Is the PokerStars Twitch Dream a win-win for the world’s largest poker site and live streaming personalities?
The world’s largest poker site, PokerStars, has revealed a “deliberate strategy” to further invest in Twitch Poker live streaming personalities, according to a report by online poker news website Pokerfuse.
The June 12th article makes numerous references to a purposeful approach by PokerStars to leverage its ongoing heavy involvement in the Twitch Poker category by offering “dream” sponsorship opportunities to on-air talent who broadcast their online poker play to viewers around the globe.
— Eric Hollreiser (@erichollreiser) June 14, 2018
“Through these player sponsorships, we’ve opened a new avenue for poker players to earn a living doing what they love doing,” said TSG Vice President of Corporate Communications Eric Hollreiser. “This is a deliberate strategy to invest in the dream of having a poker career.”
These paid deals vary from $40,000 to $300,000 per year, according to comments made by competing site 888 Poker sponsored pro Parker Talbot (TonkaaaaP) during a January 2018 Poker Life Podcast episode. (TIMESTAMP 59:42)
However, Talbot also made reference to an offer he once received from Partypoker that would have only paid “three $109 tournament tickets” per week — and it remains unclear what level of compensation PokerStars plans to offer individual talent the company wishes to collaborate with.
Personalities who are currently partnered with Twitch are eligible to receive consideration for the PokerStars Twitch Dream deals. This typically requires an average concurrent viewership of at least 500 fans.
The Pokerfuse article also implies that the offers extended by PokerStars will allow personalities to benefit from numerous entrepreneurial opportunities such as subscriptions, donations, and advertisement revenue.
The History of Twitch Poker
PokerStars has maintained a heavy influence over the Twitch Poker category since it signed Run It Up live streaming superstar Jason Somerville in 2015.
Somerville’s epic 2015 streak where he streamed every day for more than two months established the World Series of Poker bracelet winner as the #1 worldwide leader in the Twitch Poker category, while introducing both veteran and casual fans of the game to an entertaining medium for viewing real money online poker competition.
It’s a crazy new world out there, and @JasonSomerville is becoming the architect of his own future…and poker’s.
— PokerStarsBlog (@PokerStarsBlog) June 14, 2018
Somerville’s ability to establish a genuine rapport with his viewers through consistent streaming served as a launching point for the popularity of Twitch Poker, and influenced dozens of sponsored and non-sponsored players who create quality poker streaming content.
Is the PokerStars Twitch Dream a ‘Win-Win’ Deal? (Analysis)
* All analysis belongs solely to the author.
The PokerStars Twitch outreach program is a clear investment in poker and therefore an initiative that could strike a resonant tone with poker players of all skill levels.
While it is true that the world’s largest poker site enjoys a dominant Twitch Poker position (and that this circumstance can make it difficult for competing interests to assert a grasp on the viewership marketplace), PokerStars is committing to an investment initiative that will support an unspecified amount of “jobs” in the live streaming space.
Whether these opportunities are a ‘win-win’ will depend on each individual deal. It is suggested that “partnered” poker streaming personalities who may consider such an offer consult the multitude of free resources that have been made available by existing poker community streamers on this topic. Such free services include the ability to ask related questions via Twitch stream, social media platforms, sponsored outreach verticals and online forums.
Eric Hollreiser to Lead PokerStars Twitch Dream?
The Pokerfuse article identified Eric Hollreiser as “the executive with overall management responsibility” for PokerStars’ Twitch program.
This is an interesting wrinkle considering that Hollreiser has both dished out and been the recipient of condescending rhetoric to-and-from veteran poker players who have openly fumed at PokerStars’ lack of commitment to the for-profit “poker dream” that was once liberally promoted within the industry.
Such promotional methods are outright prohibited by existing United Kingdom gambling advertising regulations, and are currently being shunned by iGaming industry personnel due to both player skill level increases and price hikes that have made for-profit real money online poker play a difficult (and in some cases unattainable) pursuit.
PokerStars Twitch Dream (Summary)
Having a high-level TSG executive manage a program that is backed by arguably the most authoritative name in Twitch Poker (Jason Somerville) could place Hollreiser on the “legitimacy” hook (at least in some players’ minds) for successfully carrying out an initiative that may involve collaboration with dozens of new live streaming stars, all of whom can “earn a living” through the PokerStars program.
Such a responsibility is not to be taken lightly, especially considering the high profile status PokerStars currently enjoys on the Twitch Poker platform and the assistance from Somerville the project will receive. Therefore the task could grant Hollreiser himself a unique opportunity to increase his knowledge and competency of poker community initiatives through collaborating with sponsored on-air communications entertainers who will be under his company’s direct employ.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This article is directly funded by Part Time Poker. However, the opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of this website, poker players, poker media, or the poker industry.
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