Twitch, the online screen streaming service, is becoming increasingly popular in the poker community, with more and more of the bigger pros streaming their sessions while talking to railers and teaching them a thing or two.
It is obvious why Twitch is so popular for the railers, as they get to hear the players thoughts, they get to see the holecards and they can even ask questions while railing and learning. From a poker player perspective, they get a little more fame and for some it also helps their own game to have people watching.
But while Twitch streaming online poker is taking off, the CEO of Global Poker Index, Alex Dreyfus, is having some concerns about it. The main issue is that some of the sponsored pros of sites such as Pokerstars uses a Heads-Up Display (HUD) while playing.
It is pretty common for regulars, pros and even many recreational players to use a HUD tool while playing, but as the poker industry is seeing fewer and fewer players and it sees many of the new players feeling cheated by these HUD’s, it may be a good idea to not have public figures of a site show that they use it.
“I don’t believe that it’s a good thing to highlight the use of HUDs for a number of reasons. The image of a grinder using data analysis to make his decisions is not the experience we want to sell. We want to sell entertainment, and a recreational experience.” Dreyfus said to Lee Davy at CalvinAyre.com, adding another comment:
I’m convinced that HUDs will eventually be banned from PokerStars in order to create a better balance. If it’s not the case, I believe PokerStars, and others, should actually show on the table that the player uses a HUD. It’s technically possible to do this, and it should be done to broaden the awareness of the other players at the table.”
Maybe it is time for the poker industry to start thinking about how it is presenting itself to newcomers, so that it will have a bigger chance of players sticking around.