PokerStars continues adding to its ambassador lineup with some players appealing to wider audiences. After recently announcing a deal with soccer star Neymar, the site has also added English YouTuber Brian “True Geordie” Davis.
True Geordie is no stranger to poker and the game has been a regular focus of his channel. The new deal follows a trend of adding ambassadors not seen as traditional poker pros.
Davis has almost 2 million subscribers on YouTube and 113,000 on Twitch. Those platforms are a major part of his role with the company as he charts his progress improving his skills.
“I’m delighted to bring a massive passion of mine to my audience,” he said in a news release. “People who know me well know that I give 100% to anything I enjoy and poker is no different. I’ve even drafted in some experts to train me up with the hope that one day I might be able to face the best in the game.”
Adding True Geordie gives PokerStars a social media star who has a deep connection with his audience. Along with poker, Davis also streams about his love of soccer, mixed martial arts, and other topics.
That mix has the potential to bring new players into the PokerStars universe. Playing at the site won’t be a new experience for Davis and he’s partnered with PokerStars in the past. That included playing in the Stadium Series over the summer.
Davis now joins the PokerStars fold with content geared toward poker fans and his regular viewers alike. Fans can follow his journey to improve his poker skills.
The ultimate goal is to transition from a recreational player to a professional with viewers along for the ride.
“PokerStars are the best at what they do and becoming a member of the team really is a proud moment for me,” Davis said. “I have to say a big thank you to PokerStars, who are ahead of the game in supporting digital creators and their content.”
As part of his new ambassador announcement, Geordie released a short film last week. The Showdown documents a cash game between Davis and some friends.
Fans can look forward to live streams of True Geordie playing home games and freerolls. They’ll have a shot to even get in on the action and play along with him.
“Over the next twelve months,” he said, “I hope to improve my game, play with my audience and against some of the best players in the world to show just how entertaining, fun and mentally challenging poker can be.”
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It’s no secret that Twitch has become a major part of the online poker world. Poker operators have also made efforts at reaching the growing number of esports players.
On Saturday, partypoker offers a unique event featuring both. Famous faces from the worlds of poker and gaming square off in The Big Deal. The 48-player invitational freeroll features a $50,000 prize pool.
During the event players will be streaming the action to their own unique audiences. The goal is to reach more Twitch viewers and esports players who might be interested in poker. Party officials hope to continue the effort with other events, including the upcoming Caribbean Poker Party.
18+; new players only; min $10 deposit; $10 or $30 Free Play generated as tickets. 7-day ticket expiry. Full T&Cs apply.
“This is an experiment for us, and we are essentially exposing our brand to a wider audience, while also bringing an exciting new concept for our current players to watch and enjoy,” partypoker marketing director Vadim Soloveychik told PokerScout.
“Additionally, we want to showcase our streaming capabilities, as we have done with previous well-developed series on partypokertv; most notably the WPT World Online Championships earlier this year.”
Massive online poker streaming experience
Twitch allows operators to spotlight events during major tournament series. Along with some big poker and streaming fun, partypoker has more plans.
The company is hoping to break the record for the number of concurrent viewers for a poker stream. Some of the players involved include:
Jeff Gross – partypoker Twitch team
Matt Staples – partypoker Twitch team
Benjamin Rolle – RaiseYourEdge poker trainer
Jaime Staples – poker pro
Troels “SyndereN” Nielsen and Ted J. Forsyth (aka “Pyrion Flax“) – Dota 2 players
Jeffrey “SjoW” Brusi – a former professional poker player who later became known for his StarCraft II skills
“Quill18” – a strategy game streamer
Big Deal shows how important Twitch can be to bring more players into the game. Educating others via the platform is a major aspect of the event.
“Twitch is the leading gaming content platform, so it’s very important for us,” Soloveychik said. “It’s a platform that has been used by us for many tournaments in the past and several Team partypoker pros use Twitch to stream their content.
“We expect to continue to use Twitch so long as we feel it is a great platform for our content.”
Showing off the partypoker platform, adding some new wrinkles
During the freeroll action, streamers will discuss their play with viewers on their own channels. Players will have an added incentive to eliminate opponents, with a unique twist to a traditional tournament.
