Doug Polk didn’t break Mark Phelps’ Olympic gold medal record or surpass Barry Bonds on the all-time home run list. But he did accomplish something those obsessed with Twitch Poker might consider just about as impressive.
In Event #53, the $10,300 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller of the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP), Polk won $455,000 for 2nd place. Why is this a story? After all, high rollers win big on a regular basis. And who really cares about runner-up status?
People care because Polk won that money while live streaming on Twitch. And the two-time WSOP bracelet winner set a record in the process. Never before had anyone won so much money while live streaming a poker game.
For the Record
The previous record holder, using the screen name “SolidPenis” that would make third graders everywhere proud, won €250,000 ($279K) live in a €25 Spin & Go on PokerStars France in July. Mr. This member broke Polk’s previous record of $162,000, which was won in a $700 event on PokerStars in April.
Doug “WCG|Rider” Polk chopped three ways with Phil “Grindation” McAllister, a Brit who lives in Mexico, and “€urop€an”, an online pro from Finland who recently won $297,000 in another WCOOP event. McAllister got the largest piece of the pie ($584,415) and “€urop€an” received slightly more than Polk ($459,529), but the Twitch streamer got credit for a 2nd place finish.
The prize pool in this event far exceeded the $2 million guarantee. With 356 players registered, there was $3,560,000 up for grabs. And, as you would expect, a tournament like this one brought out some of the most-feared online grinders, such as Keven “Stammdogg” Stammen (8th place), also the winner of the 2014 WPT Borgata Spring Poker Open and 2015 Hollywood Poker Open.
Polk was quite jubilant after discovering he had crushed the previous live stream record. He even received a congratulatory Tweet directly from Twitch’s own account.
“Congrats to @DougPolkPoker for the largest cash in @TwitchPoker history!,” Twitch’s main Twitter account posted shortly after.
Can He Do It Again?
The WCOOP Main Event, a $5,000 buy-in tournament, begins September 25. This event will pay its winner at least $1.5 million. Whoever is lucky and skilled enough to win it will claim one of the biggest paydays in online poker history. Last year’s winner, Kristof “Coenaldinho7” Coenen, won $1,300,000.
Polk, or another Twitch streamer, will have another opportunity to break a record in this tournament. Should he do so, it may be a record to make the history books for a long, long time.