Jason Somerville has been a major part of one of the biggest growth markets in the world of poker: the advent of live streaming poker, primarily on Twitch.
Now, he’s set to be heavily involved in another quickly growing segment of a popular industry: daily fantasy sports.
Somerville has entered into a partnership with DraftKings, one of the two biggest names in the daily fantasy sports industry.
That partnership came in anticipation of the coming Run It Up Reno series scheduled for the Peppermill Reno this October.
RIU Reno Qualifiers Offered on DraftKings
In recent weeks, Somerville had announced through his stream that DraftKings would host qualifiers for the live tournament series, and consequently, DraftKings ads began to appear as a part of his stream.
Just last week, the first of those qualifiers was opened as a private contest, with access available through a link that was distributed in his Twitch channel.
Given that Somerville is a big fan of mixed-martial arts, it came as little surprise that the first DraftKings qualifier came in an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) contest.
The tournament featured a $5 entry and was open to a maximum of 520 entrants, with $2,200 worth of prizes on the line.
In order to play, participants had to pick five fighters from Sunday night’s UFC card (held in Saskatoon, Canada).
Using a points system that rewarded strikes, takedowns, and other feats, along with big bonuses for picking winning fighters (especially those who won early in their bouts), players hoped that their entries would finish in the top 49 prize winning positions.
The main prize, of course, was a package for Run It Up Reno.
The package included the entry fee for the RIU Reno Main Event (a $565 tournament), five nights of hotel accommodations, and a $500 airfare credit. In all, the package was valued at $1,795.
UFC Contest Proves Popular for Fans, Profitable for Somerville
The tournament filled, which had to please both DraftKings and Somerville.
For his part, Somerville spent much of his Sunday stream promoting the contest: he showed off just how much he was spending on various UFC contests on DraftKings that night, and gave advice based on the scoring system used for UFC contests to his fans.
In the end, the victory went to a player known as Weehee, who put together a lineup worth 522.5 points, 22 points ahead of his nearest competitor.
Weehee’s lineup including Misha Cirkunov, Max Holloway, Nikita Krylov, Neil Magny and Frankie Perez, all of whom won their fights, and four of whom won in the first round.
Somerville himself took part in his own contest, putting in at least three entries but failing to cash. But for Somerville, who is admittedly very new to the daily fantasy sports waters, Sunday’s UFC Saskatoon still proved to be a major success.
“Was so close to that gold trophy, still my biggest DFS score to date on DraftKings,” Somerville wrote on his Facebook page, after finishing second in one contest for $1,500. He also showed off a few smaller wins during his Monday Twitch stream.
While this first qualifier for Run It Up Reno was part of a UFC contest, contests in other sports are also planned, even if they fall outside of Somerville’s expertise.
Somerville has said that NFL contests will take place and that the second RUI Reno qualifier will be a PGA contest based on this coming weekend’s biggest golf tournament: The Barclays, taking place at Plainfield Country Club in Edison.