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How To Start A Poker Vlog

How to become a poker vlogger

So you want to join the digital revolution and turn your favorite hobby – poker – into something more by learning how to become a poker vlogger. Assuming that you already know what is a vlog, let’s break down this honorable goal by examining exactly what is required to become a professional poker vlogger. We’ll weigh the pros and cons of the required journey vs simply being a poker player.

How To Make Money As A Vlogger Vs As A Poker Player

As a regular non-vlogging poker player, profits are primarily going to come from two related but distinct avenues: money won at the table and rakeback/rewards.

1. Playing – this one is obvious, assuming you have an edge over your opponents, the vast majority of your profits are going to come from simply sitting down and outplaying the other players at the tables. The amount of money that you can earn is limited only by your talent-level, willingness to study, size of bankroll and, of course, variance. This is true whether you aim to be an online or live holdem poker pro.

2. Rakeback/rewards – similarly, putting in serious hours at the table will also allow you to bolster your playing profits with an all-important rewards system (like the one found at Americas Cardroom). Getting a good rewards program will also help sustain your bankroll during the inevitable swings found in such a variance-heavy game.

Meanwhile, making money from vlogging comes in a number of different forms:

1. Ad revenue – although it can take quite some time to see the fruits of your labor as it relates to ad revenue, by continuously creating new video content and building an audience, it is only a matter of time before you can eclipse YouTube’s 1000 subscriber threshold and begin monetizing your poker vlogs.

2. Affiliate deals – do you use any poker software? Are you a member of a specific poker training site? Have you bought your favorite card-protector on Amazon? If so, it’s never too early to build yourself some referral/affiliate links to share with your audience. And you don’t have to be among the world’s poker masters to cash in. However, before you rush out to shill any old product or platform, remember to take a long-view approach and only recommend things you truly believe in. Nothing would be worse than building a strong audience only to lose it all by promoting items or services that won’t bring your viewers real value.

3. Advertising/Sponsorship – while it may take some time to earn yourself attention from the larger players in the poker space, building an engaged community while putting out entertaining or educational content (ideally both!) and then reaching out to operators in your niche to outline how partnering with you could bring them value should eventually lead to finding an advertising partner with a similar vision.

4. Merch – with the advent of drop-shipping-style merchandising platforms such as Teespring and Redbubble doing all the heavy lifting, it’s never been easier to create some cool and trendy designs and offer them to your audience. Be it a hoodie for those cold casino floors, a cool new visor for the hot Vegas sun, or a water-bottle reading ‘poker legend’, equipping your audience with your favorite merch is only a few clicks away.

Poker Vloggers

Explore current trends

Before taking on the task of becoming a poker vlogger, it’s advisable you spend a significant amount of time reviewing the type of poker vlogging content that already exists on YouTube as a way to explore the current trends in the format and the type of content audiences appear to value most. It wouldn’t hurt to get familiar with a video gaming blog or two if you need a little extra inspiration. Some poker blogs will be more about the experience of being a poker player, while others still will focus on the educational aspect itself, such as strictly online poker tournament strategy. With that in mind, here are two of the top poker vloggers in the industry:

1. Andrew Neeme

Although he may not have been the first poker player to record himself playing, there’s no question that Andrew Neeme’s mega-popular YouTube vlog was a catalyst for many others. Offering a perfect mix of entertainment and education, Neeme’s vlog showcases the life of a full-time grinder bouncing from casino to casino in an effort to find the best games and biggest edges.

2. Brad Owen

With Andrew Neeme’s poker vlog exploding in popularity, it’s no surprise that one of his good friends – Brad Owen – decided to get in on the action as well and was able to find immediate success. In contrast to Andrew’s vlog – which takes a light-hearted but more serious approach to poker content – Owen’s style is much more comedic and laid back, making the two vlogs perfectly complementary for fans of the poker vlog format.

What's Harder, Starting A Vlog Or Becoming A Poker Player?

Well, to put it simply, becoming a profitable poker player is infinitely more difficult than starting a poker vlog, as it requires not just commitment to the task but a definitive edge over the vast majority of your competitors.

However, don’t let the comparison fool you, although the first steps of becoming a poker vlogger may be easier – requiring nothing more than a camera (or smartphone) and some basic editing techniques – making significant income from it is nearly as difficult. In fact, one could make an argument that it’s actually harder to succeed as a poker vlogger since it generally requires the assistance of an outside force – be it YouTube to show your videos to enough viewers, or a company willing to advertise through your channel – whereas being profitable at the poker table demands only that you develop the necessary skills and put in enough hands to overcome the extreme variance inherent in such a volatile pastime.

How To Start A Vlog – Vlogging Tips

Decide on your niche

So you’ve decided to take the plunge and commit to starting a poker vlog. What’s next? Well, while the answer to that question will depend on a whole host of varying factors, here are some of the key things to keep in mind as you begin outlining how to start a vlog.

