Parker Talbot always says what he thinks. It's like there is no filter in his head and whatever comes from his mouth is pure thought. Today we want to present to you “TonkaaaaP” in a new interview where he says why in his opinion YouTube is the future of poker.
– Parker Talbot: When I started streaming I was like “fuck everything, I’m just going to be the natural me and uncensored”. There wasn’t really a plan to go with it, I just didn’t want to go censoring myself. Within reason of course, I’m not trying to insult anybody or be overly aggressive. I feel like I have dialed it down a little bit.
– How much of your online play isn't streamed online?
– Parker Talbot: Very small, maybe 1%. If I’m going to play poker off stream it will be next to nothing. I’ll play 30 tournaments on a stream but if I do off stream I’ll play four tables, then be one tabling pretty quickly and watch a movie on the side.
– Do you feel that streaming gives your opponents info on your play?
– Parker Talbot: For me more than people getting reads on me, it’s just a lot of work, it’s a crazy amount of work, how much behind the scenes goes into it, so it gives you less time to study. The general decline of your game, not caring less, but focussing less on your game and more on the show, it’s a hard balance which is really difficult, while also playing high stakes and beating the games.
– Have the streams helped you in any way to improve your game?
– Parker Talbot: Not really, a lot of people say they streaming would be a great way to learn the game and force themselves to be really focussed, but that’s a backwards way of thinking, you are focussing on being entertaining. You can also fall into the same routine where you say the same thing over and over in certain spots and repeat the same mistakes over and over.
– You worked with Jared Tendler. He says a lot of best decisions you make in the Zone you can’t articulate because they are still being learned.
– Parker Talbot: That’s the way I play poker, a friend of mine Conor (‘1_conor_b_1’), who is one of the top five MTT regs, I lived with him for a year and a half and he was more theory orientated than I was. We almost always ended up at the same conclusion but he would be able to articulate his thoughts but I wouldn’t be able to, even though intuitively I feel I had the skill set.
– Your YouTube channel gets surprisingly high views considering it is just edited highlights of the Twitch stream. What do you think works for you here?
– Parker Talbot: It’s good thumbnails, it’s clickbait. I got shit from another Pro the other day for using clickbait on my videos. I said if you make online content and you don’t use clickbait, you are giving up equity, it’s pointless trying to do it organically. It’s the same reason I am popular on Twitch, it’s unfiltered and nobody else is doing well and beating the tournaments I’m playing.
– Could a poker player make a career just on their Twitch and YouTube income alone?
– Parker Talbot: It’s all relative with what you are satisfied with. It’s a tough game to get into. If you are a small stakes guy you want to build yourself into a mid stakes player before you get into that. The thing is people will always select somebody who is less entertaining at high stakes over somebody who is super entertaining at micro stakes. It’s a really hard space to find a balance in.
– Could poker produce a YouTube star who is famous outside of the game, too?
– Parker Talbot: I think so, I spoke to Doug a decent amount on this, we definitely think YouTube is the way of the future and I’ll definitely be making more content there. The cool thing about YouTube is nobody competes – Doug, Jaime, Jeff Gross and I, none of us are competing – we all benefit from people making more videos. When somebody watches one of Doug’s videos, the next recommended video is mine and vice versa. It’s not like Twitch where if you have the top spot you are top dog and you’ll get more viewers than anyone else. YouTube is not a live stream, you can watch it anytime. Also you get way more people, it’s the biggest platform. I definitely think somebody like Doug in two or three years could get half a million views per video.