A native of Alberta Canada, Jaime “jaimestaples” Staples was recently dubbed a “Friend of PokerStars” as a result of the work he has done on the Amazon-owned website, Twitch.tv. After giving up his aspirations to become a professional golfer along with his post-secondary educational pursuits, Staples decided to become a professional, predominantly online poker professional in October, 2014.
Heavily influenced by the live stream videos that Jason Somerville made for Twitch.tv and their overwhelming success, Staples decided to start live streaming his own play with a slight delay, a common practice to prevent one’s current opponents from seeing his/her hole cards, last year. In the few months that Staples has been streaming videos, he has attracted more than 1,000 regular, simultaneous viewers and, when he won the Big $109 tournament on PokerStars toward the start of last month, nearly five times his regular viewership tuned in to watch.
After his first Twitch.tv live stream, Daniel Negreanu thanked both Staples and Somerville for helping him to get in on the live stream action. In Negreanu’s footsteps, all of us at FTR want to thank Staples for one of the best Ask Me Anything events we’ve ever had the privilege to host in our forums!
On Monday, April 20, 2015, Staples took time out of his busy day and paused his 8 – 12 hour daily grind to answer questions from FTR’s visitors, including a few personal ones. An example of one such personal question was, “Are you single?” to which Staples replied, “And ready to mingle.”
While all of his responses weren’t quite that lyrical or poetic, Staples’ answers to poker-related queries shed meaningful light on what he considers to be the most critical components of the game when it comes to success. He also shared his thoughts about the future of poker in various contexts and told us how many tables he really is playing on-and-off camera during his live stream broadcasts on Twitch.tv.
Find out more about Jaime Staples
If you missed Staple’s AMA, don’t worry! We’re prepared an in-depth summary of the rising star’s AMA which you can check out below! Enjoy!
Do you watch Game of Thrones? If so what characters do you like the most and the least?
I do watch Game of Thrones (who doesn’t!)
I think my favourite has to be Arya Stark. She’s had a rough go but gives it her all.
My least favourite is the late King Joffrey. I knew he was going to die eventually but every episode I was actively routing for that plot twist.
Hey there Jaime… congratulations on the deal with PokerStars! I’ve only known you for 3 months but immediately felt you’d be successful when I started watching your live streams.
My questions are based on Twitch streaming.
How long did it take you to adapt to live streaming and multi-tabling? Was it a difficult transition and what were some of the things you picked-up on quickly that helped you become one of the most successful poker streamers today?
Best of luck going forward and continue putting out great content for viewers!
Thanks man! I appreciate the vote of confidence.
I picked up streaming and playing fairly quickly. To get good at it though took a lot of time. Streaming took the place of a bunch of other distraction I used to have like Skype, TV shows, browsing the web, etc. With streaming, I focused my time while not actively making decisions on poker things.
I think I realized at the beginning that it was going to be a race. Putting in lots of time was necessary if I wanted to make this a viable thing to do for a living so I really went all in with my effort. 40 hours of content a week and the business end is done in the remaining time. That set me apart from other people. I was there for the people browsing the listing almost every time. I’m not going to stop anytime soon 🙂
Congrats Jaime,i have a question.Which poker book was the most helpful in your education?
I was actually more of a training site person.
I read SuperSystem, Daniel Negreanu’s smallball book, Ace on the River, Treat your Poker Like a Business, and a multitude of others starting out. These were helpful in my development but I found subscriptions to video sites like DeucesCracked and TournamentPokerEdge were much more efficient and beneficial to my game. If I had to choose one, I would go with Ace on the River. It illustrates an amazing poker world which to an outsider is really inspiring. It made me want to be a part of this world.
Congrats Jaime, my question is: What do you think should be done to increase the field of players today?
or so the game becomes more popular?
I think that there has to be better story telling.
