Returning with a Polkernews video
Poker’s biggest content creator Doug Polk is back. The man who built up a YouTube channel with 318,000 subscribers and 121 million views has returned with a brand-new ‘Polkernews’ video entitled ‘Daniel Negreanu’s Epic Losing Streak Continues’, a subject that was first discussed in early May.
Unsurprisingly, that Doug Polk Poker channel video has already hit six figures in terms of viewership:
Despite the clickbait headline, Polk actually paid tribute to Negreanu’s heads-up abilities in the video, predicting an end to his bizarrely long streak of ‘bridesmaid’ finishes without a win. Yesterday, on cue, Negreanu – who admitted to experiencing “demons and… ghosts in [his] brain” – outlasted a field of 35 entries in the $50,000 buy-in PokerGO Cup Event #7.
…And a podcast episode, too
In addition to that video, Polk has also relaunched the Doug Polk Podcast on his other channel. He took aim at Landon Tice’s recent concession to Bill Perkins with an episode featuring cage-rattler Jason Mo, Tice coach Kevin Rabichow, and Perkins himself:
Polk found a sweet spot for years with his satirical tongue-in-cheek news reports and slickly produced hand breakdowns. The return of the former will be undoubtedly welcomed with open arms by the poker community, but it remains to be seen if Polk can similarly crack the long-form format.
Comedy is Polk’s Trojan horse
Polk is positive about his likelihood of finding a big audience again, believing that the time is right for his return:
He revels in controversy and is famous for his blistering hot takes on the issues of the day. When he tweets or posts a video, it is not always clear how much is genuine criticism and how much is “for the lulz.” But to write him off as a troll would be a huge mistake.
to write him off as a troll would be a huge mistake
There is no doubt that Polk is provocative, that he pushes buttons, and that he has a subversive sense of humor. But that is the vehicle by which he gets his opinions across. Whether it’s his Twitter game or his thumbnail game, comedy is his Trojan horse.
Hype man, provocateur, and SEO pro
Polk has his finger on the pulse of the Zeitgeist and how, these days, it is the polarizing people and opinions that get traction. In a recent tweet, he illustrated his understanding of how modern media works:
With this reality, the question turns to how somebody uses their platform. Are the targets of Doug’s ire and criticism fair game? Once he’s got your attention, is he shining a light on the right parts of the debate?
More than any other content creator in poker, Polk understands what gets eyes on something. He is a hype man, a provocateur, and an SEO pro rolled into one. A master of strategy on the table and off, he will take your money and then perfectly game the Youtube algorithm so that the maximum number of people see his video about that time he took your money.
Insulated from bigger poker content creators
When creating content, there are always competing forces pushing you in different directions. Do you make a video for yourself? Do you make a video because you think it’s worthy in and of itself? Do you give the audience what they want?
Polk is on record saying that he doesn’t watch a lot of poker content. Speaking exclusively to VegasSlotsOnline News, he made it clear that this helps him to be singular in his vision and make up his own mind on the issues of the day. He said: “I would say that that insulates me from the larger personalities in the space.”
A podcast that’s more than poker and crypto
Polk has been clear that he wants to take some risks with his podcast and that it will be a less constricted entity. He admitted that “a lot of the poker content that people want is based around things I used to find interesting, like how to play hands. But over time, those things have become less interesting and I prefer to focus now on the news aspects, the ‘how we should handle things’ aspects and the broader aspects in general.”
There will be poker and cryptocurrency episodes, his areas of proven expertise, but Polk also intends to flex in other directions. As he explores ideas, he took to Twitter to crowdsource the brainstorming phase of his process:
One thing that is for sure is that Polk will be creating some content around his challenge versus Negreanu. The bulk of those videos will be part of his upcoming heads-up module for the Upswing Lab at his UpswingPoker.com training site, but there may be a few tasty morsels released on YouTube too:
Memes, jokes, and trolls
One gets the impression that Polk is in a strange phase of his life. He loves poker and appreciates what it has given him in life. It’s the world where he has the most authority and clout. It also feels like he has one eye on the door, desperate for a new challenge that doesn’t involve the game.
In September 2018, Polk quit playing poker, but the carrot of a lucrative Negreanu Grudge Match pulled him back to the virtual felt. In March 2020, he retired from poker content creation. Now, just 16 months later, he’s back making videos and reviving his podcast.
If the audience is happy, it gives me a lot of satisfaction.”
The poker community certainly missed him while he was gone, but perhaps he missed us more. “My favorite thing about creating content is getting to see people’s reactions. If the audience is happy, it gives me a lot of satisfaction. I love the memes and the jokes,” said Polk, adding: “Oh, and the trolls!”