HCL v. LATB: Friday night cash games duel for views ahead of WSOP

Jon Pill
Posted on: May 31, 2022 11:00 PDT

The battle for viewers seems to be hotting up between Hustler Casino Live and Live at the Bike. This Friday saw the show's high-stakes cash game streams go heads up in the last bout before the WSOP.

Once the WSOP starts streaming, both HCL and LATB know they'll be playing for second place. PokerGO will be doing daily live streams of key WSOP final tables as well as every single day of the Main Event. These streams start on June 2, 2022 according to the schedule that was released by PokerGO earlier this month.

So, Friday night was the last big blowout for cash streams before the summer. Both the Bike and the Hustler running their high stakes live streams in the same time slot (as it were). And both streams have a high roller prop player who gives the game some prestige and hopefully draws in viewers week after week.

Garrett used to be that player for LATB, but switched allegiance while LATB was off the air. Berkey is that player for LATB now.

The producers of LATB drummed up a little drama last week with one of the players on the stream called "Ginge" stepping to Berkey on Twitter during the run-up to the game.

Ginge wrote: "They asked me to play @LIVEattheBike Tomorrow... wasn't gonna till I found out @berkey11 was playing... can't turn down free money." Later he tweeted a picture of two napkins with the caption "everything I need to win today."

Different strokes

HCL is the scrappy new kid on the block. Its programming has been dogged with drama around angle shooting, slow-rolling, personal beef between players, and on at least one occasion a player looking at another's cards.

But the reality is, that drama is what draws people in.

They also really ramped things up with an epic creator stream and guest visits from the likes of Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth, and Tom Dwan.

LATB on the other hand is doing its best to be the poker stream for grown-ups.

The line ups tends to be more consistent and have more pros at the table. The tone is also a bit more respectful of the players and of the game. The result is something a little closer to High Stakes Poker than to HCL's Real Housewives-vibe.

HCL currently has the edge in viewer numbers.

The drama makes for flashy headlines, and LATB's gloomy new look isn't doing it any favors. At the time of writing HCL's high stakes Friday night game has 181k views on Youtube. LATB's competing show has 25k.

However, the two shows fill pretty different niches and have found themselves very different audiences.

The one place they overlap is with poker streaming junkies who just can't get enough high-stakes cash game action. If you're one of them you could do a lot worse than just streaming both.

Featured image source: Flickr used under CC License