WSOP Will Go Live to Millions on Twitch with New Summer Schedule

May 28th, 2018 | by Kaycee James

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) will be streamed for free to the masses this summer thanks to a collaboration between Poker Central and Twitch.

Twitch.

Those used to watching games on Twitch will now be able to see WSOP action from 30 events this summer. (Image: YouTube/i6Hitman)

Following the May 22 announcement that Poker Central’s PokerGo will be streaming 16 WSOP final tables and the Main Event, the broadcaster has announced a supplementary schedule. Set to go live on June 2 and run through until July 14, the Twitch streams will cover 30 tournaments and 25 final tables.

Twitch to Stream WSOP for Free

Like the PokerGo streams, the Twitch broadcasts will feature commentary. But unlike Poker Central’s subscription-only channel, Twitch viewers won’t have to pay to see the action from events such as the $10,000 Heads-Up Championship and $50,000 High Roller.

Although much of the “premium” content will be reserved for PokerGo and ESPN, Poker Central’s team has promised to offer a “comprehensive slate of tournaments in every major poker variation.” For the WSOP and poker in general, the new collaboration could be potentially profitable.

Since it emerged out of a platform known as Justin.tv, Twitch has become one of the largest live streaming sites in the world. As per Expanded Rambling’s data, the site currently has more than 100 million unique users and approximately 15 million active daily viewers.

By broadcasting action from the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, throughout June and July, the WSOP will be seen by a global audience. Although it’s tough to define an exact correlation between viewers and participants, increased exposure could certainly help the WSOP attract more players in the coming years.

Poker on the Up

Since the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 and Black Friday in 2011, all live poker events have been forced to rebuild. After a dip in attendance in proceeding years, the WSOP has rallied.

In 2017, the WSOP Main Event attracted the third largest field in its history. The 7,221 buy-ins took the prizepool to $67,877,400, which meant winner Scott Blumstein took home $8,150,000.

Although the 8,773-entrant Main Event record set in 2006 is still a lofty target to beat, recent innovations by the WSOP could see future tournaments approach that mark. Streaming this year’s series on three platforms, including Twitch, will provide millions of non-poker players with easy access to the action.

Indeed, with Twitch being a home for gamers and there being a number of crossover between poker and eSports, the new deal could see a surge in interest in the coming years.

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