Several ClubWPT formed a group called "Stream Team," and they recently met for the first time after the Coronavirus pandemic. They assembled at Wynn Resorts, Las Vegas for an evening of poker and barbeque.
The 50 group members met two days before the highly anticipated World Poker Tour (WPT) World Championship kicked off. It will be the first live poker event to have a $15 million guarantee in history. The $10,400 buy-in tournament will start on December 12 at Wynn and is expected to attract 1,700 players from different countries.
The Poker Enthusiasts Finally Met Again
Day 1c of Wynn's WPT Prime Championship had 5,430 entrants who formed a $5.2 million prize pool. They included Stream Team members and other poker pros who gathered in the Brahms reception room with Tony Dunst and Vince Van Patten (WPT commentators, Lynn Gilmartin (a skilled presenter), Adam Pliska (WPT CEO and President) and Matt Savage (Executive Tour Director).
Steve Lipscomb, WPT's founder, stopped by for a while. Most poker rooms globally closed during the pandemic thus forcing WPT and other leading poker tournaments to cancel all competitions. Even so, the WPT crew devised a new method to keep poker going.
Dunst, Savage, and Gilmartin streamed ClubWPT's action during this period, offering free drinks and food to attendees. The Stream Team started chatting during one of these streams and often assembled in a Discord group to deliberate the WPT and general poker life.
The group has created online friendships over the years that will last for decades despite not meeting in person until Saturday. Most of the Stream Team members live in the United States while others are in Canada. They include women and men of different ages and occupations.
Some members are single while others have families. Yet, some of them have retired and others have active careers. But, all of them love poker.
Most guests and the 50 group members met their traveling costs to Vegas to spend time with other Stream Teamers. Some of them drive to Wynn like Jason "Kabby" Kabakoff, who relocated from Dallas to Henderson last year.
Mark "Symo4709" Symons, the ClubWPT Player of the Year, also attended the meeting and interacted with the WPT in the barbeque stating that he won the award after beating thousands of opponents. He added that he began playing poker in 2020 and had a work-from-home job that didn't excite him. Thus, Symons decided to tune in to some old episodes.
He saw Mike Sexton and Vince Van Patten discussing different hands. Symons won a free seat in the forthcoming WPT World Championship that will take place between December 12 and December 20. Lynn Gilmartin and Adam Pliska honored him.
Lynne Christiensen and Al Kalieta played in separate rooms for two years in Stream Team private games in Long Island, New York. No other group member knew it before the couple revealed their secret last weekend.
Kalieta stated that Christiensen often played on the first floor while he would play upstairs. They met 18 years ago on Match.com and dated for almost two years. Kalieta registered on the Bumble app several years ago and identified Christiensen, his ex.
He contacted her and she responded positively. The couple rekindled their relationship and are hoping to do a wedding in the future.