In October 2016, Andrew Neeme obtained to work by releasing his first poker vlog. Exact over five years later, the vlogger pioneer has emerged as one in all the most influential players in the replace, which used to be evidenced by present data that he invested in a Texas cardroom alongside Doug Polk and Brad Owen.
“Brad and I were on the meet-up recreation go for a bunch of years,” Neeme told PokerNews on a present episode of the PokerNews Podcast. “Form of came up with this thought that I remark many people in poker are unsleeping of now, but pleasant getting a bunch of people together of their local city, of their local cardroom, for pleasant a fun social night of poker and in all likelihood they can succor make a contribution to succor invent a poker vlog they’ve come to revel in over the years moreover.”
The muse modified into a lucrative challenge that noticed Neeme and Owen trudge back and forth all of the country, even adding a couple of worldwide stops in Canada and the UK.
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Neeme continued: “After we’d been doing this thing the muse came up that wouldn’t it be frigid if rather than going [to other venues], what if we pleasant had our get cardroom and shall we pleasant region up shop. In preference to promoting assorted people’s issues, the thing would build of level inward and shall we dangle a say in how the room is go and all these advantages that would possibly perhaps perhaps well well come with ownership.”
That thought used to be constantly on the support of their mind, but being based completely mostly in extremely-regulated Las Vegas and not utilizing a ownership nor administration journey, well making it a actuality looked like a pipedream. Enter one in all poker’s recreation-changers.
“Quick forward to in most cases final one year, 2021, a gentleman by the title of Douglas Polk had moved to Austin, and after him spending some time there, [he] furthermore stumbled on the shock of just cardrooms,” stated Neeme. “He came up with the identical thought that we had, and he reached out to us and stated what if we looked into this thought of ownership and linking up.”
With Polk’s Upswing Poker team doing the analysis and factual work, Neeme and Owen were originate to exploring alternatives. In the beginning, the region used to be to search out a neighborhood and build a room from scratch, but that modified forward of too long.
“Full of life rapid after Doug establish out the feelers he obtained reached out to by a couple of assorted entities but one in all them used to be the absolute best room, the room that’s doing the most most important, the one people seem to revel in the most in Austin, which used to be The Hotel. It turned quite clear to us, it made loads extra sense, to verify at this from a partnership level of observe in region of from the bottom up.”
The trio soon invested in the industry, which had a longtime leadership team. That alleviated any concerns Neeme and company had regarding a lack of administration and operational journey. By keeping issues the identical, this would possibly perhaps well allow the triumvirate time to focal level on promotion and philosophize.
Neeme outlined: “From my perspective philosophize plays this kind of enormous position on the planet … the poker replace, and I remark the casino gaming replace, is a if truth be told gradual-challenging replace lots of the time in particular when it involves capturing people which would possibly perhaps perhaps well perhaps be partaking in your services and products. There used to be deal of convincing that Brad and I had to total in the early days of this meet-up recreation thing … I believe that thought build of wanted to be proved over time.”
“There used to be deal of convincing that Brad and I had to total in the early days of this meet-up recreation thing.”
He added: “Being ready to mutter their get praises the game and masks the game, and the total advantages that embody creating philosophize spherical that, to dangle all people on the identical web philosophize with that is quite candy. It pleasant opens the total doors to the relaxation that you just would possibly want to total.”
The Hotel is primed to invent a huge splash in the poker world, and Neeme, Polk, and Owen will continue to chat about suggestions with administration, which they live constantly in a bunch Telegram chat.
The Villain Who Stole Christmas
Other than his foray into the Texas market, Neeme made a splash over the vacations when he released a extremely-though-provoking vlog titled The Villain Who Stole Christmas.
“That video is indubitably one in all my favorites of all time on the channel for particular, like easily in the tip five,” Neeme stated of the video. “I met this man Paul who knew the channel, and he knew who I was. I came across him at a $1-$2 table on the Golden Nugget and straight I noticed this man had a terribly frigid remark.”
As fate would dangle it, Neeme met Paul once more at a occasion at cease of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) being held by The Hotel.
“I told him the muse that I needed to invent a video that used to be ‘The Grinch Who Stole Christmas’ meets poker vlog. That’s quite worthy all I told him and he loved the muse apt away. We exchanged data and he went on to send me like five emails after that with suggestions for the video.”
Paul used to be very fervent, pushed for it, and obtained Neeme to agree.
“He came with the total lines in the vlog. I went out and recorded the fingers and he came up with all these awesome lines for [the video] It came out if truth be told, if truth be told frigid. Anyone who watched that video looked like they loved it. The feedback used to be fully sure. I don’t even know if I obtained a single troll on that video which is a rarity on YouTube, so I was extremely pleased about that.”
The video used to be winning at Christmas, though it did lose some momentum. Neeme had a thought as to why.
“YouTube is so particular about their algorithm and which videos they’re recommending. I released it on Christmas and the video did gargantuan that day, I believe it did apt for a day or two after that, but quite rapid I believe YouTube stopped recommending the relaxation that used to be Christmas-connected after Christmas. The views form of fell of quite rapid.”
Finally, Neeme used to be overjoyed to dangle taken the possibility.
“As soon as you’re not exhibiting poker fingers you possibility people rapid-forwarding throughout the video,” he stated. “Now not all people goes to be into that. The bulk of the viewers desire to eye poker fingers, so anytime you establish any assorted stuff in there, people are rapid-forwarding and likewise you’re at possibility of YouTube not recommending the video as worthy. So, there’s some hesitation any time you are trying something assorted that isn’t the identical old formulation.”
What Does the Future Protect?
Any other quite new pattern for Neeme is getting hitched to his wife, Busi, something that used to be long overdue.
“We did this very long-interval of time engagement thing, but deal of it used to be a feature of households being on two continents,” he stated. “The final delay used to be the COVID region where we had quite worthy all the pieces in region. We had a venue booked in Detroit, we had all the pieces else that goes along with a wedding booked, all the pieces build of in region for April of 2020, which is quite worthy most pain time.”
Finally, they opted to total away with the total pomp and circumstance and instead employed a photographer to total a photoshoot spherical Vegas forward of tying the knot.
While he’s taken a stake into a Texas cardroom, Neeme is peaceable based completely mostly in Las Vegas along with his wife, where he plans to preserve.
“Masses of people are challenging to Austin this present day it appears to be like, and it’s certainly reflected in the genuine estate prices,” he stated. “I’d be down to not lower than dangle a dwelling there and ruin up time. Place that thing on Airbnb after we’re not there.”
Listen to Neeme on the PokerNews Podcast here!
That doesn’t indicate he won’t be spending deal of time in Texas though.
“What’s subsequent is indubitably a spotlight on the room. We’re peaceable gonna live the meet-up recreation thing in assorted areas, it’ll most certainly not be as various of trudge back and forth as we strive and build this thing up.”
In between, he and Owen dangle plans to host meet-up video games in Los Angeles and Detroit later this one year.
“We furthermore desire to expand to assorted areas in assorted states with The Hotel mark, strive and invent them a nationwide cardroom mark as worthy as we can. That’s certainly going to be the principle focal level for the time being, attempting to highlight the total apt these guys dangle performed with this cardroom. We don’t dangle any major adjustments planned for the cardroom, we’re extra centered on attempting to highlight and spotlight it as worthy as we can and the people which would possibly perhaps perhaps well perhaps be there.”
For added on Neeme, follow him on Twitter at @andrewneeme.
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Executive Editor US, PokerNews Podcast co-host & 2013 WSOP Bracelet Winner.