Welcome to Lee's Trout Stream
Sadly, this is not an invite to a real trout stream, with babbling waterfalls, caddis hatches, and native brookies. It is, however, an invitation to a stream of sorts - in this case, a Twitch stream. If you're not familiar with Twitch, don't be alarmed - you're in good company. Basically, it's a platform where people play video games and other people watch them play those video games from a "first person shooter" perspective.
In the last couple of years, thanks to pioneering work by Jason Somerville, poker has become popular on Twitch. Tens of thousands of people around the world are enjoying and learning poker by watching a handful of experts (or not) play the game live.
My colleagues over at PokerSchoolOnline (PSO) decided to co-opt Twitch for even more directly educational purposes. For the last year or so, PSO teachers have been doing training sessions on Twitch for thousands of poker-hungry viewers. One of the most popular methods of training is reviews of hands that the viewers have played. In short, it's a way for players to get a thoughtful and professional review of poker hands that they found interesting for one reason or another.
Well, much to my delight, the PSO folks invited me to do my own hand review show on their Twitch channel. I jumped at the opportunity. My debut Trout Stream Twitch show is on Wednesday April 20 at 7pm UK time (2pm US East Coast). Join me there at https://www.twitch.tv/pokerschoolonline.
To get you ready let's answer a few questions you may have:
Q: Why are you on the PSO channel and not the primary PokerStars Twitch channel?
A: Well, the main reason is that, because I'm a PokerStars employee, I can't play on PokerStars for real money. Just as importantly, I don't think very many people would want to watch me play poker at all. I am no Jason Somerville, Jaime Staples, or Randy Lew.
Q: That gets me to the next question. Are you good enough to be teaching poker on Twitch?
A: That's a fair question, and the answer is "yes and no". I'm not a pro-caliber No Limit Hold'em player (okay, I'm not a pro-caliber any kind of poker player). But I have played, studied, and thought about the game extensively for decades. There are people playing on PokerStars who weren't born when my book Winning Low-Limit Hold'em was first published. Furthermore, I have given far more thought to how to teach poker than most players who are far superior to me at the table. So I may actually do a better job of teaching a newbie or novice poker player than somebody who could convincingly kick me from the #1 seat to the #7 seat and back again in a $2-5 NLHE game.
Finally, this is an amazing opportunity for me because I just plain love poker. I love teaching poker, and almost more than anything, I love hanging out with poker players and talking about hands. Goodness knows I've done that late into the night when sane people would have gone to bed. Now PSO is giving me the opportunity to do it as part of my job - how awesome is that?
So let's cover some specifics. I'm going to start out streaming on Wednesdays at 7:00pm UK time (2:00pm US East Coast), beginning Wednesday, April 20th. You just go to www.twitch.tv/pokerschoolonline and you'll see my smiling face. I'll be streaming for about two hours every Monday.
However, there can't be a show if I don't get sent the most interesting, difficult and craziest hands you've played to take a look at. The easiest and best way to get your hands discussed is to post them to the thread about
Lee's Trout Stream here.
You have to be a PSO member - it only takes about three minutes to sign up and it's free.
To post your hand, we encourage you to use the BOOM! player that's built into the PokerStars software. When you finish playing a hand of No Limit Hold'em (play or real money), you'll see a little red icon in the chat box next to the summary information about the hand. Click on that icon and select "BOOM! my hand". That will take you to a new web page with your hand loaded into the BOOM replayer. Just copy that URL and paste it into a post on the forum thread.
For more information about the BOOM! player, go to: www.boomplayer.com.
If we think your hand is interesting enough, it will become fodder for my discussion on a subsequent Lee's Trout Stream. And of course, all the other viewers will be providing their input in the chat box while we discuss your hand - you'll have a few hundred people telling you how you should have played the hand. Yes, that's a mixed blessing.
If you're watching and you don't remember how to use the BOOM player, no problem; just type "!boom" into the chat box and you'll get the instructions you need.
Also, feel free to drop a link to your BOOM hand right into the Twitch chat. If I see it and it looks fun, I'll talk about it right then and there.
But whether you bring hands to discuss or not, please do come out to Lee's Trout Stream. Again, the first gathering is at 7:00pm UK time (2:00pm US Eastern) on Wednesday, April 20. We've got a shady spot under a tree next to a nice deep hole where the big browns hang out. We're going to sit there, listen to the riffles, and talk poker.
 But you never know what might happen in the future
Lee Jones first joined PokerStars in 2003 and has been part of the professional poker world for over 25 years. You can read his occasional Twitter-bites at @leehjones