Poker to the Masses - Twitch Revolution?5 years ago
It’s been some time now that Twitch.tv picked up on poker and new poker channels are popping up there like crazy. Some belong to well known pros, others are owned by poker enthusiasts who just want to share their experience with the world (and maybe make an odd buck on the side), but poker has certainly been a hot topic on Twitch recently.
Knowledge for free?
Giving out free information has been a burning topic on 2+2 and other poker forums for couple of years now. The availability of information has indisputably made the games much tougher to beat, but the natural progression and increase in appeal have led to this development. More popular something is, more will people talk about it.
One thing, however, remained that kept the elite above the more ordinary players, and that was personal, real time coaching, with players asking actual questions of interest. This is clearly a much faster way of learning than going through dozens of videos looking for the situations of interest.
What made this inaccessible to most were prices; personal coaching usually costs $100+ an hour for anything decent and even those who can afford it are usually not that into game to actually go for it. However, Twitch is threatening a little bit to change this.
People streaming on Twitch interact with their followers and it is not uncommon to see free training sessions going on with some very decent players. These players readily answer questions and analyze particular situations, giving almost the same thing that used to cost a lot of money practically for free.
Is it good or bad for poker?
I’ve read a lot on this topic lately, with some seeing Twitch as the next big thing that will revolutionize the game somehow to those thinking that, while cool, it will not change the poker landscape in any significant way. Personally, I side more with the latter, but I do believe that it can be a good thing in the grand scheme of things.
One thing I don’t believe that it will somehow make everybody awesome players; the average player has already become as tough as he/she will ever be. Picking up knowledge from Twitch streams may seem threatening but those actually curious enough to follow regularly and ask the right questions would get there anyhow. We’ve had strategy Skype groups kicking about for more than a decade, but how many players are actually trying to get in those apart from the players already at the level where you’d rather just not have them at your tables?
On the other hand, there are people out there who actually don’t know much about poker. They may have seen it in a movie or heard it talked about, but not everybody has actually come across the home game or online poker site and was like ‘ok, this is awesome, let’s play some poker’.
Twitch can give it a special flare, make it more appealing and more accessible to people who might have never given it a second thought otherwise. It may seem that the ‘gamers population’ inhabiting the Twitch would already know about online poker, but there is no real reason to believe that. I’ve been around computers and games and Internet for years and have not discovered online poker before I was twenty.
Those thinking that these gamers would probably not be good for the games because they’d make for good players are also somewhat misguided and make the calls based on a very small sample size. True, there are those like ‘ElkY’ who made it big, but who knows how many there are out there still struggling or who just play it as a ‘side game’ next to WoW?
To conclude, if you are following Twitch on poker already, make sure to tune in on our Twitch channel as well, as there are some pretty interesting things going on every day, from live streaming of exclusive PokerTube tournaments to different raffles and giveaways.
If you haven’t been around Twitch.tv yet, this is as good of place to start as any.
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