Ontario Online Poker Player Growing Game As PokerStars Ambassador

Ontario Online Poker Player Growing Game As PokerStars Ambassador
By Sean Chaffin
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

Arlie Shaban is no stranger to getting some attention. He was a cast member of the Canadian version of the Big Brother reality show in 2014. He then jumped head-first into Twitch poker streaming in 2017 that saw him basically lock himself in his apartment and stream 125 straight days, over 1,000 hours.

The poker pro from Toronto is now living the dream of many poker players, playing as a PokerStars Ontario ambassador. He spoke with OntarioBets.com from the recent European Poker Tour stop in Barcelona, Spain, about poker and life on stream. He even offered some tips for Ontario online poker players.

Life on the Poker Stream

Behind the mic, Shaban brings an affable and outgoing personality to his streaming channel. As seen on many poker Twitch streams, challenges have become a big part of the mix and that goes for this streamer as well. These allow fans a chance to follow the action over a long time. Streamers can work to progress and viewers can follow a kind of narrative during each session. Shaban has already added another challenge and is working to finish it off soon.

“I'm doing a $100,000 profit challenge,” he said. “That one is about 70% done right now and it's just like an ongoing thing so I can tally for the viewers to watch along.”

Potential Ontario online casino prop bets with other Stars streamers may also be in the works. Fitting for his outgoing personality, Shaban has been adding some poker commentary to his resume. He says he’s enjoying adding more to his multimedia approach. 

“I love commentary,” he said. “I love being behind the camera, just anything off the cuff because I livestream for a living, so I'm just always used to 10 hours behind the camera. So, any avenue where I can do more of that fits with my personality.”

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Ontario Online Poker Scene

Shaban initially had some reservations about playing in a “ringed-in” poker market in the province, but he has taken the change in stride. His win percentage has actually risen since the casino apps Ontario market shifted.

“Ontario is still incredibly lucrative,” he said. “The game has just gotten so soft once we got closed off from the rest of the global pool, and I'm just putting in massive amounts of volume now. I was feeling it out at the beginning and it was going well. But I started getting a lot of coaching this year from a couple different poker coaches and it’s really accelerating my game. Now I'm just playing as much as possible while the games are as lucrative as they are.”

Shaban doesn’t pretend to be some kind of poker savant. On a stream, he breaks down hands and also makes note of his mistakes. However, he says players who play a solid game should be rewarded in the Ontario online poker market: “If you're playing properly, you're just going to be making money,” he said.

Poker Tips for Ontario Players

Considering jumping in the Ontario online poker market? Shaban offered a few tips to help score some success.

  • Preflop ranges: ”Just learn when to open, what chips, what stack size off of what hand. That'll help a lot.”
  • Bankroll management: “You don't want to go broke too quickly, so you have to play games not above your means.”
  • Game selection: “The way game selection works is there'll be games throughout the schedule where you'll find there are really small pools and only good players in them. The bigger the guarantee there is in a game, the more recreational players wind up in that pool. So if there's ever a $100 game with 30 players or a $100 game with 200 players, you always want to play the one with 200. Because the one with 30 will want way more regs. I didn't understand that when I first started playing and I was always choosing the small ones because I was thinking, ‘Oh, I can get to the end quicker,’ not realizing that I'm getting feasted on by these really high quality players.”

For more poker coverage as well as reviews of Ontario sports betting apps, keep OntarioBets.com bookmarked.

Photo courtesy of Eloy Cabacas/PokerStars



Sean Chaffin is a longtime freelance writer, editor, and former high school journalism teacher. He has covered the poker and gaming industry for many years. Follow him on Twitter at @PokerTraditions.

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