Mixed Games Festival Heads to PokerStars With Ambassador Mason Pye Hosting New Series 

PokerStars ambassador Mason “Pyefacepoker” Pye hosts his own micro stakes mini mixed game series from Nov. 5-7 with $110,000 guaranteed.

A new series coming to PokerStars seems a perfect fit for low rollers who are fans of mixed games. Brand ambassador and SCOOP (Spring Championship of Online Poker) champion Mason “Pyefacepoker” Pye bring his own micro stakes mini series to PokerStars.

Pye’s Mixed Games Series” features 20 events running from Nov. 5-7 with combined guaranteed prize pools of more than $110,000.

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Inside the PokerStars Mixed Games Festival

The new series brings the fun of mixed games to those with lower bankrolls. Players will find several poker variants to check out throughout the series.

Buy-ins for the series range from just $1.10 to $11, with the $11 Main Event offering a $20,000 guarantee. Just as in many bigger buy-in series, players can look to see some of their big runs streamed online.

Pye and fellow PokerStars ambassador GJ Reggie will stream much of the series on the PokerStars Twitch channel.

“The Mixed Games Series is the perfect opportunity for players to dabble into variants other than No Limit Hold’em,” Pye said in a news release. “Not only are mixed games fun, they help you become a better overall poker player and with tournaments aimed at those with modest bankrolls, there never has been a better time to get involved and join the movement.”

The idea for the festival actually came about during one of Pye’s streams in 2018.

PokerStars has now made that happen. Here’s a look at the complete series.

PokerStars offers opportunities to qualify for free

Beyond simply buying into an event, PokerStars is giving players other low-cost opportunities to qualify. That includes a chance to win some free tournament entries.

Viewers watching the PokerStars ambassadors’ Twitch channels can earn some free entries into the series. Players can look for PokerStars Chests with series tickets from $1.10 up to $11 randomly dropped into their accounts. 

Additionally, Pye’s Mixed Games Series takes place at the same time as PokerStars “Dare 2 Stream” competition. This new contest allows players to compete for a shot at becoming a PokerStars ambassador.

There is plenty going on at PokerStars, and that also includes the Championship of Online Poker in Southern Europe. The platform offers €7 million guaranteed for players in Spain, France, and Portugal.

Stars is offering numerous chances for players to win this fall.

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Ready to Represent? PokerStars Contest Offers Players Chance To Become Brand Ambassador

Many poker players dream of representing an online poker brand and PokerStars is giving them a shot at making that a reality.

Many poker players dream of representing an online poker brand and traveling the world playing cards. PokerStars is giving regular Joes a shot at making at least some of that a reality.

The site announced the launch of its “Dare2Stream” challenge on Monday. The promotion runs through Dec. 17, awarding a coveted one-year ambassador contract to the winner.

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How to join Team PokerStars?

PokerStars’ newest ambassador joins popular pros Lex Veldhuis, Fintan Hand, and Ben “Spraggy” Spragg. To join the team, PokerStars is looking for a top-notch Twitch streamer. Players entering the contest will need to showcase:

  • streaming skills
  • creativity
  • love for the game
  • how they engage with their community

“Supporting up-and-coming talent is a key part of our strategy, so we’re excited to launch this competition and celebrate the brilliant talent we have out there on the Twitch streets,” PokerStars associate director of communities and partnerships Scott Goodall said in a news release.

“We hope to find streamers who have lots of potential, creativity, drive to grow, and who are passionate about poker. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone’s entries and welcoming a new member to the team!”

To participate, players must fill out an online application form and join the PokerStars public Discord server. Competitors will also need to join “Team DareToStream” on Twitch and use the mature audience setting on the stream.

More PokerStars prizes on the line

Along with an ambassadorship up for grabs, PokerStars is offering up even more. The site is awarding numerous tournament tickets for simply streaming as part of the contest.

Tickets also go to players competing in the “Clip of the Week” challenge. This involves participants submitting their favorite clip of the week from their stream.

A panel of judges will select the two weekly winners. Here’s a look at some of what players can expect:

  • $109 Sunday Million tickets are awarded to the two winners of the Clip of the Week challenge.
  • Winners of the Clip of the Week challenge also have a $109 Sunday Million ticket bounty placed on them as part of the exclusive Dare 2 Stream weekly $5,000 guaranteed Home Game.
  • A $55 Home Game ticket is awarded weekly to entrants streaming a minimum of 10 hours in the previous week.
  • $109 Sunday Million tickets are awarded to those who complete a minimum of 50 streaming hours during the competition.
  • $11 Sunday Storm tickets are distributed to those who complete between 25-49 streaming hours during the competition.

