PokerNews Streamer Spotlight: Jacob Wideman Chasing Dreams with One-Way Ticket to Vegas
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.
You may be familiar with Jacob Wideman as part of the PokerNews Stream Team on Twitch, but the Vancouver poker player will be doing what he can to make a name for himself at the 2016 World Series of Poker. Wideman has only one live cash on record, according to his Hendon Mob profile, and told PokerNews that he was making his first trip to the WSOP this summer.
"This is my first time to the Series," Wideman said. "I fired two bullets in the Colossus after I came down here on a one-way [ticket]. I was looking forward to this 1K satellite — I satellited into the 10K heads up — and I've already beat four guys, all heads-up guys, to get the seat and now I'm firing the seat. So it's my first time here other than the Colossus."
As a heads-up player, Wideman is living his dream now in the $10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em Championship after winning his seat via a $1,000 satellite.
"This is my Main Event, essentially," he said.
As for how he got into poker, Wideman has a common story of starting off online with some small deposits before the poker bug really bit him hard and he dove in fully.
"I got into poker originally just messing around with a couple hundred dollar deposits," Wideman said. "I actually started playing six-max hypers, and my girlfriend's cousin just came over [asked what I was doing]. He plays semi-professionally, so he kind of took me under his wing. He said, 'Hey, maybe you'll like heads up,' and he just taught me how and coached me up a little bit. Then for the last two year's we've been working hard on playing heads up.
"I transitioned from heads up to Spin & Gos, and now we play some Spin & Gos and now we're here at the 10K Heads Up somehow."
Indeed Wideman made his way into the $10,000 Heads-Up No-Limit Hold'em Championship, then defeated Nick Schulman in the first round and Aaron Mermelstein in the second round. On Wednesday's Day 2, his first match will be against heads-up superstar Ankush Mandavia.
"I'm confident in my game and a lot of stuff that I've worked on over the years," Wideman said when asked about how he felt playing as a relative unknown against big notables. "I just have to play my game."
If Wideman is able to defeat Mandavia then he'll be in the money in the event and earning $24,596. That'll be his largest live cash ever, but he's familiar with big scores online seeing as he once won a Spin & Go on PoKerStars for $45,000. It was that win that got him into streaming.
"It's goes back to Spin & Gos," Wideman said about how he got into streaming his online play. "We were supposed to record all of our big multipliers, to review it and see how we did. I ended up recording. I had no idea I was recording my face and the screen at the same time, and I hit the jackpot. I was playing the $15 Spin & Gos when I was just starting, testing them out, and I hit the jackpot and won it. I sent the video to my best friend, and he put it on YouTube. It got a huge following and he thought it was funny. He said, 'Oh, you should stream. You got unique reactions.' So we just took the momentum from that and went forward and started streaming Spin & Gos on Twitch. A little bit of [multi-table tournaments], too. I won a satellite to the Main Event here. I've never played MTTs and I was never an MTT guy, so we've been firing a couple of those warming up for the Main."
It's left to be unseen whether or not Wideman will be able to defeat Mandavia and go on to claim poker glory by snatching up a gold bracelet, but one thing we do know is Wideman knows how to stream and a solid showing at the WSOP could certainly boost his virtual following.
"Just be yourself," Wideman said as his biggest piece of advice for aspiring streamers. "Too many people try to adjust to the Twitch mold. Just be your own personality, be yourself, play your own music, play your own game type. Everyone streams MTTs, so don't just think, 'Well, I have to do it.' Do your own thing and create your own niche."