Ask any aspiring poker player how they improve in 2023, and you’ll invariably hear one website referenced as a source of both entertainment and inspiration – YouTube. While we would love to pump our own tires and go over all the great content players can find at the Tight Poker YouTube channel, we are going to use this blog to shine light on other great channels in the space.
AN INTRODUCTION TO POKER ON YOUTUBE
It feels like YouTube has been around forever, but in actual fact, it was only introduced to the world on Valentine’s Day – February 14, 2005, by Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim. Coming less than two years after Chris Moneymaker changed the poker landscape forever, YouTube had a major influence on poker content. While much of the game was still broadcast on television, YouTube became a major channel for poker to spread its wings. That is still the case today, with poker bigger than ever on the platform.
UNDERSTANDING POKER CHANNELS
Content on the platform diversified interest in poker and multiplied it too. There are:
Educational poker channels; andEntertainment poker channels
YouTube is a place for every type of poker fan, and there really is something for everyone in poker on the platform.
The impact of YouTube on poker has been substantial and long-term. Poker crossovers involving Twitch streamers such as Fortnite player Ninja, YouTube sensation Mr. Beast, and many others such as chess queen Alexandra Botez are now commonplace. Poker and YouTube, naturally collaborative brands, are now fully aligned, and their personalities are some of the most influential players in the game.
TOP EDUCATIONAL POKER CHANNELS
There are few better poker players to learn from than Jaime Staples when it comes to your poker education. With just under 100,000 subscribers, Staples’ flair for educating players in online poker as he plays tournaments is legendary. He covers online poker tournaments and makes decisions that are ones that regular or recreational players can learn from. He’s also previously entertained his fans with prop bets and other challenges, such as the weight loss bet with high roller and hedge fund guru Bill Perkins that went down in poker history.
Andrew Neeme is another great player to learn from, and in a completely different way. Neeme’s lifestyle is funded by his ability to both win at cash games in the live casino and get on with people. If the second part of that sentence sounds lightweight, don’t be fooled. With 192,000 subscribers and a national swathe of fans who regularly show up to Neeme and Brad Owen’s ‘Meet Up Game’ (MUG) nights, both Neeme and Owen were signed by the World Poker Tour as ambassadors on this basis. Oh, and both Neeme and Owen co-own The Lodge Poker Club in Texas with another YouTube legend on our list. Can you guess who?
TOP ENTERTAINING POKER CHANNELS
Whatever type of poker channel you’re looking for on YouTube, it’s almost impossible not to love watching the antics of Ryan DePaulo. Calling himself a ‘degenerate gambler’ in his bio, DePaulo’s front-facing snarky look at the lifestyle of the poker rich and famous is hilarious. Beneath this mask of hilarity, however, beats the heart of a truly superb poker player. DePaulo once won a WSOP Online bracelet using the signal in a car park from the nearest shopping mall, and his skills at the felt are legendary. He’ll make you laugh and go ‘Wow’ in every video, we guarantee it.
As far as poker entertainment goes, while we love an offbeat commentator such as DePaulo, we also think there’s huge value in keeping a bona fide poker broadcasting legend on your subscribed list. Of them all, we’d recommend PokerGO higher than anyone else. With highlights of huge events such as the Poker Masters, U.S. Poker Open, and Super High Roller Bowl.
In their purpose-built PokerGO Studio at ARIA in Las Vegas, there’s all the high roller action you could ever wish for, along with clips from classic shows that the channel has rebooted, such as High Stakes Poker and Poker After Dark. Added to that, PokerGO also hosts the big one – the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, regularly sharing the biggest hands as they happen, along with winners’ stories and the odd unscheduled final table in full. The channel is unmissable for poker fans around the world.
TOP INFLUENTIAL POKER VLOGGERS
The best kind of Poker YouTubers are the most active, and video blogs are a great way of keeping fans entertained and growing an audience. Top of the shop, with 782,000 subscribers is Kid Poker himself, Daniel Negreanu. The six-time WSOP champion is a must-watch during the World Series of Poker as his home – at first, it was his Winnebago! – in Sin City becomes the set of a poker reality show par excellence. Co-starring his wife Amanda, the Canadian poker legend’s journey to either bracelet heaven or bust-out hell is one he negotiates with flair and good humor.
With a much smaller audience of 14,000 subscribers but no less magnetism, poker coach and long-time professional Lexy Gavin-Mather is an inspiration to many on YouTube. She is a passionate poker player and has helped thousands of players improve their poker games, but she is also someone who loves to travel and is bags of fun, entertaining poker fans for many years as she shares her life in the game with her husband. Wholesome, aspirational, and highly relatable, Gavin-Mather is a YouTube star.
RISING STARS IN THE POKER YOUTUBE SCENE
YouTube isn’t just a great place for poker fans to get their fix. It’s a superb way for poker content creators to allow their creative juice to flow freely and even influence others to take up the mic. Award-winning comedy account Greg Goes All-In is a fine example. A couple of years ago, he had no subscribers, now he has 81,000 subscribers hanging on his every word and since the original COVID lockdown, has won a Global Poker Award. He’s perhaps the funniest poker YouTuber out there.
Poker presenter, broadcaster, and professional Jeff Gross has 118,000 subscribers and with his blend of interviews with legends such as Chris Moorman, Bill Perkins, and Brian Rast, GG MILLION$ commentary and viral videos, Gross is a man who succinctly provides a great perspective on the game of poker few can compare to. Already established in the content creation sector, it might seem wrong to call him a rising star… but his star is very much still on the rise!
THE YOUTUBE GENERATION
We can’t leave you to your search for your perfect poker YouTube playlist before mentioning two of the best in the business. With 400,000 subscribers, Doug Polk’s blend of arch comedy and investigative journalism is some of the funniest, most relevant content you’ll find online. Polk is a big friend of Joey Ingram who has 153,000 people subscribing to his channel on a regular basis. Ingram and Polk have collaborated at times but it is worth following each man as they are often at the cutting edge of scandals such as the Mike Postle investigation which eventually led to a manhunt for the alleged poker cheat.
Poker and YouTube go together like strawberries and cream, or like Phil Ivey and a thousand-yard stare. With content creators at their creative peak in 2023, the platform is home to the bulk of poker’s great entertainers, with poker strategy videos, comedic shorts, tournament highlights, live-streamed cash games, poker investigations, and other formats attracting millions of views. The future of poker is likely to become clearest on the cutting edge platform that YouTube and other social media platforms provide.