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Poker is now a neon-lit playground for serious and recreational players alike, a brightly lit world that those who play and those who watch love to experience.
This year, the Global Poker Award for Content Creation is one of the hardest fought gongs that is up for grabs and whoever wins will raise their profile and likely earn five figures in advertising revenue alone from the spike in views.
Put simply, if you’re making poker content that catches on, you might well do even bigger numbers than the money you might win at the felt. But what makes poker content popular? We’ve looked at some popular subjects to create content within, as well as suggesting some more original ideas that aren’t currently overloaded with creators.
There probably isn’t a more popular single stream of video content than the World Series of Poker video blogs that are created by Daniel Negreanu every year in Las Vegas. Now of course, you may not have the network of incredible personalities that Kid Poker does but watch the first of his WSOP 2023 daily diaries and you’ll see that making a good video blog from the World Series relies more on making content engaging for your audience rather than simply including the big names.
Negreanu’s viewcount is obviously insane but don’t let that discourage you. To an extent, Negreanu flouts YouTube’s number one rule, which is to constantly deliver regular content. If you promise fans something, make sure – in the words of Mr. Beast – that you not only deliver on it but exceed the expectation of your audience. Telling viewers that you’re going to document your experience playing across a week at the WSOP the quitting after two days because you bust a tournament is a recipe for disaster. Be sure to go further and make it as exciting as you can.
These days, enjoying an online poker tournament is something that you can do without investing a single cent of your own money. Twitch is packed with poker content and as one of the growing sectors of the streaming platform is playing online poker tournaments while sharing your strategy with viewers online. Bert ‘girafgnager7’ Stevens’ video of him winning a WSOP Online bracelet for the best part of $3 million puts him in line for being rewarded for his poker personality. Players such as Lex Veldhuis have been nominated for a Global Poker Award on the back of entertaining streams and it’s not hard to see why.
Brad Owen is one of a number of players who have made a vlogging career on the back of consistently bringing local cash games to the masses. Filming live cash games at a number of casinos then hosting ‘Meet Up Games’, otherwise known as MUGs, around the United States, Owen, and fellow cash game vlogger Andrew Neeme were both announced as World Poker Tour Global Ambassadors recently.
Owen specifically has 710,000 subscribers and his videos regularly attract between 250,000 and 300,000 views. Those are stunning numbers but Owen built from nothing and you can too. To attract that number of fans will require years at the felt. While the stakes you play might be lower, you can make it just as exciting, with Owen’s winsome charm impossible to replicate but easy to be inspired by.
Those three formats are well-trodden paths. But which areas could you look at that don’t have quite the same backlog of video content? We’ve come up with three ways you could twist a popular subject a little but towards a new direction while staying familiar enough to appeal to poker audiences who already know what they love.
Playing in online tournaments and cash games are already extremely popular, but mixing it up and making your mark in a more niche format that still appeals to millions of players worldwide is a really neat way to grab an audience. There are plenty of names for ultra-short-handed poker, such as Spin N Go or Blast Poker. Playing these type of games immediately cuts your audience to watching you – and your stack – in jeopardy.
Throw in the fact that many of these ways to play short-handed poker provide elements of mystery bounty events and you’re onto a winner. The prizepool is given only to the winner and with the reveal of the cash amount possibly leading to a 1000 x buy-in win, the potential for editing down this footage into highlight reels of your session playing for big wins is self-evident. If you’re a big personality, there could hardly be a better format for consistently showing your audience the extremes of it, from the highs to the lows, every game is packed with potential and doesn’t take hours to reach the business end of poker tournaments.
The best way to appeal to people around the globe on YouTube is to show them the world they live in. Travelogues are a huge way of attracting poker fans and the combination of travel and poker is a nuanced subject that mas mass appeal. Take Xuan Liu’s recent trek across Canada with just $2,000 to her name was phenomenally popular as she bid to win $50,000.
Travel and poker are natural bedfellows and with players often travelling around the world, what they do when they get away from the table is just as exciting. Jake Cody is a great example. From bungee jumping for the first time to gambling $60,000 on the spin of a roulette wheel, Cody’s exploits on and more crucially off the poker felt.
Taking fans around the world, wherever you are exploring, is all about showing them part of the world and its effect on you in a way they haven’t seen before. Stay personal, keep it fresh and you’ll be rewarded with followers.
While many players go around the country playing cash games, not so many go to the casinos and speak with the players who sit at the felt. Over the years, so may videos that focus on the cards have made it big, but ten times as many haven’t, and if you want an instant way int the hearts and minds of poker fans, bring them stories.
Speaking to the players at your local casinos, including up and coming players who aspire to be professional could have the added value of providing a window into the early careers of players who later turn into poker legends. You’ve got to love the game to draw out the reasons people play it, but the dividends are spectacular if you can manage to do so. Interviewing players at the felt might be tricky but if you’re focused on speaking with them between sessions or on breaks, as well as capturing the odd ‘at felt’ moment that mixes it up for your audience, you could really build a niche audience.
There are many ways to attract an audience in the poker world and in terms of content creation, livestreaming or video blogging are both only going to grow in the next decade. Whether you join a format that is already popular and take your place in the canon or develop a new niche to call your own, hard work and dedication will mean one thing – you’re a successful content creator.
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