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Found 31 results

  1. We reported to you late last week that Ultimate Poker, the first regulated online poker site in the US, had vacated the New Jersey market after alleging that its land-based partner, Trump Taj Mahal, had "multiple breaches" of contract. The casino has already filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and could close before the calendar year is through. --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by Betsafe, one of the leading suppliers of online gaming products worldwide and a major sponsor of Gumball 3000. Sign up now for great bonuses, €3,000,000 guaranteed monthly, and plenty of live events! --- Ultimate originated the Nevada online poker market in 2013 and, in May of that year, William Reynolds XOReynolds (pictured above) signed on as a sponsored pro alongside the likes of Jason JCarverSomerville and Jonathan FieryJustice Little. The brand was the first to market, with Reynolds Tweeting at the time, "Toured Ultimate Poker's office today… Professional environment with an expert team… Looking forward to repping UP this WSOP." Plenty of changes have occurred at Ultimate and in the site's macro environment since then, including Chief Marketing Officer Joe Versaci, formerly of PokerStars, leaving Ultimate and the site paring down its roster of sponsored pros that once included the likes of Reynolds, Lauren locoenlacabeza Kling, Randy Dorfman, and Terrence Chan. Ultimate expanded to New Jersey late last year and rolled out a series of Carver-fronted videos called "Run it Up." Flash-forward to Tuesday, when Reynolds hopped on Twitter and ripped Ultimate in a series of Tweets that originally centered on the site leaving New Jersey. Here's what Reynolds had to say. Note that the Tweets have since been deleted, which is the cause of the strange formatting: The link between Ultimate and Iovationthat Reynolds referred to was brought to light in May of last year. Former Ultimate Bet founder Greg Pierson was the CEO of Iovation at the time and, after an uproar from the poker community, Ultimate severed ties rather quickly. Ultimate Poker continues to operate in Nevada and is one of three regulated online poker sites in the state, joining the Caesars Entertainment-operated WSOP.com and the South Point-connected Real Gaming. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  2. In a series of Tweets posted last week, it was revealed that Doug Polk (pictured), who is known in the high-stakes online poker world as WCGRider, had his Bank of America accounts frozen. The bank's actions came in advance of Polk wanting to head to Canada for the ongoing WCOOP on PokerStars. --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by Betsafe, one of the leading suppliers of online gaming products worldwide and a major sponsor of Gumball 3000. Sign up now for great bonuses, €3,000,000 guaranteed monthly, and plenty of live events! --- According to HighStakesDB, "When Polk tried to change his more anonymous 'WCGRider' screen name to just 'Doug Polk', a security alarm of some kind in the Bank of America system must have been raised." Polk promptly took to Twitter to warn other poker players who may bank with BOA, saying: Members of the industry responded to Polk's comments by saying they've had similar experiences in the US and UK, with Polk remarking at one point, "Yeah, I'm tired of getting treated like a criminal." When asked why BOA shut his accounts down, Polk simply told the community, "They told me they do not reveal that information." The issue involving poker players and well-known banks doesn't seem to be isolated to BOA, either. For example, Jason JCarver Somerville (pictured) described his experience with Chase, saying, "Chase did basically the same thing to me a few years ago that BOA is doing to you. I'd be a little cautious w/ them too." WCGRider is 74th on the list of biggest winners tracked by HighStakesDB, which makes the news more high-profile. He is $1.23 million in the black in high-stakes games that the tracking site has logged since late 2009. According to the Hendon Mob, Polk has $3.6 million in career live tournament winnings, including a victory earlier this year in a $100,000 No Limit Hold'em Super High Roller event at the Bellagio in Las Vegas for $1.6 million. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  3. Late last week, professional poker player and insanely popular online streamer Jason JCarverSomerville (pictured) was announced as the newest member of Team PokerStarsPro. It was not the most shocking of news, but it was still a welcome decision, especially after Somerville was unceremoniously dumped by Ultimate Poker. He kept streaming his online poker sessions, though, and this weekend began his first broadcasts on Twitch under the PokerStars banner. View his channel. To a poker outsider, it might not seem like much. After all, Somerville has streamed for quite some time and is just streaming some more. But airing his Run it Up show on the new PokerStars Twitch channel is a leap forward. Somerville will still be viewed by a niche audience, but it has a chance to be a much larger niche audience with the marketing power of the world's largest online poker room. This past Sunday, Somerville began his streaming on the PokerStars Twitch channel, promising 70 straight days of broadcasts. He won't be streaming live 24/7, but has said he will devote at least four hours per day to grinding. The news of both his sponsorship and the new PokerStars Twitch channel have been universally applauded in the poker community. Somerville is as well-respected of a poker player as they come, but what he adds to his streams much more than the vast majority of those who try to do the same thing is entertainment. Many poker streamers gear their broadcasts towards more seasoned players, but Somerville has understood from the get-go that poker is not mainstream. It's not that he does not use poker terms in his streams, but he has been more than happy to try to appeal to a wide audience. In a recent interview with Flushdraw, Somerville explained his success: "It's not about starting with good poker content and then trying to squeak it out to be tolerably watchable… I want to make it mainstream, you know? It's not the majority of my viewership, but there is a section of my audience that didn't know prior to watching me what a button was or what an ante is. To draw those types of people in, you have to be entertaining and have broad content." He added that he still needs to strike a balance, though, as he can't drive away more knowledgeable players by making his shows "too simplified or too silly." Somerville's impact on the poker community has certainly been felt in the past year. He was nominated for a GPI American Poker Award for Poker Media Content of the Year for his Run it Up show and, though he did not win, his contributions were duly noted. He was also a nominee for the Best Ambassador Award, which ultimately went to Daniel Negreanu. During his acceptance speech, Negreanu acknowledged Somerville, saying, "I always thought he had the engaging kind of personality that embodies what a poker ambassador is. What he's done… is taken playing online poker and made it fun and exciting... He's engaged a totally new spectrum of poker players more so than anyone in the world today, as far as I'm concerned. The poker world is in good hands with Jason Somerville." Somerville's streaming platform also got some much deserved credit at the American Poker Awards, as Twitch won Poker Innovation or Initiative of the Year for "opening its doors to live streaming poker." In his acceptance speech, Scott Ball, Twitch's Poker Partnerships Lead, thanked the poker community, saying without it, Twitch Poker "would really be nothing." He also said that it was "humbling" to win the award, as the initiative was only started as recently as this past year. Somerville is off to a great start on the PokerStars' Twitch channel. At 2:00pm ET, there were nearly 5,000 people watching him live; his broadcasts have received 3.3 million total views. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  4. Earlier this year, Jason JCarverSomerville (pictured), now a PokerStarspro, began 70 straight days of live-streaming online poker on Twitch. We caught up with him on Day #60 of his campaign. You can catch him on Twitchseven hours a day live from Canada. However, now that he's just a week away from Day #70, what will happen next? And what does he see as the future of the game on Twitch? Read how Somerville has pioneered poker on Twitch. PocketFives: Thank you for joining us. How have you been enjoying playing poker on Twitch? Jason Somerville: It has been going great. I'm happy with how it has gone. Things have taken a different feel than I thought, but it's my first time doing a dedicated season. I haven't played this much poker against good players in years. I've basically been playing poker in Nevada until now, so this is a whole new world. I'm up $30,000 over the last 60 days. We've had two million unique viewers come through the show in the last 60 days. My goal is to break a quarter of a billion minutes consumed by the end of May. I'm at 160 million right now, so to do that would be insane. PocketFives: You mentioned the show has a different feel than you anticipated. What do you mean by that? Jason Somerville: When I was in Nevada, I was streaming four or five days a week. I was by myself. I was alone streaming on WSOP.com and testing things to see what would work. I didn't have a lot of time to plan or plot before the PokerStars deal came together. There had already been guys like PokerStaples streaming while I was negotiating, so I was eager to jump in. I thought I'd have more time to pivot and see what was going on, but I've had to get used to riding the flow every day and focusing on making each show the best it can be. I didn't think it would be exactly like this, but I'm proud of what I've done. PocketFives: You streaming regularly has seemed to cause other players like Daniel Negreanu(pictured) and Griffin Flush_EntityBenger to do the same. What do you think of those guys starting to stream? Jason Somerville: There are a lot of people who will watch Twitch and I think it's nothing but awesome to see my poker brethren embrace the platform. Twitch is a great base to interact with users. It's amazing for poker as both an entertainment and educational engine. It's awesome to see other people acknowledge that. It can only be good for me to have Daniel Tweet about his Twitch stream 15 times a day. Hopefully some of his fans can find me. PocketFives: What is the future of poker on Twitch? Jason Somerville: Poker is a much better fit for the internet than TV. Poker tournaments breathe in a longer space. It's hard to fit in a tournament into an hour TV broadcast, which is even shorter after commercials. Poker is a lot better fit on the internet. There is a recipe for successful gaming on Twitch and poker resonates well with a big segment of the Twitch audience. If you're a professional gamer, you're playing your heart out, grinding, and improving your skill. You'll maybe get a sponsorship deal. In poker, if you out-think your opponent, you're getting paid cash. Cash is how we keep score in poker and I think that has resonated well with the Twitch