PokerStars seems to be committed to making the most of the growing popularity of live streaming poker on Twitch.
The leader in online poker has already signed Jason Somerville to Team PokerStars, ensuring that they had the first major (and still most popular) Twitch poker streamer under their banner.
Now, PokerStars has announced the addition of a second streaming poker star: Jamie Staples (“jaimestaples”).
Staples may not have the long-term live poker background of Somerville, but he has quickly become one of the biggest names in streaming poker.
Under the “PokerStaples” channel on Twitch, Staples plays tournaments on Twitch, often having over 1,000 viewers watching him multitable at any given time.
That’s the product of several months of work, during which he has become one of the leading names in Twitch poker.
“The signing of Staples is part of PokerStars’ initiative to continually introduce the game of poker to a new audience,” PokerStars said in a press release. “Twitch is a new medium for the poker world, and Jaime Staples is one of its biggest stars, regularly streaming and personally interacting with thousands of viewers.”
Staples, who once dreamed of becoming a professional golfer, has been a part-time poker player for years, but only turned pro in October of last year. That’s when he quit school and devoted himself entirely to poker.
Seeing Somerville on Twitch made him believe that he could do it as well, a decision that has worked out very well for Staples.
“Live streaming has lots of challenges,” Staples wrote in a blog post on PokerStars.com. “In the beginning I mumbled, didn’t know what to say, didn’t know how to react to comments, good or bad. Add in technical issues alongside learning to promote yourself and streaming has proven to be a great challenge.”
Staples says that while these challenges were difficult, they helped him get better at sharing the poker experience with thousands of people around the world.
“I wouldn’t be anywhere close to the same person without the thought process poker teaches. It is important to me that I share that with other people,” Staples wrote. “Now with a company like PokerStars alongside me, I aim to grow that community even larger and make even more of an impact on this great game.”
Right now, Staples has joined the team as a “Friend of PokerStars,” but he hopes that he can soon upgrade this to a full membership on the company’s roster of sponsored pros.
“I have a sponsorship which is an honour, but to achieve Team Online Status, I need to make Supernova,” Staples wrote. “The other focus of my stream is trying to become a better player.”
There has been a marked increase in the number of poker streams on Twitch in recent months, with even some well-known pros getting in on the action. Dan O’Brien has recently started to stream his online sessions, quickly attracting thousands of followers only days after he started.
While Staples has under $10,000 in career live cashes (at least according to the Hendon Mob database), he has been successful so far in his online efforts.
His biggest win came just last month, when he won PokerStars’ Big $109 tournament for a $19,422 cash, providing excitement for the nearly 5,000 Twitch viewers who were tuned in for the victory.