Why Are Big Streaming Names Leaving PokerStars?
Jeff Gross and Jaime Staples both left Team PokerStars within 24 hours of each other
The 25-year old Canadian pro (twenty six tomorrow as I write this, Jaime being born in Alberta on May 27th 1991) has brought low to mid-stakes poker to a huge audience with his streaming on Twitch TV with a combination of great analysis and fun-to-watch commentary.
His live resume is very unusual for someone with so many fans, less than $50,000 to his name over the last 4 years but online he is close to being a millionaire in earnings, finding a niche market among those who like to see players who they have a decent chance of emulating.
The Albertan had dreams of becoming a professional golfer in his youth, following a stint at the University of Lethbridge, but as with so many, when poker entered his life it took over – some big wins in the PokerStars Big $109 helping him to make the decision that a poker life was the correct route to take.
He was signed up by PokerStars as a ‘Friend’ in 2015, his Twitch streaming quickly coming to the attention of the world’s leading poker site and the streaming on Twitch TV also gave rise to his vlogging on YouTube.
From August 2016 his personal life became the subject of almost as much discussion as his poker, Jaime chronicling his efforts to give up cigarettes and more recently entering a prop bet with Bill Perkins, which sees him currently trying to lose weight – just as his younger brother and fellow poker streamer Matty tries to gain weight.
Jaime and his brother Matty were joined by fellow pro and recent Big Brother Canada winner Kevin Martin in a special ‘grindhouse’ in Montreal, from where Jaime streamed a 30-day Christmas Challenge, playing every day for his fans.
A few months later, in early 2017, Jaime and brother Matty took the plunge and moved to the Austrian capital of Vienna, the PokerStars Team Online pro telling Jack Stanton on the site’s blog: "I'm loving it. It's so amazing - very different from Canada, but at the same time that's what I'm looking for when I'm travelling. I'm really falling in love with the lifestyle that people lead there. It's a lot of fun."
A third brother, Chris, joined them in Vienna, but with visas being whatv they are the next is set to be Croatia for the poker family tour as Jaime aims to “grow our global audience”.
Aside from grinding the poker tables, streaming and vlogging his way as he goes, Jaime still enjoying playing and watching golf whenever he has the chance as well as enjoying movies, television, art and theater.
It’s a ‘boy-done-good’ story, with Jaime being one of those cheerful and sensitive people who does his best to share a fantastic lifestyle with all those who support him along the way.
Whether he makes it to the heights of global poker superstar or not is a question for the future, but as he explained to Brad Willis back in 2015 before his career really took off: "I try to make a conscious effort to not idolize anyone in the poker world, because I want to be that guy who plays the biggest stakes. I try to not put people on a pedestal anymore."
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