crowd. Poker has a vast appeal to people that has almost been forgotten. PocketFives: We have heard you talk several times about eventually ending up in New Jersey. Are you confident that will happen? Jason Somerville: I think I'm intentional and hopeful when I say I want to end up in New Jersey, but I don't know anything more than you guys do. Uncle Baazov doesn't give me the info, but there's no reason Stars can't be deployed in New Jersey. I have a lot of experience working with regulated online poker sites since I was with Ultimate Poker. I know the New Jersey market well too. I lived in New York all my life and New Jersey is one state over. I would love to be deployed to New Jersey. I'm a willing soldier. If Stars has a place there, I can bring the newfound enthusiasm and excitement to New Jersey. I think we'll drive thousands of players on Twitch to PokerStars. However, I still don't know anything more than you about when Stars will enter the state. PocketFives: Do you think you'll lose much momentum moving away from your daily scheduleon Twitch given you're headed to Las Vegas and elsewhere? Jason Somerville: I had to have a conversation with myself where I realize that if I left streaming to go the WSOP, I might lose momentum and let other people with streams close the gap. At heart, I am a poker player who streams, not a streamer who plays poker. I love the WSOP; I love the summer. My results have always come during the summer. There's a chance I might lose some of the momentum I've built, but I'm excited to go to the WSOP, to bring back stories and hand histories and hopefully another bracelet. I'm as interesting as I am because I've been immersed in the poker world for the last 10 years. I don't think I'd be a happy person if I streamed six days a week for the next year. I wanted to do this in seasons so people would know when I'm on and where to find me. I've sold something like 500 Run it Up hoodies. The Run it Up legion lives and I want to fight the battles with them in person. It's more than just an online thing. I want to make sure I'm doing the best I can to keep me happy and passionate and that, to me, is playing in the WSOP this year. Visit Jason Somerville's Twitch channel. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  5. WSOP bracelet winner Jason JCarverSomerville is on the forefront of poker players using the video streaming site Twitchto broadcast online sessions to fans in near-real-time. The 27-year-old Hold'em specialist believes the site offers an engaging experience that most mainstream poker shows can't match. Check out Somerville's Twitch stream. "It's hard to make poker content fit in hour-long blocks that are meant for an older audience that doesn't quite get it," Somerville told PokerListingsin an interview. "It's not a good fit for television. Twitch and live-streaming on the internet is the platform that poker needs to live." Twitch gives users the ability to create their own channels and stream their game play to a wide audience. During the action, streamers can interact with followers directly through a chat box while viewers talk amongst themselves. According to Somerville, the experience creates a sense of community, while at the same time, users become emotionally invested in the streamer. "You are engaged as a viewer on Twitch," he said. "You're not as engaged as a viewer on ESPN." Recently, while in the Bahamas for the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, Somerville continued to broadcast to his nearly 51,000 followers on the site. "I've been in the Bahamas for, I don't know, six days now, and I've streamed every single day," he continued. "My fans know what I've been up to every single day this trip because they talk to me every single day, you know. So they're invested and asking, 'Are you playing the $25K tomorrow? You doing this? You doing that?'" Twitch users are clearly interested in watching poker. Somerville has only been streaming since October and has racked up over three million views to his channel. Fans can watch for free or subscribe for $4.99 a month for an ad-free experience. The most popular streamers have built up such a large viewer base that they can make millions of dollars per year through such subscriptions. At the moment, Somerville isn't making much from the site and is focused on developing a loyal following. He is well on his way to achieving that goal; his channel receives around 300,000 views per week, with fans watching for an average of 45 minutes. "It's very hard to get someone to watch a video for even four minutes," said Somerville. "But because of the engagement on Twitch, where you can literally type and talk to me and we can engage and chat with you, people get invested." As one of the first online poker streamers, Somerville has had to work out the kinks of broadcasting real money play to an audience. One obvious issue was the fact that his opponents could simply watch his channel during a session and see his hole cards. Initially, he decided to cover his cards and reveal them at the conclusion of the hand. "It creates kind of a fun, I know what I have, the viewers don't know what I have dynamic," he said. "And the players at the table are often watching, so it's almost like I'm playing live poker with my cards face down." Eventually he found that uncovering his cards and running his stream on a four-minute delay was enough to thwart opponents from gaining an unfair advantage. Somerville believes many casual poker players are turned off by the way poker events are covered on television. "I've heard WSOP executives say, 'What's the point of a live stream, it only works for the hardcores; only hardcores care about live-streams.'" In Somerville's opinion, the exact opposite is true: "That's what happens when you run it like a CardRunners video," he said. "You can't put in the ingredients for a recipe and then get mad when you make the recipe." Through streaming, the 27-year-old connects with a market of casual poker players who simply want to "hang out" and have fun. "I wouldn't be surprised to see the majority of poker content be streamed through Twitch or living on Twitch to some degree by the end of the year." Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  6. On Tuesday, Daniel Negreanu (pictured) took the world of Twitchby storm. Negreanu, camped out in Toronto, attracted a whopping 150,000 views in his first Twitch session. He Tweeted beforehand, "Thanks again to @jaimestaples for helping me set up @twitch and @JasonSomerville for making this platform cool. That was fun! More to come." Check out Negreanu's Twitch channel. Negreanu, predictably, only streamed his play on PokerStars and said on Twitter that setting up his channel required a little assistance: "This kid @jaimestaples is a freaking genius lol. I have no clue how these kids figure out how to do this tech stuff. Twitching." Staples was announced as a Friend of PokerStars a week ago, while Somerville joined Team PokerStars earlier in the year. Negreanu's Tweet about his play money session, which you can view below, generated a bevy of responses. Christian charder Harder was the first to respond, saying, "Good work, Daniel. I was entertained." Staples added, "It was pretty sick good. 4,400 peeps watching play money." Negreanu saluted Somerville, who like "Kid Poker" is very energetic and seems to resonate well with the masses, by saying, "It was fun and I can see why @JasonSomerville seems to enjoy it so much." Negreanu's dog (pictured) made an appearance at one point in the stream. He's up to almost 5,800 followers on Twitch and could easily get many more, as PokerNews explained, "He confirmed his intention to head back to the site for new streaming sessions in the near future." He told Bluff, "My plan [on Twitch]is to do some high-stakes Eight-Game and possibly the Sunday Million." Somerville helped pioneer poker on Twitch, a live streaming platform traditionally used for video games. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  7. According to Legal Sports Report, run by the same guys as Online Poker Report, Jason JCarverSomerville (pictured) has signed a "partnership deal" with DraftKings. He'll continue to be affiliated with the world's largest online poker room, PokerStars, as well. --- Tournament Poker Edgeis the only poker training site dedicated exclusively to MTTs and features over 1,000 training videos, blogs, articles, podcasts and a dedicated strategy forum for members. Check Tournament Poker Edge out on Twitter. --- Legal Sports Report outlined the deal, which will see Somerville promote all of the brands he's associated with seemingly in harmony: "The deal will see Somerville promote DraftKings across Run It Up (RIU), the overarching brand for Somerville's universe of programming, live events, and community of fans, including Somerville's vertical-leading Twitch channel." The site added, "DraftKings will be hosting several online satellite events for American and Canadian players to a RIU live poker event scheduled for this October at the Peppermill Casino in Reno. PokerStars will be hosting similar satellites for the international market." Earlier this month, PocketFives reported that Somerville had inked a two-year agreement with the online streaming site Twitch, where he has nearly singlehandedly pioneered the growth of online poker on the platform. RIU streams returned to Twitch on August 16, just over a week after Somerville's announcement, and he has repeatedly streamed in the days since. Legal Sports Report explained that Somerville is a relative newcomer to daily fantasy sports, which can also be played on sites like FanDueland Victiv: "Somerville noted that he didn't even have a DraftKings account until a few months ago. Many of his viewers are likely in a similar position." Interestingly, the parent company of PokerStars, Amaya Gaming, recently acquired Victiv and will re-brand the site StarsDraft. As we said, Somerville is affiliated with PokerStars, but will be representing DraftKings, a StarsDraft competitor, instead. In March, Somerville kicked off a 70-day Twitch campaign for PokerStars, streaming day after day to his legion of fans. He was one of the first people to stream online poker on Twitch and has helped grow poker and Twitch alike with his charisma and accessibility. He apparently expects 500 fans to show up at Peppermill in two months, a testament to just how popular he has become. US players have been flocking in droves to daily fantasy sports after the industry received a carve-out from the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. Visit DraftKings today. