With Twitch poker live streaming expanding, a number of online poker players have taken to the airways to broadcast their play worldwide in real time. One player, Jeremy “PokerJermz” Danger, has established himself as one of the most popular personalities in the regulated New Jersey online poker market.
Danger casts his online poker play several times per week, juggling family duties as a stay-at-home father with a profitable job he thoroughly enjoys. Since the Garden State market officially opened under a licensed format, “PokerJermz” has accumulated more than $300,000 in tournament cashes.
Due to the relatively small size of the New Jersey online poker market compared to Rest of World (ROW) sites, Danger’s ability to routinely attract several dozen viewers to his live Twitch stream is commendable.
Danger recently took time out of his busy schedule to talk exclusively with PokerUpdate. Following is a Q&A interview with the New Jersey online poker star.
Thanks for taking the time to talk to our readers, Jeremy. Can you describe your daily schedule as a professional online poker player and stay-at-home Dad?
My daytime schedule has changed dramatically this year. I used to grind pretty hard during the day and just a few hours at night. Now I’m what I call a part time stay at home dad. During the day I’m with my son until my wife gets home from work. Then we eat dinner, I drink some coffee and get grinding the nightly tournaments in New Jersey.
Fortunately for me, I’ve been able to make a living playing poker for almost 7 years now. The flexibility online poker has afforded in life is truly incredible. Having the ability to take off for days or weeks with no one to answer to is amazing. If my son has a dentist appointment or doctor’s appointment, no problem I got it.
But make sure the coffee is brewing because it gets exhausting! Anyone with kids will probably understand that.
How did you get into Twitch poker live streaming?
Before I even heard of Twitch and people live streaming poker, I made a few YouTube videos. I called it Final Tabling with Jermz. It wasn’t popular, hah! But it was a great building block for Twitch.
Now, what first got me interested in live streaming was actually Sticky Rice. He was making a name for himself by streaming high stakes poker and having no clue what he was doing. He was funny and entertaining, but he didn’t last very long playing poker.
A buddy of mine then suggested to me to start doing my own stream. I was unsure for a couple weeks and then I saw Butters streaming. He was more my speed and had a decent following. I then saw Jaime Staples and decided to give it a shot.
You took a break from live streaming earlier this year. What were the reasons behind that decision?
I did stop streaming for a little while this year. There were a variety of reasons, but most importantly I needed to work on my own game. After less than two months, I decided to start streaming again. I really did miss it.
Streaming is fun and exciting and I missed my followers. I very rarely talk poker with anyone and here was a cool group of people who understood poker and wanted to talk about it.
This time around with Twitch has been great for my game. I live streamed the biggest final table in New Jersey and chopped it heads-up for first place. Two week laters, I streamed the two biggest tournaments in New Jersey and did well in those, too.
I live streamed probably 60% of my sessions. Live streaming has helped my game and in turn has helped the stream get even better. I actually had my biggest month ever in August.
What can you tell us about regulated online poker in New Jersey? What are some of the things licensed sites can do to attract more players?
Regulated online poker in NJ is fantastic. I no longer have to worry about not getting paid. Like when Lock Poker stole $15,000 from me. The action I think can be improved, but there’s enough to make a living off of.
To attract more recreational players two things need to happen. Fix geo-location problems. Then make the sites more fun. The promos the sites are putting out are lame.
They’re almost all rehashed boring versions of things we have seen in online poker. Its time to get creative. I come up with ideas all the time, but the only people listening are the ones in my twitch chat.
Do you have a favorite New Jersey online poker site?
It’s kind of hard to pick my favorite online NJ site. Sadly, none of them have tried to stand out in any way.
They’ve all kind of conformed to offer roughly the same things. I think I would have to pick Borgata though. Overall, I play more tournaments on there than the other sites. Also, I think I play more cash games on there as well.
What is your opinion on United States residents being able to play online poker? Do you foresee a countrywide legalization of the online game soon?
I think every state should offer online poker. I’m kind of like Ron Swanson when it comes to the government. As they should leave everyone alone and people should be able to do what they want with their money.
I don’t see nationwide legalization in the next 3–5 years. However, it really does depend on who the next President of the United States will be.
How important is the “Direct Support” (donations) model for Twitch streamers?
Donations are really important to Twitch Streamers. It is the biggest way a fan of a Twitch Channel can show the most support. Of course, subscribing is great, but Twitch gets half of that money.
Also, donations are the only way for new streamers to get any money. It’s not easy to get a subscribe button on Twitch. It can take years.
For me Twitch is just a hobby, but there are many streamers where this is their job. Without donations these people wouldn’t be able to make it. So throw someone a bone and donate.
How can fans of your show support your continued poker live streaming?
It’s easy to support my stream. Just come hang out and give me a follow. Actually, now is a great time to give me a follow because every new follower gets a joke read to them.
Who are some of the talented New Jersey online poker players who we should be watching?
I’m out of the loop when it comes to the strongest cash game players in New Jersey, but I can speak about the strongest tournament players.
New Jersey online poker is more on the nittier side, so many regulars have adjusted to that. Looking at the Top 5 ranked New Jersey MTTers: Jake “schaf4206” Schafer, myself, Mergulas, Mike “JohnnyDrama” Haberman, and Anthony “Thatgood45” Pagan.
We are all really good at hammering home good fundamental poker. Never getting to out of line because overall hand ranges are pretty strong. But I think all of us are capable of making a well timed move to keep our ranges somewhat balanced.
Do you participate in a lot of live poker?
I don’t play too much live poker anymore. Probably a few times a year, mainly because I live too far from the casinos. It’s like a 2-hour and 15 minute drive for me to Atlantic City, and that’s if there’s no traffic.
When I do go I like to play at Borgata or Harrahs. Maybe if they would give me a free room once and awhile I would go a bit more. I mean I have paid atleast $70,000 in rake in the past two years. A free room would be nice.
Is there anything you would like to add for our readers?
One thing I want to add is how fantastic I think Twitch is. Overall, I love Twitch and not just Twitch Poker. For a while my only subscription was to a video game streamer.
To outsiders it might seem like a weird concept. You watch other people play video games, but it is so much more involved than that. If you have your doubts about Twitch just go check it out. Maybe it won’t be for you, but atleast you’ll have a better understanding of it.
Also, I never watch poker on TV anymore and I really haven’t for a few years. However, I spend atleast a few hours a week watching poker on live streams. Streamed live poker play is way more entertaining than any pre-packaged show I have ever seen.
Jeremy Danger is currently ranked #2 in the state of New Jersey at online poker tournament play according to the PocketFives Rankings. To check out Jeremy’s show, visit his Twitch channel.