The rise of poker Vlogs

The rise of poker Vlogs

screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-13-52-58Last year I wrote a series of articles about how I thought Twitch was going to change the poker industry, and I think for the most part I was right, though probably I didn’t comprehend how saturated it would become. Recently I have started to notice the next big trend in poker and that is the YouTube Vlog. In a short space of time we have seen professional poker players documenting their lives on YouTube much in the way that online stars like PewDiePie, Casey Neistat and Phillip De Franco do.

Poker tends to be behind the times with trends like this, but in this particular instance I think the game being allowed on Twitch really opened the door for the YouTube Vlog.

Triple Crown winner Jake Cody has launched a Vlog and it looks like it will be pretty popular. Doug Polk is currently the king of poker Youtube with a really good channel that seems to be pitched really well to serious and less so serious players alike, with a real gamer style to it. Joe Ingram has an interview podcast which is very revealing and feels like the Joe Rogan Podcast. We are also seeing organic YouTube poker stars emerge like TheTrooper97 and Andrew Neeme who quickly appear to have amassed a big following from nowhere (much in the way Jaime Staples did on Twitch). [Read more…]

Working remotely

Working remotely

business-926221_1280Poker really is a global industry and one which I believe was ahead of the curve when it comes to the subject of remote working. I have been fortunate enough to work for PokerNews and PokerStrategy, both of whom from a very early stage had some excellent systems in place for people from all over the world to work together virtually. I also have cowritten two books (with a new one in the works) with Jared Tendler almost exclusively via Skype as there is an Atlantic Ocean between us.

Working remotely has its benefits and limitations. I have been lucky enough to work with some great people who have taught me a lot about remote working, some advice of which I’ll share today: [Read more…]

Will people pay to watch live poker?

Will people pay to watch live poker?

This is a cross-post from my PokerStrategy.com column about the Global Poker Index’s new plans to turn poker into a paid spectator sport:

This week the Global Poker Index announced their ambitious plans for the Global Poker League next year. In an attempt to turn live poker into a genuine spectator sport, they plan to showcase 14 weeks of team events, some of which are played in a sealed off cube where hole cards are shown to a live audience in real time. The players will be standing, there will be a shot clock and the cards will be digital.

Most interesting of all, some of these events are scheduled to take place in large venues. The players will be paid a wage rather than buy into the event.They will be paid by revenues made from sponsorships, tickets sold to the events and merchandise.

Poker has lots of parallels with sport, especially the televised form. However, until now, nobody has tried to grow the game selling tickets to watch it live, as happens in traditional sports. The business model of all live poker events involve getting the viewers to somewhere down the line play in those events, or at the linked online poker room.

Is poker really the sort of game that people would pay to watch live? [Read more…]

Twitch and Live Poker with Alex Dreyfus

Twitch and Live Poker with Alex Dreyfus

alex-dreyfus-3-f5_orig_f5The Unibet Open and the European poker Tour have both, so far, streamed live events on Twitch, but the Global Poker Masters was the first live event which had the look and feel of being a genuine ‘Twitch’ event.

The GPI Twitch page attracted over 1.2 million views in the two days it aired, with a peak viewership of over 10,000. I spoke with Global Poker Index boss Alex Dreyfus to learn more about the partnership:

“When we launched the Global Poker Masters it was June 2014, it had been in my mind for two years. We started to look at Twitch in September 2014 when Amazon acquired them. I met the Management Team in December and discovered we had the same vision for poker, so we could work together. 

There were a few poker events already on Twitch, but we the first to be endorsed by and really embrace Twitch. There was a Twitch banner during the event, the head of Twitch poker at the press conference etc. There was a rich partnership, that’s why they pushed us a lot. To be honest our traffic was not organic it was pushed on the homepage for two days which gave us the exposure we got.” [Read more…]

How Felix Schneiders is changing the format of Twitch poker

How Felix Schneiders is changing the format of Twitch poker

10982217_848506261855489_6599968265821954536_nCurrently I believe the three most interesting people to watch on Twitch are Jason Somerville, Jaime Staples and Felix “xflixx” Schneiders. Somerville because he is the superstar of Twitch, Staples because he is the organic Twitch success and today I speak with Schneiders, whom I believe is doing the most interesting things with the format of Twitch Poker.

I speak with Felix very early in the morning, which is both a rarity for poker players in general, and Twitch broadcasters. With a predominantly US based audience, the most successful Twitch streams take place at US friendly times. However, as a European, Schneiders streams much earlier than the competition. Is this by design or simply because it fits his schedule?

“I tend to stick with a normal daily routine with my poker times. I get up early, I start my poker stuff at nine AM after breakfast, I’ll have a lunch break, then go back to playing/coaching/working on my game. So it’s mainly that my own schedule fits this Twitch schedule, I felt it was important that I was fresh enough to present in a way that’s entertaining and in the zone. When I play late I don’t focus that easy.”  [Read more…]