Online poker is well behind other gaming streams, but it has plenty of opportunity to grow.
Somerville is the pre-eminent poker player broadcasting on Twitch , primarily through his Run it Up! show, but he has also been recruited by live tournament organizers to stream their events.
His success in the growing gaming channel led to his sponsorship by PokerStars, and he has become one of the sites most popular ambassadors. In the 2016 PokerStars Social Power Table, Somerville was a new entry to the list in fifth position. His absolute numbers of followers on Twitter and Facebook are low in comparison with the other names on the list, but his position is due almost entirely to his popularity on Twitch.
Many of the top poker players have seen the success on Twitch by Somerville, including Phil Hellmuth whose own success has been enhanced by his amusing errors in using the technology.
However, poker has a long way to go before it reaches the popularity of other live streamed video games.
In comparison, the top gamer on YouTube known as “TheDiamondMinecart,” according to social media ranking site SocialBlade, has almost 10 million subscribers and his videos have received over six billion views. The best YouTube gamers can make over $2 million a year just from their fees for showing advertisements.
Even the 100th most popular gaming channel on YouTube has hit more than two billion views. The “SeaNanners Gaming Channel” explores the first-person shooter game Call of Duty with the help of two presenters.
The top Twitch streamer is “riotgames” has over 800 million channel views which is impressive, but a long way short of the audiences attracted by the top YouTube gamers.
Even though live streamed poker on Twitch is unlikely to hit numbers anything like those of other e-gaming activities, there is enough growth in the social activity to make it an important marketing channel for online poker.
Somerville clearly has the ambition and work ethic needed to get his numbers a lot closer to the existing top gamers. As the audience he is reaching has different demographics to the one reached by most affiliate marketing, his activities fit neatly into the new recreational player marketing model which almost all of the top online poker rooms are adopting.
At this rate, 20 million views should not take him too much longer to achieve.
This article is syndicated by the leading poker industry news authority, Poker Industry PRO.