All players must be knocked out three times before they exit the tournament. The player making the elimination then “raids” the other player’s viewers. Raids help streamers send viewers to another channel at the end of their stream.
“This is a unique feature for this event to allow the poker action to continue longer,” Soloveychik said. “We have experimented with the format to tailor our content specifically to the Twitch audience.
“Things like three knockouts and raiding audiences as a bounty are among a number of things we would like to test out with Twitch. This is a show for Twitch viewers first and foremost, so we hope they will like it.”
Esports production company Beyond the Summit will provide hero content for partypokerTV throughout the tournament. This includes feature tables with notable players as well as highlights from others.
The company has gone the extra mile to make it a special event. Viewers will see cards-up coverage and the final table will be streamed live.
Poker pro and commentator Maria Ho, along with poker streamer Joey Ingram, will provide commentary.
“We are excited to host The Big Deal,” Soloveychik added. “I’m sure it will be fun to watch.”
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Kevin Martin knows what it’s like to be under pressure – and not just at the poker table. The 27-year-old poker pro is a two-time competitor on the Canadian version of Big Brother – winning in 2017 for $100,000 and a new car.
“I could write a full book on this,” he says laughing about his time on the reality show. “It was intense – the most rewarding and difficult experience I’ve ever encountered. I say the mental game of poker is easy compared to Big Brother.”
The native of Calgary, Alberta, now has another interesting bullet point to his resumé. Martin is the first member of GGPoker’s new GGSquad stream team. He looks forward to a fun new page in his media and poker life.
“My role at GGPoker is to continue making the best poker shows possible while also bringing that extra level of community relations,” he says, “continuing to make poker more accessible and enjoyable to the common player.”
The new role with GGPoker comes after a life of making lofty goals. As a teenager, those included getting cast on and then winning Big Brother.
“It is surreal I accomplished it,” he says. “There were no other poker players, just a bunch of wild, beautiful people.”
Before his score in reality television, the poker table was his daily reality. He got into the game in 2014, playing live and devouring all the basic strategy content he could.
Martin loves the mano a mano nature of the game – flipping the odds in his favor. After getting into the game, he believed success would head his way if he continued to apply himself.
After three months, Martin quit his job in radio to pursue his new passion full time. So far that’s worked out well. He has more than $300,000 in live tournament earnings as well as additional online winnings. Letting his family know about his new career wasn’t easy.
“I come from a conservative religious family so the original response was quite poor,” he says. “It didn’t deter me though, I knew what I was capable of.
“Thankfully after some of the success I’ve had, they’ve come around to it. They always support me. I’m sure if I made a call to my mom and told her I’m going to change my career to something else she would be happy deep down.”
A Twitch poker original
When Twitch launched in 2011, the platform was meant for video gaming. In fact, it was against the terms of service to stream poker until 2015.
“As soon as that changed my friend Jaime Staples predicted it would be huge and encouraged me to get involved,” Martin says.
Streaming has now become a growing poker trend and that’s included significantly growing numbers during the Coronavirus pandemic. But just five years ago it was a completely new phenomenon for the game.
Martin jumped on board and began betting and bluffing in this new media realm. He became one of the first people to use the platform. What sets his stream apart from others?
“I’ve been told my stream is relatable,” he says. “People feel it’s a good atmosphere and that I present a nice relaxed and enjoyable presence.
“I appreciate the kind words I am just out here trying to make the best shows possible while also winning some money”
Streaming the WSOP at GGPoker
A rapport with viewers and building an audience is important for any streamer. Martin must have succeeded and GGPoker came calling after he took a break from content creation in 2019.
“For the first time ever the WSOP was going to be an online event due to the pandemic and I had a sense of how epic the series was going to be,” he says.
“John Scanlon [GG director of live events and sponsorships] got in touch because they liked the stuff I was making. We collaborated through the whole WSOP and put on some amazing streams. I consider it the best stuff I have made in the last five years.”
The WSOP streaming partnership went so well that his role was recently made official. He’s now a brand ambassador as part of the GGSquad streaming team.
“GGPoker really has exploded this past year,” Martin says, “and it’s a fresh and exciting brand to work with.”
Super Saturdays with the GG team
GGPoker is the fastest growing online poker site in the world. The site made big news in 2020 with its partnership with the WSOP. The site will also be hosting the Battle of Malta online in November.
