• Arlie Shaban living the Day 2 dream at the WSOP Two years ago, Arlie Shaban was sitting behind the desk at a Toronto branch of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, taking bookings, selling upgrades, handing over keys, sometimes heading out into the bitter Ontario mornings to wash the cars.
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11.3k Followers, 499 Following, 479 Posts - See Instagram photos and videos from Arlie Shaban (@arlieshaban). In back-to-back months of August and September, Shaban was announced as an addition to Team RIU as a streaming ambassador and given a mega challenge deemed the “12 Labors of Arlie.” With the 12 Labors, Shaban must complete various tasks given to him by PokerStars, with each task more difficult than the last.

Next month, the iconic PokerStars Sunday Million will celebrate its 14th anniversary with a special Sunday Million 14th Anniversary Edition on March 22-24 boasting a massive $12.5 million guarantee.

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Arlie Shaban Poker

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PokerStars Twitch Streamer Arlie Shaban famously quit his job and then begun streaming poker, broadcasting for 1,000 horus over 125 consecutive days.

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The former Big Brother Canada contestant's exploits were recognised by RunItUp and PokerStars, and he spoke to PokerNews all about his Sunday Million memories.

Shaban told us that he first played the Sunday Million around six years ago, and to this day feels it's one of the most prestigious poker tournaments in online poker.

'Where else could you pay $215 for a chance to win $100,000+ for first?' he told PokerNews.

'The fact that this game runs weekly with a $1,000,000 guarantee gives every poker player their chance at hitting a six-figure score without putting in a massive investment.'

One memory Shaban has of the Sunday Million comes from November 2017, when fellow PokerStars Team Pro Fintan Hand made a deep run.

'I was railing Fintan off to the side whilst in the middle of my own grind. He was making a very deep run in the Sunday Million and had about 5,000+ viewers.

'I believe he busted around the final two tables, but then out of nowhere, he decided to host me. That was such an incredible moment for me, I never imagined getting a massive host like that within my first few weeks.'

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READ MORE: PokerStars Ambassador Arlie Shaban Breaks From Twitch to Play WSOP Main Event

Having satellited into the Sunday Million himself, Shaban stressed the importance of online qualifiers, especially in these 'special edition' tournaments.

'These special edition tournaments are rare, and they are that way for a reason! With this upcoming Sunday Million any player who plays in it can then say they were a part of the biggest online tournament ever.

'There is going to be so much money sitting around at that final table I can’t see why any poker player wouldn't take their shot on this game. All you need is that ONE TIME, and when better to use your ONE TIME then on the biggest online tournament in history!'

And if he won, what would Shaban do with the winnings?

'If I won the Sunday Million I would put a nice down payment on a house, and I hang a sign in my front hallway that said 'The house that poker built'.'

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Arlie Shaban was unheard of in poker circuits until recently and was actually best known for his time on Big Brother Canada. A fan favourite in the house, the hugely competitive quirky card shark has now become one of the most popular poker streamers on the planet. His massive personality is what draws viewers in, and the record-breaking amount of time he streams helps keep them fixated. It was recently announced that Shaban has joined the Run it Up team, and this move is likely to boost his appeal even further. Needless to say, Shaban now has the potential to become one of the best-known poker players in the world.

News of the Deal

In August this year, it was announced that Shaban would be joining Jason Somerville’s Run it Up, which is one of the most famous poker streams on the planet. The 29-year-old will be a streaming ambassador for the channel, while also working on some live games. Shaban bagged the deal thanks to his dedication to streaming and the vast amount of followers he attracted on Twitch.tv in a short space of time. The former Big Brother housemate is now one of the most recognisable faces in the world of poker streaming, so it made sense for Run it Up to approach him to join them.

Shaban said that he recognised poker streaming was a hard business to get into, and actually studied the video sharing platform for a year before creating his own account. He decided to do a marathon stream because few others were doing similar things, and his success came from that.

Arlie Shaban’s Ascent to Stardom

Shaban went from being an unemployed nobody to earning widespread fame for his time in the Canadian Big Brother house in the second season of the show in 2014. He fared quite well in the house and finished the competition in eighth-place. Despite going into the widely-watched TV series believing he would easily take down the grand prize, Shaban was sent packing on the 50th day after receiving five of five votes to evict.

Even though the larger than life housemate failed to top the pile in the social competition, he was able to use his appearance on the show as a springboard for success as a streamer. It was also there that he met another professional poker player, Kevin Martin, whose influence helped Shaban get to where he is now. He has 7,000 followers on Twitch.tv and has been praised by his peers in the industry for his hard work and dedication to the game.

Poker Stats, Challenges and Big Streams

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One of the reasons that Shaban has become immensely popular worldwide is the fact that he is so focused on his work that he doesn’t even stop for a day off. In fact, it was from streaming a crazy 1000 hours of poker in just 125 days without a day off that helped him get to where he is now. Viewers are attracted to his stream because they know he is always going to be there, and his funny personality also helps keep them hooked.

Shaban did note that his epic marathon stream took some toll on his health, however. For the first 40 days, he was still managing to eat clean and go to the gym three to four times per week. By day 80, he had stopped visiting the gym and was ordering food for pretty much every meal and, by day 100, he said that he was doing anything to survive. Poker fans are appreciative of people who put this much effort into playing the game, and Shaban’s hard work certainly didn’t go unnoticed.

To be able to play for such a long time requires players to have a good understanding of variance. This means that there are almost certainly going to be swings of good and bad fortune, and players have to try to not get tilted when luck doesn’t go their way. Poker tips sites advise a measured approach to variance because this will help players deal with bad beats without changing the way they play. However, most poker strategy experts would also advise against going on a long marathon like Shaban did without rest. Tiredness can lead to players making the worst decisions.

Other Streamers who he Competes with for Views

One of Shaban’s main competitors for views is Doug Polk, who is one of the most famous poker streamers in the world and also extremely well-regarded in poker circuits. Polk began his YouTube channel in 2016, and regularly posts streams to it. His main selling point is the way he analyses and breaks down hands so that beginners can understand exactly why professionals do certain things in particular situations.

Polk has many followers on the video platform because he has the credentials to back up what he is saying. When he started out in online poker, he had a bankroll of $20 which he turned into $10,000 by playing $0.01/$0.02 stakes. He has also made the final table of the World Series of Poker five times and has had eleven money finishes in the competition. While players like Polk may be considered competition for Shaban, the former Big Brother man could also look to them for inspiration on ways to improve his own stream.

Arlie Shaban Youtube

Shaban’s impressive ascent to poker stardom looks set to continue with this move to the Run it Up team. It’s a great thing for poker, as interesting characters always help to liven up games. Soon, Shaban could be one of the most recognisable faces in poker.

Arlie Shaban Bio

As our second lead editor, Anna C. Mackinno provides guidance on the stories Great Lakes Ledger reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. If you see a particularly clever title, you can likely thank Anna. Anna received a BA and and MA from Fordham University.