Ultimate Poker’s “Team U,” Somerville laid the foundation for Run It Up’s success on YouTube. However, after Ultimate Poker began sinking faster than Nicolas Cage’s career, the two sides ended their business relationship. It’s at this point that Somerville made the brilliant move to keep the rights to Run It Up, before moving it to the growing Twitch streaming site.

While Ultimate Poker has already vaporized into the dust of online poker memories – along with UB Poker, Chris Ferguson’s reputation and Phil Ivey’s poker skills – Somerville will be headlining the launch of PokerStars’s Twitch channel. Going further, he’ll begin the third season of Run It Up on March 1st, and broadcast for at least four hours a day for 70 straight days.

Here’s what Kristy Thompson, PokerStars Head of Pro & Celebrity Marketing, had to say about Somerville’s plan and what he brings to the table:

“Jason is a unique proposition – a poker pioneer who has had great success both online and live, and brings something different to the table through the way in which he has built a popular live streaming poker show. I’m sure he will be a great ambassador for PokerStars and help to increase the level of interactivity between the brand and its players.”

This signing of Somerville represents a new direction for PokerStars’ sponsored player model – one that calls on players to be good not only on the felt, but also in having value outside the poker room. Somerville, with over $6 million in live and online poker winnings along with a popular Twitch show, meets both of these requirements.