Posts Tagged ‘poker Twitch’

Poker Live Streaming considered Key by The New Yorker

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

jason-somerville-pokerstarsIt’s always fun when a mainstream publication dives into the poker world, especially when the subject matter deals with how to help online poker. The New Yorker recently covered the impact that live streaming is having on the game. And WSOP champ Jason Somerville was the star of the piece since his Twitch stream has attracted over 140,000 followers.

To those who normally read poker news, the story of Somerville’s Twitch success is nothing new. But it appears that the ‘jcarverpoker’ channel is more popular than ever before. In fact, when he played in the 2015 WCOOP Main Event, he was the most-watched Twitch streamer across the entire platform. Here’s an excerpt from the New Yorker on Somerville’s livestream:

“As someone who watched a ton of poker videos, particularly poker-training videos, I was always shocked at how bad they were from a performance point of view,” Somerville said. On Twitch, he plays the consummate host-cum-tour-guide: inclusive, knowledgeable, and relentlessly entertaining. The key element of his broadcasts, which regularly run longer than seven hours, are his inexhaustible monologues, during which he cheerfully expounds on everything from basic poker strategy to his social life to the opaque world of professional gambling. He also responds candidly to questions that viewers submit via Twitch’s chat box. This interactivity, Somerville said, “allows you to get more inside my head. From both a learning point of view and an entertainment point of view, that’s so much better.”

twitch-pokerObviously Jason Somerville’s Twitch stream alone won’t restore online poker to its mid-2000s heyday – but it’s a start. Largely spurred on by Somerville’s success, PokerStars signed him and launched their own Twitch channel. The Poker Central network now streams some of their programming through Twitch. Even DraftKings and the daily fantasy sports industry are getting into livestreaming too.

Poker has changed immensely in the past decade alone. And it’s pretty clear that the sheer concept of online poker is no longer bringing people to the felt in droves. So perhaps Twitch can at least keep global poker interest steady, or even serve as a major catalyst for growth in the near future.

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.