You may have heard of Twitch, but what is it? Twitch.tv started off a Justin.tv – a general-purpose streaming video platform where content was divided into categories. However, the site soon become most popular for watching people play various video games. The video game portion of Justin.tv was split into a separate site named Twitch.tv, and soon became more popular overall than its general-interest father site. As of 2014, it became the fourth-largest source of all internet traffic. This garnered the attention of Amazon.com, who bought the site in September of 2014.

What makes Twitch.tv different from Youtube is that video can be watched as a live broadcast in addition to watching past events in an on-demand way. This gives much of the content an “event” quality – people can look forward to watching an online event happen live. They can also become part of the event via a chat interface. The live event then gets recorded and saved for later, on-demand viewing.

What makes Twitch.tv popular?

Is watching other people play video games fun? It can be. Many of the broadcasters are excellent players in their respective games, and it can always be interesting watching an expert-level person performing at a high level. Many of the broadcasters also give running commentary during their play, allowing you to learn about their thought process and improve your own play in the game. But almost more importantly is that some of the players/streamers are damn entertaining.

What does Twitch have to do with poker?

Online poker is just a special type of video game, right? If we can watch someone play Counter Strike online, we can watch them fire up PokerStars and play a multi-table tournament just as easily. And we might be able to improve our own game along the way. Many online pros have already created twitch.tv channels. Here are some of the most popular.

jcarverpoker

Jason Somerville Twitches

(Screenshot taken from one of Jason’s Twitch highlights)

Account of WSOP bracelet winner Jason Somerville. Somerville is making great use of the twitch.tv platform, with over 51,000 subscribers watching his content! He is also using it to promote his online site which includes a store and training opportunities.

Pokerstaples

Another online professional, Jaime Staples, with over 11,000 twitch.tv followers. Jamie’s content requires a monthly subscription. He also offers poker coaching.

stickyrice1

(A segment from one of StickyRice1’s Twitch sessions)

StickyRice1 plays several other video games besides poker on twitch.tv, but he caused a sensation in early January with his over the top antics while playing a $1-2 cash game online. Seeing his insane, can’t stay in his seat” excitement along with his running commentary caused a “break the internet” moment and made him famous enough to become guests on podcasts and even some cash games.

Can I broadcast on Twitch.tv also?

Twitch.tv is for the masses! If you want to set up a channel and broadcast your sessions, you should be able to get set up with very little problem. You will need a competent PC (most modern PCs should be fine), a webcam, and some broadcast software that sets up the stream. Open Broadcast Software is a popular (and free!) option. Once you have your channel set up, you can also customize your twitch page using their special markdown language, and also make your chat experience easier through the use of a helper bot. (an example: many questions that your viewers have will be asked many times – you can set up the answers to a hotkey via the chat bot).

If your game is good and/or entertaining enough, you may even find you can make some money using the platform.

The future of Twitch & Poker

Twitch TV for watching poker is really just getting started. We expect many great players to find their way to the site, giving you a much more fun and interactive way to watch them play. And make sure to follow Red Chip Poker as well, as we explore this exciting medium and stream a variety of games/formats over the next few months!

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Showing 4 comments
  • Trent

    I think Twitch.tv is the only website with a more dysfunctional operation than currently run at Red Chip Poker. When I tried to sign up over there, they told me I gave them an invalid email. Funny, that same email has been good for 10 years and their effing parent site Amazon uses it to communicate with me all the time. A-holes.

    • Red Chip Poker

      I’m sure they aren’t trying to be malicious. Maybe try signing up with a different email?

  • Charlie

    I really enjoyed last night’s stream and time zones notwithstanding, found it hard to flick the off switch. James managed all the necessary multi-tasking well especially as by his own admission, MTT is not his natural thing. Well done! And needless to say, more please!

    Talking of which, I don’t know how feasible this would be but there’s an idea that came to me while watching as a suggestion for a possible future stream. Maybe as a kinda ‘special’…

    I thought it would be great if it were possible to set up some sort of ‘home game’ between all of the main guys here – so Ed, Christian, James, Doug etc

    And I don’t know if it would be technically possible but maybe every 5 or 10 minutes or so flip between each player so we get their perspective on the game and how it’s progressing. I guess it might be tricky to set up but I just like the idea of the various red chip voices (and styles of play) all together in a virtual sense at one table.

    Anyway, just a thought if something like that might ever be possible.

    Either way, as I say, was great fun and looking forward to more Twitching!

    All the best,

    Charlie

    • Red Chip Poker

      That’s a great idea Charlie! Not sure how that would work logistically…but we can certainly look into it =) Thanks for hanging out last night…we know it was late in your timezone =)