ACTION: New PokerStars Ambassador Nick Walsh Details Plans for Site’s Twitch Channel

PokerStars recently named Nick Walsh as a new ambassador and face of the site's Twitch channel. He spoke with PokerScout this week about his pans.

Being tabbed as the face of PokerStars’ Twitch streaming efforts might seem like quite a hurdle for most poker players. But Nick Walsh is ready for the challenge.

The site recently named Walsh as a new ambassador, zeroing in on his role as a streamer for the company. He takes over the PokerStars Twitch channel and has promised plenty of new ideas for poker fans.

“I feel honored,” Walsh told PokerScout about his new role. “I’m also very excited at what this opportunity allows me to accomplish alongside the poker community. I’ve got some really cool ideas that I think the viewers are going to enjoy, and now working with PokerStars I’ve got the resources to try some of them out.”

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Big plans for PokerStars streaming

PokerStars ambassador and Twitch streamer Nick Walsh.

For the last two years, Walsh streamed as a member of OP-Poker, but now takes the microphone on the main Stars channel. PokerStars describe his personality as charismatic and he hopes to let his passion for the game come out.

Poker fans can look for traditional poker fare on the channel and he plans to stream and offer advice for events like:

Viewers can also look for more non-traditional poker content as well from Walsh.

“I am also very keen to get more guests into the weekly schedule, adding more variety to the already successful stream content,” he says. “These ‘weekly’ streams will take place most Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, and we’ve already started getting guests in which the community seem to really enjoy.

“Additionally, we will be using the occasional Friday streams to experiment with larger, more complex stream formats, some of which the community may not have seen before.

Adding his own spin to Twitch

Although he’s bringing new ideas to the platform and offering different content, Walsh isn’t trying to completely reinvent the wheel.

“While I do think we’ve got a few ideas that might be completely unique to Twitch in the pipeline,” he says, “I’m more interested in taking existing ideas and improving them or perhaps tailoring them to the Twitch environment.”

For example, dual streams have become a regular part of poker streaming. Two hosts play poker and talk strategy, but one of the two hosts has his cards hidden. Walsh says that may be changing soon, allowing viewers to observe the pay of both.

“Using a new capture method we developed, this year we are now able to host very stable, high-quality, fully cards-up dual streams which immediately improves the viewer’s experience,” he says,

“While this is only one example, the same methodology invites a host of other applications for more complex and never-before-seen stream formats which we are going to implement later this year.”

Working on his game, poker commentary, and hitting the live poker tables

Much of Walsh’s early streams involve his new “back to school”’effort. He lets viewers follow along as he sharpens his online poker skills.

Some live poker is also in his future as part of the PokerStars team. He’ll attend all European Poker Tour events, serving as a commentator alongside James Hartigan, Joe Stapleton, and other PokerStars Team Pros.

Walsh, from Brighton in the United Kingdom, is also excited to see the return of Stars’ United Kingdom and Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT). The tour is currently running a series in London and Walsh is pleased to be back at the live tables. 

“I’m looking forward to getting back on the felt at these events,” he says. “Just really excited to see live poker back in the UK.”

Beyond poker, the newest PokerStars ambassador considers himself a “nerd at heart.” He enjoys gaming, photography, videography, and film. Many of his interests outside poker involve visual media, which may help in his role on the PokerStars Twitch channel.


While he plans on bringing many of his own ideas to the new role, Walsh sees streaming as a two-way street. Viewers’ ideas will definitely be considered and taken into account, he says.

For Walsh, there’s a real sense of community when battling it out on the poker tables via Twitch. And he’s hoping that comes out when the camera is on.

“I’m really passionate about this project but I really need the community to help me make this really great,” he says.

“Your feedback on the content we create will not only help us to improve our offering on the PokerStars channel, but could shape the content we create in the future too. Get in touch with me on social media and become part of the development process.”

* Photos courtesy PokerStars

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BetMGM Plants Flag in Ontario as First Regulated Online Poker Operator Under New Rules

After recent regulatory changes, BetMGM became the first online poker platform to launch in the Canadian province of Ontario on Wednesday.

After recent regulatory changes, BetMGM became the first online poker platform to launch in the Canadian province of Ontario on Wednesday.

Ontario, home to major cities like Toronto, Ottawa, and Hamilton, has shifted away from a “grey” market to a regulated environment. That’s had online gaming companies lining up to get in the action in the province.

