Poker is a game that’s all about probability. Although your fate is primarily dependent on luck, you can increase your likelihood of winning by learning tips and tricks from professionals.
Lucky for you, nowadays, players are streaming their ways of playing poker online, making it easier and more accessible to learn their strategies. Thanks to platforms like Twitch and YouTube, you can learn so much about poker tactics just by watching online poker, mainly because many professional poker players became streamers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
This article will tell you all about poker streaming and the best poker live streams to watch. So if you want to know more, stay tuned!
Poker History: From Hidden Cards to Transparent Streaming!
Back in the day, it was normal for every poker player to hide their cards and their playing strategies. However, these days many professional poker players tend to share their game plan online. The players often stream their poker tournaments, educational videos which include tips and tricks on how to win a game, and their opinions on when it’s okay to fold, raise or go all in.
Free poker online has actually been around for longer than expected, starting in the form of IRC poker in the late 1990s. It was an internet relay chat which organized tournaments of 23 players at one table. The game attracted many devoted followers, including Chris Ferguson (World Series of Poker champion), who actually started his career by playing IRC.
Nowadays, there are many platforms where you can watch online poker. Some of these are dedicated solely to poker, and others have separate sections for the game, such as Twitch Poker on Twitch or PokerTube on Youtube.
The Arrival of Twitch
As the years passed and the popularity of poker increased, so did the growth of Twitch. During its first year in 2011, it started with 3.2 million users per month. Then, three years later, Amazon made an intelligent decision and bought it. As of 2020, Twitch’s revenues are over £1.4 billion, even though it was bought for only £700 million.
So what exactly is Twitch? Twitch is a live streaming platform that focuses on video game live streaming, including e-sport competitions. Most of the best e-sport players in the world log on to Twitch and stream their gameplay to thousands of people to make it accessible worldwide.
Eventually, many poker players saw the opportunity to stream their games while earning some money. Since then, a section dedicated to poker content has been added on Twitch, where you can find poker twitch streamers sharing educational videos, poker tournaments streams, and live stream poker games to share their winning techniques.
Twitch Poker is the name given to the community of poker streamers and viewers on Twitch.tv. This community has over 2.1 million followers and includes content from many poker Twitch streamers who provide valuable content to viewers every day. Additionally, major online poker sites have kept up with the poker streaming trend and started giving Twitch streamers sponsorships.
Twitch Poker Highest Scores
Twitch Poker has seen some of the most significant winnings online. Professional poker player Doug Polk holds the record for the highest Twitch win. The semi-retired poker player finished second following a deal of £7,210 at the High Roller Event during the 2016 World Championship of Online Poker. Nevertheless, he ended up walking away with £328,100, which is the highest a player has ever won while broadcasting live, and no player has come close to surpassing it since.
However, since Doug Polk stepped away from the platform, many new stars began to emerge on Twitch Poker, including famous players like Lex Veldhuis, Benjamin Spragg, Jeff Gross, and so many more.
“The Godfather of Twitch Poker”
One of the most popular players includes the so-called “Godfather of Twitch Poker,” also known as Jason Somerville. Somerville joined the platform in 2014 and built the first big community of Twitch Poker on his channel, hence his given-name. In 2016, he was also the first poker streamer on Twitch to gain 10 million views.
Today Somerville, who goes by “JCarverPoker,” has over 3,100 followers on his private channel. In addition, he founded the “RunItUp” channel, where his followers are encouraged to “watch, listen, and learn as he turns $50 (£36) into $10,000 (£7,212).” This channel currently has an impressive 230,000 following.
The Integrity of Twitch Poker Tournaments
So how are poker tournaments streamed while protecting the game’s integrity?
The answer is to include a delay that usually lasts five minutes, and is critical for both online poker and casinos. From the streamer’s perspective, he will be chatting to his audience, who are five minutes behind. Hence, the reactions will appear delayed, but the game’s integrity will be protected.
Twitch Banned in Slovakia Because of Poker Streams
Despite the popularity of poker on Twitch, some countries have banned online poker all-together. Therefore, streamers need to be aware of this before sharing content and act according to such laws. For example, when articles stated that Slovakia banned the whole platform because one streamer played poker, many thought it was a hoax.
However, it turned out to be true, and internet service providers in Slovakia banned Twitch. The ban happened because a streamer known as “dDandis” broke the country’s gambling laws by playing poker live. If you search for the streamer on Twitch, you will see a message saying, “this content is not available unless you have a time travel machine.” The situation was unfortunate because dDandis was a partnered streamer on Twitch with over 35,000 followers.