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  8. According to a post on Twitter, Jason JCarverSomerville (pictured) has signed a new two-year partnership with Twitch. Somerville wrote to his throng of followers, "Very excited to have signed a new 2-year partnership with @Twitch! Daily #runitup streams set to return August 16th!" Now we sit just eight days away from the return of Run it Up. --- Tournament Poker Edgeis the only poker training site dedicated exclusively to MTTs and features over 1,000 training videos, blogs, articles, podcasts and a dedicated strategy forum for members. Check Tournament Poker Edge out on Twitter. --- Somerville's Tweet received 121 re-Tweets and had been Favorited 556 times when we checked it out. He even took time to respond to several comments in the feed, including one asking whether his schedule would be as rigid as it was before. To that, Somerville replied, "I'm still gonna try to be consistent, but maybe with less 'rules.'" Run it Up will take place, as Somerville alluded to, every day. When asked whether he'll be doing it every day for 730 days, or two years straight, however, Somerville responded, "Might be a LITTLE under 730 days. That would be ultra-tenacity tho for sure." Somerville has been largely silent on Twitch in the last couple of months with the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. He plays on his home site, PokerStars, which is not regulated in the US and so is not available to US players. His last Twitch broadcast came on July 1 when he was interviewed in the halls of the Rio in Las Vegas. In March, Somerville began 70 straight days of streaming on Twitch. He has served as a pioneer of poker on the media platform and was nominated for an American Poker Award for Poker Media Content of the Year in February. Somerville's Twitch stream has received an incredible 7.4 million views and has over 105,000 followers. In an interview in May, the PokerStars pro told us, "Twitch is a great base to interact with users. It's amazing for poker as both an entertainment and educational engine." Somerville's presence on Twitch has caused, either directly or indirectly, other staples of poker to stream, including Daniel Negreanuand Phil Hellmuth. Check out Somerville's Twitch stream. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  9. [caption width="640"] Jason Somerville is bringing the Aussie Millions to Twitch[/caption] There's an entire generation that grew up playing or watching Where In The World is Carmen Sandiego? It was a game show and series of video games developed to teach kids geography as they took the clues provided and attempted to capture the criminal mastermind Carmen Sandiego. There's an entire generation of poker players and fans that are learning geography, but it's not a fedora-wearing, redheaded villain, but rather a 28-year-old poker-playing, live-streaming New Yorker who is showing his ever-growing fan base the world, one Twitch broadcast at a time. Just a week after taking his show to the Bahamas for the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, Jason Somerville finds himself Down Under as the sole broadcaster for the 2016 Aussie Millions, one of the premier events on the poker calendar. "I started talking to the Aussie Millions guys at the end of September," said Somerville. "They reached out to me saying they wanted to do something really special this year and that they had tried live streaming, I guess, in the past and it hadn't gone really great and they had seen what I had done on Twitch." While Somerville's existing audience was certainly a big part of the reason Crown contacted him in the first place, the enthusiasm he showed in pitching them his concept was what sold them on him. They knew they had the right medium, and after talking to Somerville they knew they had the right partner. "In 2016, Crown Melbourne made the decision to extend the global reach of the Aussie Millions and make the tournament accessible to poker enthusiasts where they consume poker the most," said Xavier Walsh, Crown's COO. "We are committed to providing the most dynamic, compelling, and relevant coverage possible, and it was crucial to extend the digital footprint to a new phase whilst including new channels in the social media space, namely Twitch.tv, allowing the world to enjoy the action as it happens." What Somerville had "done on Twitch" is now well known in most poker circles. Crown Casino still wasn't sure what Somerville would want to do. "At first, I think they didn't quite know what they wanted and then once I heard they were interested I pitched them on the full thing," said Somerville. "I told them, 'I want to come out there, we'll do the full broadcast, commentary on the $100K, $250K, Main Event, as much coverage as we can get every single day and let's showcase this event.'" Somerville debuted as an official partner on Twitch in October 2014 and quickly became the single most popular poker player on the live streaming service. The success of his Run It Up broadcasts have paved the way and set a template for the likes of Jaime Staples, Randy Lew, and Celina Lin to follow. But Somerville's Twitch broadcasts were originally built around his own play. People were tuning in to watch Somerville live stream his own play in PokerStars tournaments and cash games. While that proved extremely popular, Somerville had his eyes on bigger things, including live streaming from live poker tournaments and events around the world. In December, while Somerville was busy finalizing his plans for the Aussie Millions, the brain trust at PokerStars, where Somerville is a Team Pro, wanted to know what his PCA plans were. Sure, it was relatively short notice, but Somerville jumped at the chance to offer his legions of fans the chance to check out PokerStars' marquee event. Somerville didn't exactly take it easy – he jumped in with both feet. Over the course of the PCA, Somerville was on air for nearly 5,000 minutes – 81 hours. During that time, there was an average of 6,000 concurrent viewers tuned in, peaking at just over 13,500 for the Main Event final table. His efforts set a record for live tournament poker on Twitch. He's hoping to smash that record this week. "The shows are going to be absolutely awesome, with hole cards the entire time. That's one thing we heard consistently (during PCA) was people saying, 'I don't know what they have,'" said Somerville. During the PCA broadcasts, hole cards were kept hidden. "It's going to be the same kind of interactive broadcast as we had (at PCA). I'm going to be talking in the Twitch chat the whole time through and people can ask questions. I think it will be the most high-quality (poker) broadcast ever done." The PCA broke all the records, but it also gave Somerville a lot of notes on how to improve the product heading into the Aussie Millions. Being able to see hole cards is important, but that wasn't the only feedback he's using to take the product to the next level. "We've learned a lot of lessons about trying to minimize recycled break content, trying to always have something fresh and interesting and engaging to keep the viewers all night long, and I think they're going to be really compelling and interesting shows," said Somerville. While many poker fans might think of Twitch as a place to watch poker, the Twitch audience is much larger and consists largely of eSports and video game streams. Finding a way to get that audience is one of the challenges that Somerville most embraces, largely because he feels like he's a part of both worlds. "Twitch is used to a certain level of production quality for the massive eSports events that they have. We see Riot games run their League of Legends finals; they're getting hundreds of thousands of concurrent views watching a pristine, top-of-the-line, beautiful broadcast and many of the top games on Twitch present their games in that way," said Somerville. "Poker really hasn't done that too much yet. The live streams from poker have always been like, 'Oh, and let's live stream on Twitch,' instead of having a guy like me who can bridge the gap between the video game world and the poker world." [caption width="640"] The complete Twitch stream schedule for the 2016 Aussie Millions[/caption] The schedule calls for Somerville to be on air for eight straight days, not only talking poker, but also engaging with the Twitch audience. He'll have plenty of help, though, as some of poker's biggest stars will undoubtedly make their way into the broadcast booth to provide commentary and insight. Still, Somerville is going to find himself talking for over 80 hours. "Honestly, I don't drink coffee. I don't really drink soda or anything, I'm just a very... to me, it comes naturally. I'm just passionate about what I'm doing here and I find that it's easy to be energetic because we truly are showcasing one of the most premiere events in the poker universe and we're bringing it to an audience that has never heard of Aussie Millions before," said Somerville. "I feel like we're going to be delivering a broadcast that caters to Twitch. The production is oriented around what I'm saying and what I want to do." Somerville starts streaming on Sunday, January 24 at 8pm local time (4am US Eastern Time) with the opening day of the $100K Challenge, an event that will draw the biggest names in poker. Phil Ivey, Erik Seidel, Sam Trickett and Antonio Esfandiari are all expected to be in the field.
  10. [caption width="640"] Jason Somerville is giving PokerStarsNJ a chance to get up close and personal with him and his Team PokerStars Pro friends. (Neil Stoddart photo)[/caption] Jason Somerville is ready to rumble. The Team PokerStars Pro will be hosting a special Run It Up event at Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City on May 14 and he’s bringing along a bunch of his Team Pro friends. Run It Up, Somerville’s Twitch stream, is the most popular poker channel on the streaming site and regularly draws 10,000+ viewers. Somerville has been streaming from New Jersey for the past 31 days. Vanessa Selbst, Barry Greenstein, Jen Shahade, Chris Moneymakerand Liv Boeree will all be on-hand for the Run It Up Resorts Rumble that includes a breakfast, meet-and-greet sessions, online tournaments and a party. "I'm incredibly excited to host our first one-day Run it Up festival on the East Coast with two great partners in PokerStars and Resorts," said Somerville. "It's been so much fun playing and streaming on PokerStars New Jersey this month and I can't wait to hang out with all of our awesome Run it Up fans in person. It'll totally be worth putting on pants." Somerville will be live streaming on his Twitch channel throughout the day. Players on site will be able to participate in an exclusive $30 buy-in event on PokerStarsNJ. Garden State players not in attendance can play a $10 buy-in event as part of the festivities. The final table of the $30 event will be played "battleship style" with the final nine players positioned at a poker table with their laptop or mobile device. In the afternoon, attendees will have a Q&A with Somerville before the festivities move to Landshark Bar & Grill for a party that includes an open bar, food and live music. PokerStarsNJ is hosting a special freeroll event on May 1 that awards 50 pairs of tickets to the Rumble, including five VIP packages which come with two nights’ accommodation at Resorts Hotel & Casino, a pair of entry tickets to the VIP party and $200 spending money. Tickets can also be earned by simply completing one of two challenges on the PokerStarsNJ client before midnight on April 30. The first is to play a single real money hand in a cash game at any stake level. The second is to enter any real money tournament. Players that don’t qualify via the freeroll or challenges can make a minimum $10 deposit using the bonus code ‘VIPCLUBNJ’ before midnight on April 30 to claim a free ticket. Tickets can also be purchased on site for just $10, with all proceeds going to Autism Speaks. For more information on the Run It Up Rumble, visit pokerstarsnj.com/vip/live/.