Martin becomes a key part of the site’s content creation team. The GGSquad’s primary role is to engage and entertain GG fans and the wider poker community. That includes showcasing the brand with plenty of fun in mind.
GG’s new “Saturday Session” becomes a big part of that. Saturdays now feature a major site programming block on Twitch. Poker fans will find streams like:
Beat the Pros – Players who knock out Team GG pros Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier and others earn a seat in a $5,000 freeroll.
GGMasters Last Longer – Players can jump in the $25 GGMasters Daily and also earn a $210 Beat the Pros ticket.
GGStaker – Viewers will be awarded five $210 Beat the Pros tickets.
#SquadSession – GG players can jump in the low-stakes cash games with members of the GGSquad.
Other GGSquad founding members include: Michael “Easterdamnz” Van Elsacker; Torsten “Jektiss” Brinkman; Patrick “IrEgption” Tardif; Koray “KakiTee” Turker; and Fernando “JNandezPoker” Habegger.
“I’m thrilled to welcome both Kevin and the five other founding team members to GGSquad,” Scanlon says. “These players are some of the most exciting around, and engaging with our community each week during our Saturday Sessions, they will make GGPoker an even more fun place to play poker.”
It’s been a huge year for online poker and GGPoker has certainly been a big part of that. Martin hopes the current environment gets even more people interested in poker. He’s hoping his own streaming efforts can also help that trend.
“It’s great to see more people get into the game,” Martin says. “I’ve always believed that poker content plays a big part. Having fun personalities stream poker and make YouTube videos really does bring in a lot of people.”
Online poker operators need to keep adapting, Martin says. He believes GGPoker is doing that and one of the reasons he’s been such a fan of the company.
“They’ve added so many new features and fun elements this past year,” he says. “I’ve never seen a poker company improve their product faster.”
When not streaming, Martin enjoys working out. His girlfriend is a personal trainer, he’s been getting into weightlifting more. He’s also obsessed with golf, but the recent Calgary snowfall has curtailed that for now.
Always a goal setter, he hopes to break 80 but has come up just short so far. While Martin’s time in the tee box may be on hold for a while, look for him right back streaming on GG soon. Pleased with his new role, Martin hopes to be a big part of GG’s expanded move into Twitch streaming.
“Life is good,” he says. “I am a very blessed individual and I’m excited for what the future holds. Come hang out with me on Twitch; we always have a good time.”
Not only has online poker been on the rise during the Coronavirus pandemic, Twitch Poker has also seen an increase in streamers and viewers. PokerStars recently added some extra incentive to get in the action by giving away $50,000.
The site gave away chests worth up to $215 every day to players watching PokerStars streamers. This promotion is part of a growing trend toward the platform over the last few years.
“We’ve always been extremely passionate about Twitch,” associate director of public relations Rebecca McAdam Willetts says. “It allows a true window into the mind of professional players and enables viewers to join in for the ride.
“We will continue to invest in Twitch and our Twitch community. Really, even after years of pushing the boundaries with this platform, we’re only just warming up.”
That sentiment could go for much of the industry as well.
Winning with PokerStars Twitch
To take part in the promotion, viewers had to link their PokerStars and Twitch accounts. They then needed to have their stream chat open while watching a PokerStars-affiliated streamer.
The promotion ran throughout much of the Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP). The goal is to allow players to experience their own winning moments while also watching content produced on Twitch.
Content primarily focuses on online events, including cash games, and European Poker Tour stops. However, Twitch users can also find other streams including:
PokerStars School – Providing tips and lessons as well as new game format tutorials. • PokerStars ambassadors GJ and Pye – The pair’s regular dual stream showcases low buy-in events accessible to low-stakes players.
“PokerStars Twitch is the host channel for an abundance of different types of poker content,” Willetts says. “There’s always something on to entertain or educate on our channel and our Twitch audience is very active and engaged. It’s a fun place to be for any poker fan.”
That includes incorporating the PokerStars Twitch channel into the new “Rail” feature. The Rail offers players a personalized online experience and to incorporate some of their own poker interests. Some of those include:
Upcoming major events
Recent games played
Recent big wins
Challenges and promotions
The new feature can also incorporate the PokerStars Twitch stream as well as those of site ambassadors. Beyond that, some non-affiliated streamers will also be included.
