In this week’s Calling the Clock poker gets closer to the world of eSports and Twitch after PokerStars signs a deal to sponsor Team Liquid, the Global Poker League to host Playoffs in TwitchCon, and much more.
Who is the next generation of poker players?
Our children, of course
Where do they hangout?
They are sat in their bedrooms watching other people playing video games and eSports via live streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube Gaming.
So that’s where we have to be.
Each week, I can feel us getting closer to those smelly socks and unwashed dinner plates. And this week was no exception after PokerStars announced a unique partnership with Team Liquid. Three stars from Liquid will wear the PokerStars patch during their standard Twitch broadcasts. They will have the added responsibility of plugging PokerStars. The likes of Lex Veldhuis, ElkY, Randy Lew, and Daniel Negreanu will also intermingle.
PokerStars Twitch presence also strengthened after the signing of Kevin Martin this week. Martin has managed to build an impressive Twitch following thanks to his appearance on Season 3 of Canada’s Big Brother. He will wear the PokerStars Pro Online patch during streams.
The world’s largest online poker room weren’t the only poker Pirates heading into eSports shores this week. Global Poker League (GPL) founder, Alex Dreyfus, announced the exciting news that the GPL Playoffs will take place at TwitchCon 2016.
The top four teams from the Eurasia and Americas conferences will fly into San Diego for three days of unprecedented action. The Cube will make its appearance as will 3v3 play. The top four teams will go through to the finals in Wembley, London, in Nov. It will also be a great opportunity for Dreyfus to expose eSports and video gaming fans to HoldemX.
GPL stars have a responsibility to cram in as much media as they can these days. Hong Kong Stars Team Manager, Celina Lin, has more on her hands than most due to her affiliation with PokerStars.
This week, the Queen of Chinese Poker popped up on BBC Radio where they served her a volley of questions on competing in a male dominated environment. It was a great interview with Lin being extremely authentic declaring that female poker players are better than men, and she deliberately shows off a bit of cleavage in the hope the blood runs to their never regions instead of the brain.
Full Tilt completed its migration to PokerStars. I can’t think of anything humorous or smart alec on that one. And the Spring Championships of Online Poker (SCOOP) got even bigger this week when PokerStars announced three more tournaments.
American Poker News
It’s a little quiet leading up to the World Series of Poker (WSOP), but Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval squeezed into the news this week after declaring he was ready to enter into an online poker liquidity compact with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Sandoval made the announcement at a Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) Committee meeting held to discuss the potential betting opportunities for eSports in the state. There has been no noise emanating from the Christie camp.
Despite two festivals already assigned to history, The World Poker Tour (WPT) announced their Season XV schedule this week. Poker fans in Vienna and Johannesburg are out of luck. Those who like a dip in the Caribbean are smiling. Punta Cana is back on the roster. The Tournament of Champions (TOC) will roll on into the second year. And side event winners will get the opportunity to compete in the Main Event via the Festival of Champions.
The Rest of the World
By that I mean India.
PokerNation has opened up for business in the second most populous country in the world. Playwin, a part of the Essel Group, will manage the site.
PokerNation VP of Marketing, Ram Somayajula, has declared the site a poker only zone and intends to focus on a teach-learn-play model after canvassing opinion from over 5,000 players throughout the country.
Personal Pats on the back
Steve O’Dwyer deserves a slice of cake. The American live grinder celebrated a record breaking 19th week at the top of the Global Poker Index (GPI) charts. Bryn Kenney (2nd), and Fedor Holz (3rd) are trying their best to dethrone him. Anthony Zinno moves into the fourth spot after nearly capturing his fourth WPT Main Event title in Amsterdam last week, finishing third.
Aaron Massey won the biggest Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) event ever held outside of Las Vegas when he defeated 820 players in the $1,100 Main Event in Michigan. He took home $174,658 for his troubles. He has now earned over $2.8m in live tournament earnings.
Finally, Andres Carrillo won the Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT) Main Event in Panama for $138,225. Dario Sammartino won the SCOOP $21,000 NLHE 8-Max High Roller for over $700,000; Patrick Leonard celebrated his partypoker deal by winning a Powerfest event for close to $50,000, and Shawn Buchanan became only the fourth person to win five SCOOP titles after taking down two in a week. He joins Luke Schwartz, Shaun Deeb, and Calvin Anderson as players who have won five or more SCOOP titles.
Time ladies and gentlemen.
Somebody has just called the clock.