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PokerStars to Integrate Twitch.tv Within Poker Software

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The PokerStars platform seems to be very much intent on integrating the Twitch.tv streaming software into its own with a view to expanding its reach to a new generation of online gamers. The relationship between the poker room and the live streaming service has been growing considerably over the past few years, and deploying Twitch functionality right within the poker client appears to be the next step.

PokerStars Adding Twitch to Poker Software

Links Between Players’ Twitch and PokerStars Accounts

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That idea, which was originally thrown around in 2018, looks like it’s ready to start taking shape with a representative from PokerStars indicating that players accessing their accounts at the poker site will shortly have the ability to link them up to their Twitch.tv accounts. This function will be done from directly within the PokerStars client, making it a simple process to undertake.

Twitch Feature in PokerStars ClientPreview of the Interface for Twitch/PokerStars Account Linking
Image Courtesy of Pokerfuse Who First Broke This Story

Anyone deciding to link their accounts in this manner will find themselves eligible to receive various exclusive bonus offers from the poker room. Among the benefits that will accrue to ‘Stars users who connect their Twitch account within the poker application will be a special rewards chest each month. Upon opening the chest, the player will receive a prize that may include cash and/or tournament tickets.

Currently, individuals can link their PokerStars and Twitch identities, but they have to do it by going to the Twitch.tv website and subscribing to the channel of PokerStars for a monthly fee of $4.99. Because PokerStars has just over 200k Twitch subscribers but millions of poker customers, this new capability to perform the connection within the poker client promises to grow the channel significantly. Presumably, there will be no fee to conduct this action in the ‘Stars client, but there has not yet been any confirmation of this point.

PokerStars’ History With Twitch

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The relationship between the two companies started back in 2015, when the PokerStars brand opted to launch its own live streaming channel via Twitch. This channel continued to garner the attention of poker fans throughout the proceeding years, and lately, the poker giant has been stepping up its efforts with the streaming video service.

Jason Somerville Deal

In June 2018, PokerStars announced that the company signed a deal with professional player Jason Somerville to produce content on his Twitch channel, called Run It Up. Somerville had, at that point, already been a sponsored player and part of Team PokerStars.

Jason SomervilleProfessional Poker Player and Streamer Jason Somerville

The contract signed by Somerville and PokerStars went above and beyond what a standard sponsorship or ambassadorship usually contains. In fact, Somerville’s own Run It Up Studios was also incorporated into the deal. This is a broadcasting facility, originating in Somerville’s basement, that grew to become a full studio with other video producers besides Jason.

The agreement saw the launch of RunItUp247, which is still hosted on the Twitch service today, providing a poker channel that operates around the clock displaying Run It Up player streams.

Early in 2019, PokerStars had the idea to move forward with its own live-streaming service and create its own official Twitch team. This group of people would be responsible for live streaming all things PokerStars with the majority of them also being a part of Team PokerStars. Included within the team were pros like Ben Spragg and Fintan Hand.

PokerStars Launches Chat Plays Poker

It didn’t take long for PokerStars to really involve itself thoroughly in the Twitch streaming service. Earlier on in October, the poker room chose to launch something known as Chat Plays Poker, offering players a new way to participate in Twitch poker online. This was also developed with the help of the Run It Up team and, of course, Somerville himself as well.

Chat Plays Poker provides users with an interactive poker viewing format, allowing viewers to participate in the game rather than just watching how things unfold on the screen and communicating via the chat box. All it takes is for a player to tune in to the session in play, and they then have the possibility of voting on actions. Essentially, viewers of the channel take up a collective seat at the poker table, and once voting is done, the move with the highest number of votes is what takes place.

For example, if Somerville is the one playing for the viewers, he asks them what move he should make – like if he should raise or fold. Those participating will cast their votes, and Somerville proceeds with doing what they tell him to whether or not he personally believes it to be the best move.

A Few Words from Stars Head of Poker Communities

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“We are always looking at new technology and platforms to evolve our offering and to improve the overall experience as part of our commitment to growing poker,” were the words that Head of Poker Communities & Engagement for The Stars Group Scott Goodall uttered. He continued on to say that platforms such as the Twitch live-streaming service ensure that player engagement is taken to another level.

