Deal the Doctor In: Michigan Online Poker Player Goes From Research Lab to Twitch Stream
Michigan resident Dan Schill isn’t the average Twitch poker streamer. At night he grinds on the legal poker sites offered in the Wolverine State, but takes on a whole different challenge during the day.
“I am a biomedical researcher at the University of Michigan as my day job,” Schill says. “I study bipolar disorder.”
Schill has a doctorate in cell and developmental biology and works on cutting edge science for research projects. The Twitch streamer spoke with USPoker about his unique dual role in poker and science.
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Online poker success in a new market
Online poker launched in Michigan in 2021 and the 31-year-old father from Whitmore Lake took advantage of the new market. He currently plays poker on PokerStars, BetMGM, and WSOP.com. Schill’s online screen name – “DrDad1819” – certainly seems fitting for his life as a dad and a scientist.
“The 1819 signifies getting my Ph. D. in 2018 and the birth of my son in 2019,” he says.
Even though he has a full time job, Schill puts in some serious work on the virtual tables. Lately he’s been on a tear and has made some noise in the Michigan market. Some of those standout 2022 events include:
- $50 PokerStars SCOOP 32-M (April 28) – 1st for $1,928
- $215 WSOP Sunday PKO (June 5) – 1st for $5,116
- $100 PokerStars (May 29) – 1st for $8,222
- $20 MGM Super PKO (May 15) – 1st for $1,137
- $250 PokerStars High Roller (May 1) – 2nd for $4,324
“Winning my first series event on PokerStars Michigan during SCOOP this year really stands out to me,” Schill says. “I do a majority of my volume on PokerStars, so it was awesome to get a series win there and get in a Tweet from the official PokerStars USA account.”
Schill had to overcome some top Michigan players including multiple WSOP Circuit ring winner Corey Paggeot.
“The final table was full of excellent players including several friends of my stream and Corey from Solve for Why,” he says, “so taking that one down was really special.”
College poker & studying the game
Originally from Oak Creek, Wisconsin, Schill grew up playing card games with his father. A few years later the Moneymaker boom caught his attention.
“During college and graduate school I would play occasional home games, live cash, and a few live tournaments, but hadn’t really studied the game to that point,” he says. “When I heard Michigan was launching regulated online poker, I really dove back into the game.”
Schill works to balance life, poker, and work. He takes the game seriously and studies on a regular basis.
“This year I began working with a coach, Alex, aka Schwibbs,” he says. “He is a fellow BBZ Poker student and an excellent player on the Pennsylvania regulated sites.
“We typically have sessions once a month and I think he has helped me a lot. He is a member of TSR poker, a poker organization consisting of a group of really good players from Pennsylvania.”
So far, those studies have paid off.
Branching out to Twitch
It’s no secret that Twitch has become a more important part of the game for online poker operators. In the US, that’s meant more players streaming their action in recent years and some even earning ambassador roles.
Schill started as a Twitch poker fan and then decided to give it a shot himself. Streamers like Jaime Staples, Ben “Spraggy” Spragg, and David Kaye for serving as sources of inspiration. His father also served as some special motivation as well.
“When I first started playing online I would call and update him on any big scores I had,” he says. “I told him I would set a stream, so he could follow along more closely. Unfortunately, I didn’t get it set up before he passed away last August, but he was a big reason why I wanted to pursue it.”
Schill is a big proponent of giving back as well and has streamed many charity fundraising events. He’s helped raise money for organizations such as Wisconsin Humane Society and the Dementia Society of America in memory of his mother.
“Our most recent charity stream was for the Otsego County United Way disaster relief Fund to support those impacted by a recent tornado in Gaylord, Michigan, and we raised $230,” he says. “A big thank you to members of my community that have contributed to these efforts.”
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Plans for 2022 and beyond
When it comes to hitting the tables, Schill primarily considers himself an online player. However, he does plan on attacking some live events this year.
That included attending several live tour stops in Michigan including the Mid-States Poker Tour at Firekeepers Casino later in the year. The poker-playing scientist remains focused on his goals and plans for his stream.
“I have to be strategic with scheduling trips with both work and family, but would love to make it out to Vegas or some circuit stops at some point. However, currently my main focus is online and content creation with my Twitch channel.”
Schill tries to inspire others who may not have enough time in life to pursue their dreams and hobbies. Showcasing a nice win in an entertaining way is a nice added bonus.
He says: “Sharing the experience of winning a big tournament with my community and the Twitch poker community is awesome.”
Schill grinds regularly online on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sundays at 8 pm ET. Click here to check out his channel.