Ever since ESPN started broadcasting “The World Series Of Poker” back in the early 2000s, poker has become somewhat of an unlikely staple of sports television. Shows like “Celebrity Poker Showdown” and “World Poker Tour” air multiple nights a week, and streaming platforms like Youtube and Twitch have gotten in on live poker’s exploding popularity, too.
In a recent piece from the Los Angeles Times, one particular streaming show, called “Live At The Bike,” is attempting to do something revolutionary: broadcast daily poker games where the amount of cash on the table routinely reaches $1 million. The piece explores just how to build the momentum to get a moment like that, and to get people intersted in watching a stream of these games.
Inside a makeshift control room about 60 paces from the studio, Ryan Feldman’s feet tapped beneath a poker table that had been converted into a broadcast station. It had taken weeks of planning and seven hours of play, but with the extra $300,000, his vision for this night appeared before him on the monitor.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” Feldman told more than 8,000 viewers watching the streaming broadcast through YouTube, Twitch and Facebook, “we officially have $1 million on the table. Not something we’ve ever seen before on ‘Live at the Bike,’ or here at the Bicycle Casino.”
Feldman, the “Million Dollar Cash Game” founder, has been able to attract some of the major names in poker like Phil Helmuth and Matt Berkey to take part in the incredibly high stakes games, which in turn has led to bigger and bigger streaming numbers for “Live At The Bike.”