Live poker has a great platform for this with TV. I think we need to be more creative in telling the stories of the online guys, the online sites, online poker in general. There can be changes to the games that will balance the economics, but at the route of it all we have to create interest. That interest has to be more personable and faster to digest then in years past. No one is watching commercials anymore, they have there phone and laptop within an arms reach. It has to be something real (like streaming real life poker not edited.)
Hi Jaime, Thanks for doing this AMA and congrats on your Pokerstars Sponsorship and your recent big tournament wins! A couple of questions:
1) With all the recent developments in online poker software and technology like twitch coming through, what new technology and changes are we likely to see in the next couple of years?
2) How have you developed your own game, any useful tips?
Thanks for the kind words.
1) This is really interesting. I think we will see poker be considered more of an e-sport. Team competitions with rosters of pro players. It’s a tried and true formula in other games, I think it’s not to much of a leap for companies to attempt the same in poker.
I also think that software will try and automate a lot of the things that make poker tough. This doesn’t mean bots, but the game will shift more towards theoretical understanding. We will move further away from execution of actually thinking of a solution and clicking the button on the fly.
2) Development of my own game has been a mixture of a bunch of things. Books, training sites, coaching, forums, discussion groups, playing, and study have all been useful to me. I think it’s best to start out with learning methods that are a bit more passive. Take in the information and try and copy it, not necessarily change it. For example, using ICMIzer to study pre flop spots will be difficult if you don’t know what you are looking for.
At the end of the day, it’s an effort game. How much focus and attention can you put into getting better. I had the opportunity to Eat Breath Sleep poker for a few years and enjoyed doing so. Try and hack your brain by switching to different tasks that improve you after you’re tired of one. Play 8 hours, listen to a podcast while making dinner, watch some twitch streams. Your probably really tired of poker now so watch some ted talks about how to be better or more efficient or something like that. It will translate. That was the approach I took.
i enjoyed already many of your streams.
My questions are:
I never saw you taking notes on players, not a fan of it?
Do you only play on PokerStars now? (no more 888 and other rooms?)
Thanks man. I don’t take very many notes no. I find that most of them are so specific and very difficult to extrapolate to other areas. I do take a few but find myself almost always finding a HUD more useful.
I pretty much just play on PokerStars. I’m in pursuit of getting supernova which is quite difficult as a tournament player. I will play the 1K online Bracelet event in vegas, and perhaps some Ftops events on Full Tilt.
Hi Jamie, how many hours per week do you dedicate to study and
How do you balance it with your play time/stream time?
what kind of aproaching did you took on poker in this 6 months of transition between school to full poker to reach so much sucess on your tourney results?
The balance is hard between study and play right now because the stream time is unexpected. I think I average maybe 3 hours a week right now of study which isn’t optimal. I’m improving faster then I have in the past though just because 14 hours a day 7 days a week is spent on poker or poker stuff so I am around it so much more then before. It’s open to close so even if it’s not “study” it’s helpful.
The shift from school to poker was actually pretty natural. I was already a good player and new how to grind so it just meant that my long term plans were aligned with what I was actually doing. I didn’t expect it to go as well as it has, but I think I was used too just playing weekends. The weekday grind creates a lot of profitable opportunities.
When do you think other states like Pennsylvania and California will join New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware in offering regulated online poker?
I’m really behind the times on US legislation efforts. I really really hope that people in the US can soon play regulated poker online. It blows my mind every day the situation the US populace is in. That said, I don’t know when it will happen.
Did any of your friends or family members express concern when you decided to play professionally? How do they feel about your career choice now?
Most people didn’t give me credit in the beginning. A decent amount of the general population thinks it’s a luck game so I’m always prepared for the eye rolls when I tell people. With my streams success and now PokerStars sponsorship, everyone I’m close too seems to be on board. You know non poker players though, so result oriented. 😉
What’s the most unconventional thing you believe in?
Who do you think will win America’s next presidential election?
