A couple days ago, I had the genuine privilege of interviewing the hottest guy in poker right now, as we end off 2018, Joey Ingram.
The main topic we cover in this interview is, of course, his beautiful act of kindness as the “Oprah of Poker,” facilitating the delivery of Platinum Passes to Arlie Shaban and recreational poker player Jeremy Hilsercop while simultaneously snagging one for himself. We discuss how the poker story of the year developed and played out over Christmas Day 2018, as well as Joey’s plans for the PokerStars Players’ Championship and content creation in 2019.
Already a poker superstar, I personally can’t wait to see what kind of incredible buzz Joey will be creating next year. Enjoy!
Hey everybody, Robbie Strazynski here for CardplayerLifestyle.com, and I have the great pleasure of speaking with pretty much the hottest guy in poker right now, the man of the hour, El Papito Grande, the one, the only, Joey Ingram. How you doing, buddy?
What’s up, brother. How’s it going, Robbie?
Wonderful. What time is it by you right now?
El Papito Grande, huh?
It is 3 a.m. here at El Papito Grande.
Wow. Wow. 3 a.m., the guy’s grinding. He never stops. What are you doing at 3 a.m.?
I’m editing a video for tomorrow. We got a news video coming out, Robbie! I’m really trying to focus more on delivering the news that happens in poker in an entertaining way, trying to make that fun and trying to build that up as a recurring show right now, so that’s what we’ve got going on right now, the News Show. News with Papi. I actually don’t know what it’s called.
Joey the Anchorman, isn’t that right?
No, that’s probably not what it’s called, but I mean, the thing is, I wouldn’t do this if someone else did it, but no one else delivers news. It’s like, we in the poker world have forgot about promoting what happens in poker, or what happens with the most popular poker players, or what happens with the events, or what happens with the moments. The moments sort of come, and then they happen, and then no one sees them because no one really promotes it on a bigger scale, and then they go away.
So my goal for the news show is to take these moments and actually give them some sort of life cycle, and also promote them more, get them out there, try to promote the players in poker who are doing things in poker, whether it’s content or playing, and sort of make that a thing that people can expect. So if you don’t want to stay up to date on Twitter, or Instagram, or the forums, you can come to this news show every week and you can figure out what’s happening in poker. So that’s the idea I have, yeah.
That’s certainly filling a niche that doesn’t exist, like you said. You’ve found a role there. Good luck, and I look forward to tuning in.
Thanks, thank you, Robbie, thank you. You’ve got your script out; I’m going off-script already, but I can tell, I know you’re a very regimented man.
That’s the way we do it. Well, you conversate; I interview. So, we’ll try to make it work.
Yeah, but put me on structure, brother. Put me on structure here.
*Editor’s note: For those who are interested, I had a great conversation (NOT an interview) with Joey about three years ago at the PCA. You can check it out here.*
OK, so. Everyone out there in the poker fan universe, unless you’ve been sitting under a rock, you know what Joey did a couple days ago. This guy, he just won Christmas. He got Jeremy Hilsercop — I hope I pronounced the name right — he got Jeremy Hilsercop a Platinum Pass. He got Arlie Shaban a Platinum Pass, he got himself a Platinum Pass. All three of you guys, you’re headed to the Bahamas to play in the $25k PokerStars Players’ Championship. You have become the Oprah of poker, my friend. How do you feel right now?
I mean, I don’t know. It’s a pretty cool thing just to be a part of. You know, I often see moments like this happen in other industries, whether it’s in the NBA or the MLB or anything like that, where a sort of moment goes viral, a moment that touches the athletes or the corporations or the teams. And then I always really enjoy it when I see someone who’s an influencer in the community sort of step up and say “Hey, let me bring you all to a game,” or “Let me do this for you.” And I’ve always told myself, if I’m ever in a position to be able to do that in poker, I’m going to try to take whatever moment that I find and then try to make that moment even a little bit more special for whatever it is I find. Assuming that it’s something that I see that kind of connects with me, or that I find genuine.