  11. It would appear that Jason Somerville’s quest for poker world domination is taking him - and his ever popular Twitch stream - Down Under. Somerville, the most popular poker player on Twitch, has partnered with Crown Melbourne to stream the 2016 Aussie Millions Main Event on RunItUp.tv from January 24 – February 1. “‘I’m extremely excited to be teaming up with Crown Melbourne and PokerStars to bring the 2016 Aussie Millions to poker fans around the globe,” said Somerville. “The Aussie Millions is a marquee event on the international poker calendar and this year. I am honored to play a part in showcasing the action as the Aussie Millions transitions exclusively into a live-streamed online broadcast.” The 2016 Aussie Millions schedule has 24 events including the AU$10,600 Main Event. As part of the Asia Pacific Poker Tour, players can qualify for the Main Event on PokerStars.com. In an effort to put the Aussie Millions brand in front of as many poker players as possible, Crown Melbourne sought an established partner for an online broadcast. “We are committed to providing the most dynamic, compelling and relevant coverage possible, and it was crucial to extend the digital footprint to a new phase whilst including new channels in the social media space, namely Twitch.tv, allowing the world to enjoy the action as it happens,” said Xavier Walsh, Crown Melbourne’s Chief Operating Officer. While the Main Event draws one of the biggest $10,000 buy-in fields of the year, the highlight of the schedule each year are the high roller events, the AU$100,000 AU Challenge and the LK Boutique AU$250,000 Challenge. Phil Ivey has won the $250,000 Challenge three of the last four years and he is expected to be in attendance this year along with John Juanda, Sam Trickett and Erik Seidel. Even though big buy-in events are the marquee events, there is still a number of Championship events for players with a smaller-than-Phil-Ivey bankroll. Eleven of the 24 events on the schedule have a buy-in of AU$1,150. Along with a full slate of No Limit Hold’em events, the schedule also includes Pot Limit Omaha, HORSE and 8-Game Mixed events.
  12. As more and more states are considering legislating and regulating online poker, PokerStars and the Poker Players Alliance are teaming up to galvanize the poker playing community to help get the word to lawmakers in key states. With New York, Michigan, California and Pennsylvania all considering bills that would allow their residents to legally play online poker again, there has never been a more important time for poker players to rise up and be heard. PokerStars Vice President of Corporate Communications Eric Hollreiser wrote a blog post this week asking poker players to do their part in getting the attention of politicians and lawmakers. "It is an election year. Your voice matters. #Fight4Poker with the PPA. Call, email and Tweet your elected officials to remind them how important the regulation of online gaming truly is," Hollreiser wrote. Team PokerStars Pro Jason Somerville created a special message for PocketFives.com encouraging everybody to reach out to their representatives and have their voice heard. The PPA has made contacting lawmakers and decision makers in your state incredibly easy with the #Fight4Poker action center. Enter your name, email address and zip code and a pre-populated email will be sent to the legislators who can make a difference and bring online poker back to your home state. PocketFives encourages every one of our members to take the two or three minutes it takes to contact the lawmakers in your area and let them know how you feel.
  13. [caption width="640"] The Run It Up Resorts Rumble is the first live event PokerStars is hosting in New Jersey.[/caption] Run It Up Legion is invading Atlantic City this weekend and we’re not just talking about the New Jersey chapter. Poker players and fans of Jason Somerville’s wildy popular Twitch stream are travelling from all over the Northeast for Saturday’s Run It Up Resorts Rumble at the Resorts Casino - the first live event PokerStars has hosted since returning to New Jersey. And while Somerville is hosting the event but he’s bringing along a number of other Team PokerStars Pros to join in the festivities. Chris Moneymaker, Barry Greenstein, Vanessa Selbst, Liv Boeree and Jen Shahade will all be in attendance. The schedule for the Rumble includes a breakfast with the pros, a Team PokerStars Q&A session, an "onlive" event where players play on PokerStarsNJ from their laptop or mobile device while seated in the same room and of course a party at the end of the evening to wrap everything up. Somerville will be streaming on his RunItUp Twitch channel during the tournament. For some attendees, the opportunity to rub elbows with some of poker’s biggest names is a pilgrimage they just had to make. "I really wanted to make run it up Reno but I'm doing the WSOP this year so I went with that," said Adam Taormina, from Lock Haven, PA. "Then I heard of a close Run It Up event I could attend and didn't want to pass up the opportunity to celebrate PokerStars in New Jersey and meet some poker pros." Philip Neiman, a 33 year old Queens native, has one simple reason for heading to Atlantic City this weekend. “Has to be meeting Jason, the guy has brought my game to a new level by just watching his streams,” said Neiman. He’s not the only one. Chris Kusha, a 29 year old from Staten Island, is making the trip after learning that two his poker heros would be involved. "I’ve always heard how fun these VIP parties are and couldn't not jump at the opportunity to go to one nearby," said Kusha. "I’m most looking forward to getting to meet the players who were very influential to me coming up in poker, particularly Vanessa Selbst and Jason Somerville." Somerville, who will travel from Canada where he is streaming Spring Championship of Online Poker action, seems excited about the wardrobe change the event requires. "I'm incredibly excited to host our first one-day Run it Up festival on the East Coast with two great partners in PokerStars and Resorts," said Somerville. "I can't wait to hang out with all of our awesome Run it Up fans in person. It'll totally be worth putting on pants." The Schedule Breakfast with the Pros - 10:00 am Attendees can mingle with Team PokerStars Pros and enjoy a light breakfast and conversation. The Run It Up Resorts Rumble - 11:30 am The $30 buy-in ‘onlive’ tournament gets underway and is available only to those in attendance. The Run It Up Resorts Rumble Final Table - 3:00 pm With just nine players remaining the Run It Up Resorts Rumble is paused so players can be set up at a single poker table to finish the tournament using the “Battleship style”. Team PokerStars Q&A - 4:00 pm Players will be able to ask their favorite Team PokerStars Pros any questions about the world of poker. VIP Club Live: NJ - 7:30 pm Hosted by the Landshark Bar & Grill at Resorts, the party comes complete with food, games and entertainment and, of course, an open bar. Players were able to earn tickets to the event through PokerStarsNJ freerolls, by completing a series of challenges on the site, or by making a real money deposit using a special bonus code. For those that failed to qualify on PokerStarsNJ.com, tickets can be purchased on site for just $10, with all proceeds going to Autism Speaks. For more information check out www.pokerstarsnj.com/vip/live/resorts/
  14. [caption width="640"] Jason Somerville is bringing the Run It Up show back to Atlantic City as part of the PokerStars Live Festival.[/caption] The world’s largest poker site is back with a live tournament series on United States soil for the first time in years. Starting on October 29, PokerStars Festival New Jersey kicks off with 40 events to be played in a weeklong span at Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City. As part of this series, PokerStars is partnering with Team Pro Jason Somerville and Run It Up for what will be an exciting collection of tournaments that are aiming to build off of his previous Run It Up series held in Reno, NV. One of the elements that separates Somerville and his Run It Up events from other festivals is the availability of mixed game events that are not usually as prominently featured at other tournament series. Known for his popular Twitch stream, Somerville has leveraged that viewership into promoting non-Hold‘em games on his stream and in the live setting. “I’ve been playing poker for a decade and after a while, Hold‘em can get boring. There’s a fun in playing many different games,” Somerville said about his interest in new forms of poker. Somerville said he first noticed that playing mixed games appealed to a large audience when 27,000 viewers tuned in to watch him compete in a PokerStars WCOOP Stud Hi-Lo event in September 2015, one of the largest totals at that time in the history of Twitch. Since then, Somerville has incorporated a variety of mixed game events into his Run It Up series and is now bringing that atmosphere to New Jersey. “Mixed games tend to elicit more conversation at the table and elicits a camaraderie among players. They draw a different type of crowd that is there to have more fun and to create a fun atmosphere,” Somerville said. In addition to the mixed game events, there will be some celebrities in attendance at the festival highlighted by Tyson Apostol and ‘Boston Rob’ Mariano, both of Survivor fame. Somerville has come to know both quite well over the years and notes, “fans like hanging out with them and they are the perfect people to bring to New Jersey.” When planning the inaugural “Run It Up Reno” series, Somerville envisioned the series being centered on the best possible playing experience for those attending. Survivor was in season at that time, which worked out well for Somerville’s design. “Who better to watch Survivor with than actual survivors?” Somerville exclaimed. Despite his reality show fandom, Somerville has no intention to step into the wilderness in the near future. “There’s not really time for adventure in my life. I’m happy to be on the couch, for the most part. I’ve spent almost 1,100 hours streaming this year and am focused on that for now,” said Somerville. With his nightly stream still going strong as ever, Somerville doesn’t plan on putting the brakes on anytime soon and perhaps venture toward more live poker. “I love streaming, it’s easy for me to do. Every day I wake up and I go to bed and satisfied. Live events are way more tiring. [They] are major party gatherings that build the community and personal relationships that we can’t do more of online,” said Somerville. The PokerStars Festival New Jersey will be an especially busy one for Somerville as he plans on playing live events while also streaming with a few special guests scheduled to appear. Somerville says he will be streaming PokerStars team pros Chris Moneymaker, Vanessa Selbst and Jason Mercier all individually during the weeklong festival. On Saturday, November 5, Somerville will host “Run It Up Day” which is set to include events like a poker seminar to be presented by Somerville, a Q&A and the $300 buy-in Run It Up 8 Game Championship. Somerville says he loves interacting with his fans and doing Q&As noting how much enjoys the open conversation element. With a laugh, Somerville said, “I must answer more questions than anyone on the planet.” With a full week of great events and activities lined up, PokerStars Festival New Jersey will look to set the pace for future PokerStars events to be held in the United States. “People are going to be there to have a good time and will have the chance to meet PokerStars pros. This is an experience rather than just a normal poker tournament,” said Somerville.
