What started as a photo-a-day challenge on Instagram for Andrew Neeme has spawned into one of the most popular poker vlogs on YouTube. His vlogs regularly get in excess of 30,000 viewers capturing the highs and lows of the professional poker lifestyle. According to Neeme, it all started because he felt the traditional ways the media was capturing and portraying poker had become stale.
“The vast majority of the media that I watched focussed on high buy-in tournament coverage and nosebleed TV cash games,” says Neeme, “but it’s so far removed from the average experience of an everyday casual player that it doesn’t come close to serving all of the potential interests of the poker playing audience.
“We had the occasional gem like ‘2 Months 2 Million’ that was really well done, and stood out for me as something fun, unique and overall positive for poker.”
So Neeme decided to do something about it. His vlogs took the creativity from his Instagram challenge to the next level.
“I thought if nobody watched, that’d be fine; at least I would still be creating something and trying something new, and I would find out whether the theories I had kicking around about what poker players like to watch were true or not.”
37,000 subscribers later, Neeme seems to have stumbled upon a peculiar niche in poker. So much so that the likes of Jake Cody and Daniel Negreanu have jumped on the vlog hype, with Negreanu recently posting a video from the $25k High Roller at the Aria.
Neeme makes no attempt to hide his influence from renowned YouTube filmmaker Casey Neistat, including his affinity for using drones, something that Neistat is famed for.
“Casey was the first and only vlogger that I regularly watched. His formula [for vlogging] was so ridiculously good that it’s tough to try and not emulate. There are probably hundreds of thousands of people out there making a vlog right now which is in some way influenced by Casey Neistat.
With poker vlogs being such a new media tool to showcase players and casinos in a different light, there really are no set list of do’s and dont’s when it comes to vlogging. However, Neeme has some tricks up his sleeve, including extensive editing to craft the perfect finished property.
“I knew coming into this that the editing would take a lot of time. But I wanted to try and make a decent quality video, regardless of the time required. It does take a ton of hours away from poker, but it’s been beyond worth it as far as creating something fun and different.
“I try and make the viewer feel like they’re in the driver’s seat; the way I peel the cards, throw chips in, drag a pot towards the camera.”
Neeme says that he still has plenty of ideas to bring to the table, including a desire to travel to casinos further afield such as in the UK, Australia and Macau. He doesn’t necessarily want to focus just on the prestige and iconic status of Vegas casinos.
“I sometimes wonder whether Vegas poker rooms are truly aware of the fact that there are casinos all over the globe these days. Do [Vegas] casinos consider ways to continue to differentiate themselves from what is a global poker market in order to stay fresh and connected, or do they just not care?”
Neeme recently made a visit to New Orleans but was back in Vegas ‘Casino Hopping’ over Super Bowl weekend. We look forward to watching the latest installment of Neeme’s vlog and are excited to see where it takes him in the future.