If you want to get better at playing poker you can read books, watch recorded training videos and learn through your experience. All of these are great options, but most top players say the best way to learn is to watch a great player do their thing and to interact with them and discuss their approach. It used to be that gaining that kind of access to great players was incredibly hard to do, but in recent years that has all changed due to Twitch.
Right now you might be asking yourself, “What is ‘Twitch’ and what does it have to do with poker?”
Poker is a card game that uses the traditional 52 playing card deck. Poker is a card game that uses the traditional 52 playing card deck. Live streaming of poker tournaments and cash games has never been more prevalent. In addition to the World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour constantly airing over cable television, practically every major tournament series and many smaller ones stream final tables with hole cards and commentary. Several players have risen to the forefront in the Twitch Poker community, with consistent and entertaining broadcasts. Some are up and comers, but a surprising amount of established professionals.
Watch poker videos, TV shows & documentaries on PokerTube. With over 20,000 Poker related movies like High Stakes Poker, PokerTube is the world's largest site to watch anything about poker.
Well, Twitch is the world’s foremost video game live streaming community, with more than 100 million unique views across the platform each month. It was created to allow fans of different games to broadcast themselves playing or to check out some of the more highly skilled players ply their craft in order to pick up some tips on how to improve.
The company was founded in 2011 and quickly found success with strategy games like StarCraft and first person shooters like Counter Strike. In recent years the type of broadcasts available on the platform expanded, including the advent of several poker players that dabbled in gaming and who saw the incredible growth of Twitch and the opportunities it provided for poker fans. Now there is a whole subsection of Twitch dedicated to poker streamers.
Several players have risen to the forefront in the Twitch Poker community, with consistent and entertaining broadcasts. Some are up and comers, but a surprising amount of established professionals have taken to the live streaming site to broadcast their play including Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, Vanessa Selbst, Fedor Holz and many more. Poker content providers like the Poker Central network, PokerStars TV and Live at the Bike! also have their own channels.
Jason Somerville has become arguably the biggest name in Twitch poker with his ‘Run It UP!’ show has reached the point where he had 37,000 viewers watching him play an event in last year’s World Championship of Online Poker.
That type of engagement is not common with online poker content, and stems in large part from the emphasis on community by most Twitch streamers. The broadcasters interact with the viewers through a chat box, answering questions from them, joking around and just generally having a good time.
If you’re interested in checking out the top broadcasters, head to our new Twitch Poker page right here. We have hand picked some of the best and most popular poker Twitch streams for you to choose from.
Keep in mind that players and tours won’t always be broadcasting. If you’d like to check out every channel that is live and maybe discover some lesser-known players making a name in the stream gaming head to Twitch’s poker section.
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Live streaming of poker tournaments and cash games has never been more prevalent. In addition to the World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour constantly airing over cable television, practically every major tournament series and many smaller ones stream final tables with hole cards and commentary.
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As a result, the phenomenon of players experiencing playing final tables on camera with their every move exposed is becoming increasingly familiar.
Whereas in the past only top, high-profile pros or those making deep runs in major WSOP or WPT events would ever find themselves playing at televised final tables, today anyone getting to the end of a 'mid-major' tournament or even smaller ones might expect to do so as well. Sometimes you don't even have to make the final table to get on the live stream.
Adding to the list of examples are players live streaming their online tournaments and cash games over Twitch and via other outlets, as well as customary final table 'replays' of major online tournaments such as the Sunday Million and 'COOP' series events on PokerStars.
Does playing poker on a live stream affect playing styles? Whether or not it does likely has a lot to do with players' experience both at poker and at playing with their hole cards shown and every action available to all to scrutinize and deconstruct.
Think about it. You're in the big blind with and watch a somewhat loose player open from the cutoff, then two tighter ones call the raise from the button and small blind. These players' images, stack sizes, and other factors all add up to you considering putting in a reraise as a 'squeeze play.'
But... it's the final table. You know whatever you do will be seen a half-hour later and perhaps become the source of Twitter threads and forum chatter for days. Could that affect your thinking?
Vivian Saliba has been on a number of live streamed tables over the last year, including the final table of Event #64: $888 No-Limit Hold'em last summer where from over 10,000 entries she finished fourth for a career-best $308,888 score.
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Just a week ago the 888poker Ambassador was back on a live stream while making a run to the final three tables of the 888poker LIVE London Main Event eventually won on last Monday by Adrian Constantin.
During a break in the event Saliba was on camera some more, speaking to PokerNews'Tiffany Michelle who asked her specifically how playing poker on a televised table might affect players' decision-making — and how she might sometimes change her approach by applying additional pressure to those who might be tightening up. Take a look:
As Saliba notes, it is probably best not to alter your game too greatly when the cameras are on, although it might pay to remain aware of whether or not others are being affected and adjust accordingly.
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