The List of Best Poker Streamers in 2021
Poker on Twitch continues to grow, and top lists change daily. However, the names we mention here always maintain one of the top spots among the most popular streamers. With the hundreds of poker players streaming on Twitch, it can be hard to know which are the best to follow. Therefore, we have compiled a list to make it easy for you:
Jason Somerville (“JCarverPoker”)
At the top of this list is the Godfather of Twitch Poker, Jason Somerville, aka “JCarverPoker.” Somerville’s channel is ideal for players who want to learn something new by having fun. He is one of the best poker twitch streamers, and his followers can look forward to educational and entertaining content, in addition to his live streams. The majority of his streams are poker tournaments, but variations of other poker games are occasionally included.
Apart from his successful following, Somerville has won over £2.5 million in live tournaments and a World Series of Poker bracelet. In addition, as previously mentioned, he created the “RunItUp” channel, which is dedicated to poker, and keeps growing daily. Another benefit of following Somerville is joining the Run It Up community and playing at special events against other fans.
Lex Veldhuis is a member of the PokerStars team, an online poker cardroom owned by The Stars Group. PokerStars sponsors many professional players who are known as Team PokerStars Pro. This team also includes famous poker professionals such as Fatima Moreira de Melo, Andre Akkari, Jason Somerville, etc.
Lex Veldhuis, also know as “RaSZi,” is a successful tournament player with many wins under his belt. His Twitch channel currently has over 281,000 followers, and the number continues to rise steadily. In addition, due to his success, Veldhuis was introduced as a member of the Dutch Poker Hall of Fame.
Veldhuis’ career involves playing high stakes, which are adventurous for his viewers, and numerous appearances on poker TV shows. These types of TV shows are one of the main reasons behind the growth of his channel.
From the start, Veldhuis devoted a lot of his time to his followers. He makes sure to stream five times per week, so his followers always know to expect new content. If you are a newbie looking to get some free knowledge, advice, and strategies on how to play poker, or even if you simply enjoy spending time watching poker on Twitch, he is the person to follow.
Jaime Staples (“PokerStaples”)
If you are looking to improve your poker knowledge, Staples should be your go-to. Staples has been playing poker since 2009 and started streaming in 2014. Since then, his bankroll and followers have continued to grow; currently, this number reaches 149,000 followers. As for his bankroll, Staples has won over £577,000 in online tournaments.
On his channel, he shares insights about various types of sports and constantly interacts with his followers by answering questions, chatting with them, and discussing their opinions. In addition, he makes sure to broadcast content up to Twitch Poker up to five days a week.
Parker Talbot (“tonkaaaaP”)
Parker Talbot (or “tonkaaaaP” on Twitch) is a well-known member of the PokerStars team and one of the most popular streamers on Twitch Poker. With over 118,000 followers, his main aim is to entertain his viewers while teaching them about poker and making them feel at home through his compelling energy.
Talbot prioritizes fun poker streaming, and due to this, he is one of the most entertaining and engaging players out there. Thus, if you’re looking for fun, we guarantee Talbot has some of the best poker live streams and best poker tournaments to watch on his Twitch channel. In addition to his successful Twitch career, he has won over £2.1 million in tournaments and continues going strong.
Matthew Staples (“MattStaples”)
Does the last name sound familiar? That’s because the Staples brothers have a natural talent for poker streaming. Although Jamie is one of Twitch’s most famous poker streamers, Matt’s subscribers are rapidly catching up. Matt has a consistent streaming schedule and provides his 99,000 followers valuable poker content, as well as a timer showing the exact time until his next live poker stream.
Recently, he’s even been featured in the most popular category, “Just Chatting,” on Twitch.
Staples is a member of the PartyPoker team and has impressive results online. He plays mild to high stakes tournaments and allows his viewers to watch his deep runs, bad beats, and huge scores. If you follow Matt, you’re bound to learn a lot due to his captivating way of explaining the process of playing poker.
Jeff Gross (“JeffGrossPoker”)
Jeff Gross is another member of the PartyPoker team, who is also very active on Twitch Poker. Currently, he has over 84,000 followers on Twitch and 44,600 on YouTube. Gross is a very successful poker player, with his poker live streams and online earnings adding up close to £3,700,000.
