How to spot what’s trending early in poker

How to spot what’s trending early in poker

Most people are tech savvy these days and there are few ‘secrets’ in poker, or any other industry. We all know about the trending feature on Twitter, we all have news sites we check daily and most of us know the zeitgeist of the day.

how to twitterWhich in a way makes it even more important to be first through the door when a new trend appears. Jaime Staples and Jason Somerville managed to get sponsorship from PokerStars because of their early adoption of Twitch. Likewise Doug Polk has become a megastar, and Joe Ingram has become a cult star, because of their early embrace of YouTube, which everyone is now trying to get in on. Few people even bother trying to enter the live reporting game these days, because PokerNews established themselves as the place to go for that very early. I think the books I cowrote with Jared Tendler were successful because Jared is a genius at what he does, but we benefited from having very little competition in the ‘mental game’ space at the time, but there is a lot more now. There are exceptions all the time, of course, but getting in early is always a benefit.

I’m no expert on spotting the next big innovation in poker, in fact I am usually the guy writing about the thing I never predicted, but I do have a few tricks for finding out what is trending or what big stories are breaking in poker that anyone, poker media or operator alike, can benefit from:

Poker Forums

This is blindingly obvious to anyone in the industry, I literally include it for anyone who is joining poker from another industry. I have already written at length as to why I think that poker forums are still more influential than social media in this industry, so I’ll just direct you to that.

eSports & Tech

a3c3b4c9c9This also may seem obvious, but not to everyone. Poker is no longer competing with blackjack or sports betting, it is competing with Instagram, Netflix and Grand Theft Auto. A few years ago referring to poker as an eSport would have been laughable but now it is all over Twitch and YouTube following the same model as video games. We are also seeing the gamification of poker with things like ‘missions’ instead of rakeback, and for that we are following trends in the broader tech industry. I’m by no means an expert in any of this, but I do know that we need to cast a wider net and look at what is happening in the gaming and tech industry to get an idea where poker is going.

to: Kevmath

kevmathAs you will have already seen from my interview with him, Kevin ‘Kevmath’ Mathers is a one man aggregator for what is happening in poker. You have to follow him to get an idea of what is going on in the game.

But if you want to really do your research, you can do a twitter search for who is tweeting to Kevmath (This also shows his own tweets). Everybody goes to him first to ask questions and he is also the person who gets cc’d in by people trying to promote their product. He usually ends up tweeting the stuff out anyway, but you get an interesting snapshot of the industry, especially during the WSOP, when you look at who is bending his ear.

Twitter search in general is a feature more people should use, so this is a good one to start with (as is the generic search term ‘poker’).

PokerScout Suggest News feature

pokerscout-bodog-network-inlinePokerScout is a great resource on its own merit, but you may not have seen this. They have a news aggregator on their homepage, which, again, in and of itself is a great tool also. But what is really interesting is it has a ‘suggest news’ feature where you can try to get your own story featured. What makes it especially useful is you get to see the stories that have been submitted by other people before they get approved or rejected.

This is handy because it is often used by people who are trying to get their story featured ahead of other people. If, for example, a story breaks about PokerStars changing their VIP scheme, you may see three or four news sites all submitting their news article about that. It’s a useful way of spotting a big story early.

The Hendon Mob most popular players

Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 13.01.34You should probably pay more attention to this website beyond looking at how many bracelets John Juanda has won, it is jam packed with data and kudos to Alex Dreyfus for sharing a ton of it, including a lot of surveys he conducts on the site.

But the particularly useful feature for this discussion is their most popular players ranking, which shows the most searched for players in the last seven days. Most of the time Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth etc are at the top of this listing. It’s when an outlier appears you should take notice, it means something interesting is happening. Often it means somebody won a big tournament, but you also spot big stories breaking. This week Salomon Ponte is on this list, and he was a trending story because of his antics on Poker Night in America. A few weeks ago the infamous United Airlines passenger David Dao was at the top of this list, and as a direct result the poker world discovered he was an avid poker player.

It also generously shares the number of searches for each player, which is very useful for giving a snapshot for just how big a story it may be.

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