I would say that monogamy or exclusive relationships as a concept will be outdated at some point in the near future. I think the restriction of physical of emotional desire that comes with that sort of set up will go out of fashion. That or virtual reality blurring the lines between what it is to be human. No reason to live in this world when you can live in a better one. Both really weird things to think about but I’m confident society will approach them within my lifetime.
I don’t know anything about US politics. Looks like Hillary Clinton is the favourite so I’ll go with her.
Hello Jaime 🙂
– Curious about your name. Is “Jaime” a portuguese name? or related portuguese?
– Could you see yourself as today but without all the technology? I mean, imagine discovering poker but with no Internet, online poker, webcams, and so on…
– This might sound stupid but what advice would you give to a guy that is PRO in Governor of Poker in his cellphone and playing with his friends …but is just too scary of entering the “paying universe” of poker rooms? Is Governor of Poker and friends any proof that I might be good at professional or semi-professional poker?
All the best Jaime 🙂
I have no Portuguese heritage but I kinda wish I did (Vamoooo.) My parents just spelled it that way.
I’m not sure what life would be like without technology. Since I was 6 or 7 I have had a computer to play around with. I imagine a lot of the friendships I have and business I do would play out in the flesh. I have difficulty putting myself in that world.
I don’t think that you winning a lot on the cellphone game means you are necessarily good enough to beat real money poker BUT I think it shows a couple things that are helpful. You clearly like the game, have persistence, and are cautious with money. These are all really good things to set you up for successful poker so I would give it a go at the smallest level. What’s the worst that could happen 🙂
Hi Jaime …welcome to the forum 🙂
– In your opinion, is PokerStars really the best poker room to play in? Any other room that you might recommend as well?
– If you could define yourself as a poker player using only 3 words … what would them be? 🙂
Thanks a lot. Tons of success 😉
Hey Ric, Thanks!
Even before i was Sponsored by PokerStars, it was always my #1 choice. Best Variety, best software, biggest and best tournaments, best security, etc. It really is my favourite place on the planet (if a poker client can be a place.)
Three words: Hardworking, Dedicated, Dreamer
Thanks man 🙂
Are you involved with any charities? If you are, which ones?
HeyYou! great name,
I am not currently no but stay tuned on that front. I am now in a better position to make an impact outside of poker and plan to do so.
Are you single?
and ready to mingle 😉
Who do you think will win the Stanley Cup this year?
Canadians! My fav team followed by Detroit then Calgary
Thanks for doing the AMA!
•How has the rise of live streaming poker on twitch affected online poker for you? How do you feel it has affected poker overall?
•As someone who doesn’t tune in to twitch, I’m kind of out of the loop but it’s interesting to me. What kind of things do you do while playing to keep your viewers engaged? What separates you from other streamers? Do you always stream while playing?
•What are your general thoughts on the online poker landscape in the USA? How do you anticipate it looks in 5 years?
– The twitch poker community taking off has been a game changer for me. It has made it more enjoyable to play, and I get to connect to a whole new group of people (like the feeling you would get playing a live tournament series.) I think it will create more of a community around online poker and will expose thousands of new people to the game.
– While streaming I play 4 tables and commentate my play ( 4tables are off screen as well.) I say what i’m doing and why. There is also chat which has tons and tons of questions. I try and answer all of those until there is over 2000 people. Then it just becomes more about playing. I think the difference between me and other streamers is viewer interaction. I try and get to every question and care about other people’s poker journeys. I want this to be a community not just showcasing what I can do.
I just play poker on stream now ya. I did play one session without in the evening but it was too silent for my liking.
– I don’t know very much about poker in the US. I here tidbits of promising news here and there but there are much more informed voices then mine. I think we will have poker in several states but I doubt nationwide. I hope this is all fixed soon 🙁
What change to your poker game had the single most positive impact on your results?
This is a tough one. It may just be the mindset of not caring about results. It hasn’t increased my win rate but it has increased the amount of time I can play, and the happiness in my life when I’m finished. So I guess I would say understanding that results are completely out of my control. I focus on decisions and that is success and failure to me.