1. Decide on your niche or area of focus – will you focus your vlog on live holdem poker? How about hand analysis? Will you just replay poker hands that are particularly noteworthy? Will you be streaming on all platforms? Just on ACR poker? Will you feature no limit hold’em? How about Omaha poker? Will you become the satellite events king of the internet or will you showcase only big tournaments? Regardless of which way you choose to go, it’s important to have a plan before you begin.

2. Plan your content methodology – do you want to tell a specific story or are you comfortable just recording everything and letting the story tell itself during the editing stage? Do you want inadvertently end up with the longest twitch stream or YouTube video?

3. Get your recording supplies – it’s important to have a good camera, but avoid spending a ton of money until you’ve gotten in a groove and are certain you’ll be doing it for a long time. A smartphone will do just fine in the meantime. You may also want to pick up a decent mic if you plan on doing a lot of speaking or want to pick up the sounds in a casino or live game.

4. Film everything – you never know what you’ll need until you’re sitting in the editing room reviewing all the footage and at that point it’s already too late, so film anything and everything you may need and leave the big decisions for the next stage of the process (you can ignore this if you already possess a very strong outline of the video you’d like to create and thus are unlikely to need much extra footage).

One thing to remember during the filming stage is to capture a lot of “B-roll” or extra footage of people, places, or things, that you can include throughout the vlog to make it more aesthetically pleasing and give it a ‘fuller’ feel. And if you don’t know where to begin your vlogging content, simply search for ‘poker tournaments near me’ and select one such event as your first stop, as everyone loves to see some live poker tournament results (many casino tournaments will have a very reasonable entry fee that will allow you to get your content underway without breaking the bank).

5. Editing – many amateur poker vloggers believe the content itself is what matters most but the truth is that all the magic happens in the editing room. If you are new to vlog editing, accept that it’s going to feel difficult at first and that the first few videos are likely going to underwhelm your expectations. However, the more you work at it, the more tutorials you read, the more how-to videos you watch, the better your content will become. The aim in the beginning isn’t to make a poker vlog masterpiece, but to begin building up the skills that will eventually allow you to do so, so take things slow and stay persistent.

6. More More More – speaking of persistence, the final piece of the puzzle is exactly that. Just like the cure for a bad bout of variance at the poker table is putting in more volume (as well as studying of course), so too is the cure for a lack of views or followers putting out more content. For this reason, do not spend any time worrying about what the analytics say at first and instead commit to a certain number of vlogs – maybe 10 to start…. or maybe 50 – and allow yourself to focus exclusively on growing as a vlog artist.

Now that you have a good idea of how to start a poker vlog, let’s take a look at some common questions new vloggers may have about the process.

Is vlogging a good idea?

If you’re passionate about it, absolutely! But, as with most things in life, if you’re coming up with vlog ideas just for the ad revenue or similar rewards, it’s unlikely you’ll remain motivated long enough to bear the fruits of your labor. So stay focused on self-improvement rather than the views and let the platforms deal with the results, at least for the first (long) while.

What do you need to start vlogging?

Decide on your niche

While many inexperienced vloggers feel that they must have top of the line equipment to compete in the competitive vlog landscape, the reality is that all you really need is an interesting concept, a basic camera such as your phone, editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro, as well as potentially a basic mic and recording light depending on the setting for most of your recording. Anything beyond that can wait until much later in the vlogging process.

How to get good music for vlogs

Fortunately, these days there are a near infinite number of places to find good music for vlogs including YouTube’s own music library and special music sites for vloggers such as Soundstripe. Additionally, you can always search for ‘copyright free music’ on YouTube itself and ‘rip’ the audio from it within your editing process (most editing software applications have a feature that will do this instantly) for your vlog music needs. And although it’s not music per se, you may want to watch poker online and use very short clips within your own vlog creations.

How to make money vlogging about video games

Much the same way you would vlog about poker (or any other topic), simply decide on a story you’d like to tell, put out good content at scale, and collect ad revenue or sponsorships once you’ve built your audience to a large enough size.

Is it legal to stream poker in the US?

Absolutely. In fact, many vloggers and poker content creators use clips of their Twitch poker streams or YouTube live streams within their web vlog.

How to become a popular streamer

As covered in the vlogging section, the key to becoming a popular poker streamer is to first select your niche, then work within common trends in that niche to create streams that are either entertaining or educational (ideally both!).

Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind what your target audience wants to watch and try to give it to them as much as possible while remaining authentic to your own style and interests. One way to go about doing that is to watch top twitch streams within your niche and observe how these streamers showcase their own personalities.

Post your streams on youtube

Beyond that, it’s critical to stay consistent as that is something all platforms value, so stick to a schedule that both the platforms and your viewers can easily get behind and support. Don’t forget to expand your reach to as many platforms as possible: post your streams to YouTube, post clips on Instagram or Twitter (consider tagging the platforms themselves in your content, such as the Americas Cardroom Twitter account), and don’t forget to engage with all those communities as much as possible.

Finally, and above all else, stay authentic and have fun! If you don’t, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to outwork the more passionate streamers who truly love creating their content. So make sure to focus not just on content you think will perform best, but on the kind that gets your own creative juices flowing.

Best of luck and enjoy the ride!