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Twitch Streamer Jaime Staples Turns $15 into $1,700 Playing Fusion Poker

Jaime Staples Fusion Poker

Fusion Poker has been a runaway hit on PokerStars and Twitch.tv streamer Jaime Staples proved that you don’t need a huge bankroll to post a huge win in the game.

Staples, who’s sponsored by PokerStars, went on an insane heater last week that saw him start by firing a few $15 bullets and eventually quit the session up a staggering $1,700.

For anyone who hasn’t played it yet, Fusion Poker is a unique hybrid of Hold’em and Pot-Limit Omaha where the game starts like regular Hold’em but you get an extra hole card on the flop and another on the turn. By the end of the hand, you are using two of your hole cards to make a five-card poker hand just like PLO.

Staples’ challenge is somewhat reminiscent of some of the famous bankroll challenges that started taking place in the mid-2000s during the rise of online poker.

Former Full Tilt Poker pro Chris “Jesus” Ferguson famously started the tend by playing freerolls to eventually build a bankroll of $10,000. It took Ferguson a little over a year but he eventually succeeded.

More recently, Twitch streamer Doug Polk went from $100 to $10,000 in 58 days.

Staples Tops Out at $2,250, Loses $1,000 on Last Hand

PLO can be a very swingy game and the early reviews for Fusion are that it’s also very swingy. Staples can attest to that fact personally.

It can be advantageous to play very aggressively if you have multiple draws (especially to the best hand) and Staples managed to hit some of his big draws, which helped him run up such an impressive haul.

Fusion Poker currently has nine set buy-in levels (which start at $3 and go up to $5,000) but Staples challenged himself to move up six levels. The levels he chose were as follows:

LevelBuy-inStakes (Small Blind/Big Blind)
Level 1$15$0.10/$0.25
Level 2$40$0.25/$0.50
Level 3$80$0.50/$1
Level 4$160$1/$2
Level 5$500$2.50/$5
Level 6$1,000$5/$10

Staples created a simple set of rules for himself where any time he reached the buy-in of the next level, he would move up. If he got stacked by an opponent, then he would move back down.

It appeared that Staples was still learning the game as he lost his first couple of buy-ins but then something seemed to click and he rapidly ascended the buy-in levels from that point.

There were some real fireworks on his last hand of the session as he ended up losing a $1,023 pot on an ill-timed bluff that got snapped off by two pair.

Regardless, Staples finished with an impressive $1,749 after starting the session at the $15 buy-in level. Obviously he got the benefit of a few coin flips and this isn’t going to happen every time but it’s still a very solid session.

Staples went ahead and compiled the highlights of his stream for a stand-alone YouTube video. It’s worth watching for anyone looking to try Fusion Poker and gives you an idea about what’s possible in the game:


PokerStars VR Goes Live

Fusion Poker isn’t the only new game that PokerStars launched this month.

The site also introduced its virtual reality game PokerStars VR. PokerStars VR is a free-to-play experience for anyone who owns an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift, motion controllers and a decently powerful PC.

It’s unlikely that PokerStars VR picks up much steam as a real-money poker variant (the action is considerably slower than the main PokerStars client), but it’s fascinating as a social experiment.

Players in PokerStars VR can chat in real time with their opponents as well as gesture and handle their chips like a real-life game. You can also completely customize your avatar with different looks and accessories like card protectors and sunglasses.

For the time being, it’s likely the game will serve as a platform for Twitch streamers and recreational poker players as a way of exposing more people to the game of poker.

It would conceivably be a way to host a poker game with your friends from different parts of the world. The game is now available for download on Steam.

Staples also recorded his experiences playing PokerStars VR and you can check it out below (the poker starts at around the 5:00 mark):