This past summer, with live events worldwide shut due to the coronavirus pandemic, the online poker industry made a huge investment into making online events as engaging as possible.
Twitch coverage has become the core focus of major online poker operators, and in a bid to grow excitement and prestige around headlining online tournament series operators pulled out all the stops to create a spectator-friendly spectacle.
Cards-up coverage—where viewers can see the hole cards of all players at the table, on a slight delay—became the norm. Operators hoped this would capture some of the magic used in live events to make online tournament series a spectator sport.
All major online poker room invested in content creation and increasing their presence on Twitch over the last few months.
GGPoker partnered with Poker Central as content creators to produce virtual bracelet ceremonies, interviews with the winners and livestreams of their GG WSOP 2020 spectacle. Partypoker committed to live coverage on partypokerTV, WPT, partypoker Twitch and YouTube channels, as part of the WPT World Online Championships series.
Unibet ran a promotion where prominent Twitch streamer and Unibet Ambassador Ian Simpson took center stage; 888poker created a live-stream schedule as part of their ongoing Millions Superstorm series.
But it was perhaps PokerStars that pushed the most into live streaming. Their Stadium Series over the summer may not have been the biggest, the longest, or the most prestigious, but their live-streaming coverage was second to none.