David Kaye Interview: NAPT Is a Sign of PokerStars' Return to the US David Kaye Interview: NAPT Is a Sign of PokerStars' Return to the US
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I’m very optimistic about the future of online poker in the US and can’t wait to see the progress we continue to make in the coming years. The first PokerStars North American Poker Tour (NAPT) after 12 years has recently concluded in Las Vegas, and the Resorts World was buzzing with action. Players came from far and wide to join the fun, and PokerStars brought out a full slate of its ambassadors and Team Pro members.

We caught up with one of them amid all the craziness as we sat down with David Kaye, a poker player and streamer with a big following on Twitch. Kaye has been representing PokerStars US since 2022 and has had quite an interesting journey along the way.

Taking a short break from the NAPT, David was kind enough to share some of the biggest highlights of that journey and offer his perspective on the growth of regulated online poker in Michigan and beyond.

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Hi David! First, thank you for taking the time to do this interview amid all the action. How has your experience at the NAPT been so far? Do you want to share any fun moments, interesting stories, or general remarks with our readers?

My experience has been great! I’ve been to a few PokerStars live events outside the US, and I’m excited to see that the same level of player experience has translated to the return of the NAPT. On the felt, the tournaments are run first class, and off the felt, were at a beautiful property at Resorts World with many activities to take part in.

For those who don’t know you, you fell in love with poker (like so many others), watched the World Series, and played mostly live cash games and tournaments. How was your journey from someone who had virtually zero experience to becoming a poker pro? What were some of the most important moments and influences along the way?

Joining PokerStars as an ambassador has been a dream come true. As a content creator, I take a lot of responsibility in believing in the brands I partner with, which is why I was so eager for the opportunity to partner with PokerStars. My poker journey, from playing small stakes to streaming poker full-time, has been quite the journey. For my first 9 years of playing, I always viewed poker as something I would do for a fun hobby but never professionally. Once I started streaming, I really started to take the idea of playing and streaming poker full-time seriously.

My biggest influence has been my friend Dominic Choma. We started playing in the same $5 home games with our friends, and as time went on he became a high-stakes online cash game pro and has really helped me become a better player and someone to experience the journey with. If it wasn’t for Dom, I don’t believe I would have ever made the leap into poker and content creation full-time.

In 2020, with live poker rooms shutting down, you switched your focus to online poker, which was a natural move for someone passionate about the game. But where did the idea to start streaming come from? Did you do it as a personal challenge, to make your time more interesting, or was it something else entirely?

Like many others, I was struggling at the beginning of COVID-19, feeling like I didn’t have much to do but sit around. I started watching more Twitch streams and YouTube vlogs and decided to try it myself as a passion project while the lockdowns continued.

My initial plans were to most likely transition back to live poker after the lockdowns were lifted, but I fell in love with streaming and playing online, so I decided to keep that my focus.

In 2021, Michigan online poker was finally regulated, allowing players access to safe and licensed rooms. In your opinion, how important is the regulation for the growth of poker in the US? What makes playing on regulated sites better (beyond purely legal stuff)?

Expanding the regulated market in the US is the single most important thing in growing online poker in the US. Players want to play on sites where they know their money is safe and the games are regulated. Peace of mind for the players is of the utmost importance, and I believe playing in a regulated market on PokerStars accomplishes this.

These days, you’re celebrating your first full year as a PokerStars USA Team Pro member. How did that partnership come about, and what were your feelings about joining one of the world’s biggest and best-known poker sites, having been a streamer for only a couple of years?

Joining PokerStars as an ambassador has been a dream come true. As a content creator, I take a lot of responsibility in believing in the brands I partner with, which is why I was so eager for the opportunity to partner with PokerStars.

PokerStars truly cares about the community, and since many of our Twitch/YouTube community members are in the US, it makes sense for us to work together. The best partnerships are when it’s a win-win for everybody involved, and I believe that’s what we have here.

pokerstars
Last verified: April 2024
Great Welcome Bonus!
100% deposit bonus up to $600!
  • Play one hand & get $150 in bonus play funds
  • Top-quality mobile app
  • Best online MTT schedule
Please play responsibly. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call 1-800 GAMBLER.

Going back to the NAPT, this event marks a big return of the festival to the US after a 12-year hiatus. How important do you think events like NAPT create a new “poker boom?” Does online poker need live poker for the game to really thrive?

I think bringing back flagship PokerStars events such as NAPT and The Big Game is a sign of how PokerStars is returning to the US and will continue to do so. Many poker players enjoy playing online and live, so it’s important to have an established brand such as PokerStars making waves in both online and live environments.

Once again, thank you for your time, and I wish you the best of luck with the rest of the festival. If you have any parting thoughts or hopes for the future of online poker in Michigan and the United States, feel free to share them!

I’m very optimistic about the future of online poker in the US and can’t wait to see the progress we continue to make in the coming years.