Many poker players around the world have begun livestreaming their online poker sessions. It has become a way to advertise online poker and oneself at the same time while using a forum that can attract everything from new sponsorships to advertising money. But the man who showed everyone how to do it was Jason Somerville.
He was the first to take the idea of livestreaming poker on Twitch, and he helped set the precedent for the new age of online poker. And Somerville is now taking it to yet another level, going on the road to broadcast live from the DeepStacks Poker Tour Championship in Calgary in November.
Running It Up Everywhere
Somerville started his Run It Up livestreaming show on Twitch several years ago to draw new players in to his action on the now-defunct Nevada online poker site Ultimate Poker. He has since streamed other online poker action and now does it from New Jersey on the PokerStars site or from the dot-com PokerStars site when he plays a second home in Canada.
He took his show to an entirely new level in January, however, when he flew to Melbourne for the Aussie Millions. He contracted with the immensely popular live tournament series to broadcast live from the Crown Casino and highlight a lot of the action. He went live during the biggest tournaments – the Main Event, as well as the $100K and $250K buy-in High Roller events. The Twitch shows were a big hit.
Somerville also did some livestreaming from New Jersey when PokerStars – for which he is a member of Team PokerStars – launched in that state in the spring of this year. He was able to draw fans from around the state to the live and online events, as well as to show players around the world that PokerStars was dedicated to returning to the United States market in its new state-by-state legalized format.
Now, Somerville has partnered with the DeepStacks Poker Tour to head to the site of the tour’s season finale. The 11-day series of tournaments will kick off on November 25 at the Grey Eagle Resort and Casino in Calgary, Alberta. He will be hosting a broadcast during the DSPT Championship final table, as well as hosting some question-and-answer sessions and meet-ups with fans. He will also host a mixed game Run It Up tournament on December 1, which will be based on some of the events he hosts at his annual Run It Up Reno festival in Nevada.
“I’m incredibly excited to finally bring Run It Up to Canada as part of the DSPT Championship series,” Somerville mentioned in the press release. “DeepStacks Poker Tour shares my commitment to hosting modern, fun-oriented, player-friendly tournaments, and I’m thrilled to be bringing the final table of the $2,500 Championship event to fans around the world December 5 on Runitup.tv.”
Multi-Functional Poker Platform
The audience and platform that Somerville has created on Twitch is something that was unique to poker at the time of its launch and has become the standard to which many other players strive to reach. Run It Up has grown to have broadcast more than 750 million minutes in just the past two years, which has attracted nearly 30 million views from an audience which spans the world.
Somerville has not only used it to promote online and live poker and specific events, he has developed his own brand of poker down-to-earth commentating and communicating with his audience. He has also decided to use it to push for issues he feels are extremely important in poker, specifically the legalization and regulation of the game in the United States. He recently appeared on CNBC to promote the cause, and he is not shy about expressing his views on his livestreams. While he is careful to keep his focus on the poker, he can use the platform to reach thousands of viewers at a time with a message.
The future of poker, especially online poker, is connected to livestreaming, and Somerville has been at the forefront of that movement. And as he continues to up his game to take his broadcasts to live series like the DSPT in November, he is showing the poker world that entrepreneurship is alive and well. And it is probably being livestreamed on Twitch.