Twitch.tv has had a pronounced effect on poker with online stars like Jason Somerville and Jaime Staples amassing legions of fans logging in to witness the grind.
Now a select group of poker players are taking it to the streets.
Or more accurately the real-life felt.
Vlogging is the latest trend when it comes to letting people behind-the-scenes of the professional poker lifestyle.
The format has actually been around for years but Jake Cody, Trooper97 and even old-school pros such as Mike Matusow have taken it one step further and started shooting footage at the poker tables.
How Does Vlogging Work?
Vloggers use their phones to shoot video of themselves at home, driving to poker rooms, actual poker sessions and post-session drives. Basically everything surrounding the live cash game live style.
The raw video footage is usually edited and posted to YouTube. Sometimes Vloggers opt for the completely live approach with apps like Periscope.
While Twitch.tv poker is primarily limited to the online world, Vloggers usually feature live poker.
It’s a surprisingly compelling. Vlogging provides a deeply personal look at the professional poker lifestyle with some live legit live game strategy thrown into the mix.
Is it legal?
It’s kind of a gray area as most casinos aren’t exactly thrilled with people taking photos in poker rooms let alone video but it’s difficult to enforce.
Noted Vlogger Andrew Neeme put it this way: “It’s better to ask for forgiveness than ask permission.”
Once casinos catch on it may be more difficult for high-profile poker pros to actually record at the table so enjoy it while you can. On the other hand it may be difficult for casinos to clamp down as much as they would like if everyone is doing it.
For the time being we’ve compiled a short list of some of a variety of poker Vloggers to get you started.
Edit: We'll be adding more to this list periodically.
Doug “WCGRider” Polk
Love him or hate him, Doug Polk crushes YouTube.
He’s one of the most successful poker personalities to ever start churning out videos on YouTube.
His hot takes and controversial opinions have helped push his videos to hundreds of thousands of views.
Recently Polk also started tipping his toes into the Vlogger pool with a few select videos from around the globe.
Polk travels extensively so his Vlogs usually benefit from an interesting back drop. Polk is also one of the select few players that plays some of the biggest games in the world (Negreanu would also be in that category) so he’ll do some videos straight from real-life games that mere mortals can only dream of playing.
It’s definitely worth checking out if you’re into WCGRider.
Where to watch: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyI7FNTudkyALBh9N7hwI9Q
What’s on tap: Walk and talk, high-stakes cash games, travel
Locations: Las Vegas, Vancouver, the world
By now there’s a very good chance you’re familiar with Jaime “PokerStaples” Staples as a Twitch streamer but he’s also been producing a large number of Vlogs in the last year.
For those who don’t know Staples was one of the original poker streamers on Twitch and parlayed his channel into a position with Team PokerStars Online.
It’s been a fascinating journey for Staples who went from quietly streaming online poker in Canada to traveling the entire globe for PokerStars and rubbing shoulders with famous poker players like Bill Perkins and Jeff Gross on the fabled “Streamboat.”
As a result Staples has been posting some pretty exceptional Vlogs from places like Monte Carlo, Prague, Vienna and more.
Post of Staples Vlogs focus on poker lifestyle and locations as well as behind-the-scenes material.
That’s not to even mention a certain $150,000 weight loss bet Staples made with Perkins.
Staples is also a very consistent Vlogger, which makes him a great follow for those looking for constant poker action.
Where to watch: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTiJxFuhWS1zZSUoHc25mIA
What’s on tap: Lifestyle, behind-the-scenes, traveling, prop bets, interviews
Locations: Canada, PokerStars tournaments, the world
Here’s a poker Vlogger you may have heard of.
Daniel Negreanu was actually posting YouTube videos before the Vlogger explosion started by Jake Cody, Trooper and Andrew Neeme.
In 2017 Negreanu decided to revive his old YouTube channel and start videos again.
Negreanu plays in games that virtually no other Vlogger does so he has some insight that you won’t find anywhere else.
He also is more than happy to give top-tier strategy in his Poker Tips section.
Negreanu also more tradition Vlog content where he’ll give viewers some insight into his life with first-hand accounts of big tournaments, poker trips and even just day-to-day life in Las Vegas.
You never know who might pop up on his Vlog as high rollers Jason Koon, Dan Shak and Dan Colman have all made appearances.
Pretty much a must-follow.
Where to watch: https://www.youtube.com/user/DNegreanu
What’s on tap: Poker strategy, High Roller lifestyle, Vegas
Locations: Las Vegas, Bahamas, Canada, the world
Jake Cody is basically the guy who kicked off this recent trend with his “Pilot” episode in early November of 2016.
Cody wasn’t the first Vlogger by any means but his very personal style and easy-going nature were an instant hit.
The Brit’s poker credentials are very legit in the Vlogging world with $4.1m in lifetime live tournament earnings including the coveted triple crown (WSOP, EPT and WPT wins). Not to mention the Team PokerStars Pro status.
So far Cody has shown off his live cash game chops at various casinos. He’s also very introspective about his career and how he got into poker.
His passion for poker is contagious and after watching a couple of his videos you’ll likely want to take a trip to closest poker room.
Very stylish videos too.
Where to watch: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGEjxUUwNBrkrTuerhrIm5Q
What’s on tap: Live cash games, tournaments, strategy, Q&As, self-reflection
Locations: London, Florida, international poker circuit
TheTrooper97 is the people’s champion.
A down-to-earth grinder, Trooper97 gives viewers the inside scoop on Las Vegas with reviews of poker rooms, casinos, hotels and even buffets.
Trooper97 has been Vlogging for years (his earliest videos go back to 2012) but he’s currently embedded in Vegas and providing an in-depth look at the town and the poker scene.
Watching Trooper97 is a very interactive experience and he regularly answers fans’ questions in Q&A sessions.
Where to watch: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheTrooper97Vlog
What’s on tap: Poker, buffets, restaurant reviews
Locations: Las Vegas
Andrew Neeme is a thoughtful dude.
He avoids some of the jump cuts and over-the-top antics of many popular Vloggers for intelligent discussion about all facets of poker including strategy, tournaments vs. cash games or even the legality of filming at the table.
Neeme himself has been a poker professional for eight years in Las Vegas so he draws on a wealth of experience in the area.
He’s also got a chill style for explaining aspects of poker including some strategy and bankroll management.
Once again Las Vegas is a very cool background for any sort of Vlog and it’s featured in a very prominant way in Neeme’s work.
Where to watch: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLTP4Ns4v8EsVS0DVGugQrQ
What’s on tap: Poker, hand reports, lifestyle
Locations: Based in Las Vegas, some California
If you’re a poker fan then you definitely know Mike “The Mouth” Matusow.
Matusow is not exactly a Vlogger per se but he has taken to Periscoping some of the high-stakes games he plays.
The Mouth is pretty much our only window into these games (outside of photos). Phil Hellmuth, Todd Brunson, Minh Ly and numerous others make appearances in his videos.
They aren’t the most professional-looking videos but they’re definitely a raw look at the extremely high-stakes world that Matusow has
Where to watch: https://www.periscope.tv/themouthmatusow/1gqxvRBLkdzxB?
What’s on tap: High-stakes cash games, politics
Locations: Las Vegas (Aria, Bellagio specifically)