PokerStars is looking to make one lucky streamer’s dream come true in December. PokerStars streamer Mason “pyefacepoker” Pye has experienced this kind of promotion first-hand.

“The fact that the winner of this edition of Dare2Stream will be joining Team PokerStars for a year is truly incredible and an opportunity that should not be missed,” Pye says.

“As a streamer who participated in a similar promotion before signing with PokerStars, being on the team has genuinely been a life-changing experience. I’ve had the opportunity to play, travel, and work with like-minded individuals both on and off-stream with the same goal in mind to help the growth of Twitch Poker.”

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888poker Adds Sam Abernathy, Jordan Banfield To Ambassador Ranks, Twitch StreamTeam

The 888poker player roster just expanded. The site recently announced the signing of two new ambassadors – Sam Abernathy and Jordan Banfield.

The 888poker player roster just expanded. The site recently announced the signing of two new ambassadors – Sam Abernathy and Jordan Banfield.

“I’m looking forward to growing as a player with 888poker, reconnecting with friends on the felt,” Abernathy says, “and my hope is just to inspire others to take the leap in their own journey to play this great game.”

Banfield has also become the latest member of the site’s growing StreamTeam.

“I’m very excited to work with 888poker,” he says. “I aim to provide great content through this collaboration and proud to rep the brand as one of their online pros.”

Both players spoke with PokerScout this week about their poker life and what’s ahead for them at 888.

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Sam Abernathy’s poker life in Las Vegas

888poker ambassador Sam Abernathy.

Abernathy, 30, is no stranger to success on the poker felt with more than $575,000 in live tournament winnings. Her breakout performance came in 2016, when she finished third in the Aussie Millions A$10,000 Main Event for $437,543.

Beyond the poker table, she’s also built up a considerable social media following with her fun personality. When not playing poker, her hobbies include acrobatics, art, and traveling.

Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Abernathy had an affinity for strategy games from an early age. She began playing micro stakes live tournaments in 2014 and fell in love with poker. Now based in Las Vegas, Abernathy spent several years grinding the micro stakes.

“I never imagined I’d move to Vegas, but it made the most sense for me being the home of poker,” she says. “It’s crazy to think that I’ve lived here for nearly eight years now. I’m originally from a very small town in Georgia, so to me, the worst part about living in Vegas is having no grass.

“Life is pretty normal for me though. I have hobbies outside of poker to stay active and pets to take care of. I work remotely with a public relations/marketing agency. I’m not too crazy about the nightlife scene, but I do enjoy going out for dinner and a good show – we have the best circus in the world. For now, Vegas works but eventually, I hope to live somewhere tropical.”

Ready for the WSOP, happy to join 888

After a break from the Vegas tournament scene, the World Series of Poker is now on her calendar. She’s looking forward to getting back to the live tournament grind. 

That includes patching up as an 888 representative and putting the pandemic in the rearview mirror.

“I am extremely excited, honored and grateful for the opportunity to join Team 888poker,” she says. “2020 was an exceptionally tough year for us all. And I think the most important lesson I learned through slowing down is that life is too short to not follow your passions above all else.”

The new role also comes after Abernathy spent considerable time sharpening her skills and feels like a nice reward. Along with the WSOP, some 888poker online action is also in the works as well streaming on Twitch, where she has 6,600 subscribers. The 888 signing comes after putting in years at the tables.

“I’ve been working on my game off the felt with a wonderful study group, so I feel supported and excited,” she says. “I’ll be traveling back and forth to Mexico so I can play 888poker online and stream on Twitch. It’s a really exciting time, and after the crazy year we’ve just experienced with the pandemic, I’m planning to make the most of it.”

Banfield brings his Twitch game to 888

888poker’s newest StreamTeam member Jordan Banfield.

A full-time poker player from Calgary, Canada, Banfield began focusing more on his poker career in 2020 during the pandemic. A few months later, the 31-year-old began streaming on Twitch with hopes of playing full time. So far, so good, and he now has 9,300 subscribers.

“My friend is a big poker streamer and he said to give it a try, and I never looked back once I started,” he says. “I’d say what sets my stream apart is I’m very engaging, I’m always talking, and sometimes do silly things on stream and I tend to get good laughs from viewers.”

Twitch has become an even more important medium for poker sites in recent years. Banfield hopes to be even more creative in the coming months with the 888poker connection.

Along with poker, he loves competitive sports like snowboarding and football, and has a passion for health and fitness. How does it feel being part of the 888 team?

“It feels amazing, since starting Twitch my goal was to work for a company like 888poker which I respect and admire and to shift toward full-time,” he says. “Being part of the team has helped me toward that.”

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PokerStars Twitch Lineup Expands With Addition of Rapper Papo MC to Free-Play Platform

PokerStars has added rap freestyler, poker player, and Twitch streamer Papo MC as an ambassador to the site's free-to-play platform.