  15. Boasting over 13 million views and nearly 200,000 follows to his Run It UP poker stream on Twitch, Jason Sommerville is by far the most popular poker broadcaster on the site. While his average shows attract several thousand fans apiece, that number can skyrocket when the Team PokerStars Pro finds himself at a final table, playing for thousands of dollars. With that in mind, Sommerville is hosting a special World Championship of Online Poker broadcast, during which 2016 WSOP Player of the Year Jason Mercier will stream his play live in the $102,000 buy-in Super High Roller event on Sunday. And yes, hole cards will be shown. Lee Jones, PokerStars Cardroom Manager, revealed that the idea came about after Mercier and Sommerville realized that they would both be in Toronto for the WCOOP. The two Jasons have been friends and business partners for years, and when Mercier mentioned he would be playing the High Roller event, Somerville asked if he’d like to stream it all on Twitch. “One thing led to another, and here we are,” said Jones. The $102,000 buy-in Super High Roller event will be the highest buy-in poker tournament ever played online. That fact makes it all the more astounding that Mercier would agree to stream his play with his hole cards exposed (on a fifteen-minute delay). At that elite level of competition, it’s rare to find a pro who would risk revealing his thought process behind hands during what will be an ultra-competitive tournament. Somerville will be in the booth alongside Mercier during the tournament, and will even discuss hands with the pro after the fact. He won’t be giving advice or discussing strategy when Mercier is actively in a hand, however. “Jason Mercier streaming the event and showing his hole cards gives poker fans an amazing opportunity to jump on board the action and excitement,” said Eric Hollreiser, PokerStars’ director of corporate communications. “On top of that, Jason Somerville has made Twitch the premiere channel for poker fans and knows how to put on a truly great show. All this combined is going to make for some intense Sunday poker watching.” Mercier is coming off the heels of a fantastic summer performance at the WSOP. His outstanding run started when he won a bracelet in the 2-7 Draw Lowball Championship for $273,335. He went on to take second place in his next tournament, the Razz Championship, then win another bracelet and $422,874 in the HORSE Championship. Those three events, plus an eighth place finish in the Omaha Hi-Lo Championship were enough to earn him the accolade of series Player of the Year. The Super High Roller action is streaming on the PokerStars Twitch channel, twitch.tv/pokerstars. The event kicks off on Sunday, September 11 at 1:30 PM US (ET). The tournament is a two-day affair, and if Mercier advances, Sommerville will be broadcasting the entire time. "As a serious poker player myself, I look forward to seeing Jason’s strategy unfold hand by hand and learning from him," said Scott Ball, Twitch Community Development and Poker Manager. “And of course, Jason Sommerville was the founder of poker streaming and a Twitch legend. With him in the booth, there won’t be a dull moment; it should be a great day for Twitch and poker fans everywhere.”
  16. [caption width="640"] PokerStars has made major changes to its live tournament offering[/caption] The European Poker Tour is going global and at the same time, ceasing to exist altogether. PokerStars announced sweeping changes to its live poker offering on Wednesday that sees the EPT-experience expanding beyond European borders with a new name: PokerStars Live. Live events under the PokerStars banner now fall into one of two categories; the PokerStars Championship and the PokerStars Festival. Championship events, which will look and feel much like the EPT events have for the past few years, will include up to 100 tournaments in cities like Monte-Carlo, Barcelona, Macau and Panama. The Main Event at each stop will be a €/$5,000 buy-in. Festival events will be much smaller in size and will last up to a week and will culminate in a Main Event buy-in of between $1,000-$1,500. Only two stops are confirmed so far, one on each side of the Atlantic. London, England is one confirmed stop with the other set to make American players happy as PokerStars brings its live tournament experience back to American soil with a Festival event scheduled for Resorts Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey October 31 - November 6. “We are committed to growing the poker market in New Jersey and part of this strategy is to help make New Jersey the poker hub of America in November,” said Eric Hollreiser, PokerStars’ Director of Corporate Communications. “We invite players from across the globe to pitch up in the Garden State for the best live poker experience available in the world, live and online, with the first ever NJCOOP kicking off ahead of the Festival with plenty of tournaments on offer and big prizes.” The initial schedule for PokerStars Festival New Jersey includes an $1,100 buy-in Main Event, $2,200 High Roller and a special Run It Up event featuring Jason Somerville and a number of former Survivor contestants. Along with Somerville, fellow Team PokerStars Pros Daniel Negreanu, Barry Greenstein, Jason Mercier, Chris Moneymaker and Vanessa Selbst are also scheduled to be in Atlantic City. While the New Jersey Festival is the first event under the PokerStars Live banner, the official kick off comes in January with PokerStars Championship Bahamas, formerly the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. That event runs January 6 - 14. “We are always thinking of how to bring the best experience to players, through the variety of tournaments we sponsor, the ease of finding information, how we communicate to players and media, and the overall experience on and off the felt," said Edgar Stuchly, PokerStars’ Director of Live Events. "The PokerStars Championship and PokerStars Festival events are an enhancement of the existing PokerStars sponsored live tours, helping to take our vision for live poker to a whole new level." PokerStars will offer extensive online qualifying options for both Championship and Festival events including the popular Spin-N-Go qualifiers that can get players into Championship level events for as little as €10. The new tour also comes with a revamped Player of the Year system. Each Championship stop will have a standalone leaderboard that awards the winner a VIP package with accommodation and a Championship Main Event buy-in for the first Championship event the following year as well as entry into an invite-only $100,000 winner-take-all tournament. The final EPT-branded event takes place in December in Prague.
  17. [caption width="640"] Jason Somerville is on his way to Calgary for the Deepstack Poker Championship[/caption] Poker pro Jason Somerville has amassed a huge following on streaming site Twitch, where he regularly broadcasts his poker play to thousands of viewers under his Run It Up brand. With his popularity growing steadily, the poker industry has taken note, and has been eager to work with the indefatigable pro and leverage the audience that he commands. With that in mind the DeepStacks Poker Tour is partnering with the 29-year-old, and will kick off its Poker Tour Championship in Calgary, Canada, with a special Run It Up tournament. The 11-day poker festival begins on November 25 at the Grey Eagle Resort and Casino and culminates in the C$2,500 buy-in, C$500,000 guaranteed Main Event on December 2. Somerville will stream the final table action live on his Twitch channel, while serving as an ambassador for the event. In addition to conducting Q&A’s and fan meet ups, the poker pro will be hosting a mixed game Run It Up tournament on December 1, one day before the Main Event. “I’m incredibly excited to finally bring Run It Up to Canada as part of the DSPT Championship series,” Somerville said. "DeepStacks Poker Tour shares my commitment to hosting modern, fun-oriented, player-friendly tournaments and I'm thrilled to be bringing the final table of the $2,500 Championship event to fans around the world December 5th on Runitup.tv.” Somerville, who boasts more than $6 million in live tournament cashes, made a name for himself on Twitch through marathon broadcasts where he simultaneously plays live tournaments, while reviewing hands sent in by viewers. To date the channel boasts over 183,000 followers and has received over 13 million views. DeepStacks’ interest in Twitch comes as no surprise. The company’s Emmy award-winning production team has embraced new technology to create broadcasts that feature, amongst other things, 360° live streamed tournaments, complete with live chat and event blogging. According to its creators, the DSPT was designed to reach a mainstream demographic and bills itself as the fastest-growing poker tour in the world. The organization holds events all around the globe and has already made stops in Malta, Canada and in several states throughout the US this year. DeepStacks President Chris Torina feels that partnering with Somerville is the perfect complement to the company’s brand. “I’ve been a huge fan of Jason’s for some time and have been actively searching for ways for us to work together,” he said. “Having Jason and Run It Up at the DSPT Championship gives us the chance to add one of poker’s unique voices to our event and allows us to showcase why DSPT has quickly become the premier mid-major poker tour in the world to a massive audience of poker enthusiasts.”