How much of poker is mental v skill? We’ve seen many brilliant players fade away due to issues with tilt, loss control, low self confidence, etc when running bad. How do you keep your head in the game when going through a rough patch?
I think it’s a huge amount mental. I have players come up to me a lot and ask about how to get into online. 9 in 10 of these people fail because of Bankroll Management. Too high too fast. Likewise, like you alluded to, some people can’t handle the variance in poker. I think this is a much harder hurdle then the actual playing hands part. I’d go 80% mental/20% game knowledge
Do you think twitch streaming will decrease the amount of subs to video strategy sites like deuces cracked, ivey league?
Do you travel much? If so, what are some of your favorite places to visit?
I do yes. I think we are to early into twitches life to see it be a big thing now but it will happen. I was watching a video by Gary Vaynerchuk (really great Youtube Channel.) He talks about how information is worth less and less everyday. Almost everything we know is within arm’s reach of us 24 hours a day (on our phone.) Time and execution are now what’s worth something, not knowing things off by heart.
Free information in poker is definitely going to happen. That doesn’t mean that training sites can’t adapt. The current business model with have to evolve.
I haven’t traveled very much at all and it’s the biggest thing I regret. I am moving to Prague for 6 months in December so that will be my first exploration outside of Canada and the US. I want to live 6 months at home, and 6 months somewhere new for the foreseeable future.
A past AMA guest or two suggested that it would be okay to fold pocket aces pre-flop if they were on the bubble and everyone else at the table called before them because of the likelihood that their pair would be cracked. Do you agree? What if the same scenario presented itself in the first hand of the WSOP ME? Would you fold then to ensure you’d be able to play at least a second hand in the Main? Or would you go for it?
Im going with it! Unless it’s a guarantee in a satellite or there are some crazy money jumps 9 handed, Im fist pumping my chips in there. Folding them would be scarier to me then calling and losing. That may sound weird but my feedback system aims at being decision based, not results based.
I watched your Hero Call in Sunday 6Max video and thought it was really good – your explanation of villains range was great to watch as the hand happened, and of course bonus points for being right! My question has to do with your preflop raise, do you always raise near 2x? What is the reasoning for the amount?
On a semi-related note, do you ever play more than 3 tables at once? At what limit do you feel adding more tables negatively affects how you play?
That was a fun one to be right on. You really feel the pain as well when you are wrong because the chat doesn’t like hero calls. They would have let me know haha.
I am raising fairly small because I think it achieves the same thing as a bigger raise. People are folding with the same frequency. It’s easy enough to get the money in by the river, but it risks less pre flop. As a result there is much more room to work with post flop in betting, or betting the turn, or raising, and the bluffs are very inexpensive. There are situations where I will 3x or even 4x raise. It depends on stack depth, position, my opponents, tendencies, what they think of me, my hand, etc. Against good players though around that stack depth, just over a minraise is going to be my standard with everything.
I play 8 tables usually. 4 on stream 4 off stream. I think that I play slightly worse with each table I add, but it’s about making money so it’s worth it to reduce $ per table, and increase $ per hour. Also it provides a more entertaining stream to people.
Hi Jaime 🙂
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Do you have any plans or dreams for your career?
Do you have any favorite hobbies when you want to get away from the computer and poker? What do you enjoy?
I have no idea where I will be in ten years. Hopefully I will have had lots of success in poker and on twitch. Will have travelled a bunch and met a bunch of cool people. I don’t really have and end goal it’s more the climb that I enjoy.
I suck at hobbies tbh. I’m a workaholic and struggle to get away. I used to like golf a lot when I was young. That may my attempt at re-instating a hobby. I really struggle balancing that though.
How were you approached about being sponsored by Pokerstars? Interested to hear how it all went down?!
Congrats, it must be an exciting time for you!