Twitch remains a key focus for PokerStars and the site added to its streaming roster again over the weekend. The site announced the addition of rap freestyler and poker player Papo MC (aka Alejandro Andres Lococo).

Unlike most of the site’s Twitch streamers, Lococo will be showcasing his play on the free-to-play PokerStars.net site.

The company and the rapper have formed “an exciting new partnership focused on bringing his passion for poker to life with engaging and entertaining content,” PokerStars noted in a news release.

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Rap game to poker game

Jumping in the poker action is nothing new for Papo MC, who streams about various topics on his Twitch channel. He’ll now add online poker to that mix.

“Today is a big day for me, I feel very proud to wear the PokerStars.net patch,” Papo said of partnering with the company. “It’s a big step in my career, a partnership that will leave its mark.

“This is the place every poker player dreams to be. We are going to work to take poker to a whole new level. See you all at the tables.”

Lococo’s love for the game began in 2016, when he started playing the live poker circuit in his home country of Argentina. In five years, his interest in the game has grown into a passion.

What I enjoy most about poker is the different emotions that you experience while playing,” Papo told PokerScout this week. “Beyond this, poker has helped me get to know wonderful people and visit wonderful places. It’s given me great friends and amazing stories.”

Since beginning his music career in 2011, Papo MC is now one of the most recognizable freestylers in Latin America. His resumé includes winning Batalla de los Gallos in Argentina.

The show is a competition among the best freestylers in the Spanish-speaking world. Lococo also represented his country in the international competition in 2016.

Along with adding another streamer, his presence allows PokerStars to reach a young Spanish-speaking demographic. The company continues to focus on expansion and reaching potential players who may be new to poker.

What to expect from the partnership

PokerStars says fans can look forward to seeing plenty of exciting content following the partnership. That includes Papo’s Talk Show, a monthly home game featuring his friends, including freestylers, influencers, and celebrities.

Plans call for Papo to also host monthly play money poker streams on Twitch. Fans and members of his community can also jump in regular freerolls he hosts on the platform.

Papo will also explore PokerStars.net VR (virtual reality) and invite friends to participate in challenges on his YouTube channel. The free site also allows Lococo to show newer players how to play.

“We have very funny ideas that we will go live with soon, from educational content to poker games in VR with incredible guests and some other surprises,” he said.

What sets Papo’s stream apart from others?

“I think it’s the transparency in everything that is said and done,” he said. “When I start a stream, it feels like talking or playing with my friends. Instead of looking into their eyes, I look to the camera. People can tell I have a great time doing it.”

PokerStars.net isn’t a gambling site and doesn’t provide an opportunity to win real money. The games are intended for players 18 and up for amusement purposes only.

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Online Poker Gives Canadian Twitch Streamer Deborah ‘QueenBee’ Vanneste A Buzz

Deborah "QueenBee" Vanneste discovered online poker while recovering from an injury in the Canadian Naval Reserves. Twitch streaming has now become a passion. 

Injuries can come with major setbacks. But for Deborah Vanneste, an injury ended up changing her life. Vanneste was on leave from the Canadian Naval Reserves recovering from an injury and decided to give online poker a shot to pass the time. 

“I deposited onto PokerStars to Celebrate New Year’s that year,” says Vanneste, who lives on Prince Edward Island, Canada. “In my first week playing online poker I won a seat to the Vanessa Rousso boot camp and the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure tournament.” 

On that trip, Vanneste was introduced to poker legends like Daniel Negreanu, Vanessa Selbst, and Bertrand “ Elky” Grospellier. She was hooked by the poker experience.


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Meet the QueenBee

If her name doesn’t sound familiar, then “QueenBeePoker” might ring a bell. She’s a Twitch poker streamer on and has almost 7,000 followers.

Vanneste plays poker online weekly and started streaming poker after seeing Jaime Staples on Twitch. 

“I thought there would be a good opportunity for streaming some low stakes at the same time representing women in poker,” she says.

Streaming brought some luck to her early on in the game. On just her second live stream, Vanneste won a PokerStars MicroMillions title live on Twitch. 

The QueenBee currently has over $150,000 in online tournament cashes, including two titles in the recent MicroMillions

Some of her notable online cashes include:

  • $3.30 PokerStars MicroMillions (2014) – 1st, $12,685
  • $8.80 PokerStars MicroMillions Pot Limit Omaha 6-Max (2015) – 1st, $3,517
  • $210 GGPoker Bounty Hunter Special (2021) – 2nd, $2,138
  • $82 partypoker Powerfest PKO (2020) – 5th, $2,323


Staying a busy bee

Vanneste currently considers poker a hobby, not a profession. Besides being a mom and a poker player, she has a day job and is pursuing some educational goals

“I currently work full time with Veterans Affairs,” she says. “I am back at university at the moment, pursuing my bachelor’s of business and public administration degrees.”