MGM now becomes the first new operator in the province with a platform for the new regulated environment (and not previously available in the “grey” market). More operators are expected to follow suit in the coming weeks.

“BetMGM Poker brings an agile, diverse, and player-centric platform to Canadian players,” BetMGM director of poker Luke Staudenmaier said in a news release. “Through high-visibility partnerships, the brand will also connect players with world-class omni-channel experiences and poker legends, like brand ambassador Darren Elias.

“We look forward to building our community in Ontario, welcoming players to our tables, and providing safe, accessible, and entertaining options.”

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BetMGM becomes first in regulated Ontario

Ontario becomes the fourth market for BetMGM, which is a skin of the Partypoker US Network. In the US, the company operates in:

The company also operates the Borgata Poker skin as well in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Like in the US states, the Ontario market will function as a “ringed-in” market.

That has players competing only against others within Ontario. The move means players will transition from the grey market to a more regulated environment. Ontario offers a nice market for online poker with almost 14.6 million people.

There is potential to share liquidity with other provinces eventually as Quebec, British Columbia, and Manitoba all host officially government-sanctioned sites. Those in Quebec and British Columbia currently operate a shared network and liquidity.

For BetMGM, adding poker in Ontario brings a full betting experience to the province. The company launched online sportsbook and casino operations on April 4.

Growing the brand

Not only does Ontario present a fourth market for the company, but MGM’s first outside the US. The company is part of ROAR Digital, a partnership between MGM and Entain, owner of the international partypoker brand.

 BetMGM poker offers players a number of poker variants, signature poker tournaments, and cash games of all buy-in levels. The platform also operates the Fast Forward quick-play poker option and also features the Grind Rewards program.

In the US, the operator has ramped its tournament offerings in recent months. The company has run synchronized tournament series in each of the three legal US states. The site has also given each series a more distinct name than previously seen with monthly online festivals.

“We want to make our players … excited about the game of poker and we’ve found that variety in our month-to-month offers helps to pique their interest,” Staudenmaier told USPoker recently. “We want our players to recognize us as thoughtful and innovative, just like players themselves when making decisions at the table.”

The company also regularly partners with the Borgata casino, MGM property, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The casino’s poker room is one of the most popular poker rooms in the Northeast and offers partypoker/BetMGM some synergy in marketing online and live events.

While exact details aren’t yet known, poker players can probably expect similar tournament series and promotions as seen in the US. To celebrate the launch in Ontario, BetMGM is hosting daily Welcome Freeroll tournaments through April 30.

The BetMGM Poker apps are accessible in Canada on both Apple iOS and Android, as well as via desktop and laptop computers.

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Checkmate: PokerStars Ambassador Jennifer Shahade Pens Inspirational Chess Book

Like some viewers of the popular 2020 series The Queen’s Gambit, many poker players around the world were inspired to get out the chess board and embrace some different kings and queens.

PokerStars ambassador Jennifer Shahade has a hand in both games. She has $348,282 in live tournament winnings and is a regular online poker player in Pennsylvania, where she represents Stars in the US market.

An Olympic chess champion and a Woman Grandmaster, Shahade is also a two-time US women’s chess champion. She was also the first female to win the US Junior Open.

When not at the poker table or chess board, the Philadelphia native has also been busy at the keyboard, Shahade recently released a new book, Chess Queens: The True Story of a Chess Champion and the Greatest Female Players of All Time. While the book focuses on chess, the author promises some poker thrown in as well for fans of both these mental games.

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“I talk about poker in many places in the book, especially the last chapter, which explains why I ultimately ended up devoting myself to that game too,” she tells PokerScout. “I also talk about how chess was a conduit to poker for American champion Diana Lanni, and the rare moments in chess when it’s important to keep a ‘poker face.’”

A life of gaming – from rooks and pawns to bets, bluffs, & PokerStars

Games have played a crucial part in Shahade’s life. She began playing at age 5 and fell in love with the game by 13. Ironically, that’s the same age many girls drop out of the game, she says.

“Because my family plays chess, my brother and dad are both chess masters and champions, it was easy to hop in and out of the game,” she says. “Not all girls are so lucky. They often leave chess before they’re able to gain so many of its benefits.

