PokerNews will be hosting a number of players who will stream upcoming sessions on the PokerNews Twitch.tv channel. In this series, we'll introduce you to the players whose streams will be featured by PokerNews.
As poker streaming gains steam on the Twitch.tv platform, there's an ever-growing number of options for consumers. More and more players are firing up their own streams, plenty of them respected and accomplished grinders on both the live and online felts.
But how many can say they have over $5 million in documented poker cashes?
That's surely the hook that will draw many to the stream of Carter "cswidler" Swidler, a longtime pro who has made the journey from high school home games to venerable provider of knowledge for the next generation. That knowledge is something Swidler notes he never had as he was coming up in the game, and it's something he identifies as the biggest change in poker from then to now.
"There are way more tools and resources available for anyone who wants to be a student of the game these days," he said. "Therefore, the players now, compared to the players 10 years ago, are exponentially better. With these tools, Players get good a lot faster than I did."
He rattles off a number of such tools: online coaching, poker training websites, hours and hours of Youtube footage, and now Twitch streams. Despite the lack of resources, Swidler managed to figure things out well enough. Starting from small games with friends and watching the World Poker Tour on TV, he put together an impressive list of results.
"Poker allowed me to have the freedom I desperately wanted in my life, as I knew I could ever hold down a nine-to-five job with someone else as my boss," he said. "This way, I can travel, work from home and be my own boss as well as focus on other ventures besides poker."
Online, according to PocketsFives, the Canadian has amassed just shy of $4.6 million in cashes across a variety of sites, ascending as high as fifth on the worldwide rankings. He has added a number of live scores to that at events across the globe, totaling over $500,000.
One thing you won't find when perusing Swidler's list of poker results is a bunch of cashes in $25,000 events and the like. As poker and the high roller community continue to grow, more and more players are seemingly finding their ways into these types of tournaments. So, why hasn't Swidler joined their ranks despite all of his success?
The reason is simple.
"I never have and never will be staked," he said, crediting his longevity in the game partially to that. "I think it's a bad proposition for both parties involved."
He also credited sound bankroll management and working hard on his game, including the use of poker resources in recent years. He didn't specify which ones, but what's interesting to note is that now, via his Twitch channel, he has become the very resource he said he never had coming up in the game.
He's using that platform to reach his 1,529 followers on Twitch, and he'll be streaming right here for PokerNews Sunday, June 5 at 9 a.m. PT.
"I wasn't feeling personally fulfilled just by playing poker for myself," Swidler said. "I wanted to get others involved through online platforms such as Twitch, and provide an entertaining stream for others to learn more about poker free of charge."
Like Ryan Stryker, whose channel has also been featured on PokerNews, Swidler believes streaming as a whole is good for the health of the game, contrary to the beliefs of many.
"In the short term, it will draw many more people and players to play online and making lots of the lower stakes games more recreational," he said. "This enables anyone in the world to watch live, entertaining and predictable action from anywhere in the world at any time of day. I think there is a huge demand for this kind of online content these days and it seems that people have been responding very well to all the new streams that have been popping up, including mine."