Video Poker evolution; from cam to Twitch
Video killed the radio star, but empowered the Twitch idol. Welcome to TwitchWorld, where anyone can be famous for anything at any given time.
There’s all sorts of reasons fans flock to Twitch channels. Maybe you’re a quiet speedrunner. Those fans have come to see your craft. By that same token, you might find someone who’s bad at gaming but uproariously funny. Those fans have come for the banter.
You can sing, dance, learn, give lessons, perform stories (Looking at you Brian Limond) or perform creepy ASMR. However you choose to do it, social platforms like Twitch and Youtube have removed the success barrier from the average person. If you have the drive, wherewithal and rig to run your operation from the comfort of your bedroom, what’s stopping you climbing the ladder?
How video poker influenced Twitch
Video poker, of course, does not refer exclusively to poker played with a webcam’s aid. It’s also a playable machine, like an arcade rig. For our purposes, we are referring to webcam-assisted games.
Before online poker, if you wanted to play a friendly game you had to visit the local pub or trick your siblings into wagering their allowance for the third time in a month. Now, with the prevalence and ease of access to online games globally, there’s now two distinct types of player; online or live, which includes players who play entirely one or entirely the other.
Now, let’s allow these Venn diagrams to intersect slightly more. You have players who prefer live poker, but play online out of convenience. Likewise, you have online players, who expressly dislike being ogled, winning their way to live glory, be it through sats or whatever else.
Through blurred lines, one can be the other and vice versa. Specialists are yesterday’s news and the hybrid is your new champ, effortlessly able to switch from live to online with all the ease of an android.
Many online poker players are only recently getting wise to the untapped vein of Twitch riches. When the platform first opened their doors to poker, the early birds devoured the worms. Lex Veldhuis, first among his brood to get Twitched, ruled the roost with regard to poker content.
While streaming WCOOP main event in September 2018, the Dutch pro almost snatched the Twitch poker viewership record with over 34K concurrent viewers. There’s one thing to be said for a popular face at the tables, a recognizable personality for viewers to attach themselves too, but it’s another thing entirely when you’re doing it solo. People arrive for the express purpose of watching you, or in this case Lex, as a single entity.
Lex boasted 85,000 Twitch followers at some point which, when you consider how niche poker is, is an impressive statistic. Most of the players in that batch will also pay a monthly fee to interact with Lex, no different than paying PewDiePie to shout out your name on stream.
The world of tomorrow
In our age of instaclick dopamine receptors and genetically modified AI sandwich makers, the novelty of video poker is lost in a storm of unique online variants and high-quality video game poker, which I’ve previously written about here and here.
We’re hardly letting an opportunity to big up our own Twitch guys pass us by. Like Lex, each boasts their own distinct brand, personality, style of poker, their own cool homemade graphics and the rest.
ShroomtheRiver – UK agent, sweet tooth, dog lover, shampoo enthusiast
Scrim – Eastern agent, amazing graphics, zany stream, high-energy, great fun and high-level play, with coaching options available
Vanessa – Vanessa Kade hails from the snowy northron land of mounted cops and magic donut-dispensing moose
Karlencho – Europe’s finest. An energetic stream, hilarious daily content, active social media presence and cool as a cucumber to boot
Brian Fite – legend, larger than life and, true to his namesake, a fighter through and through
See you through the webcam,
Mike at GGPoker