“That’s why it’s so important for me to inspire young girls about chess and its benefits, work that I’ve been doing for over a decade, and most recently via my non-profit program US Chess Women.”

After graduating from New York University, the poker table joined the chess board in her gaming repertoire. Her brother, Greg Shahade, was a professional player and one of PokerStars first players. He founded a chess school and league that was sponsored by Stars for several years.

Greg also began teaching his sister how to play poker and she became fascinated with that game as well.

In the years to come, Shahade even became a writer for the “PokerStars Women” initiative. She began playing chess and poker all around the world, from Monaco to Madrid and everywhere in between.

“I started to become immersed in poker culture,” she says, “which deepened my passion for the game, as well as the community around it.”

Poker rounders becoming chess players

Since the Netflix series, poker players have jumped into chess including players like Daniel Negreanu. That interest may have ebbed a bit, but Shahade believes the games definitely have some overlap.

“The interest from poker players in chess peaked during the Queen’s Gambit boom, but I think it predates that,” she says. “I noticed a huge uptick in chess interest around the same time as solvers took over most poker training programs.”

Shahade believes some players realized their game was becoming more like chess, in practice and study. For many, learning chess simply made sense.

“I created my podcast, The GRID, to showcase the ways the games were merging: chess is becoming more glamorous and story-oriented, while poker is becoming more scientific,” she says.

“But what I love about both games is the combination: the story and community with the pursuit of truth and beauty.”

A return to the chess board

Jennifer Shahade at the chess board. (photos by David Llada)

Chess Queens has allowed Shahade to get back to her roots in the game. The author says this is the type of book she’d have wanted to read when she was younger and learning the game.

The hope is that young and older players alike can be inspired by some of the players’ stories included in the book.

“The world fell in love with the fictional Beth Harmon and the Queen’s Gambit,” she says. “We have so many new chess devotees as a consequence, of all genders and ages. They’re hungry to learn more about the real women of chess, who broke down barriers to become grandmasters against the odds.”

Beyond telling stories of some chess’s great players, the new book also allows Shahade to motivate others with her own story.

“Chess Queens tells those stories and intertwines it with my own coming of age story with chess,” she says, “which changed the course of my whole life, ultimately leading to poker too.”

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Bringing more women into both games

With more women getting into the game, there is hope among many in the industry that more women are also attracted to poker. Many tour operators and online poker companies have initiatives in place to encourage more female players.

Shahde is doing her part in those efforts. She’s also hoping to see even more expansion of online poker in the next five years.

“I’m lucky to be able to play PokerStars Pennsylvania and look forward to more states joining the fun,” she says. “I think there is a craving right now for classic games like chess and poker, that provide a strong community and history, while giving us a precious opportunity to escape our worries and lose ourselves in a game.”

She remains a firm believer that making poker more inclusive will lead to greater growth.

“That’s why I’m excited about PokerStars continual interest in women’s initiatives,” she says. “I also am proud to be part of the Poker Power movement, an organization that aims to teach poker to one million women, unlocking our potential in other fields we are underrepresented in, from politics to the business world.

“I’m grateful that more and more people now see that gender diversity makes poker and chess more fun for everyone.”

Chess Queen’s is published by Hodder & Stoughton and available for $28.99 in hardback and $9.99 in ebook format. The book is available for purchase here.

High Stakes Festival Adds to 888Poker Live London Schedule; Online Qualifiers Begin Soon 

888poker is partnering with London's Grosvenor Victoria Casino for the High Stakes Festival April 20 – May 1 with online qualifiers starting soon.

888poker continues returning to the live poker felt and is once again joining forces with Grosvenor Victoria Casino. The site is bringing players 11 days of big buy-in poker with the 888poker Live High Stakes Festival running April 20 to May 1 at the Vic Casino in London.

The £2,100 Main Event and a £3,000 High Roller highlight the series action. Along with plenty of live poker, 888 is also promising opportunities for online poker players to get in the action.

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888poker returns to UK

The High Stakes Festival becomes the latest live series from 888. The company has run two previous festivals at the Vic over the last few months.

The Grosvenor Victoria (aka The Vic) is one of the most celebrated casinos in London. Players can snag a seat in the High Stakes Festival Main Event via online qualifiers starting at just one cent.

Players can buy in for that tiny amount and work their way up to a $109 satellite. Competitors can also register directly into the satellite.

All satellites and qualifiers are open to players in the United Kingdom only.