They gave me a phone call on my cell haha. It was crazy and unexpected so I didn’t really know what to say. After some back and forth for a few weeks we signed a deal. It’s a dream come true and still hard to grasp. I am very excited about everything right now 🙂
What do you think you’d be doing if you didn’t play poker for a living?
If you ever decide to change careers, do you think your experience playing poker will be a hindrance to your professional pursuits or do you think it’ll help?
I’m not sure Chris. It would probably be working for myself somehow and competing in one way or another. Maybe finance or online business.
If I ever wanted to change careers I think poker would help. Perhaps not all companies would view poker as a good thing. I wouldn’t want to work for a company that couldn’t see the value in it though. I think poker is a really great tool to learn about all sorts of stuff. Money and emotions specifically.
You seem so calm, do you ever make angry notes or break the mouse?
Not really haha. I used to get mad but I stamped out caring about results by switching what measured success. 4 years ago I punched a hole in the wall. I haven’t done anything like that since.
I enjoyed watching you on twitch yesterday. 4 tables seems like a good amount, what are the smallest and largest numbers of simultaneous tables you’re comfortable with?
The vaporizer on twitch reminded me of the smoking in Lord of the Rings. What’s typically in your vap?
Thanks for watching man!
I like how you said smallest and largest. I think my attention drags a lot playing one table specifically. I can manage 3-9 fairly well. Over that and I can’t keep up with chat very well, under that i’m a bit bored (unless it’s deep into a tournament.) 8 Seems to be the sweetspot for me. Some it will be 1, some it will be 15. I think there is potential for good streams with both.
I’m a pretty big Vap noob but consider it a step in the right direction from cigarettes. I currently use Itaste MVP 2 battery (link) a Nautilus Aspire tank (link) and Menthol Flavoured juice at 0.06 strength. It’s not the best out there but gets the job done for me.
As I mentioned earlier, I don’t know much about twitch and how it all works, but have you run into any issues with people playing at your table(s), viewing your stream, and essentially super using you? Of course this would be a lot less likely in MTTs than cash or SNGs, but it would still be possible.
Liking the responses thus far!
The stream is on a 4 minute delay so the players can’t see my cards. It is very rare that people try and wait through the delay and if they do you can cut the stream and restart it. That has only happened 5 times or so in 6 months. I would say 2 or 3 players per table know about my stream which is okay with me. It’s what to do with that information that is the hard part. I think back to hole cards being introduced on TV. Same thing.
Hey Jamie, thanks for the reply.
Emotions for sure, I guess this is where I am with my poker right now. I’m making a modest amount of money at the micros, but I feel like emotional control is a huge obstacle. The calm manner you have when bad things happen is exactly how I wish I reacted. But I make notes like “idiot stacks A4o pre, owes me £20” and have to force myself to keep focus. Did you find that getting in control of tilt was a significant turning point? Are there any steps you took to get control or was it a natural evolution?
Maybe trying to hack their brain may help a bit. Like when someone gets it in bad or something I always try to remember that they are just doing their best too. I don’t hate them for trying their best and getting lucky because Thats why I can make a living and they’re human. I think that was a big step for me and maybe if you could have that as a key thought for a week or so, it may help you. “Thats just some guy doing his best.” Getting in control of emotions was definitely a gradual process so not really a turning point.
What a great AMA… really honest and helpful answers…you rock Jaime 😉
Very great answers. Thanks for your time, Jaime!
That’s another thing I’ve always enjoyed about Jaime’s streams… how honest and complete he is with the questions he gets from viewers. He’s definitely extended that same courtesy here in the AMA thread.
Thank you very much for your time, Jaime and best of luck going forward! If you ever have a special event or stream you’d like to promote, be sure to hit us up and we’ll be happy to post it here on the forums.
This was a cool ama! I agree about Arya and Joffrey.
Thanks Again, Jaime!
Thanks to all of you for reading. It was really fun and would love to do it again once I have some more to say 🙂