Scott GoodallPokerStars Head of Player Engagement Scott Goodall

The decision of The Stars Group to allow PokerStars players to link their accounts to the Twitch service is something that Goodall mentioned as being "just another step" in a long list of forthcoming plans that the brand has in mind to test out.

The Relationship Between Twitch and Poker Rooms

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It’s not only PokerStars that has striven to utilize Twitch to the best of its ability. Various other online poker rooms have joined forces with the live-streaming service to great effect. You only need to take a look at sites like the GGNetwork and Phil Galfond’s Run It Once to see how apt it is for promoting and highlighting gameplay at the different platforms.

Website of Twitch.tvWebsite of Popular Video Game Streaming Site Twitch.tv

Even the PartyPoker brand placed an increased focus on the Twitch service earlier this year. This saw the poker room partner up with the Thirst Lounge channel, which is owned by high-stakes player Bill Perkins. To add to that, PartyPoker took the decision to launch its own Team Online collection of pros, two members of which came from the PokerStars brand.

That being said, PokerStars remains as the primary site that has invested the most time into working alongside Twitch in recent years. In fact, the brand has employed Twitch to live stream various promotions, such as the PokerStars Players Championship (PSPC) event.

Still, there has been the odd room or two that has ignored Twitch either not understanding its potential or believing it to be more trouble than it’s worth. Some go even further, taking punitive action against streamers. The U.K.’s Sky Poker, for instance, banned YouTuber and Twitch streamer RegiTime Poker from showcasing Sky Poker tables in his videos.

Americas Cardroom Streaming Efforts

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Most U.S.A. online poker players are excluded from participating at PokerStars, PartyPoker, and other international poker operators that cater to a global market. Yet, there are other sites that serve Americans and do grasp the value of Twitch.

A poker room that has taken to promoting itself on the world’s most well-known live-streaming service is Americas Cardroom. Assembling its own team of streamers, who have been given the nickname of the ACR Stormers, Americas Cardroom allows its users to also stream their poker play directly via Twitch.

Through using this service, players can learn from some of the very best in the poker world. It provides in-depth hand analysis from a variety of gameplay options, including cash games, Jackpot Poker, and much more.

Streamers in the ACR Stormers team are rewarded based upon number of viewers and hours streamed statistics. They’re placed in one of six levels depending on the popularity of their channels and receive tournament bucks – up to $3,000 per month.

Rewards for ACR StormersThe Rewards of Becoming an ACR Stormer

Sign up Today

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Whether you wish to secure a place on the ACR Stormers streaming team, intend to watch and learn from others, or just want to play as a regular player without any interest in Twitch, you can register your new account today. Among the benefits of doing so are the 100% up to $1,000 welcome bonus and $50 in free gaming credits given to new depositors. Furthermore, if you enter in our exclusive ACR bonus code PRB10FREE, you can obtain a complimentary $10 to check out the games even before you make a deposit.

Learn all about this solid site in our comprehensive Americas Cardroom poker review. If you’d rather explore your other alternatives, we’ve prepared a thorough explanation of the top 11 sites for USA online poker.

Comments

Thank you for a great article! I'm wondering if you think that PokerStars will become accessible to US players anytime in the near future? I miss PokerStars.

You're welcome Brandon. PokerStars will become available to US customers as time goes on. However, the process will be piecemeal. It also is not the PokerStars you imagine it to be.

PokerStars is available in New Jersey currently and as of November 4th, Pennsylvania. However, these are state-specific versions of PS which do not have access to the international player base. As such, there are few players on these sites.

We expect it will take a decade or more for PokerStars to proliferate to multiple US states, band together their player bases via interstate commerce treaties, and subsequently offer a decent product with good liquidity.

Furthermore, PokerStars is no longer a privately owned "poker company" but a publicly traded "gambling conglomerate" which has stripped poker players of rewards, pushes casino and sports betting down players throats, and supports the gamification of poker (in our opinion taking all the skill and fun out of the game).

PokerStars is no longer the company you once adored!