What is Twitch?
Twitch is a relatively new website opened in 2011 which allows gamers of all types from across the world to live stream their gameplay and save their most interesting sessions. As with most good ideas, this is a surprisingly simple one which has really taken off. There are already a vast number of accounts that have been created, with many people enjoying watching other gamers at work, in much the same way people sit back and watch television for a few hours. The interest in Twitch is growing rapidly, as underlined by the fact that Amazon just bought the website for almost $1 billion. It is clear that Amazon, along with many other people, see this as the future of armchair viewing and video sharing. Reports suggest that the traffic on this website is up to 55 million per month, which puts it up with some of the biggest websites online.
The implications for poker and Twitch are quite clear. Poker players can live stream their sessions to an audience, allowing their play to be learned from, critiqued, and observed by people all over the world. Pokerstars have opened up their own Twitch channel which will undoubtedly provide a platform for them to share replays of big online final tables, along with live streams. This should help them to reach out to computer gamers across the world, enhancing their brand name and potentially bringing in new players.
Jason Somerville has been a vocal advocate of Twitch and it's possible benefits for poker and is currently one of the most successful poker players to have an account which sees regular use. The fact that Pokerstars have recently signed him to their roster of pros makes a statement in itself, seeing as the player himself, and Pokerstars are both singing the same Twitch song. With their interests aligned, the growth of Twitch should continue to move into poker in the coming months.
Jason Somerville is very popular on Twitch and is now sponsored by Pokerstars
Ones to Watch
Grinding superstar Randy 'Nanonoko' Lew has an account (here) already and would be a great one to keep track of, as is Bertrand 'Elky' Grospellier (here). Elky has not yet streamed any sessions, but should do before long, given his affiliation with Pokerstars and their interest in the platform. If you want main event winners, Greg Merson has an account up and running, and also streams sessions under the account of 'Gripsed' which are involved in poker training sessions. Other famous names include David Sklansky, and of course Jason Somerville (here)himself, who is a WSOP bracelet winner too.
Let us hope that the arrival of live poker sessions on a worldwide gaming website such as this will lead to interest from millions of potential new poker players who have never picked up the game yet. It should certainly help to ensure that training sessions can be reached by the masses, as people will undoubtedly have an interest in watching the best poker minds in action.
All poker channels on Twitch: http://www.twitch.tv/directory/game/Poker