Looking to expand beyond poker
Poker streaming innovator Jason Somerville has split with PokerStars. Somerville made the announcement via a video message on Twitter on New Year’s Day.
“I feel a ton of gratitude towards PokerStars for taking a chance on me and Run It Up,” he said, referencing the content and poker brand he created.
After praising PokerStars and his fellow poker ambassadors and streamers, Somerville did say it has been difficult being limited to only streaming PokerStars content, particularly as a resident of the United States. He wants to branch out into other gambling and sports content, specifically sports betting, with which he has “fallen in love.”
Creating online content for nearly a decade
Somerville began creating online poker content in 2011 for Daniel Negreanu’s poker training site, PokerVT. He also began posting videos to YouTube at the end of that year. By early 2014, Somerville was streaming live-streaming his poker sessions on Twitch.
Somerville joined Team PokerStars in early 2015, moving to Toronto from Las Vegas so he could play on the site. He currently lives in New Jersey.
Poker streaming legend
As Twitch exploded a few years ago, so did Jason Somerville’s poker content and entertainment career.
Somerville was among the first people to use Twitch as a platform to reach the poker community and is considered the preeminent ground-breaker in the poker streaming space. He was awarded the very first “Twitch Streamer of the Year” award at the 2016 American Poker Awards.
The “Godfather of Twitch Poker” was a nickname well-earned; it is possible poker streaming would not exist, or at least would not be what it is today, without him.
awarded the very first “Twitch Streamer of the Year” award at the 2016 American Poker Awards
He has since built his Run It Up brand into a larger entertainment production company, branching out beyond poker streaming.
Among other endeavors, he partnered with the NFL to host live streams of Thursday Night Football games. Somerville was also able to leverage his large, loyal following to build the Run It Up poker series. The 10th annual incarnation of the live tournament series is scheduled for April in Reno, Nevada.
Somerville said that he will divulge more details of his future plans next week on his Twitch channel. Though he has broken with PokerStars, as did Daniel Negreanu in November 2019, he will still work with the company on their joint channel, Runitup247.com.
“We’re not done yet,” he said in his Twitter announcement. “Next chapter ahead.”