Daniel Negreanu has started Twitching, and the poker community seems to love it. The PokerStars pro jumped in earlier this weekÂ to the live streaming matrix with his own channel, and fans were happy to tune in.
Despite being a regular in the highest stakes games available, Negreanu’s first foray into the Twitch live streaming arena took place at the play money tables of PokerStars.
Due to his location in the US, Negreanu was unable to ante-up for real money, and during the stream he explained that he was simply testing his new online portal.
According to those who watched the broadcast, Negreanu initially planned to conduct a 15-minute test stream in order to get to grips with the software. Following a successful tryout session, the pro was then hoping to conduct his first “real” broadcast when he returned to his home in Canada, where real money online gaming is legal.
However, that plan quickly changed, after thousands of players lined the virtual rail and began asking him questions. Happy to oblige, Negreanu answered questions on everything from his plans for the Twitch channel to specific hands he played on High Stakes Poker.
After three hours, he finally called time on the session, but not before he’d demonstrated the pulling power of the live streaming service. Aside from showing that he’s one of the most personable pros in the game, Negreanu’s stream showed why more poker players and operators are now focusing on Twitch.
Along with Negreanu, PokerStars now has a number of its pros, including ElkY (aka Bertrand Grospellier) and recent signee Jaime Staples, actively streaming on Twitch. In addition to giving player’s a platform to show off their skills, the system also creates a new level of connection between poker brands and potential audiences.
While Negreanu’s first stream was watched by established poker fans, his mainstream popularity will no doubt prompt casual Twitch users to tune into his and other poker streams. For some, the growing popularity of social streaming is part of a larger movement towards a softer form of online poker.
As operators contend with ever-shrinking margins and increased regulation, the need for greater mass market appeal is something all sites are now beginning to focus on. Lottery style games, such as Spin & Gos, combined with the introduction of products such as Natural Born Poker Player, demonstrate a desire to attract novice players, and Negreanu’s move into Twitch appears to be the latest development in this growing trend.