Reminiscing of December 2020. we came across the article that we did with a recreational poker player, commentator, production wizard and content creator Aditya Wadhwani. He is all of this and much more. Here’s a snippet from the interview we did with Wadhwani to get his perspective about the changing times in our industry. Here’s what he said:
The online poker industry has surged to a great extent during the pandemic. What is your perspective on this?
I think an upswing in activity has always been around the corner. The pandemic was a catalyst of sorts for online poker, especially during the early days of the lockdown. However, the reach is still a little lower compared to other sports. That is a pretty strong indicator that poker in India still exists in a relative bubble.
How important is it to create content that reaches the masses and not just this niche audience?
Mass marketing, while a juicy proposition, will never be as efficient as targeting existing players. More focus needs to be put on converting the already pro poker players in the metros into viewers. This is because poker is not the easiest game for recreational players to learn, and more importantly, make any money from. Legally speaking, companies have to put up the message that poker is a skill game.
The current mass messaging is some twisted version of “It’s like rummy or teen Patti but different”. This sends a mixed message to newbies. So they come, get cleaned out eventually by the regulars and pros. Then they never return. Those who get lucky early on and win a little, get that classic false sense of security or winning tilt and proceed to lose whatever they won citing “bad luck or rigged RNG” as their problem. There are other contributors to new player dissatisfaction in the community too. One is the classic know-it-all keyboard warrior and troll who sees posts from new players about bad beats and proceeds to belittle these people instead of helping. Side note, I love those players personally because they are the easiest money—the overconfident bad regular. Milking this player is a million times easier than the crazy new fish. Without a good entry point, mass marketing for poker is only going to get you so far, at least while the messaging has such double standards.
However, there are some content creators like 9Stacks who are trying to pull in the masses. For example, their recent Heads Up Championship is a great fun format which could be like the T20 of poker. The point as always is to put out quality content and volume consistently.
Tell us about other content ideas that you have apart from live streams.
I am working on more YouTube based content focusing on uploading videos and re-watching ability. Until you grow your following outside of the current poker network your growth is going to be limited. Live streams are going to become increasingly tiring to stream and to watch. The only time you get a good boost is when it is late at night, which also conflicts with the play time of half your audience.
Content is needed and is in demand but it’s not quite engaging enough Especially for what is being spent by some productions. The recent WPT, IPC and PSL events with cards up has been a great step forward for content innovation, but it’s still the same 200 folk watching it. For operators this must be frustrating because they’re spending a lot of money on operations for major events and inviting international celebrities, etc. But, they are getting out done by individuals on organic performance metrics. How do you even justify that to your investors? For my own brand and poker’s visibility, it will be about shareable, relatable content that will hopefully engage people who are already playing and want a fun window into our world. So stay tuned everyone and support the growth of this content!
Wadhwani has been a consistent contributor to the poker community. His effort to bring visibility to poker must be applauded and celebrated. We wish him more successes in this endeavour. For more such articles, keep reading GutshotMagazine.com. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Telegram.
Manthra Koliyer is a writer at Gutshot Magazine. She has an affinity for seeing the world through people’s eyes. With a bubbly fun personality, you can always catch her chatting with anyone she comes across. Holding an English Literature degree from Wilson College, Mumbai, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism from Asian College of Journalism, this pop culture fanatic is ready to take on the world with a pen, paper, and microphone. She also actively works on her personal blog called namasteyconvict.blogspot.com, where for a moment she lets you into her drama-filled world.
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