Jason Somerville has attracted lots of views to his poker streams on Twitch, but nothing so far had compared to the attention his play received on Monday night.
That evening saw Somerville go on a very long run in a World Championship of Online Poker tournament on PokerStars, ultimately ending in a place at the final table while his largest audience ever tuned in to watch.
Somerville has been the leading poker streamer on Twitch.tv, a streaming service that is primarily used to stream (and watch others stream) video game play.
Somerville was the first notable poker player to stream his play on Twitch, and the popularity of his streams led to his addition to the PokerStars roster of poker pros.
After a summer in which Somerville streamed very little, he came back in mid-August with a plan to stream virtually every day.
But the biggest attraction for many poker fans was his intention to stream WCOOP: the premier online poker series in the world, which conveniently takes place at PokerStars.
On Monday night, the WCOOP streaming paid off for both Somerville and his fans. Playing in a $700 buy-in No Limit Hold’em tournament with a unique progressive bounty structure, “jcarverpoker” kept surviving as the night wore on, finding himself in the money and heading towards a final table.
The deeper Somerville went into the tournament, the bigger his audience became.
Previously, even the biggest crowds ever watching his Twitch streams had topped out at about 25,000 or so; by the time Somerville reached the final table with a big stack on Monday night, he had nearly 37,500 viewers cheering him on.
The tournament didn’t end in victory: Somerville would ultimately go out in sixth place, collecting more than $38,000 in total between prize money and bounties.
It was the largest score he had ever booked on the stream, coming in front of his largest ever audience.
That result was nearly followed up the very next day, when Somerville proceeded to make another deep run in a $215 buy-in Limit Hold’em tournament. While he didn’t go quite as far the second time around, finishing in 23rd place, he still drew a rather large crowd: an impressive feat, considering the relative lack of interest in Limit Hold’em.
Somerville’s WCOOP streams are scheduled to continue throughout the rest of the series, which lasts until September 27.
He has expressed an interest in playing as many events as possible, potentially even including the $50,000 Super High Roller tournament: while Somerville has said he is wavering on that event, which will be the highest buy-in tournament in online poker history, he noted on his Wednesday stream that there are several ways he could end up playing, potentially even by having a sponsor pay for his entry.
The excitement over Somerville’s Twitch streams may carry over into the online world next month.
Somerville is hosting the first ever Run It Up live event in at the Peppermill Resort Casino in Reno from October 20-25.
Run It Up Reno has also cast a spotlight on another recent partnership for Somerville, as DraftKings has become a major sponsor.
In recent weeks, daily fantasy sports discussion has become a regular topic in Somerville’s streams, with DraftKings hosting several tournaments that award Run It Up Reno prize packages to winners.