Top Stories of 2023, #4: New Era of Poker Content is Booming
In the ever-evolving landscape of entertainment, the poker content space has experienced a remarkable surge in popularity in 2023. From engaging poker vloggers to the advent of innovative platforms like "Game of Gold," the poker community is thriving in a new era of excitement and engagement.
We're no longer limited to watching televised tournaments or reading strategy articles. The rise of poker vloggers has ushered in a new era, providing a captivating and personal perspective on the game.
The Rise of Poker Content Creation: Bringing the Game to Life
Vloggers such as Andrew Neeme, Brad Owen, and Ethan "Rampage" Yau, along with a whole list of other pioneers have gained massive followings by sharing their poker adventures, strategy insights, and behind-the-scenes glimpses of the poker lifestyle.
These vloggers offer more than just card-playing action; they provide a narrative that resonates with both seasoned players and newcomers to the game. The combination of poker knowledge, storytelling, and a touch of humor has turned these vloggers into influential figures within the poker community, contributing significantly to the boost in interest as well as bringing new players into the game.
At the inaugural World Series of Poker Paradise, PokerNews spoke to some of the biggest names in the poker content sphere. Daniel Negreanu, Kevin Martin and chess superstar Alexandra Botez gave their thought on the poker content boom and shared their thoughts on how they see it stepping up a gear in the coming years.
What made you want to get into the space?
Botez: "I started playing poker when I was a kid because my dad taught me. Then I got invited to a heads-up championship where they were bringing some content creators in. And basically, I've been playing more and more poker ever since."
Negreanu: "It was natural. It wasn't even something I thought of. It was something I did before anyone called it the content creation space."
Martin: "I love storytelling. I love connecting with people on the internet. But there's a lot of money to be made, and that's the honest truth. I just saw the dollars, and I was like, I knew I could do good at it. So that's a big motivating factor for me.
Why do you think poker content is so sought after now?
Botez: "Everyone's jumping on it. I actually think it's just the start of poker content. I think a lot of people are getting into poker content now, and even though it already looks big, I think it's just the start."
Negreanu: "I mean, there's a lot of cool people doing a lot of cool things. So, it's another way in which you can promote the game. And for a lot of people these days, it's a way to brand themselves that they didn't have, you know, they don't have any anymore like it used to be, get on TV, ESPN. And that's how you make a name for yourself today; you make great content. People love it."
Martin: The industry is booming. There's a lot of money in this industry. Views are very valuable to companies and series. There's just a massive market for it, and everybody is so excited about the game right now. It's just like this big mix of energy. I'm so excited about the poker industry right now."
How do you see it evolving?
Botez: "The next step for poker content that I want to focus on is making it more accessible so that it's not just, you know, the grinders who are watching it, but casual players can enjoy it as well."
Negreanu: "I think with Game of Gold, the show, I think we're gonna have a lot more people think creatively about ways in which we can promote the game that aren't the same cookie cutter methods, right? I mean, I think we'll see a lot more cool reality slash poker stuff in the future."
Martin: "Better storytelling, more characters, not just the strategy of the hands, but like, what does this person mean at this table? What does the money mean? What's their story? And just like, really, that storytelling aspect is just gonna get better and better, and people are realizing that."
Who are some of your favorite poker content creators, and why?
Botez: "I've watched a lot of poker content creators. I really love the way Rampage explains his thought process. I like Daniel's beginner beginner videos. I think they're really accessible. I love what Wolfgang Poker is doing with shorts, and the list goes on.
Negreanu: "We have to be honest here, right? Really nobody except I do sometimes have Fedor Holz's videos come up my feed and, I, I think he's really good at explaining concepts, and I even pick up things every once in a while. I just listen to his stuff. I love Fedor's stuff."
Martin: "Oh man, DNegs is hammering out vlogs. I love the blue-collar poker story. There's a lot of kids trying to spin it up, like Next Gen Poker, I like Frankie Cucchiara all these young kids that are really getting into the game and being creative. There's just like so many people doing good work"
Wolfgang Hits 1M Subscribers
Wolfgang Poker's journey from a passionate poker player to a one-million-subscriber empire builder exemplifies the potential trajectory for poker vlogging in the coming years. As the poker content space continues to expand and evolve, it's anticipated that more creators will follow in Wolfgang Poker's footsteps, leveraging the power of vlogging to not only showcase their poker prowess but also to build engaged and loyal communities.
As Wolfgang Poker's subscriber count continues to climb, the monetization potential of poker vlogging becomes increasingly evident. With one million subscribers, creators like Wolfgang Poker can explore various revenue streams, including sponsorships, partnerships, and merchandise. This opens up new opportunities for collaboration between poker vloggers and the industry, creating mutually beneficial relationships that contribute to the growth of both creators and the poker community.
Poker vlogging, through creators like Wolfgang Poker, is helping reshape the public perception of poker. It's no longer confined to the serious, stoic atmosphere. Instead, it's presented as a dynamic and engaging activity, rich with strategic depth yet accessible to a broader audience. This shift in perception has the potential to bring in the next generation and redefine the way poker is experienced and enjoyed.
Support From the Industry to Keep Up Momentum
In a groundbreaking move for the poker community, major casinos, including ARIA Resort and Casino, Bellagio, and other properties under MGM Resorts International in Las Vegas, have introduced a supportive policy for poker vloggers. This progressive initiative, announced by MGM Resorts Director of Poker Strategy Sean McCormack, signals a shift in the industry's approach towards content creators and their role in showcasing the excitement of poker and casino gaming.
Under the new policy, poker vloggers are permitted to film cash game sessions and tournament runs, as well as other casino activities such as table games and slots. To do so, content creators must undergo an approval process and adhere to specific guidelines.
Before this policy, the absence of clear-cut rules led to uncertainty for poker vloggers seeking to capture content within casino environments. Approval was often at the discretion of individual poker rooms and managers. Now, with established guidelines and approval processes in place, the poker vlogging community has a standardized approach to collaborating with major casinos.
While currently applicable only to MGM Resorts properties in Las Vegas, McCormack envisions the policy expanding to include other locations. He foresees potential partnerships between casinos and content creators, creating a win-win scenario. McCormack stated, "There's a road to where we monetize this for the content creators... a double win-win for the content creators and then a win for the casino."
In embracing poker vloggers, casinos are not just opening their doors to content creators but are also laying the foundation for a collaborative and innovative future where both parties stand to benefit.
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