The QueenBee feels like her stream stands out because she isn’t the typical Twitch streamer. 

“I think representing women in poker sets me a bit apart, especially being mature,” she says. “Also the diversity of games I play, I love adding some mixed games and PLO into the lineup.”

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Live poker goals

Twitch streamer Deborah Vanneste showing off her Run It Up Reno trophy,

While she plays mostly online, Vanneste would like to play more in a live setting. She has achieved some success at brick and mortar casinos however. 

In 2017, she was able to attend the Run It Up Reno IV, hosted by Jason Somerville. The QueenBee won a PokerStars satellite for only $27 and punched her ticket to the event. 

At the series she secured some nice cashes and a win as well. She took the top spot in a $125 Triple Stud Six-Max event for $2,625. She also notched two more cashes.

“Getting to play with Jason Somerville was a dream,” she says. “Also bluffing him, showing the bluff, and going on to win felt pretty good too!”

Travel in Canada has been restricted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Vanneste feels the positive side of this situation is that it’s created a mini online poker boom in the country. She still wants to play live and plans on traveling when it’s safe to do so.

“I want to incorporate a trip to Vegas once per year for the World Series of Poker as I have never been yet,” she says.

Vanneste wants that schedule to start soon. The Queen hopes to add some gold.

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New Twitch Show ‘Seat Wide Open’ Ramps Up Poker Talk – And Fun

The team behind the new Twitch poker show "Seat Wide Open" are hoping to find a niche and offer something new in the poker media landscape.

In a packed poker media landscape, there’s no shortage of websites, publications, and video options for poker fans. The team behind the new Twitch poker show Seat Wide Open are hoping to find a niche and offer something new.

Riffld, the production company behind the industry series The Orbit, debuted the new show last week. The pilot featured hosts Des Duffy and Leigh Wiltshire interviewing Unibet ambassador Dara O’Kearney.

A unique aspect of the game is seeing each guest play online poker while chit chatting with the hosts. O’Kearney, who co-hosts The Chip Race podcast and is also an author, played a Unibet cash game session while discussing topics ranging from his play on the virtual felt to cryptocurrency to writing and blogging.

Duffy recently spoke with PokerScout about the show and how Riffld hopes to offer some twists to the typical poker production.

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What to expect from the show

Seat Wide Open works in some additional features to add to the entertainment value. Viewers ride along as each week’s guest battles it out online.

That effort includes some multitasking for a wide ranging interview with Duffy and Wiltshire. The hosts also use some fun game show segments to add to turn up the fun.

Those features include: Stake a Shark, Sing a Long, Hot or Not, and Review a Flick. Each of these segments is meant to bring a television variety show feel. It’s a late night talk show mixed with a bit of The Gong Show and some Twitch poker thrown in.

On the poker side, viewers get a detailed insight into each player’s approach to the game. Each guest plays for 100 minutes with hole cards visible for viewers.

The show also keeps a leaderboard for show guests throughout the season. Producers hope this accomplishes two things:

  • Allowing viewers to see some varied thought processes and strategies across a full season.
  • Players are really working hard to post a great session to challenge at the top of the leaderboard.

“This absolutely lends itself to the competitive nature of poker players and it’ll be interesting to see what impact the leaderboard has on decision making live on the show,” Duffy says of the leaderboard.

“While all of this is going on, we are also conducting a deep interview with the guest through direct questions and some unique game show style segments, which will occasionally take the guest out of their comfort zone.

“There’s quite a mix of things going on, but they segued together well in our pilot episode with Dara O’Kearney and we’ve come out feeling confident that the format can find an audience. Plus, we had fun making it and that’s important to us too.”


A passion for poker

The show becomes the latest program for twitch.tv/poker. The Riffld team, which also includes Cardplayer Lifestyle blog founder Robbie Strazynski, hope to inform and entertain at the same time.

The team’s previous effort, The Orbit, received some nice buzz among players and fans. Seat Wide Open is meant to build on that momentum.

While entertainment is a big part of the show, the hosts bring plenty of industry knowledge

Duffy formerly worked as head of product at SkyBet and in other roles with online gaming operators. He also co-founded the Amateur Poker Association and Tour with Wiltshire.

Robbie, Leigh and I are recreational players with a great passion for poker,” Duffy says. “We come from a mix of backgrounds. I’ve worked for industry operators, for example. We do have a lot in common, particularly a wish to promote poker as the great social game that it is.”

The Orbit was our first format and it had a great response from the industry. We evolved the format by adding a complimentary Orbit Extra, which was a live reaction show to what was discussed on the show. We’ve had some outstanding guests on both of those shows.”