  18. [caption width="640"] Chris Moneymaker is one of the Team PokerStars Pros making their way to Atlantic City for the first ever Pokertars Festival New Jersey(PokerStars photo/Neil Stoddart)[/caption] For the last six years American poker players have watched as PokerStars-branded live events took place in countries around the world other than their own. Not since Black Friday, when the North American Poker Tour was in the midst of an event at Mohegan Sun, has PokerStars held a live event on U.S. soil. That all changes beginning Sunday. The PokerStars Festival New Jersey is the first official event under the new global PokerStars Live banner and runs for nine days at the Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey. With 40 events on the schedule, and the conclusion of the first ever PokerStars New Jersey Championship of Online Poker, you might think PokerStars Team Pro Chris Moneymaker was excited to get the cards in the air. You’d be wrong. “The foosball and corn hole and all that stuff. Stars is really focused on this StarsFun thing, so there’s gonna be ping pong tables, foosball tables, corn hole, a lot of side stuff. I’m just a big kid so I like doing all that stuff,” said Moneymaker, who recently finished runner-up in an NJCOOP event. To be fair, the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event champion is also looking forward to the poker. “As far as the festival goes, the first day - which I might miss, but it would be exciting for me if I could play, but I may miss it because the NJCOOP Main Event is on Sunday - they have a $600 Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo tournament which I would like to play, but I probably won’t get to,” said Moneymaker. “I’m looking forward to anything with four cards and there’s (also) a $5K Eight Max that will be interesting depending on the field. If i have to go sit down and just play with Jason Mercier, Daniel Negreanu, Vanessa Selbst, myself and Jason Somerville, I’ll probably pass on that, but if it gets 40 people, I’ll jump in.” The Main Event is an $1,100 buy-in event scheduled to run November 1-5, with two-starting days. Players are able to qualify online through PokerStarsNJ.com or a number of live qualifiers in the days leading up to the Main Event. Complete PokerStars Festival New Jersey Schedule “After the Main Event, I’m looking forward to playing the Run It Up events, Jason Somerville’s mixed game events,” said Moneymaker. Run It Up Day is Saturday, November 5 and consists of two live events and other events built around Somerville’s popular live stream. It’s been six years since Black Friday and the Festival will be the first taste of PokerStars Live for an entire generation of online poker players that haven’t experienced one before. Moneymaker things they’re in for a very different experience than anything else they’ve seen or done. “PokerStars just does things different. You go to a lot of tournaments and you play and that’s it. If you’ve ever played in basically any tournament here in the U.S., you show up, you play poker, you go home. That’s really what you’ve got,” said Moneymaker. “But when you come to a PokerStars event, the first night there’s a reception/cocktail party, they have the StarsFun which is going to have a room set up to where people can mingle and have fun. They’re gonna have live streams. They’re going to have Q&As with us. There’s other activities going other than just sitting down and playing poker.” The return of PokerStars to the U.S. was a big deal when it was announced and the live event is another positive step for the company that was the largest U.S-facing online poker site on Black Friday. Moneymaker is optimistic that while all of this seems like a big deal now, there’s still so much more potential should other states get on board with regulated online poker. “It’s obviously a great first step. We’ve got a long way to go. Just the fact that I’m able to play in the U.S., I don’t have to get a passport and go out of the country and all that madness. I can actually come here and stay within the borders and play,” said Moneymaker. “It’s a phenomenal thing. But we’re a long way from being where we need to be. We’re in one state right now, hopefully we’ll be in more next year but it’s a good first step.”
  19. [caption width="640"] Max Silver is looking for a couple of students hoping to get to the next level (EPT photo)[/caption] Nearly seven years Max Silver wouldn't stop pestering Jason Somerville. The two had met through a SomethingAwful subforum and Silver was always asking Somerville questions, the most consistent being 'will you coach me?'. Eventually Somerville agreed and started working with Silver. Now Silver, fresh off of 10 cashes at the 2016 World Series of Poker, is looking to take on some students of his own. The British poker pro posted on Twitter on Thursday that he was looking to coach and stake at least one current professional poker player that meets the following criteria: Been playing poker professionally for at least 6 months Be playing at least 100NL (or equivalent tournament size), preferably higher for the last 3 months Be not living in America Have the future possibility of being able to travel for live poker somewhere in the world The desire to coach goes back to Silver's early days as an online grinder when Somerville started coaching him. "Jason Somerville took a chance when he took me under his wing about seven years ago, we did six months of intensive group coaching and it gave me the opportunity to get where I am today," said Silver. "I’d like to offer that opportunity to someone else while making us both more money" In the seven years since Silver began learning from Somerville he's gone from highly respected online player to a force on the live circuit. He's cashed 63 times and earned nearly $3 million in live events. He's booked multiple UKIPT wins and last summer took down an Aria High Roller event for $432,960. Now he wants to go from student to mentor, while also providing financial backing to the player or players he selects. Most of the coaching will done via Skype but Silver also hopes to find face-to-face time with his proteges at live events that they both end up at. While the offer might sound enticing to nearly everybody playing today, Silver knows he has an ideal student in mind already. "Someone who doesn’t currently need staking, is already doing well on their own. They’ve tried to reach the next level but are struggling, unsure of where to go next. A hunger to learn, constantly keep an open mind and work hard," said Silver. "Poker is the toughest it’s ever been and the easiest it’s going to ever be, this isn’t going to be easy." Silver describes his coaching philosophy as intense and believes that making an already winning player into a better player requires a lot of focus for both the coach and student. "It’s more like a constant environment of poker learning. The group will be mixture of both planned and spontaneous poker theory, hand review and general discussion," said Silver. "I don’t like to commit to an exact number of hours due to still playing full time myself but I’d say an average of 8-10 hours a week." Silver plans to continue his normal poker schedule While taking on this challenge and while some might assume it could be a distraction, Silver thinks that this could actually help his game far more than it could ever hurt it. "If anything I think the opposite is likely, coaching helps me stay sharp and think about the game in a new way," said Silver. "I like my students to be willing to say they disagree with something I say and question everything, having to justify my own opinions makes me realise I’m not always right and have formed some new strategies because of it." Players interested in working with Silver can reach out to him via email at [email]max@snapshove.co[/email].
  20. [caption width="640"] Jason Somerville returns to Australia this February to stream the Aussie Millions Main Event.[/caption] The Aussie Millions is always one of the premier events on the poker schedule each and every year. The prestige of the Aussie Millions Main Event was supplemented in recent years by the addition of Jason Somerville and his Twitch channel to the broadcast. Somerville and RunItUp.tv are back and better in ever for 2018 with Aussie Millions marking their first major stream of the year. Starting Thursday, February 1 and running through Sunday, February 4, Aussie Millions and Somerville are partnering to stream the main event on Twitch. Last year was a banner one for the pair as Somerville and Crown Casino set worldwide records with the main event stream. The main event became the #1 Most watched live Twitch poker tournament of all time and had the most concurrent viewers of a live final poker table on Twitch. The final table was one for the ages as Australian amateur and satellite winner Shurane Vijayaramdefeated British pro Ben Heathheads up to win over $1.2 million. February 1 marks Day 3 of the tournament and Day 4 will run on February 2. The final table itself starts on February 4. All three stream broadcasts start at 12:30 pm EST. Somerville looks forward to taking his commentary live in Australia once again and plans to make this year even better than the last. “I'm honored to once again partner with Crown Melbourne to showcase the 2018 Aussie Millions live on Twitch. The Aussie Millions is one of the most prestigious poker tournaments on the calendar and I'm excited to present the action once again to fans around the globe. We broke the Twitch Poker record for last year's broadcasts and we've got an even better show planned for the fans in 2018.” Representing Crown Melbourne Casino is tournament director Joel Williams, who said “We are very excited to partner once again with Jason Somerville to live stream key moments from the 2018 Aussie Millions. Last year’s partnership was incredibly successful and took our championship to new global audiences. As one of the world’s great poker tournaments, we are looking to build on this in 2018.” When Aussie Millions gets underway in a few weeks, the whole poker world will stop and take notice. The Aussie Millions Main Event is one of the most prestigious events of the year and having Somerville back in the booth only further adds to the elite tournament.
  21. When PokerStars announced the Platinum Pass program in late 2017, they promised to find unique and interesting ways to give the $30,000 packages away. Over the last six months, players have won them by winning PokerStars-branded live events, random draws at those same events and through online play as well. Now they've weaponized their Ambassadors in quite possibly the most unique Platinum Pass offering yet. Jason Somverille, Liv Boeree and Igor Kurganov, and Jaime Staples have created specific programs tailored towards their own fan base and following that will award a Platinum Pass. Somerville, who has developed his Run It Up Twitch stream into a highly-successful brand of its own, is looking to find The Next Great Twitch Streamer. Streamers can submit their name between now and July 27 with Somerville choosing three finalists who will be judged by a panel including fellow Ambassadors Lex Veldhuis, Kevin Martin, Staples, Ben 'Spraggy' Spragg, Jeff Gross and Fintan Hand to select a winner. To be eligible, the streamer must log at least 150 broadcast hours during the contest period and play a majority of their games on PokerStars. “I am incredibly excited about the Platinum Pass that PokerStars will be giving away to the next top Twitch poker streamer. What an amazing opportunity for someone to get involved in Twitch poker, try your hand at Twitch poker streaming and be awarded with a Platinum Pass," said Somerville. "If you need any help getting started with your streaming journey, we have a comprehensive guide on RunItUp.com and I am excited to see who gets involved and what these streams look like. I think it is going to be awesome for both poker and Twitch.” Just a few short months after winning a six-figure weight loss prop bet with Bill Perkins, Staples is looking to continue inspire people to take on a challenge and he's offering up a Platinum Pass as inspiration. The challenge, dubbed Your Ultimate Sweat, doesn't have to be a weight loss bet, though. “I wish people could have their own Ultimate Sweat experience. Now thanks to PokerStars you can! I am giving away one Platinum Pass to the PokerStars Players Championship and you get to set your own challenge. Lose weight, learn to play Omaha poker, read a book a day, run a marathon,” said Staples. Staples is taking submissions beginning July 1. The last of the three programs announced Wednesday could put players front and center with two of poker's strongest thinkings. Boeree and Kurganov are teaming up to run the Next Great Poker Minds challenge. Players will be tested in a series of multiple-choice quizzes with the top 10 finishers after the four preliminary rounds advancing to the final scheduled for October 3. “What we’ve always loved most about poker is the strategy of the game and how it constantly challenges you to think deeply. Much of this translates to better decision making in everyday life. So when PokerStars gave us two Platinum Passes to give away to our followers, we immediately knew we wanted to do something around rationality and logic,” said Boeree. These three passes are just the first ones being offered by PokerStars through direct interaction with their Ambassadors. Players are encouraged to follow the Ambassadors via social media for more information on qualifying.