“It’s a great place for any poker fan to find video content to watch while they play,” Willetts says.
Record breaking poker streaming
PokerStars ambassador Lex Veldhuis streamed much of his action during the SCOOP series. He and fellow ambassadors Fintan Hand and “Spraggy” made impressive runs for viewers on Twitch.
Hand won an event live on stream, and Lex and Spraggy both made the final 40 of the $10,000 SCOOP Main Event. These finishes live on Twitch may be an example of how poker streamers can bring new players and fans to the game.
Veldhuis peaked at 58,0000 viewers, breaking the Twitch record for concurrent viewers on a poker stream. He also briefly reached the top spot watched channel on Twitch, beating 125,000 other streamers.
I can't believe what happened yesterday. Two stream-related dreams come true for me.
📷Breaking the Twitch Poker Viewer Record by 20k viewers, setting it at 58.534 💫Nr 1 stream on Twitch globally.
More viewers, players, and poker sites going to Twitch for poker
Beyond online events, Twitch has become the place for other “live” events as well. PokerStars recently ran its “Stars CALL for Action” celebrity game charity initiative using the platform.
Viewers could tune in and check out the action with a host of big names battling it out. Those checking out the action could also donate themselves to the $1 million Coronavirus relief effort.
In recent years, PokerStars moved beyond its Twitch channel being a standalone offering. The site makes use of content formats, tools, and widgets on the Twitch platform itself for a more immersive experience.
The Twitch channel also facilitates more promotional opportunities to reach out to players. Those linking their accounts can take part in community giveaways and exclusive challenges only available to Twitch viewers.
“Integration is important to us,” Willetts says, “and an area we intend to spend more time on.”
Others in the industry are also focusing on Twitch. Longtime poker pro Jason Somerville was a bit of a pioneer making use of the platform. Jeff Gross and Jaime Staples have also been streaming their action for years.
Both are ambassadors for partypoker, which also makes major use of the platform. Party recently streamed action from the online Super High Roller Bowl.
With growing numbers of viewers and streamers, Twitch remains an important part of the poker world. With the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down major tournament poker, it also remains a nice alternative for fans to find some live poker to watch.
PokerStarsannounced the integration of Twitch into its online poker client in early November. With the feature now live, the site is offering players a chance at two Platinum Pass packages to celebrate.
The passes are the most sought-after prizes in poker. They offer players a complete €22,500 buy-in ($25,000) to the PokerStars Players Championship (PSPC), set for Aug. 20-24, 2020, in Barcelona.
That also includes airfare, hotel, and spending money and the passes have a value of more than €26,000.
Along with passes, PokerStars is giving away tens of thousands of dollars in freeroll entries and other prizes in December. It’s a good month to be an online poker player.
How to win a Platinum Pass via PokerStars Twitch feature
The new Twitch feature allows users to stream their own play and watch others as well. It’s the first online poker platform in the industry to offer this feature.
Streaming has become a growing trend in online poker, introducing the game to a growing younger audience. Players like Jason Somerville, the man behind the Run It Up stream, have added to the Twitch poker popularity.
To earn a shot at winning winning a Platinum Pass, players simply have to do the following:
link their Twitch and PokerStars accounts
watch the PokerStars Central Twitch channel for a total of 24 hours
stream themselves playing poker for a total of 10 hours by Dec. 21
PokerStars Twitch streamers GJ Reggie and Mason Pye will then select two winners on Dec. 23. Winners will be determined based on entertainment value, quality of production, and innovation in their streaming.
It’s a nice opportunity to win a pass without even having to win a tournament.
More in store for those using Twitch feature
Beyond the Platinum Pass, there are some other interesting incentives to use the Twitch feature. Each winner receives a stream-ready PC and $1,000 credited to his or her player account.
Players linking their accounts by Dec. 1 will earn entry into one of several free all-in shootouts. The shootouts are set for Dec. 2 and award more than $10,000 in cash – a nice added bonus for players.
Players in the US can even get in on the action. PokerStars New Jersey and Pennsylvania will give away $1,000 in shootouts as well.
By linking their PokerStars and Twitch accounts, players also gain access to exclusive promotions in the coming months. These are activated solely on Twitch and include freerolls, challenges, and giveaways.