Partypoker signs Sport Buff to revolutionize poker twitch

Jon Pill
Posted on: May 6, 2021 12:53 PDT

PartypokerTV has announced a new deal with Sport Buff. We should start to see the changes wrought by this deal appearing on the partypoker twitch channel in due course.

Sport Buff breaks down its product as being "a game within the game." The process allows viewers to play against other viewers with "transactions and sponsorships." In the process, they generate money for Sport Buff and its clients. If you can parse their marketing copy, you can begin to tell that Sport Buff's business model is creating overlays for Twitch. These overlays give the viewers interactive games which can be tied to the on screen action.

The overlays also aim at monetization. This would move partypokerTV's business model from more or less pure advertising for the online poker client, to having its own income stream.

The success of this move will probably depend on how irritating the gamification is for the average viewer. Most poker players watch poker for the game on screen. If we wanted to play a game while we watched, we'd probably be twelve-tabling sit 'n' goes on our other monitor.

Streaming killed the video star

When the WSOP moved over to PokerGO it seemed like that could be the end of poker TV as a primarily television based medium. Live streams have been creeping up in importance ever since Live At The Bike co-opted the High Stakes Poker formula and moved it online. But when the majority of viewers started to watch the WSOP online, instead of on ESPN, it marked a significant shift.

With the new deal with CBS , PokerGO has come into possession of the WSOP's history, as well as its future. It has episodes going back to the 1970s, and will have episodes going deep into the 2020s.

So, this move by partypoker is hardly the cutting edge. Instead, it looks more like an entrenchment of a trend. Sport Buff isn't innovating for partypoker. It's working out ways to hit the nail in harder and faster, but the nail caught the wood a while ago.

Gaston Catzman manages partypoker's Twitch channel. Catzman spoke to the press about the new arrangement. “Partypoker’s commitment to building a community for poker fans on Twitch by creating unique, interactive streams aligns well with Sport Buff’s mission to provide fans with an engaging, next-generation experience,” he said.

Sport Buff's vice-president, Brendan Stock added, "We’re excited to partner with partypoker to power their poker broadcasts with our next-generation gamification platform."

Stock puts a lot of, well, stock in the Sport Buff's strategy of gamifying viewership.

"Together, [Sport Buff and partypokerTV] are going to change the way that people watch and consume live poker competitions, he says. "By driving real-time interaction between the broadcast and the audience. We are going to innovate together to build fun, unique experiences for partypokerTV viewers.”

We'll see how this goes as partypoker streams its online WPT events later this month.

Featured image source: Twitter