  22. There was plenty of action during the fifth full day of the PokerStars 2018 World Championship of Online Poker. Fourteen total tournaments were in action on Friday and six new WCOOP Champions were crowned. The biggest winner of the day was Canadian grinder ‘SinKarma’. They topped the 334-player field in Event #21 High ($2,100 Four Max, No Limit Hold’em) for $124,143.98, the only six-figure cash of the day. Poland’s ‘voytech75’ settled for second place, walking with a score of over $82,000. The rest of the four-handed final table was rounded out by South Korea’s ‘level1pro’ who won $55,438.92 and Austrian pro ‘Tankanza’ who added $37,047.61 to his winnings. It was mere months ago that ’Tankanza’ picked up a massive win in PokerStars $10,300 NLHE Spring Championship Of Online Poker Main Event for a seven-figure score of $1,133,160. Other notable names that went deep in this contest included Chris ‘Big Huni’ Hunichen (10th place - $15,840.95), PokerStars Ambassador Jason ‘jcarverpoker’ Sommerville (11th - $15,840.95), Shaun ‘shaundeeb’ Deeb (14th - $11,934), ‘bencb’ (17th - $8,990.67), Jon ‘apestyles’ Van Fleet (21 - $8,990.67) and Germany’s ‘nilsef’, who has already earned himself two WCOOP titles in 2018. ‘phounderAA’ defeated the 1,896 player field in Event #21 Medium ($215 Four Max, No Limit Hold’em), taking home the $56,901.32 first place prize. While ‘*M@RC0* A’ navigated through the 8,177 players who registered for Event #6 Low ($22 Four Max, No Limit Hold’em) en route to a three-way chop that gave him $18,165.57 and the title of WCOOP Champion. The other event that wrapped up on Friday was Event #24 (Three Max, Turbo, Progressive KO, Zoom, No Limit Hold’em). The UK’s ‘la_benjjjjj’ was, far and away, the overwhelming winner in the $530 High Event. He defeated the three-handed final table and took home $47,479.59 for first. On top of that, he earned another $35,05086 in bounties. His bounty haul alone was more than ‘venomrtgllwi’ earned for second place, winning $31,035.57 as the runner-up and an additional $3,080.08 in bounties. Event #24 Medium ($55 Three Max, Turbo, Progressive KO, Zoom, No Limit Hold’em) was won by Romans ’RovoDice’ Voitovs from Latvia. Voitovs earned $24,844.67 for the win and another $10,158.23 in bounties. He’s currently the #5-ranked player in Latvia and with the victory, he sits just outside of $1.5 million in lifetime recorded earnings. There were two events, Event #22 (Eight Max, Pot Limit Omaha 8) and Event #23 (No Limit Hold’em) that will resume on Saturday. Event #20: (Medium): $109 No Limit 5 Card Draw Entries: 284 Prize pool: $28,400 1. FONBET_RULIT - $5.477.88 2. POKERSENEL - $4,831.32 3. Siveens99 - #3,266 4. facper - $2,272 5. NEED100KFAST - $1,704 6. zaza38 - $1,136 7. Adamyid - $710 8. KaptainKush - $710 Event #20: (Low): $11 No Limit 5 Card Draw Entries: 2094 Prize pool: $20,521.20 1. aDrENalin710 - $3,233.76 2. ruthless848 - $2,359.93 3. tmtto - $1,744.30 4. Zenn-La7 - $1,179.96 5. Leon_Javur - $769.54 6. The TJS - $410.01 7. gongchangtx - $266.77 8. Bratishchev - $266.77   Event #21 (High): $2,100 No Limit Hold'em 4-Max Entries: 334 Prize pool: $668,000 SinKarma - $124,143.98 voytech75 - $82,960.25 level1pro - $55,438.92 Tankanza - $37,047.61 Event #21 (Medium): $215 No Limit Hold'em 4-Max Entries: 1,896 Prize pool: $379,200 phounderAA - $56,901.32 10pablitto10 - $35,880.43 KuuL - $22,625.57 DanielLUCKY - $14,267.32 Event #21 (Low): $22 No Limit Hold'em 4-Max Entries: 8,177 Prize pool: $163,450 *M@RC0* A - $18,165.57* robbalaaaaax - $14,027.31* Slawas1 - $14,379.00* Face333X - $5,756.82 *Denotes a deal was made. Event #24 (High): $530 No Limit Hold'em 3-Max, Turbo, Progressive KO, Zoom Entries: 1,209 Prize pool: $604,500 la_benjjjjj - $47,479.59 + $35,050.86 in bounties yenomrtgllwi - $31,035.57 + $3,080.08 in bounties Weshero - $20,287.05 + $8,728.74 in bounties Event #24 (Medium): $55 No Limit Hold'em 3-Max, Turbo, Progressive KO, Zoom Entries: 6,996 Prize pool: $349,800 RovoDice - $24,844.67 + $10,158.23 in bounties brianm15 - $16,237.13 + $1,817.39 in bounties Night Kin9 - $10,613.77 + $4,099.15 in bounties Event #24 (Low): $5.50 No Limit Hold'em 3-Max, Turbo, Progressive KO, Zoom Entries: 18,651 Prize pool: $91,389.90 n00ki5 - $4,667.85 + $1,655.76 in bounties tutti404 - $3,043.84 + 93.50 in bounties plspaythxbye - $1,989.74 + 384.77 in bounties
  23. Staking arrangements are commonplace in poker, and for the most part things tend to work out. That said, there are disagreements between parties that do occur, such as the recent dispute with Cate Hall and Chad Power involving a $60,000 makeup figure. The best way to resolve these issues may not be so commonly known, and it’s important to do your due diligence before you dive into a staking deal so you and your backer can avoid any headaches down the road. Here is what some players with extensive experience believe. “From a staker's point of view, you want to be confident that your horse is profitable in the events they are competing in and holds a record of integrity,” Jason Somerville said when asked what to look out for before entering a staking deal. “There is a ton of trust in staking, and as an investor, you need to be sure your horse will treat the investment professionally and as if it were their own money (or better). As a horse, you want to be sure your investor has sufficient funds to survive standard variance and will be easy to communicate with.” When it comes to makeup, it can be handled in different ways depending on the deal between the parties involved. Somerville, who has lots of experience with staking arrangements, said there are often a lot of questions to be answered regarding makeup, but that it’s important to agree upon these terms ahead of time. “Discussing what happens to makeup in different scenarios is important before you agree to terms of the deal,” Somerville said. “I've had horses quit poker and you can't really do anything about it, except that if they return to poker they return to makeup. It's usually up to the backer if they want to quit or not, and if they do then typically makeup vanishes at the end of the agreement. It's important to hammer out these issues beforehand — can makeup be transferred/sold? Can the horse potentially keep a small piece of their action, separate from the stake? Does makeup just expire at the end of a certain period? It's key to nail this before settling on a deal.” Another Jason, Jason Mercier, mentioned dealing with a makeup figure generally comes down to who wants out. If the player is the one who wants out, he or she should work out a deal to buy the makeup from the backer — known as a buyout. In cases where the player may simply want to play poker less, he or she should give the backer the option to still stake the person. If it’s the backer who calls off the deal, the player often assumes no makeup. Natasha Mercier, Jason’s wife and also a poker player, replied to a thread on Twitter involving a situation Cate Hall and Chad Power are in echoing her husband’s comments: “Jason had that happen with multiple [people]. They don’t owe, but when they play he gets to choose if he wants it on the stake.” Other pros we talked said similar things. Tristan Wade agreed, in that the common result simply comes down to who is the one deciding to end the backing arrangement. "Usually, if a backer wants to end an agreement with a horse, the backer can either try to sell the makeup or drop the horse and lose out on all the makeup,” Wade said. “If a horse wants to end the agreement, then a backer might let the horse pay [a percentage] of the makeup to get out of the deal.”