A look at the series

The High Stakes Festival includes nine events with buy-ins ranging from £110 to £3,000. The £1,000 888poker Cup kicks off the series on April 21 with £110 satellites getting underway on April 20.

Players with lower bankrolls can also check out a few events with smaller buy-ins. The £444 Big Shot begins on April 24 with a £200 Pot Limit Omaha event getting started on April 27.

A £150 seniors event and a £225 Mystery Bounty also close out the series on May 1. Numerous satellites are scheduled throughout the series as well.

The Main Event features two regular starting flights with Day 1C playing out in turbo format. Players will also find unlimited re-entry with registration open through Day 2.

The event will also use player clocks and time bank cards. Here’s a look at the complete schedule.

2022 888poker High Stakes Festival

DateEventTournamentEntry FeeChips
April 20888poker CUP Satellite Cashout£11010,000
April 211888poker CUP Day 1A£1,00020,000
April 21888poker CUP Satellite Cashout£11010,000
April 221888poker CUP Day 1B£1,00020,000
April 221888poker CUP 1C- Turbo£1,00020,000
April 231888poker CUP Day 2£1,00020,000
April 232The Voyage£33015,000
April 241888poker CUP Day 3N/A20,000
April 243888 Big Shot Day 1A£44420,000
April 24Main Satellite Cashout£22510,000
April 253888 Big Shot Day 1B£44420,000
April 25High Roller Satellite Cashout£30010,000
April 263888 Big Shot C Turbo£44420,000
April 263888 Big Shot Day 2£44420,000
April 26High Roller Satellite Cashout£30010,000
April 27High Roller Satellite Cashout Turbo£30010,000
April 274High Roller£3,00030,000
April 275PLO (4 card only)£20020,000
April 273888 Big Shot Day 3£44420,000
April 27Main Satellite Cashout£22510,000
April 286Main 1A£2,10020,000
April 284High Roller Day 2£3,00030,000
April 28Main Satellite Cashout£22510,000
April 296Main 1B£2,10020,000
April 296Main 1C – Turbo£2,10020,000
April 306Main Day 2£2,10020,000
April 307PLO High Roller 4-5-6£1,00020,000
May 16Main Day 3£2,10020,000
May 18Seniors (50+)£15020,000
May 19Mystery Bounty£22515,000

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Nick Walsh Signs as PokerStars Ambassador, Becoming the Face of Site’s Twitch Streaming Channel

British poker player and online streamer Nick Walsh has officially joined the PokerStars team as the face of the site's Twitch channel.

With Twitch poker streaming continuing to grow, PokerStars added another player on the platform to its ambassador roster last week. British poker player and online streamer Nick Walsh has officially joined the PokerStars team.

Walsh will take over the PokerStars Twitch channel, the company announced. He will stream all things poker with a variety of action and entertainment.

“I am very honored and excited to rejoin PokerStars’ Team Pro Online,” Walsh said in a news release. “As a new ambassador with a focus on streaming, I aim to create fresh poker content for players of all levels and poker disciplines, with a focus on community collaboration and strategic analysis in an accessible way.”

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An expanded role at PokerStars

PokerStars ambassador Nick Walsh.

Walsh isn’t new to the world of poker streaming. He manned the microphone

previously, streamed with PokerStars for the last two years as part of “OP Poker.”

The OP Poker platform features videos, charts, strategy guides and links on playing some of the less-common PokerStars games. Stars acquired OP in 2019 and Walsh now takes on more of a prominent role with the online poker operator.

“With his charismatic personality and passion for poker, Nick is the perfect fit for Team Pro and brings a wealth of knowledge to the stream, with his particular strengths lying in Spin & Go’s and PokerStars Kick-Off,” PokerStars noted in a news release.”

Streaming platform goals

As part of his PokerStars Twitch efforts, Walsh is expected to add to the channel significantly. The signing makes him the new face of PokerStars’ streaming channel.

That begins with a new “back to school”’effort on the stream. Walsh’s plan is to work on his online poker game and improve his overall multi-table tournament (MTT) skills.

Viewers can look for plenty of fun included along the way. Walsh plays a key role in bringing engaging content to the PokerStars Twitch community throughout the year, the company notes. He hopes to develop the channel through feedback from players and poker fans alike.