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Growing a poker channel

Seat Wide Open streams live each Thursday and fans can tune in to ask each guest questions. Hosts and viewers can inquire why certain hands were played in certain ways as well as other strategy questions. With the casual format, some of those questions may evolve outside the poker realm as well.

With so many operators and streamers on Twitch, Duffy, Wiltshire, and Strazynski hope the channel reaches all types of players.

“We see an opportunity for a more highly-produced show, with less emphasis on single operators or platforms,” Duffy says.”We want to showcase the best streamers, the best players and operators at any given time – whether through a news, game show, or live reporting format.

“Ultimately we’d like to build up a weekly schedule of shows and become a destination for viewers who want to add greater variation into what they watch. Everyone’s time is valuable these days and we just want to add a little more choice into the mix.”

O’Kearney believes the team is moving in the right direction and says he had a great time on the show.

“The show was tremendous fun,” he says. “Leigh and Des are great at keeping the chat flowing. I really enjoyed it and it reminded me how much fun live poker is.”

The next episode of Seat Wide Open streams live July 29 and features Jesse Sylvia, 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event runner-up. Riffld is seeking players or streamers interested in taking part in future episodes. Contact producers at [email protected] or @riffld via Twitter.

888poker Twitch StreamTeam Members Ready for Action, Discuss New Roles With Site

888poker has relaunched its Twitch channel and signed five streamers to rep the brand and PokerScout spoke with then about their new roles.

Twitch streaming has become a major part of the online poker environment in recent years. 888poker got into the act last week by unveiling the 888 StreamTeam.

The site recently relaunched its entire 888pokerTV Twitch channel and is now adding to that even more. As part of that effort, the site recently signed five streamers to represent the brand on the platform.

Along with streaming poker on the 888pokerTV and StreamTeam channels, 888 is planning special promotions, giveaways, freerolls, and more as part of the launch.

PokerScout recently spoke in depth with two of the new StreamTeam members.

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David Gibson – contest crash to Twitch success

The road to streaming came with some tough realities for David Gibson. He’d entered an online poker site’s streaming competition in 2019 with hopes of a nice top prize and ticket to a huge Caribbean poker tournament.

In the contest, entrants had to stream for at least 10 hours. Entries were judged on quality, presentation, and innovation.

“It led to a lot of people like myself deciding to bite the bullet and give it a go,” Gibson says. “In the end, there were over 100 entrants, so a heck of a lot of competition. I definitely didn’t envy the insane amount of hours of footage they had to watch, and the work they had to put in.”

The trip to the Caribbean wasn’t meant to be, but some key streaming lessons were learned. 

“My stream had no innovation, and the quality and presentation aspects were questionable,” Gibson says. “Going up against some established streamers was an extremely difficult task, but ultimately I just wasn’t good enough anyway.

“I suspect I didn’t make the top 20. That said, I was gutted when I didn’t win. I nearly quit streaming for good on the day the results were announced.”

Instead, the 29-year-old from southwest England fine-tuned his presentation and production skills. As a result, his New_Dave channel has made some major improvements.

That includes now being on camera more, unlike earlier efforts. The changes have not only been good for streaming, but also for Gibson personally.

“People on Twitch didn’t know what I looked or sounded like, and it wasn’t an accident on my part,” he says. “Self-esteem issues plagued me, and still do now, but during the second half of 2019 a lot of Twitch people helped me make a lot of progress.

“One of my favorite things about streaming now is just that it shows me how far I’ve actually come. I also hope it’s gradually building my confidence over time.”

No quitting for New_Dave

Numerous players have taken to streaming, but finding an ambassador role isn’t easy. What sets Gibson’s channel apart from others? 

“I find this difficult to answer myself, but people say my stream has a very chill vibe around it,” he says. “It’s somewhere you can go just to relax.

“I’m not a loud person, I can’t bring myself to feign excitement or anger or whatever. I’m pretty calm and dry on stream, which in a way sets it apart I suppose.”

David Gibson

Mixing it up at the tables is also important. Gibson plays several games beyond Hold’em. He even throws in some Pokemon Red during breaks – the action never stops at New_Dave.

Primarily a micro stakes player, many low rollers may identify with Gibson. Streaming has been a nice social opportunity as well.

“The biggest win I’ve had on stream is the friends I made along the way,” he says. “Cheese aside though, that’s literally true. Some of the people I’ve gotten to know through Twitch, and streaming myself, are people I’d now consider true friends.”

That may never have been the case however. After losing the contest, he considered quitting. On the last stream for the competition, he received some motivation however, Two added subscribers moved his channel to affiliate status. 

