All Eyes On Jason Somerville5 years ago
It all started with a project: bring the game of poker to the rising streaming platform Twitch.tv. That’s how Twitch Poker was born months after Amazon bought the platform in the summer of 2014 while exploring ways to expand the non-gaming audience. And when a Twitch employee contacted charismatic poker pro and one time WSOP-bracelet winner Jason Somerville and proposed that he stream his play live, the foundation was laid.
‘This is going to be perfect,’ Somerville thought at that time, imagining how appealing the game could be for spectators looking to catch pro play at more convenient hours. So he started to stream day after day, week after week, month after month until… well today when we can finally say his Run It Up Twitch project is a standout success.
Just two weeks ago, jcarverpoker channel hit the 10 million views marking it as by far the most popular poker channel on Twitch.tv. As we speak, Jcarver has almost 10,6 million views and over 167,000 followers. But what do all these numbers actually mean? And how did Somerville reach them? Let’s find out.
Top 500 Out Of… 1.5 Million!
If we look at the very top of the Twitch leaderboard, we will realize that 10 million views isn’t actually such a big deal. For example, the top broadcaster - Riot Games, a League of Legends channel - has over 822 million views, not to mention over 2.1 million followers. The 22nd broadcaster in that list - GamesDoneQuick - has just recently hit the 100 million views mark. So what’s the big deal with 10 million?
Well, it’s actually a very big deal since Twitch.tv is widely known as a video gaming platform. The non-gaming channels - poker included - are a fairly new addition and are just beginning to pick up steam. In under two years, jcarverpoker has climbed the ranks and is now in the top 500 by views. To get a real sense of what this really means, let’s just briefly talk about the numbers for the gaming platform presented last year.
In 2015, Twitch announced it had more than 1.5 million broadcasters and 100 million visitors per month. So basically, Somerville is in the top 0.04% of that particular field. He’s also in the top 400 by followers which means he can look down on about 99.97% of his worldwide - gaming or non-gaming - competition. So while TV poker is a mere shadow of what it used to be back in the 2000s, Jcarver looks to revitalize the niche by making most of the ‘damage’ in the online world where the poker boom actually started.
Consistency Or How To Stream 1,100 Hours Per Year
OK, but how did he reach those numbers in such a short notice? According to his many interviews about his Twitch success, Jason Somerville takes pride in his consistency and perseverance to deliver on a daily basis. Last year, for example, he streamed six-seven hours per day, six days per week with very few interruptions. He told Card Player he invested 1,100 hours playing poker on Twitch in 2015 and he’s planning to do the same in 2016.
The start of this year surpassed even his wildest dreams when he became the exclusive broadcaster of the 2016 Aussie Millions. He also streamed the 2016 Poker Caribbean Adventure and next month, he’s planning on streaming yet another live event: the new-player friendly poker festival in Reno, Nevada, scheduled for May 24 to May 30, 2016.
Besides the live poker tournament streaming though, Somerville spends countless hours responding to his fans - new and old players alike. He’s not just a high stakes player who has won over $3.5 million from live tournament poker and a couple million more online, he’s also very charismatic and patient. He explains both advanced concepts and basic poker strategy for all comers. And most importantly, he likes to stay in touch with his viewers. He said last month:
(Streaming on Twitch) is a full-time job. I wake up, eat, answers emails, and do other work, stream, then answer all of the emails and messages I got during the day and go to bed. Then do it all over again."
His efforts have definitely paid off as, last year,he signed a sponsorship contract with PokerStarsjust months after parting ways with Ultimate Poker. Now with PokerStars up and running in New Jersey, Jcarver has moved back to the US where he can be a regular at both the online cash games and live poker tournaments.
Who knows what’s in store for the charismatic poker pro in the future but one fact remains: he took the poker streaming business to a whole new level. Good Game Jason!
Do you follow Jason Somerville on Twitch? What sets him apart from his competition? Is Twitch the future of poker? Please use the comment section below to share your thoughts about jcarverpoker and Twitch Poker in general.
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