Just a week after PokerStars announced their vague plans to work with eSports team Furia to make “streaming content,” partypoker has raised the ante and got a crossover tourney ready to go for tomorrow.
The Big Deal event will pit eSports pros against poker streamers in an enormous Twitch based extravaganza. The tournament is presented by Maria Ho and Joey Ingram, with additional live commentary from various poker pros including Tony Dunst on Party’s Twitch channel.
Meanwhile, every player will be live streaming their own tourney experience.
Party poker announced the event with a Tweet, saying “POKER FANS… Want to watch the best poker and gamer streamers go head-to-head live for a top cash prize in a $50,000 Invitational tournament?”
POKER FANS… Want to watch the best poker and gamer streamers go head-to-head live for a top cash prize in a $50,000 Invitational tournament? Tune in on Saturday 5pm GMT for all the action in #TheBigDeal on https://t.co/KaMdZfBx8X. Read more at https://t.co/RHPPax86AZ pic.twitter.com/BF9BGO9jWg
— partypoker (@partypoker) November 12, 2020
Bringing communities together
Play kicks off at 5 p.m. GMT (Midday EST), Saturday, November 14th, 2020.
The Big Deal will be invitation-only with a guest list that already looks like a who’s who of Twitch. Poker streamers like Jeff Gross and the Stapes brothers will be up against gamers, like LAGTVMaximusBlack and DWStevie, and chess streamers, like Chessbrah.
Partypoker is putting up $50k for the prize pool. But the real reward for participation is intended to be in the exchange of audiences. Each player will get three entries to the tournament.
There will be two ways of watching the show. The partypokertv Twitch channel, or by watching your favorite streamer’s channel. If you watch the streamers expect to get shunted around, in a good way.
Every time a player is knocked out, they will have to raid the channel of whoever took their last chips. (The raid function on Twitch transfers anyone watching Player A’s stream over to watch Player B). In this way players will pass their audiences around the field, forcing them to discover new streamers as they go.
The set up is almost beautiful in its simplicity. It brings non-poker streamers onto poker’s own turf, and the raid mechanic guarantees a rapid-fire exchange of audiences.
And from partypoker ‘s point of view it also utterly upstages their rival’s, that is PokerStars’s, announcement from last week. The whole thing is a masterstroke of marketing.
It will be interesting to see what the conversion rate is in terms of nabbing new players for poker in general and Party’s platform in particular. But it can only be good for the game.
An idea whose time has come
This has been waiting to happen.
Twitch has become such a huge part of the poker community in the last few years. Not just in terms of players streaming their games. But even in the card rooms both on and offline that air their poker content.
Twitch has had its own problems, to be sure. But there is a particular kind of person who plays video games, chess, go, and other Twitch-friendly entertainments. And that kind of person shares a lot of quirks with the competitive and analytical minds of poker players. So a blending of communities just makes good marketing sense.
All that has been lacking is some person or company with the organizational chops to get this ball to roll and roll. Tomorrow we’ll see if partypoker is that person or company.
Featured image source: Twitter