As noted in an earlier Cardplayer Lifestyle op-ed, PokerStars Power Up has launched for real money play. It is the latest effort by the world’s largest poker site to tap into the lucrative market of millennial players and wagerers who take part in popular eSports games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive(CS:GO), League of Legends and DOTA 2.
If successful, the Power Up format could spark new life into an online poker industry that has seen its player base consistently reduced due to legislative difficulties that have segregated players worldwide into smaller jurisdictions as more lawmakers across the globe move to regulate the industry.
The live stream, originally planned for October 12th, was moved back a touch, as PokerStars makes a final few tweaks to their new eSports/Poker hybrid game offering.
hi friends, apologies for the stream tease but PowerUp had to be taken down until next week. we’ll reschedule the DNegs show after RIU Reno!
— Jason Somerville (@JasonSomerville) October 12, 2017
Poker Personalities and eSports
A number of big-name poker personalities have long-standing relationships with eSports and video games as competitive players.
Negreanu — who is known by his fans as Kid Poker, is the world’s all-time leading live event money leader and is an avid Hearthstone fan. In 2015, he competed against fellow Team Pro Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier at Blizzcon in a Hearthstone exhibition match that was broadcast live to an audience generally unfamiliar with real money online poker.
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) October 11, 2017
Somerville for his part owns the most popular Twitch Poker channel and has maintained his status as a PokerStars Team Pro despite having opportunities to play a larger role in commentating League of Legends games. By the way, the 2017 LOL World Championship will enter its Quarterfinal Knockout stage this coming Thursday, October 19th.
Several other high profile poker pros originally got their start in peer-to-peer games including Doug Polk, who was a competitive World of Warcraft III player before grinding his way up from $25 buy-in No Limit Hold’em online poker games to the top of the real money poker world. For his part, Grospellier was once a world-class player at StarCraft and finished runner-up in the 2001 World Cyber Games before becoming a successful high stakes online poker player.
Run It Up Reno Begins Today
The Peppermill Casino in Reno, Nevada will co-host the fourth annual Run It Up event alongside Jason Somerville beginning today.
— Jason Somerville (@JasonSomerville) August 17, 2017
The week-long event has become a staple of the poker playing community, attracting many veterans along with recreational fans who enjoy playing poker and spending time with one of the biggest personalities in the game.
Scheduled activities include a bevy of real-money poker tournaments that will guarantee a combined total of $300,000 in prize money, commentary by Reality TV podcast host Rob Cesternino and plenty of one-on-one time with Somerville.
— Rob Cesternino (@robcesternino) September 22, 2017
Last year’s RIU Reno $565 buy-in Main Event attracted nearly 400 entrants and was won by Blake Vincent for over $46,000. The original RIU Reno event was attended by 25 “Run It Up Warriors” back in May 2014.