“Unlike my previous role, PokerStars has given me the opportunity and the resources to help lead the development of the PokerStars Twitch channel directly,” he said. “And I’ve got some pretty ambitious concepts I would like to try out.”

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GGPoker Partners With WSOP for New Online Poker Site in Canadian Province of Ontario

Partypoker announced its fully-licensed online poker room was open for business in the Canadian province of Ontario on Tuesday.

With significant changes seen in the online poker market in the Canadian province of Ontario, the World Series of Poker and GGPoker announced a partnership in the region on Thursday.

WSOP.CA will be a fully-regulated online poker room available to Ontario-based players in early April. The site offers players access to exclusive W9rld Series tournaments and satellites, all running on GG’s software.

The move comes after Ontario regulated online gaming in the province. Those operating in the province are expected to seek regulator approval.

Now players in the province will have a chance to play at the WSOP-branded site courtesy of GGPoker. One of the biggest names in poker, Daniel Negreanu, is a native of Toronto, Ontario, and is also a GG ambassador.

“As a proud Ontario native, I’m thrilled that poker’s two greatest brands have come together to launch WSOP.CA and offer the Ontario poker community the perfect place to play online,” Negreanu said in a news release. “You’ll be seeing exclusive WSOP rewards and tournaments, running on GGPoker’s amazing app – what’s not to love about that?”

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Changes coming to Ontario

The news of the WSOP/GG launch comes with major changes in the Ontario market. Previously, players in Ontario could play on major international sites.

That now changes as sites must accept regulation to operate. Those who continued outside the regulatory framework could face being locked out of other lucrative online gaming options, such as sports betting.

With a population of 14.6 million people, Ontario is Canada’s most populous province. Keeping a legal presence there appears to remain a priority for some major operators.

By comparison, the largest state in the United States with legal online poker is Pennsylvania, with 12.8 million.

The new environment in Ontario sees players now part of a “ringed-in” environment. That means players only battle against other players within that province. This is the same type of environment as in the US in states like Pennsylvania and Michigan.

However, there is a possibility down the line to share liquidity with some other provinces. Players in Quebec, British Columbia, and Manitoba have the option of playing on official government-regulated sites.

Those sites in Quebec and British Columbia already have a shared network and liquidity. Ontario could possibly join that at some point.

What’s ahead for GGPoker/WSOP Ontario site?

As in the American WSOP sites and GGPoker internationally, it’s not unimaginable to think of players competing in online bracelet and WSOP Circuit ring series.

These have proven extremely popular and regularly attract large fields. The site also plans to offer satellites and qualifiers for the live WSOP tournament series in Las Vegas.

“This partnership combines the best poker brand with the top poker software, and we’re thrilled to launch this online poker room for Ontario players,” WSOP executive director Ty Stewart said. “We look forward to seeing Ontarians qualify for the live WSOP in Las Vegas this summer and challenge native son Daniel Negreanu for a gold bracelet.”

GG is already the official operator running WSOP online qualifiers to players internationally. Players jumping in the action at the new site will find a range of launch promotions and bonuses as well.

Players will also automatically become enrolled in the Caesars Rewards loyalty program. This is the largest casino loyalty program in the industry. Players earn benefits at Caesars destinations and unique sports experiences across North America.

Existing GGPoker players based in Ontario can transfer their accounts to WSOP.CA once the new site officially goes live. There players will still benefit from all of the launch promotions and bonuses.

The launch of the WSOP.CA is subject to the successful execution of an operating agreement with iGaming Ontario.

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GGPoker Overlay Edition Comes Up Just Short of Guarantee, Winner Pockets Almost $344,000

GGPoker's $150 GGMasters Overlay Edition wrapped up on Tuesday and just missed the guarantee of $5 million.

Daniel Negreanu can keep his hair. After weeks of hype and plenty of satellite action, GGPoker’s GGMasters Overlay Edition wrapped up on Tuesday.

The $150 freezeout guaranteed a $5 million prize pool and Negreanu promised to shave his head if the event met that sum. Despite getting close, the event came up short guaranteeing players some nice six figures in extra cash.

In the end, Albania’s “Sr_Duck” came out on top and took home $343,564.

“We were thrilled with the GGMasters Overlay Edition,” GG head of public relations Paul Burke saud, “and are so happy that more than 33,000 players got to experience this unique freezeout tournament and take aim at $5 million in prizes for a $150 buy-in.”

