The Sidemen Test their Poker Faces in New PokerStars Challenge

July 20th, 2020 | by Jason Reynolds

PokerStars has made a play for the YouTube generation with a new promotion featuring KSI and his crew, The Sidemen.

PokerStars Sidemen

PokerStars has teamed up with YouTube stars, The Sidemen, for another pro vs. Joes challenge. (Image: YouTube/PokerStars)

The latest PR stunt sees the social media stars take on PokerStars pro Ben Spragg, aka Spraggy. Like similar pro vs. Joes challenges, the Sidemen have been thrown into the deep end.

With only a basic understanding the rules, five Sidemen, KSI, Miniminter, Zerkaa, TBJZL, and Behzinga, were pitted against Spraggy in a sit and go. The result was inevitable, but the long-term outcome could be a win for PokerStars.

KSI Slips as Spraggy Dominates

KSI, the biggest name at the table, was first out after flopping top pair with T♦3♥. Spraggy had him beat though with A♥T♥ and, after the board ran out T♠4♦8♥5♥J♦, five were left.

That elimination gave the PokerStars pro an almost insurmountable lead. Then, as The Sidemen fell one by one, only Ethan Payne, aka Behzinga, stood in Spraggy’s way. A fairytale ending wasn’t to be as it took just one hand to end the heads-up match.

Payne’s 8♣5♣ connected with the 2♦5♥3♦ flop. However, the Qd on the turn hit Spragg’s Q♣7♦. The 9♥ on the river brought the game to an end and, more importantly, taught the social media stars a valuable lesson.

It’s now Spraggy’s job to teach the YouTubers how to play before they take part in a Stadium Series event.

PokerStars Making New Moves

PokerStars is no stranger to working with famous faces but the latest collaboration is a break from the norm. KSI and The Sidemen are global YouTube stars. With followers across all social media platforms, the crew are known to millions.

As a collective, they’ve achieved more than 2 billion YouTube views and have more than 11 million subscribers. PokerStars wants to parlay this into interest in its Stadium Series and, moreover, its platform as a whole.

However, the move could be considered somewhat strange given The Sidemen’s main demographic. The crew’s average audience is young adults, some of which are under 18.

PokerStars certainly isn’t aiming its content at those followers. However, the YouTubers do have a significant number of followers that fall into this category.

This is unlikely to cause any issues because PokerStars carries out ID checks on all customers. But, in countries such as the UK where gaming regulations are strictly enforced, it does have the potential to cause problems.

Sidemen Fans Flock to PokerStars

That fact aside, the decision to work with some of the biggest social media stars in the world has already paid dividends. The Sidemen vs. Poker Pro challenge was posted on PokerStars’ YouTube challenge on July 17.

It had already attracted more than 235,000 views within two days. That’s more views than all of its videos for the whole of July combined.

With Partypoker and GGPoker currently hosting WPT and WSOP events, the PR move couldn’t have come at a better time for PokerStars. As its peers continue to pile on the pressure, we may see the market leader create more content with YouTube’s finest.


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