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Bill Perkins doesn’t play poker for life-changing money. He is a successful businessman who has become a staple in many high-stakes poker games in the past several years for fun. His passion for the game has grown so much that he now plays online poker from his own Twitch channel, and his latest endeavors find him partnering with PokerStars in a unique way.

Perkins is a highly successful hedge fund manager, who focuses on venture capital and energy markets. His accomplishments there have allowed him to dabble in numerous other arenas, one of which has been film production. The other is poker.

When he started competing in high-stakes poker tournaments nearly a decade ago, he was welcomed by professional players, some of whom see businessmen in those games as easy money. But he was also a friendly person who was interested in seriously improving his game. And he did just that by befriending a number of fellow players, like Antonio Esfandiari, and playing poker more often. At the 2013 World Series of Poker, he finished third in the $100K One Drop High Roller tournament for nearly $2 million, and he has made final tables on the European Poker Tour and at the PokerStars Championship Bahamas.

As was already mentioned, Perkins doesn’t play for the money. He enjoys the challenge, as well as donating some of his winnings to various charities.

Building a Twitch Audience

When Perkins began to play online poker live on a Twitch stream, he found that he had a knack for entertaining others while having a good time. This only began in January of 2017 with the intention of awarding entries to the upcoming PokerStars Championship Bahamas tournaments to some of his viewers that were in the micro-stakes category. But upon discovering the complications of that endeavor, he decided to broaden the offer and give away 20 prize packages to the series, each including $1,500 worth of buy-ins, airfare, and hotel rooms.

Poker fans and players quickly flocked to his channel called The Thirst Lounge. At times, his streams garner thousands of viewers, and with more than 13,000 followers two months after his channel’s launch, Perkins has become a fan favorite.

Working with PokerStars

Perkins is now working with PokerStars on another giveaway, one that made it to the PokerStars blog, as it also involves Team PokerStars Pro Jaime Staples and an online poker tournament.

As Perkins enjoys sailing the Caribbean on his yacht with friends, he is offering to take a poker fan with him. Along with friends Jeff Gross, Staples, and Jaime’s brother Matt, a lucky person can go with them to the Virgin Islands on the yacht and party for a week in late March. All four of them will be giving away tickets on their Twitch channels to a PokerStars private tournament, and of the six top finishers, the pros will choose one to go with them on the trip.

The relationship between Perkins and PokerStars has been getting cozier than ever in the past few months. In most cases, that might indicate that a sponsorship deal of some sort is in the works.

However, this is Perkins, a self-made man with enough money that a paid sponsorship won’t matter much to him. In addition, he lives in the United States and can only play on PokerStars from New Jersey or when he take the yacht outside of US waters. Not only that, he is known to play online poker regularly on illegal offshore poker sites like Americas Cardroom and stream the games. Even more, he allows friends to play on his account, which is a clear violation of most sites’ terms and conditions. It would not be a wise decision for PokerStars to team up with Perkins in a formal way. And Perkins is likely not interested in a long-term deal that confines him to one site and restricts his decisions.

With that said, he would still be a great choice to become a partner with an online poker site. He embodies many of the characteristics of a good ambassador, as he is fun, enjoys poker but doesn’t overanalyze the game, loves to stream and get others involved as he learns more about poker, and he fully embraces fans.

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Jennifer Newell

Jennifer has been a freelance writer in the poker industry for a decade. She left a full-time job with the World Poker Tour to tell the stories of poker. She now lives in St. Louis, writes about poker while pursuing other varied interests, and speaks her mind on Twitter… a lot.

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