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Big numbers, but misses guarantee

From the beginning, GGPoker officials admitted it seemed unlikely the event would meet such a massive guarantee. Hence, the name of the tournament.

Negreanu believed there was no chance the prize pool would reach $5 million. He even planned to shave his head on video if he was wrong.

“I’ve never seen an online site be this aggressive with a guarantee they can’t really think is going to hit,” he told PokerScout. “It’s a unique way to give back to the players.”

Despite that, the site made a real run at actually meeting the guarantee. Because the tournament is a freezeout, there needed to be more than 36,000 distinct players.

The Overlay Edition came up just short by about 3,000 players. In total, the tournament brought in 33,133 players. With $138 from each buy-in going into the prize pool, that total produced a prize pool of almost $4.6 million.

The $12 tournament fee then helped make up much of the shortfall for another $397,596. GG had to kick in about another $30,000 to reach the guarantee.

However, some players won freerolls to get into the action, so that number may actually be a bit higher.

While the event didn’t quite get to the $5 million mark, the tournament certainly was large.

 

Massive player pool at GGPoker

The Overlay Edition certainly produced large numbers and brought GG some extra headlines over the last few months. The event attracted online poker players from around the world and across the poker spectrum.

A few more of the interesting names finding a cash included:

  • Niv Malach (Israel) – 5th, $108,645
  • Wellington “ZaaKiiu” Oliveira (Brazil) – 7th, $61,096
  • Jessica Teusl (Austria) – 2,746th, $401
  • Niklas Astedt (Sweden) – 2,249th, $460
  • Rebecca Rebuitti (Brazil) – 1,937th, $527
  • Mark “Weazel_1991” Rubbathan (England) – 754th, $1,049
  • Christophe “ChrisDM” De Meulder (Germany) – 584th, $1,204
  • Johan “YoHViraL” Guilbert (France) – 206th, $2,746

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Dan Bilzerian is staying put

In other news, rumors began swirling on Tuesday that ambassador Dan Bilzerian had been removed from the GGPoker roster. This was fueled by a report from an online poker news site.

GGPoker has announced the signing of social media star Dan Bilzerian.That news came after GG removed the Instagram star’s image from the site. The company apparently also removed some other Bilzerian-related aspects.

On Wednesday, GGPoker squashed those rumors and even announced that more was in the works with Bilzerian.

“GGPoker would like to confirm that Dan Bilzerian remains a partner,” the site noted in a Tweet.

“We will continue to work closely with Dan to engage with new player communities and grow our favorite game. Expect to hear about some new and exciting partnership activities in the coming months.”

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Contest Crusher: ‘Dare2Stream’ Winner Sebastian Huber Joins PokerStars Ambassador Team

Austrian streamer Sebastian Huber recently won the PokerStars “Dare2Stream” competition to become the site's newest ambassador.

When PokerStars launched the “Dare2Stream” competition in October, Austrian streamer Sebastian  Huber knew he had to get involved. The contest awarded a coveted site ambassador role and that made Huber want to man the microphone even more.

“Right at the moment PokerStars released the Dare2Stream challenge, I knew I wanted to participate in it,” he says. “For me, it was pretty clear that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The competition itself started well and fortunately the stream took off toward the end of the competition.”

His streaming efforts paid off and Huber (aka “Peacendloove” online) won the competition. He topped 263 entries in the contest and also secured a PokerStars Players Championship Platinum Pass.

That’s certainly a nice run for Huber, who’s been playing poker full time for the last four years. Notching a nice score with that Platinum Pass might make his run even better. He spoke this week with PokerScout about the big win and his life in poker.

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A PokerStars streaming success

After playing poker for several years, Huber decided to branch out into Twitch streaming in September 2020. His channel now has 4,400 subscribers, which will certainly grow after his new role with PokerStars.

He’d always felt like getting his game online would be fun, but never quite made the effort to start streaming. His girlfriend helped change that.

“When I was playing poker, I always felt there was a piece missing,” he says. “Therefore, I actually wanted to start streaming a long time ago. However, my girlfriend finally pushed me to start streaming and I have fallen completely in love with it.

“Obviously, the streaming itself gets more competitive from time to time, but I try my best to have some unique moments in my stream too. For example, focusing on games not many are playing or riding a bike while playing.”