“Their support ultimately made me decide I couldn’t quit because they’d basically paid for a month of content,” he says. “It’s cliche and slightly boring, but I’d tell people to not give up. I’ve given up on a lot of things in the past and this streaming thing was probably the first thing I’d properly forced myself to commit to. It’s served me pretty well.”

That commitment now includes growing the 888 streaming efforts.

“I’m very excited to try and build up the 888poker StreamTeam on Twitch,” he says. “I feel that the more different sites get involved is great for not only Twitch, but poker in general.”

Adam Tocholke – table talk and musical vibes

Poker wasn’t the first streaming option for Adam Tocholke, his background is more musical. He released his first original song “Let’s Go Home” as Eklo in 2015. The song was received well and brought about a highly creative period for Tocholke.

That included producing many of his biggest songs in a small window of time. He’s now been a full-time music and content creator and music producer since 2018.

“I have a huge range of musical influences ranging from James Taylor to Linkin Park,” says the 34-year-old from Ontario, Canada.

“I’ve always written music on my acoustic guitar and include it in many of my songs. I think the blend of that classic summer sound mixed with my style of songwriting and guitar playing is what really shapes the Eklo sound.”

Tocholke’s iamEklo channel originally streamed music production, web shows, and gaming. Poker has become another extension and he likes the back and forth that comes with the game.

“Some stream formats are more difficult to balance what you are doing while also keeping engaged with the community,” he says. “Poker just has this perfect balance of action and interaction.

“There is plenty of time between hands to bond with the community and plenty of high octane moments where we celebrate the big wins and try to shake off the bad beats. I love the game, love sharing it with people, and love a little competition, so poker tournaments really check off a lot of boxes for me.”

Learning the poker ropes

Players new to the game may want to check out Tocholke stream because he’s in the same boat. His mix of tastes and interests also presents a unique experience. 

“As a relatively inexperienced player you get to watch me grow through all the good and often terrible decisions I make at the felt,” he says. “I play with a lot of heart and emotion and it is definitely a roller coaster.

Adam Tocholke

“On my channel, interaction takes precedence over the actual poker, which is terrible for my bankroll but a ton of fun with the chat. I’m always looking for ways to interact whether it’s streaming without delay or reviewing previous hands with the community.”

Now as part of the 888 stable, Tocholke is expecting big things to come.

“I’m just happy to be part of the 888poker stream team, the experience so far has been epic,” he says. “I think I offer something a little bit different as the only Canadian on the team and bring lots of experience to the table with regard to audio and video production.”

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888 StreamTeam

Beyond Gibson and Tocholke, 888 has added three more StreamTeam members. Here’s a look at the other players joining the crew.

Nick Eastwood

  • Stream: eastyyy22
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Essex, United Kingdom

Eastwood began playing poker 12 years ago while studying philosophy in college. His interests also include football and video games.

His Twitch channel mainly focuses on free learning content for cash game players and some entertaining poker-related videos. That includes his personal poker results and updates. 

“I’m very lucky to have some incredible poker players contributing and providing feedback to others every day,” he says. “Members share their goals, graphs, hands, and more.

“Now, through my partnership with 888poker, I’m finally able to focus all my energy into all things poker and content. I’m really excited to continue growing my channel with 888poker and, hopefully, I’ll see some of you on stream soon.”

Ricardo Mateus

  • Stream: Mat3usPT
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Lisbon, Portugal

Mateus started playing poker around 2006 and soon fell in love with tournaments, playing many years recreationally. In 2018, he allocated more time and study while streaming more regularly. Mateus began building a small community – making each show more fun.

“We must be professional and competent,” he says of streaming, “but above all, I think we should have fun.

“I’m extremely flattered and excited to represent a brand like 888poker. I think that together we will be able to do fantastic things and raise the game of poker in Portugal in a fun and responsible way.”

Josh Manley

Manley started playing poker at age 18, first with play money and then via freerolls to help build a bankroll. He later transitioned to real money games and began seeing some improvement in his skills

Some regular deep runs at micro stakes followed. Eventually, poker became a full-time job over the next 10 years for Manley.

“I’m very happy to be joining 888poker,” he says. “To team up with one of the best sites out there is a dream come true. I’m hoping to continue climbing stakes and having a great time on stream.”

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‘Lex Not Live’ Promises Tournament Action, Plenty of Extras & Twitch Streaming at PokerStars

Online poker players can get in the action with PokerStars streamer Lex Veldhuis in the “Lex Not Live” series from May 18-23.

Online poker players looking to get in the action with PokerStars ambassador and streamer Lex Veldhuis are in luck. The “Lex Not Live” series is back for its second running on the site from May 18-23.

The schedule includes at least three tournaments each day with 18 total events with buy-ins ranging from $11 to $55. Players will find a variety of formats and a host of PokerStars community activities.

