888pokerTV on Twitch Relaunches with StreamTeam
888poker is making a concerted effort to engage with players. The site recently wrapped its XL Spring Series and launched a massive summer promotion called the Freeroll Splash Party. That campaign runs through the end of September with daily freerolls and more than $1M in total prizes to award.
Most recently, 888poker announced the relaunch of its Twitch poker channel. Not only is 888pokerTV going live around the clock, the operator hired five people to comprise its 888poker StreamTeam. There will be promotions surround the regeneration of content, as well as the chance to follow new streamers navigate their way across the 888 tables.
The efforts by 888poker are much needed, as newer poker sites have stolen the spotlight and earned the deposits of a lot of the players from 888 and others.
Losing Ground to Newer Players
In recent years, 888poker has lost its standing as one of the largest online poker operators in the world. At one time, it was a strong competitor for partypoker, as the two vied for second place to global market leader PokerStars. Full Tilt was a strong contender as well. Those four operators were the most well-known and respected in the world.
However, in a time when ring-fenced markets became more prevalent and global sites had to implement restrictions on certain players, some poker sites and networks were able to gain players. Sites with a focus on the Asian market did particularly well.
All the while, 888poker knew that they were losing players to these other operators. They hosted some lucrative promotions and tournament series, but those weren’t creating the player engagement necessary to keep up with competitors. GGPoker and IDNPoker seemed to be growing at a rate that even PokerStars couldn’t match.
Since 2006, PokerStars led the global online poker market by a mile…or more. The goal of most other operators was to find a solid second spot on that chart. And for many years, 888poker and partypoker vied for that spot. In recent years, however, both have fallen from the top of the cash game player list. The takeover by newer companies was so drastic that PokerStars lost its position, too, for the first time in about 15 years.
2014 – Launched as a B2B network
2016 – GGPoker's flagship skin @Natural8 launches
2019 – Signs up @RealKidPoker
2020 – Hosts @WSOP Online Bracelet Events
2021 – Overtakes PokerStars to Become World's #1 Poker Room https://t.co/77paEmo5KI
— pokerfuse (@pokerfuse) June 23, 2021
Poker Industry PRO reported that GGPoker’s seven-day moving average of concurrent cash game players hit 5,006. PokerStars’ number dipped to 4,981. GGPoker Ambassador Daniel Negreanu told Pokerfuse: “We don’t rest on our laurels. We’ve reached #1 by constantly innovating and improving our games, promotions and rewards – and you haven’t seen anything yet!”
GGPoker started its journey with a strong base in the Asia-Pacific market and expanded to Europe and then the global scene. In the past two years, with some controversial marketing choices and key partnerships – WSOP, most significantly – the GGNetwork grew by leaps and bounds. IDNPoker also started in the Asian market and has grown its number of skins into the hundreds. According to PokerScout, IDNPoker is poised to take over next. The seven-day averages as of July 8 showed:
-1. GGPoker: 5,200
-2. IDNPoker: 5,000
-3. PokerStars: 4,800
-4. Winamax (France): 1,200
-5. PaiWangLuo: 1,000
-6. Winning Poker Network: 900
-7. iPoker: 850
-8. 888poker: 850
-9. PokerStars Europe: 700
-10. PartyPoker: 650
Back to 888poker, one can see by the rankings that it has a tough road ahead to climb back into the top five, but it’s certainly not impossible. And the operator certainly seems to be taking steps to make that climb.
Who is on the StreamTeam?
Twitch is the place to be for poker livestreams. New players are watching and learning, and streamers affiliated with operators are hosting giveaways and other promos.
888poker decided to reopen its 888pokerTV Twitch channel but with more content and a dedicated group of poker streamers. The StreamTeam players are:
Nick “eastyyy22” Eastwood
–30-year-old from Essex, UK
–started playing poker 12 years ago
–started YouTube content in April 2020
–focuses on free learning content for cash game players
Ricardo “Mat3usPT” Mateus
–37-year-old from Lisbon, Portugal
–started playing poker 14 years ago
–started Twitch channel in 2018
David “New_Dave” Gibson
–29-year-old from London, UK
–started playing poker in late 2017
–started streaming in 2019
–focuses on building a bankroll from micro stakes
Josh “JoshManleyPoker” Manley
–32-year-old from UK
–started playing poker 14 years ago
–focuses on building a bankroll through micro MTTs
Adam “iamEklo” Tocholke
–34-year-old from Ontario, Canada
–started playing poker recently
–started streaming music production sessions in 2014, games and music since 2018
888poker posted more information about the five men, including links to their Twitch and social media accounts.
— 888poker (@888poker) July 1, 2021
The marketing team at 888poker knows what it needs to do. Its “Made to Play” campaign has been ongoing as the company rolled out its Poker 8 platform. Marketing campaigns put the faces of 888poker ambassadors front and center to attract new players, though there were also new promotions that went with it. Giving away more than $1M in prize money in those promos didn’t hurt, either.
That specific campaign recently won an award from EGR. The EGR Marketing & Innovation Virtual Awards 2021 took place on June 30, honoring the best in the online gaming business. The award for the best poker marketing campaign went to 888poker for Made to Play. Per a judge’s comments, “This has clearly been a hugely impactful campaign for 888. Its through the line activity, from using influencers to TV ads, was really well-designed and targeted. It has been extremely successful as can be seen in the 888 app download rates and other metrics.”