PokerStars ambassadors Mason Pye and GJ Reggie announced Huber as the Dare2Stream in December live on Twitch. He then had his formal enrollment as an ambassador during the European Poker Tour (EPT) stop in Prague.

Fellow PokerStars ambassador Sam Grafton announced the news live at the event. Huber then wore his for the record-breaking €1,000 EPT Eureka event, which drew 3,155 entries.

“Before the tournament started, I was pretty nervous,” he says. “Especially because I knew that everyone would have a close look at the new ambassador. Being part of team PokerStars has a lot to say for the poker community.

“The nervousness had subsided with the beginning of the tournament and from that moment on I was just proud of being part of the team.”

Life at the poker table

Like many poker players, Huber began getting in the action just for fun. He played regularly with friends and his group even built their own poker table.

“Then I discovered Twitch poker, so I started playing online too,” he says, “Since I began to stream on Twitch, the poker community has motivated me to get better at the game and I really enjoyed every second of it.”

His Twitch community can now expect even more poker action throughout the year after adding his name to the Stars team.

After high school, studying business in college followed. But his success at online poker soon had him playing the game full time. Huber now considers himself a professional content creator as well as a poker pro.

Sticking to a regular regimen helps Huber in his efforts at successful stream and online poker.

My daily poker routine is pretty simple, but there are three important things I need to do to make it a successful working day,” he says. “Those three things are sports, good and healthy food, and motivation. If I follow these three points, I will be well-prepared to give my best every day.”

Outside of poker, sports are a huge part of his life and he’s currently training for and competing in triathlons.

“For me, endurance sport is just amazing to keep your mind clear after long poker and streaming sessions,” he says. “On the other hand, it helps you to keep your high-performance level and I also love to push myself to new limits.”

That commitment to high performance may just carry over to the poker table as well.

* Lead image courtesy PokerStars/Danny Maxwell

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Free Money: GGMasters Overlay Edition Promises Plenty of $5 Million Fireworks on Sunday

The GGMasters Overlay Edition runs March 20 at GGPoker and promises a gargantuan $5 million guarantee for only a $150 buy-in.

It will be a super Sunday for online poker players at GGPoker. The GGMasters Overlay Edition runs March 20 and promises a gargantuan $5 million guarantee for only a $150 buy-in.

The tournament may have a fitting name considering even GGPoker staff believe making the guarantee seems unlikely. That means plenty of value for players jumping into the action on Sunday.

GG ambassador Daniel Negreanu has even promised to shave his head if the event cracks the $5 million mark. The Overlay Edition offers a nice shot in the arm for online poker and plenty of fun for players seeking an opportunity at a nice score.

“I’ve never seen an online site be this aggressive with a guarantee they can’t really think is going to hit,” Negreanu told PokerScout in February. “It’s a unique way to give back to the players.”

PokerScout spoke with GG this week  about the numbers so far and what to expect.

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What’s on tap at GGPoker

GG has become one of the largest online poker operators in the world. The GGMasters launched in 2020 and is the largest weekly freezeout event in online poker.

Players in this week’s GGMasters will find something completely different however. The guarantee is astronomical for such a low buy-in. The company is even offering three different flights for players around the world including:

  • 1 – Asia flight (12:00 UTC/20:00 CST)
  • 2 – Europe flight (17:00 UTC)
  • 3 – Americas flight (22:00 UTC/19:00 BST)

Day 2 then plays out on March 21 at 17:00 UTC. The winner is guaranteed at least $450,000 with other top finishers also scoring six figures.

“The GGMasters Overlay Edition will be something very special we hope, a wonderful freezeout event with no advantages given to those players with deeper pockets, and a truly massive guarantee for all players to take aim at,” GG head of public relations Paul Burke said.

“We want this event to be something that the whole industry can point to as how poker should be, and more importantly as a tournament that absolutely every player wants to take their shot at.”

GGPoker announced the $150 GGMasters Overlay Edition on Monday.The special tournament is set for March 20 and boasts a $5 million guarantee.

Expect a huge field

Whether the tournament reaches the guarantee or not, there should be a huge field of players on Sunday. GG has been offering numerous qualifiers over the last month.

The tournament should feature players of all bankrolls. Not only is the buy-in low for a tournament of this size, but some of those qualifiers start at just $2.

