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That's What She Said: Can Being Vulnerable Make You a Better Player?

Andrew Neeme

After writing about the epidemic of boring poker a few weeks back, I started thinking about some of the great content out there.

There has been a significant evolution of poker content over the years and I wanted to highlight what I see as positive trends. Because there are some really exciting things happening out there.

Just look at how far the World Series of Poker content has come.

What started out as commentary and observations because there were no hole cards, has morphed into the Main Event final table broadcasting every single hand ... live!

I think it's the vlogumentary-style content that is inspiring people and captivating interest.

Also look at this year's American Poker Awards where the new categories Poker's Biggest Influencer and Video Blogger of the Year are clearly designed to award those making a difference in the industry.

Cary Katz took home the trophy for Poker's Biggest Influencer for his commitment to providing innovative content through Poker Central.

Poker Central also claimed victory in the Poker Media Content of the Year Category for Dead Money: A Super High Roller Bowl Story.

And then there's Andrew Neeme. His name was called twice as the winner of Video Blogger of the Year and the People's Choice Award.

What does this tell me? That content matters. It should probably tell you the same thing.

Upon further reflection, I think it's the vlogumentary-style content that is inspiring people and captivating interest.

For instance, I was tasked with watching Dead Money for an assignment. Just a few minutes into the first episode, I was hooked.

I ended up binge-watching the whole thing.

In one sitting. Without cocktails.

So, how good is Dead Money? Well, I am several episodes behind on Grey's Anatomy and Scandal and never once thought to switch - that's how good it is.

But what exactly is it about Dead Money or Neeme's vlog that gets my attention and keeps it?

I attribute it to the vulnerability that both Matt Berkey and Neeme share and the access to the complete picture.

Berkey's adventure as he prepared for the Super High Roller Bowl and Neeme's honest look at his sessions are real. They both have some fun moments, they are sometimes poignant, and frequently thoughtful.

In the end, I felt I connected to them and their journies.

I related to what they were feeling, I was gifted with a glimpse into their thought process and I got lost in their story.

That's what happens with good content. You become part of the story.

Have you ever read a book and dreaded the end because you didn't want to say goodbye to the characters? Yeah ... that. That's the magic.

Neeme's most popular vlog has 352,000 views on YouTube

Neeme's popularity has grown tremendously through his vlog and he has inspired others to document their journey.

In fact, it was impossible to walk down the hallways of the Rio last summer without someone filming something.

I ended up binge-watching the whole thing.

In one sitting. Without cocktails.

It was then that I thought to ask Neeme what he thought about being a source of inspiration?

"If I've inspired someone to try their hand at something, I think it's great," Neeme responded. "I think the vast majority of people can be an inspiration to others in some way... the problem is that most people are afraid to start doing something visible out of various fears (usually what others will think).

"Getting over the hump and just starting is the hardest part. So if I somehow encourage someone to start something, regardless of whether they continue doing it over the long run, it's a good result. Because at least they tried it, and they can either keep doing it or move onto their next thing."

I also had the good fortune of talking with Berkey recently. I asked him why he thought being vulnerable is important. He responded, "There’s a certain ease of implementation when you never have to hide who you are or what you believe in."

In a game where you set out to bust your opponents, leaving yourself vulnerable could lead to being exploited at the table.

But that doesn't seem to be the case.

Think about it ...

Neeme has been vlogging for quite awhile now and he has admitted that vlogging has improved his game.

Berkey, on the other hand, documented his entire preparation for the SHRB and ended up finishing fifth that year.

Either improve or get trampled on.

I happen to believe the vulnerability forces someone to do better, think bigger, and strive for more.

There isn't a choice. It is either improve or get trampled on.

Personally, when someone's trying hard and is honest about it, I'm always going to jump in and cheer them on. It's the kind of content I love and the kind of content that resonates with an audience.

That's what gets my attention and keeps me interested. And that's what she said.

Original image by Tambet Kask/Unibet Open

  • Kim Yuhl argues that there's a new way of bringing poker to the masses, and it's by giving people an up-close look into people's lives.

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Kim Yuhl

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