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Highlights from ‘Lex Not Live’ at PokerStars

Those looking to jump in the Lex Not Live series will find a plethora of unique poker variants. Some of those include:

The series also includes Fusion, a PokerStars hybrid of Hold’em and Omaha. In this game, players start with two hole cards and potentially end with four.

Beyond those options, several tournament styles will be offered. Some of those include:

  • Zoom, including a heads-up version
  • Progressive Knockout (PKO) bounty events
  • Win the Button
  • FU Flipout, all-in shootout event

The $33 Main Event highlights the series on May 23. The $55 High Roller should draw plenty of interest as well on May 19. Here’s a look at the complete schedule.

2021 PokerStars “Lex Not Live”

May 18PLO Lex Veldhuis Open$33
May 18NLHE PKO$22
May 186+ Hold'em$11
May 19High Roller$55
May 196-Card PLO$11
May 20Total Knockout Heads-up Zoom$22
May 20PKO Zoom$22
May 21Community day – all day
May 22Win the Button$11
May 22Deepstack$22
May 22FU Flipout$11
May 22Fusion$22
May 23NLHE$22
May 23Main Event$33
May 23Second Chance$22
May 23NLHE PKO$11

Plenty of satellite action planned

Along with lower-geared buy-ins, players will find plenty of satellites. These feature even smaller buy-ins and allow players of all bankrolls to get involved.

Main Event qualifiers start at just $1. However, players must have their Twitch and PokerStars accounts linked and enter a daily password.

The password changes every day and will be released on Veldhuis’s Twitch channel. 

Those making it through the $1 Step 1 satellites move on to a $5.60 Step 2 event. Players can then earn a Main Event ticket if they make it through that step.

Players with Twitch-linked accounts can also win PokerStars chests throughout the series. Daily Chest Drops feature awards ranging from $1 satellite tickets to $33 Main Event entries.

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More promotions in the works

Even more is planned for the series beyond the tournaments offered. As part of the “community” dynamics, a “Mandatory Discord Call Home Game” is also planned.

To participate, players need to register in advance. Those taking part will be on a voice call with their table mates for the entire tournament.

“It’s not ‘live,’ but it’s about as close as it gets,” PokerStars notes in a new release.

A series “off day” is set for May 21, but more fun events are still planned. Several community-focused activities are scheduled including online video games and a movie watch party.

There should be plenty of fun for players who enjoy the community created at Twitch. Recreational players may also enjoy the lower-priced buy-ins and fun events throughout the series.

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Partypoker-Sport Buff Partnership Enhances Twitch Streams With Added Viewer Interaction

Partypoker is ramping up interaction and fan engagement on its Twitch streams thanks to a new deal with Sport Buff.

Partypoker is ramping up interaction with poker fans on Twitch thanks to a new deal with Sport Buff. The company offers next-generation fan engagement and gamification for broadcast and media applications.

Sport Buff will collaborate with partypoker to enhance the company’s Twitch viewing experience. The company will focus on party’s streams across its English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian broadcasts.

“Partypoker’s commitment to building a community for poker fans on Twitch by creating unique, interactive streams that align well with Sport Buff’s mission to provide fans with an engaging, next-generation experience,” partypoker Twitch manager Gaston Catzman said in a news release.

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What will Sport Buff do for partypoker?

Twitch has become an increasingly important medium among online poker sites in recent years. Streaming final tables and other events helps platforms connect with poker fans.

Some of those viewers are new to the game and poker sites see the Twitch service as a vehicle to reach new players. Sports Buff offers streamers several features allowing viewers to “play along” with the action.

Sport Buff’s unique video overlay delivers fully interactive and gamification experiences. That helps drive audience retention and education, delivering real-time engagement, party noted in announcing the deal. Added broadcast elements include:

  • predictions
  • polls
  • trivia
  • fun facts
  • notifications
  • emoji sliders and raters

The features will launch initially on the Twitch desktop platform only, but will expand to mobile devices at a later date.

Operators looking for added value in streaming

The agreement comes at a time when sports have moved beyond just a passive viewing experience. With fantasy gaming, fans are now part of the action as an event unfolds.

Live, in-game sports betting has also become extremely popular among gamblers. The new Sport Buff partypoker offerings may be a way of reaching that segment of poker players.

Watching a stream becomes more interactive, albeit maybe not to the level of daily fantasy and sports betting. Sports Buff officials have high hopes of supercharging the partypoker Twitch experience.

“We’re excited to partner with partypoker to power their poker broadcasts with our next-generation gamification platform,” Sport Buff Vice President Brendan Stock said.

