By offering a live stream of his online poker game, David Kaye of Mason has a true secondary hustle for its secondary hustle.
The Michigan native, who works full-time on weekdays in the data business, has developed his poker acumen — and now his personality profile — to earn extra income with both.
Much of this is due to the launch of Michigan Regulated Online Poker, which opened on January 29 here.
“Michigan has a huge poker community, although it’s not the first place you think of when it comes to marquee poker,” he said. PlayMichigan in a video interview. “It was really exciting to have the opportunity to play at a state-regulated site with a huge pool of players.”
From high school home games to the WSOP
Like many Michigan residents, Kaye started playing $5 home poker games with friends when World Series of Poker live events have exploded over the past few summers on ESPN.
After graduating from Haslett High School and during his college studies at Trines University in Indiana, Kaye continued to play live poker at home games and in Michigan casinos.
He has stepped up his game over time, competing live at the 2014 WSOP at Vegas.
In 2016, Kaye won a tournament at FireKeepers Casino in battle stream for $15,923. He won $16,000 in a bad-beat jackpot casino in 2017.
During the pandemic, with time off, Kaye decided to take her poker game to the next level.
Kaye: Online poker’s ‘community vibe’ is more interactive than live
Kaye began broadcasting his game online in July 2020, which led to the launch of regulated online poker.
After several delays, PokerStars Michigan launched on January 29. BetMGM Poker came shortly after. Kaye plays on both platforms and said he would play WSOP.com MI when it comes here too.
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Right at launch, Kaye was averaging less than 8 viewers at a time.
Now anytime during Tic flow, Kaye on average more than 100 viewers. An average session attracts 1,500 viewerss drop at some point during a 3 hour stream. Yes, content creators earn revenue from platforms.
“I really enjoy the community vibe. I’ve missed the live poker atmosphere so much,” he said. “When you can find a community of people you can talk to or talk about your background game, it really makes online poker more interactive than what I had in my live experience.”
A major figure in online poker streaming, Kaye said he reveled in “looting” small twitch streams with his large following. streamers in Pennsylvania and Michigan are helping each other grow their viewership, a practice that is expected to continue across state lines when Michigan enters interstate poker pacts. Compaction is in preparation for 2021, according to comments from the Michigan Gaming Control Commission.
Regulation Brings Trust and Bigger Player Pools to Michigan Online Poker
Kaye said the popularity of regulated poker is a huge reason why he follows live online poker.
“In a regulated market, people are much more confident about their money,” Kaye said. “They feel like the games are safe, they’re sanctioned, everything will be fine, which brings a lot of people out.
“I also think because it was regulated during (the COVID-19 pandemic), when many casinos were closed, there were so many people who were eager to gamble.”
Kaye’s Online Poker Live Stream airs to thousands of people online nearly 20 hours a week
Literally dividing his home office with workspaces for his day job and side job, Kaye says he now plays on 15 to 18 hours per week, all streaming on Twitch. Then he will create highlight videos by cutting condensed versions of the sessions for Youtube.
He sometimes breaks down televised hands or puts together 8-10 minutes of his own sessions. Some videos are in-depth breakdowns of interesting hands.
The 29-year-old is now over 3,000 subscribers on Twitch and close to 4,000 subscribers on Youtube.
(By the way, Kaye streams with a 5 minute delay, so have no idea finding him at a table and following his streams in real time. “A lot of people ask that,” Kaye said, making me feel less stupid to ask.)
Kaye posts his weekly broadcast schedule every Monday on Twitter (@David KayePoker).
Kaye has viewers all over the world, whom he has monetized to help increase his income and bankroll.
“I think streaming and poker or other games, it’s kind of the next wave of entertainment for a lot of people,” Kaye said in a follow-up chat after the video interview. “I think streaming and content creation, in general, is in its infancy. So seeing the US online poker market come back and seeing content creation take off, the transformation of both, there’s a lot of opportunity for people.