His channel is ideal for viewers who want to learn about high-level poker strategies for games like No-Limit Hold’em or Omaha.
Courtney Gee (“courtiebee”)
Although women in the Twitch Poker category are rare, it doesn’t mean they’re not successful. Courtney Gee, better known as “courtiebee,” is a full-time grinder and very popular streamer on Twitch. She is also a member of the PartyPoker team, standing shoulder to shoulder with Jeff Gross and Matt Staples.
Gee currently has over 53,000 loyal followers due to her way of poker streaming, which resembles a community. Her main priority while streaming is to have fun. So if you’re looking for a place where you can gather with other Twitch Poker fans while having fun, her channel is the right place.
Fernando Habegger (“JNandezPoker”)
Fernando Habegger’s Twitch “JNandezPoker,” is popular among the poker streaming community, earning him over 28,000 followers, in addition to his 43,800 followers on YouTube.
Habegger’s streaming vibe is adrenaline-filled. He is one of the best Pot-Limit Omaha players at the highest stakes. His content is valuable and unique since there aren’t many players of his calibre who are willing to share their strategies during live poker streams.
However, the only downside is that Habegger is not very consistent with his posting schedule, but if you want to see top-level Pot-Limit Omaha grinding, you need to follow him.
Vanessa Kade (“VanessaKade”)
Another successful woman on our list is Vanessa Kade, who transitioned from a game producer to a professional poker player. Kade ensures her Twitch channel is perfect by investing lots of effort in her poker live streams, which has ultimately paid off with over 22,000 followers.
She has been a poker player for almost seven years, and her streams are unique because of her fun cartoon character outfits. In addition to the fun, her streams have an educational element since she likes to discuss poker strategies.
This year in March, Kade beat out 70,000 contestants and won the top prize of $1.5 million (£1.1 million) at the PokerStars Sunday Million 15th Anniversary tournament. Given her success, she also joined a new team, “America’s Cardroom.” So if you’re looking for tips from a pro, make sure to watch live poker on her channel.
Jonathan Little (“JonathanLittle”)
Jonathan Little is well known for his free educational streams. Poker streaming with an educational aspect isn’t rare, but Little has an advantage as he’s published several poker books and has a training website, making him a professional in poker. Alongside these fantastic credentials, his winnings also speak for themselves as he has earned over £4.7 million from live tournaments.
Little has around 13,000 followers on Twitch, and if you are a novice player or simply want to learn more about poker strategies, you should definitely check him out. He is online several times per week, and another benefit of watching his live poker streams is that you can win a free coaching video or the opportunity to participate in the free league on PokerStars.
Twitch is a blooming platform which has helped the growth of online poker by hosting some of the best poker live streams. The application has been beneficial for the streamers by giving them a platform to publish content and for the viewers who now have endless choices of channels to watch online poker.
If you’re interested in becoming a poker Twitch streamer yourself, all you need is a camera, mic, and an internet connection. As their careers progress, many professional poker streamers are sponsored by big companies or have a paid partnership with Twitch.
If you’re interested in just watching online poker streams, you can still choose whatever you’re into. Whether it’s educational content, fun tips and tricks, or even just for entertainment purposes, Twitch has it all. Therefore, make sure to give Twitch Poker and its streamers a try!
And don’t forget, if you just want to play a little online poker, you can find all the necessary information here. Good Luck!
Where can I watch live poker?
You can watch poker on platforms like Twitch.tv or Youtube.com, as they provide separate categories for the game. Moreover, many professional players have channels on these platforms, so head to their profiles if you want to learn from the professionals.
What is the top poker streaming platform?
You can watch the best poker live streams on Twitch since there are so many available there. However, you can also watch online poker on Ignition, which is the biggest US poker site. If you’re into the mobile experience, you can also try BetOnline.
Who is the best poker streamer?
When identifying who the best poker streamer is, many aspects need to be taken into consideration. This includes the type of content they make, their experience, the money they make, among other considerations. As of 2021, the top five poker Twitch streamers are Matt Staples, Kevin Martin, Jonathan Van Fleet, Fintan Hand, and Ben Spragg.
How much money do poker streamers make?
It’s hard to tell how much money a poker streamer makes since they can make money from playing poker, streaming, sponsorships, donations, and ads. However, if we consider how much money they make by streaming only— if they are expert poker twitch streamers who stream 40 hours per week— they can make between £2,000 to £3,600 each month. In addition, ad revenue gives them about £180 for every 100 followers on their channel.
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