“Together, we are going to change the way that people watch and consume live poker competitions, by driving real-time interaction between the broadcast and the audience. We are going to innovate together to build fun, unique experiences for partypokerTV viewers.”

Sport Buff and partypoker are hoping for a full rollout during the just-announced WPT Online Series. That series runs May 14 to June 2 and players can check out the new Twitch offering.

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PokerStars Beefs Up Ambassador Squad With Six New Signings

PokerStars recently announced the signing of six new ambassadors.

During the poker boom of the 2000s, it seemed every player who’d won a tournament signed an ambassador deal. Those sponsorships are now more difficult to come by and often require more than just live tournament results.

On Tuesday, PokerStars announced the signing of six ambassadors and several bring more than just winning statistics. As poker sites work to bring more players into the game, often a player’s platform may be as important as winnings. Personality helps too.

Five of the six new PokerStars players are Twitch streams and just a couple stand out in live tournaments. The deals signal where online poker stands now, with a player’s community a major factor in representing a brand.

Beyond that, another interesting note is the inclusion of two Americans from the state of Pennsylvania. This may signal how PokerStars sees the possibility for growth in the US market.

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Adding to the PokerStars team

A few of the new PokerStars team members may be recognizable for poker fans. Those include poker pros Sam Grafton and Parker “tonkaaaaP” Talbot.

A few up and coming Twitch streamers also join the mix including:

  • Andre “ACoimbraPoker” Coimbra
  • Lasse “WisternJL” Jagd Lauritsen
  • Keith “AccidentalGrenade” Becker
  • Mark “naigo1” Foresta

“We are proud to expand our team and welcome these brilliant ambassadors for the game to PokerStars,” company associate director of communities and partnerships Scott Goodall said in a news release.

“The cornerstones of our strategy are supporting poker players and poker streamers, in particular new talent who have tons of potential and drive to grow, alongside creating a fun and welcoming environment for our community on Twitch and in other spaces. We’re excited to bring on board our new ambassadors so they can share their journeys, inspire others, and most importantly have fun.”

Live poker crushers join PokerStars

Grafton may be the best known among the new ambassadors with more than $4.1 million in live tournament winnings. The English pro’s biggest live cash was in the 2019 EPT Barcelona Super High Roller, where he scored €1.3 million.

Sam Grafton

At PokerStars, Grafton will serve as a poker commentator as well as getting involved with content and activities.

“I’m really excited to join the team and I was really excited when I heard ‘tonkaaaaP’ was coming on board at the same time,” Grafton said of the news on Talbot’s on stream. “I’ve really enjoyed working with PokerStars over the last year, and now I’m contractually obliged to turn up anytime Joe Stapleton requests a commentary buddy.”

Parker Talbot

Talbot has more than $750,000 in live tournament winnings and more than $3 million online. The Canadian poker pro’s new role includes plenty of streaming and content creation.

Talbot is considered one of the best high stakes players on Twitch. Some

notable online wins include a $109,000 SCOOP score and a Super Tuesday win for over $100,000. He also has a WCOOP title after topping a field of 842 to win $51,000, 

“It’s going to be unreal, I’m very excited to join,” Talbot said on the PokerStars SCOOP Twitch stream.

Joining the PokerStars team, ready to stream

Streaming has become a bigger part of the PokerStars ambassador crew. Beyond Grafton, four other Twitch players also join the PokerStars crew with two from Europe.

Portugal’s Coimbra returns to the team with goals of growing his Twitch and social media communities. Another goal is winning a large live tournament.

Taking second in the TRIO series Main Event last year became his best streaming moment to date. Coimbra racked up his biggest score in a poker tournament with thousands of viewers following his action


“I’m very happy having the opportunity of joining Team Pro again and once again to be an ambassador for my favorite poker site,” he said.

Lasse Jagd Lauritsen

Lauritsen is from Denmark and loves poker streaming. The 23-year-old goes live as much as six days a week and is looking to grow his community.

His online platform involves “drinking coffee and talking about the most random stuff,” his Twitch bio notes.

Reaching out to US players with new streamers

Two of the more interesting additions might be two American players. The US market may be more open for online poker after a recent Supreme Court ruling.

Online poker is now legal in six states with others considering legalization. PokerStars now operates platforms in three US states:

Two of the new ambassadors stream their action from Pennsylvania. Becker fell in love with poker while playing with friends. His competitive drive inspired him to take poker seriously.

“Keith will be streaming on PokerStars PA and his aims are to break down the walls for those new to poker and bring more people to the game,” the company notes in a news release.

Mark Foresta

Rising Twitch streamer Foresta rounds out the new PokerStars ambassadors. He’s also looking forward to streaming on PokerStars PA.

The company notes that his goals of “inspiring others to enjoy the game and being able to share streaming successes with his community.”

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