Jason Somerville Splits With PokerStars

Jason Somerville is longer sponsored by PokerStars and is no focussing on poker and sports betting on his Twitch channel

Jason Somerville is the latest prominent poker player to part company with Team PokerStars. Somerville, referred to as “The Godfather of Twitch Poker”, made the announcement in the early hours of January 2nd.

“As of the start of 2020, I will be departing Team PokerStars,” said Somerville via a video posted on Twitter. “I feel a ton of gratitude towards PokerStars for taking a chance on me and Run It Up.”

Somerville was one of the first poker players to see the potential of streaming on Twitch. Some say he is a pioneer when it comes to broadcasting poker content. He quickly built a loyal community that has almost 235,000 followers at the time of writing. The New Yorker helped create the Twitch poker boom and thousands of poker players attempted to follow in his footsteps.

Somerville Founds Run It Up

Run It Up was the name of Somerville’s various poker challenges, including running $50 up to a $10,000 bankroll. His highly entertaining stream attracted followers in droves; they flocked to watch a truly talented poker player grinding online.

PokerStars noticed Somerville’s rapidly growing community and made him a member of Team PokerStars in 2015. Somerville flew the Red Spade flag with pride throughout his tenure and was undoubtedly solely responsible for thousands of poker players joining the world’s largest online poker site.

Somerville’s success spilled into the live poker realm with his Run It Up brand become a live poker tour. The Run It Up poker series runs its 10th event in April at the Peppermill Reno.

Somerville The Poker Player

Many Twitch poker players have more broadcasting talent that poker skills, but Somerville is different. He has more than $2.6 million in online poker tournament cashes and an additional $3.64 million from live events.

The year 2009 saw Somerville come close to securing a World Series of Poker bracelet. A fifth-place finish in a $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em event banked him $103,591. Later that series, Somerville finished second in a $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Shootout for $194,004.

He came close again the following year, finishing fourth twice, before getting his hands on a bracelet in 2011. Somerville triumphed in the $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em event for $493,091 to become one of the most popular winners in living memory.

Fast-forward to 2014 and Somerville played in the $102,000 Super High Roller at the Bellagio, Las Vegas. It was his biggest buy-in tournament by far, but he didn’t let it faze him. The popular star, known as “JCarver” in online poker circles, eventually finished fourth for a career-best $1,327,352.

First Openly Gay Male Poker Player

A blog article published on Valentine’s Day in 2012 saw Somerville come out as gay. His post spread around social media with almost 1,000 supportive messages coming his way. The blog post made it into the mainstream gay community where the further outpouring of support was had.

What Now For The Twitch Star?

Firstly, don’t worry about Somerville disappearing as he plans to continue streaming on Twitch. Indeed, even more content is planned, including a foray into the sports betting world.

Somerville revealed being an American while sponsored by PokerStars hindered him somewhat. “It was tough being limited by my PokerStars exclusivity on the content I could create,” explained Somerville.

PokerStars does have a presence in the United States, offering its services in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. It is only poker, however, that PokerStars offers and not casino or sports betting products. The Run It Up founder has “fallen in love” with sports betting and wants to showcase more of this on his channels, something that wasn’t possible while flying the PokerStars banner.

“In the last two years, I haven’t just sat around eating turkey burgers in my underwear every single day, although that’s pretty fun when it happens. I’ve built a production company that gives me and others a platform to create poker, sports, sports betting and other gambling content that I’m quite bullish on for the future.”

Rest assured, whatever path Somerville decides to go down, it will be fun, informative and professionally created.

Matthew Pitt

If it’s something you can play online for real money, chances are Matthew knows a bit about it. He’s been writing about slots, craps and poker for the better part of the last decade. He’s written for PokerNews, PartyPoker and many other respected online gambling websites during the last nine years.


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