  24. "I'd love to be a poker player forever. I would love to do what Doyle Brunson did, obviously who wouldn't?" You may not recognize him now that he chopped off all of his hair, trimmed his bushy beard, and has a swollen black eye from a bike-riding adventure gone wrong, but Arlie Shaban is showing up everywhere in poker right now. The Big Brother Canada contestant turned Enterprise Rent-A-Car 9-5er has a new role as a Herculean. His rise has been fast and it doesn't look like he's slowing down anytime soon, especially now that Shaban has the likes of Jason Somerville, the Twitch Poker community, and PokerStars adding fuel to the fire. "My biggest thing was, after Big Brother Canada I had gone and traveled and partied for a few years," Shaban said. "I had got myself into a bit of debt and then I had to go work at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, a job I hated. I just wanted to not do a job I hated. I didn't care if I was making amazing money. At the beginning, it was strictly just that I hated waking up every day, wearing a shirt and tie, going in rain, shine, winter, sun, doesn't matter — you go in, you work. I was outside a lot. I hated it. I just wanted to not do that. That was pretty much what it came down to." Shaban’s run on Big Brother Canada 2 ended in eighth place. Kevin Martin, fellow poker player, and also a Big Brother Canada contestant, had a similar result when he took ninth place on Big Brother Canada 3. Martin eventually went on to conquer Big Brother Canada 5 and he's someone Shaban credits for showing him how to conquer poker. "I'm a very highly motivated person, and I realized that the vast majority of people that play poker are losing players and you can learn how to be a winning player if you want to put in more work than your opponents," Shaban said. "I was willing to do that. I was willing to study. I just figured out the blueprint to success, by talking to Kevin. If you just put in hard work, you study, you game select, and you do things the right way — you have to have proper bankroll management — and I was doing all of those things incorrectly, which most people are. I just fixed those things, and once those were completely fixed, I realized I was making money and that started making me more confident. Once I got the confidence, I was like, 'OK, I'm going to give it a shot.' I started making a pretty consistent amount [of money] and I just realized if I combine this start of income that I'm getting from poker with Twitch — and hopefully, I can build a channel as well — I can create a little bit of supplemental income and it will take the stress off it. I did go for both of them at the same time, which I think is hard but helped because my channel did start growing and I did get a little bit of supplemental income and confidence from people watching. That's what did it for me. I knew I had the ability if I really just tried and I thought it was worth giving it a shot." In back-to-back months of August and September, Shaban was announced as an addition to Team RIU as a streaming ambassador and given a mega challenge deemed the "12 Labors of Arlie." With the 12 Labors, Shaban must complete various tasks given to him by PokerStars, with each task more difficult than the last. If he completes all 12 by the end of 2018, Shaban will earn a Platinum Pass to compete in the PokerStars Players No-Limit Hold’em Championship in the Bahamas. The Platinum Pass is worth $25,000 and entry into one of the most highly anticipated tournaments in poker. "The 12 Labors have been absolutely incredible," Shaban said. "I got challenged by PokerStars a few months back and I just accepted it, not knowing at all what this was going to be about. They choose me because I did my 125-day streaming streak. I had streamed 1,000 hours for my very first time streaming, so for over four months straight. Then, I also streamed for 43 hours in a row. So they reached out to me and they were like, 'Oh, you think you’re good at challenges? We challenge you to these 12 labors.' I was like, 'OK, let's do it.' I didn’t know what the prize was going to be for, I just had my pride on the line. When PokerStars challenges you, you don’t really say no. At least I’m not going to." One of the challenges Shaban was to complete involved "capturing poker's most mythological creature," according to PokerStars, and it was to be done while attending Run It Up Reno. Alongside fellow reality TV contestant Tyson Apostol, Shaban was to capture Chris Moneymaker while racing down a mountain on a bike in Northern Nevada. https://youtu.be/vcHO2mEAodc With his capture of Moneymaker complete, Shaban had completed seven of the 12 Labors of Arlie and was that much closer to winning a Platinum Pass. "It would just be unbelievable if I did go to the Bahamas and play in the PSPC, so if that happened I would just keep trying to go on the trajectory that I'm on," Shaban said. "Everything has been going very well with my poker, with my Twitch channel, and so I wouldn't want to take any momentum away from that. This is feeding all of the momentum into it. It’s a really cool challenge, the viewers are really enjoying it. I just want to carry the momentum, continue doing this as a full-time career, make sure the Twitch channel very consistently getting content out on there, and make sure I'm studying off stream and growing as a poker player." Part of growing as a poker player means playing more live poker events, hopefully in preparation for his trip to the big dance that is the PSPC. During the recent Run It Up Reno event, Shaban earned three cashes on the live felt, including a 15th-place result in the Main Event. In such a short period of time in poker's spotlight, Shaban has done a lot. He broke into the streaming world with a bang, landed a place on one of poker's most popular squads, and it appears nothing more than a formality for him to earn an exclusive Platinum Pass. Where does he go from here and what's Shaban's ultimate career goal? "I would just love to be a part of the poker community my whole life," Shaban said. "I'd love to be a poker player forever. I would love to do what Doyle Brunson did, obviously who wouldn't? Play a game you love until you’re old and you’re still playing at the highest stakes against the best players. That's so cool. For me, I just want to make a living off of poker my whole life. If that involves putting out content with Twitch, or if that involves just playing, I just want to be a part of the community. I love poker so much. I love the community. I’ve made a bunch of amazing friends here [in Reno]. Run It Up Reno is just amazing. Jason Somerville and the team, everyone is so cool, and I just got to be a part of the team. I just want to keep representing amazing companies that I love and watch the community grow for the rest of my life." *Photo courtesy of Run It Up.
  25. Ricky 'ratedGTO' Guan was recently announced as a new member to Team RIU, the group of streamers hand-picked by Run It Up Studios founder Jason Somerville. If you’ve played on a regulated poker site within the US, especially in New Jersey, you’ve likely tangled with Guan, or at least you know of him. "I've been a fan of Jason Somerville and Twitch Poker ever since the beginning of my poker career," Guan said when asked about how the opportunity came about. "Along my journey, I got to meet him a couple of times at different events and it was only until right before WSOP this year that I started streaming on Twitch myself. Then the opportunity arose over the summer where I got to meet up with Jason and talk a little bit about my potential career in creating content. That’s kind of how the whole conversation started." For many poker players within the US, the chance to stream online poker isn’t viewed as a great one, simply because online poker not as widely available in the US as it once was. For Guan, he chooses to see opportunity where others might not. "For me, I have a little bit of a competitive advantage, just because there are not too many streamers from the US that are streaming MTTs online, and especially the high stakes that I’m also playing," Guan said. Joining Team RIU is the next step in Guan's young career, but it’s a career that has already welcomed a fair bit of success. A native of Brooklyn, New York, Guan recently made the relocation jump to New Jersey to continue playing online poker. As of late October 2018, he’s won nearly $520,000 from online tournaments, plus he’s won nearly $300,000 in live tournaments. "I'm originally from Brooklyn, New York, and it was only earlier this year where my little poker group called 'the Young Wizards' decided to move to New Jersey where there is regulated online poker and I get to play on sites such as PokerStars," Guan said. "I thought it was very important for me to be able to do that, both in terms of being able to play different buy-ins across multiple sites and also for me to create content, because a lot of the big viewerships on Twitch are through platforms like PokerStars. For myself, I wanted to be able to continue to create content in New Jersey and also kind of be at the forefront a little bit of helping poker come back to America. I know Jason has very big plans for that in the near future and he’s been doing a lot of things to make that happen. With my partnership with him and Run It Up, hopefully, we can work together to make that kind of dream come true for everyone back in America again." Oftentimes in sports, you see a player play out of his mind before landing a big contract and becoming complacent. They fall off after they sign a new deal. Guan’s new deal will have him working closely with Somerville and Team RIU in hopes of producing high-quality poker content, but Guan wants a bit more from himself. He wants to challenge himself to be the best. "I've always been very competitive growing up — any sports I played or any games I participated in — and that's something that I saw in poker," Guan said. "That it was a game where it could potentially be solved and it was a challenge to become one of the very best in it. That's always been the goal for me ever since I began my poker journey — to study, work hard, and become one of the best players in the game. Through the hard work over the last couple of years, we’ve been able to progress really nicely and I'm very happy with where I am in my poker career as of right now." With a solid support system from his poker circle, a hard work ethic, and the guidance of Somerville, Guan’s poker career is set up for a lot of advancement, especially if regulated online poker continues to grow within the US. From speaking with him, Guan appears to be equal parts grounded, eager, and enthusiastic about his future. "There are always chances to improve in poker," Guan said when asked what's next for him in his poker career. "No one is playing perfectly or anything like that. For myself, I'm already playing some of the highest stakes that are available to me in the US, so it's just to continue to study and get better. Now, in this new chapter in my poker journey, it's to create content and give back to the community a little bit. I'm very comfortable with my abilities in poker and I want to be able to share that and help other people learn as well. I've also gotten into coaching and helping other students kind of live their poker dreams. That's something that I’ve done over the last couple of years, where I've helped some of the best young American players to rise to the top. That’s something that I look to continue to do in the near future."
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