Players will surely be clamoring for an event that offers so much bang for the buck. Those who may not have won an entry via satellite might decide it’s worth taking a shot at the full buy-in level. Negreanu thinks the event will be worth it.

“$150 buy-in. $5 million  guaranteed. No rebuys. There’s no way this tournament is not going to have an overlay!” Negreanu said. “This is GGPoker’s flagship freezeout tournament and you won’t want to miss out on the value this March 20.”

The event is receiving quite a bit of notice from poker players. The company has found an event to capture the spotlight of the online poker world for a bit.

As of Thursday, 8,070 players had registered for the tournament. That accounts for a bit over $1.1 million already contributed to the prize pool. Of those, more than 5,500 players won their seats in satellites.

“We’re thrilled with how the GGMasters Overlay Edition has been received by the poker community; I think people recognize what GGPoker is trying to achieve with regard to building a series of high-guarantee freezeout tournaments at a reasonable buy-in, and have embraced it,” Burke said.

“The Overlay Edition is going to be the highest value tournament of all time at this price point, with a massive guarantee that just isn’t going to be met in terms of entries.”

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Reaching the guarantee?

The Overlay Edition needs a massive turnout to reach the guarantee and many may wonder if getting there is possible. Out of each $150 buy-in, $12 goes to GG as the tournament fee. So $138 of each buy-in goes into the prize pool.

As PokerScout previously reported, the tournament would need 36,232 players to reach that $5 million number. And remember, there are no re-entries in this one.

So that’s ​​the number of individual players needed – quite a hefty sum. Getting there seems very unlikely, but it will be interesting to see how many players GG is able to attract as well as who will come out on top.

GG officials don’t hold out much hope at meeting the guarantee. That means some nice free cash for those who can get in the money.

“We expect to be several thousand players short of hitting the guarantee, and that’s okay,” Burke said. “The more value offered, the happier our community will be.”

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ANOTHER ONE OUT: 888poker Adds to List of Poker Operators Ceasing Russian Operations

888poker announced that it won't be accepting players in Russia as of March 15, adding to a growing list of operators leaving the country.

With the war in Ukraine now almost in its third week, another online poker operator announced Monday that it was leaving the country. 888poker won’t be available to players in Russia as of Tuesday, leaving the country’s players fewer options.

“All 888poker operations in Russia will be suspended starting March 15th until further notice,” the company noted on Twitter.

The company now joins partypoker and PokerStars in leaving the market. Online poker operators have joined a list of many corporate entities that have stopped operating in the country.

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Exodus of online poker operators

Partypoker became the first operator to announce its exit from Russia in February even before the country invaded Ukraine. Party officials cited regulatory concerns for closing up shop in Russia.

PokerStars then made the move last week with 888poker now following as well. Stars also canceled the PokerStars Live European Poker Tour that was scheduled for March in Sochi.

The iPoker Network appears to have left Russia before the current conflict began as well.

GGPoker appears to be operating in the market as of Tuesday. Other live poker tours have also dialed back events in the country with outfits like the World Poker Tour not scheduling events in the country.

Slowdown in traffic

Russia was one of the largest markets for online poker operators. The country has seen major gains for the game in recent years, both in live tournaments and online.

With the shutdowns, operators have seen some traffic hits. PokerStars saw its seven-day average drop to 4,400 players as of Tuesday, according to Online Poker Report. That’s a dip of about 15% the usual number.

Most operators have seen the market as a gray market. The country officially outlaws live gambling except in four regions, including Sochi.

However, online gaming has been more murky with most major operators still allowing Russian players until now. Stars attempted to work on the regulated side of the market, reaching a deal with Casino Sochi to co-brand a poker client.

Following the events in Ukraine

Like many around the world, poker players have been following the war in Ukraine as it plays out on television and social media.

Many were captivated by Eugene Katchalov’s plight to get his family out of the country as Russia invaded. He Tweeted his family’s escape and news of events on the ground during the early days of the invasion.

Many players have followed the events and shared some news from the war. Daniel Negreanu was particularly moved by the words of a Russian soldier.

Katchalov continues sharing insight from Ukraine. He noted that Leon Tsoukernik, owner of King’s Casino in Czech Republic, has helped in settling some of his family members.

Tsoukernik, whose property hosts the annual World Series of Poker Europe, also set up facilities for up to 500 refugees. Those efforts received some accolades among poker players.