With the 49th annual edition of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) kicking off Wednesday, poker players everywhere will be flocking to Sin City throughout the summer.
But for fans who won’t be able to make their way to the Rio in Las Vegas, a newly minted partnership between Poker Central and Twitch will broadcast more than 45 events to a worldwide audience.
Poker Central – a poker media startup launched in 2015 by investor and high-rolling recreational player Cary Katz – issued a statement on May 25 announcing the union with live streaming service Twitch. Per the statement, Poker Central will produce broadcasts for 30 WSOP tournaments and 25 final tables, with the semi-live (30-minute delay) segments streaming on Twitch between June 2 and July 14.
Sam Simmons – who serves as vice president of content for Poker Central – commented on the company’s commitment to live streaming as much of the WSOP’s 78 gold bracelet events as possible:
“Year after year, our goal is to provide the highest quality poker content to as large an audience possible.
To that end, we’re proud to work with our long-time partners at Twitch to produce and distribute additional coverage of the WSOP – the preeminent tournament series in all of poker.”
Farhan Ahmed, head of poker partnerships for Twitch, issued a statement celebrating the influx of WSOP streaming to the site:
“The Twitch community thrives on interacting with the best players and witnessing the best plays in poker.
Since poker has continued to grow significantly as a content category on Twitch and the World Series of Poker represents one of top levels of competition the sport has to offer, it’s exciting to bring it to our passionate poker fanbase.”
Twitch has become a hotbed for poker streaming during the last few years. Accomplished pros like Jason “JCarver” Somerville, Doug “WCGRider” Polk, and Parker “TonkaaaaP” Talbot have launched their own Twitch channels, attracting thousands of subscribers who tune in regularly to sweat their online tournament action.
Twitch has also become the home of live final table streams from major tournament series like the World Poker Tour (WPT).
This year, however, Twitch users will be able to watch WSOP gold bracelets be won and lost. And the action won’t be limited to No Limit Hold’em either, as Twitch will stream several poker variants including Pot Limit Omaha, Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better, Seven Card Stud, Razz, and H.O.R.S.E.
Veteran poker broadcaster David Tuchman – who previously hosted the WSOP’s in-house final table streams – will lead the Twitch commentary for all 30 events.
While the WSOP Main Event won’t be shown on Twitch, the site’s schedule includes several high-profile events, concluding with the $50,000 High Roller No Limit Hold’em final table.
As for that $10,000 WSOP Main Event – which crowns the World Champion of No Limit Texas Hold’em – Poker Central will stream every day of the prestigious tournament through its PokerGo app. For a monthly fee of $9.99, subscribers can tune into 13 full days of coverage from the Main Event, along with two days of the $1 million buy-in Big One for One Drop high-roller event.
Ty Stewart, executive director of the WSOP, issued a statement praising Poker Central for expanding the series’ ESPN television coverage through live streaming:
“We’re ecstatic that ESPN and Poker Central continue to raise the bar and deliver more live poker content to audiences across the globe.
Fans today demand immediacy and wall-to-wall coverage and this year’s offering delivers on that in spades.
We’re looking forward to having Poker Central and ESPN tag team coverage for the WSOP again this year.”