In a new series right here on PokerNews, we'll be profiling some of the poker world's most exciting streamers who showcase their play to the world on streaming sites such as Twitch.
First up is Michiel ‘Easterdamnz’ Van Elsacker. The Belgian streamer now resides in The Netherlands and is part of the GGPoker Twitch Partners Team, along with players like Karlen ‘Karlencho’ Aladzjan, Scott ‘Pokerbrahs’ Kenyon amongst many others.
At only 25 years old, Van Elsacker could be considered a 'second-generation streamer'. Twitch Poker exploded when Jason Somerville started to stream his online adventures on his RunItUp channel in early 2014.
Van Elsacker was only twenty years old when he started watching poker streams and the first players he remembered watching were Henri ‘Buehlero’ Buehler and Hristovoje ‘AllInPav’ Pavlovic.
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Full tutorial where Karlencho shows how to stream poker on Twitch. This video includes everything you need to know about streaming poker on Twitch. Twitch Poker Moments ep. 113; Twitch Poker Moments ep. 113 PokerTube (526,268 Views) 148 Views. Youtube Online Poker. On January 31, 2021.
Now, Van Elsacker is a force to be reckoned with himself, racking up score after score while the occasional 1,000+ audience watches him compete at the highest stakes.
'I used to watch all these guys play and I was pretty active in the chat,' Van Elsacker told PokerNews. 'I was a pretty big troll if I’m completely honest. Some channels still have me banned!
'I now understand how annoying people can be in chat. I’m not as much of a troll as I was before when I hop in someone else’s channel. I’m still banned in a couple of channels, but I think that my relationship with most other streamers is okay right now. I think being banned in certain channels almost turned into a meme.'GGPoker Spin & Gold
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Van Elsacker only started streaming 18 months ago and already has racked up a deal with GGPoker, who signed Daniel Negreanu last year.
“I think it really helped that I was active in a lot of streamers' chats early on. I think my channel grew bigger in a short time because plenty of people already knew me because of that. Now I’m signed with GGPoker! I’m trying to help them get bigger because I think it’s good for the online eco-system to have multiple competitors to compete with the more established sites.”
Easterdamnz' parents divorced when he was about 16 years old and that helped him keep his poker and Twitch life a secret from them.
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“I studied Law in Antwerp and lived in my dad’s apartment close to the university. I was alone a lot so I could easily hide poker and Twitch from them. I wasn’t necessarily ashamed of playing and streaming, I just didn’t talk a lot about it. Eventually, everyone kind of knew and I got some offers after my stream got bigger. That’s when I told my parents because suddenly playing and streaming could provide a stable income. It took a while but now they’re very supportive.”
The Belgian is posting more and more content on YouTube recently, thanks to his persuasive team member ‘Karlencho’. Van Elsacker recently managed to secure his biggest tournament score to date by winning about $41,000 over the winter.
“It’s so cool to replay some of these scores. I think it’s amazing to stream and then post the content on YouTube, not only for my viewers but also for myself. The score that impacted me the most was one I didn’t stream unfortunately. I had to rebuild my bankroll and I believe I won a satellite to a $55 tournament that I won for $12,000. It’s too bad I can’t rewatch that score.”
When he was asked about his future goals Van Elsacker didn’t mention streaming. Even though he plans to continue playing poker and streaming it live on Twitch for quite a while, Van Elsacker started playing poker to build a bankroll to get himself started in the music industry.
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“I kind of lost sight of music, that’s why I started playing poker. I would love to return to the music industry and start producing after I build up enough of a bankroll, but you won’t see me quitting poker anytime soon.”
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