Folks…if you ever wanted to know just how good the poker community can be, let us point you to this Christmas story. Absolutely wonderful. Thanks to all involved. https://t.co/mKGDD37Q0H pic.twitter.com/20XThEUTg1
— PokerStarsBlog (@PokerStarsBlog) December 25, 2018
And then when I saw the clip of Jeremy that his wife posted, Randi, and then man, I’m like almost crying watching this video of this guy, because you can just feel the emotion about how this man felt where, you know, they live in Tennessee, it seems like they work hard, loves poker, huge poker fan, never been to the World Series of Poker before, and now this first time, this guy? It’s just, I mean, this is amazing. And I’m in a position where I’m able to give these guys a tour out in Vegas, introduce them to their favorite players, I know a lot of people in the community, I can try to get these guys staked in an event. And from there, it kind of snowballed from there, but how often do you get to be a part of something like this?
New YouTube video up on what went down yesterday on Xmas. I helped @ArlieShaban, a man named Jeremy from Reddit & myself each receive a $30k Platinum Pass from Pokerstars. A Christmas that I don’t think I will ever forget. @Randi_heatlifer @JHilsercop https://t.co/eUgKw3O3eM pic.twitter.com/efT4BngcTx
— Joey “Clause” Ingram (@Joeingram1) December 26, 2018
And the cool thing is, is that now, we created a moment that’s awesome. But can you imagine if this guy goes deep in the event? I mean, God forbid, this man wins the event? This could be the most epic poker story in the history–really in the history of the game. December 24, you’re being secretly recorded by your wife–or not secretly recorded, you’re crying on camera. December 25, you win a pass. Now you gotta get your passport, and they gotta go to Atlanta, so they gotta travel to get the passport. And then, Bahamas, boom, win it! I mean, I don’t know, I’m dreaming. I’m so excited about the possibility, Robbie, that it’s just really cool to be a part of.
It’s just kind of what I always want from my ambassadors, when I see ambassadors in a sport or in poker, is I want them to see moments like this, and put it out there for people to see. Like, hey, highlight this, check this out, guys, this is awesome. And I feel like that’s something that we don’t see from our ambassadors in the poker world, so that’s something that I see that I’ve always wanted to do, and bring, and that’s why I kind of wanted to help this moment out, and I think that we did something really special.
Dear @gpi @EricDanisPoker, I think we just had our #AmericanPokerAwards Moment of the Year
All in favor, RT pic.twitter.com/BynvGc81sL
— Robbie Strazynski (@cardplayerlife) December 25, 2018
Absolutely. And it’s really amazing, just the way we talk about the Moneymaker boom, that all the factors were right in the right place, the perfect storm. And it’s an amazing story on its own, but the fact that you said, that it’s Christmas Eve, Christmas, that just makes it that much more special. It’s pretty awesome to see the planets align in that way. I’ve gotta ask you, though, your story started a few days earlier. I mean, PokerStars, they gave Arlie his Twelfth Labor, to try and convince you to come. So, the moment you heard about it, there was this moment, what was your gut reaction? What was the first thing you thought at that moment?
Well, they called me, I was in bed. I was taking a nap, because I had woke up early, edited a video, I think, most of the night, or maybe I did a podcast that day. But I was really tired, I’d stayed up all night. So I’m in bed, I get a call on my phone, and it was a Skype call from Kevin Martin. I was like, “What the hell is Kevin calling me for right now?” So, I answer it, alright, I didn’t answer it the first time. He’s like, “You’d better get in here!” I was like, OK. So I get in there, we’re in the Twitch stream. I go “Are we live right now?” They said “Yes,” I was like “Bro, I’m mad you put me on the spot here,” but you know, I can handle it. So then they said, “Boom, here’s the offer from Stars.”
I said, “These guys are evil, man,” I mean, they’re so… and I mean, the thing is, PokerStars, they’ve been trying to build a relationship with me for this year. I met with PokerStars before a couple of times this year, with people with PokerStars. So I’ve known they wanted to build a relationship with me, they want to show me that maybe things are getting better or maybe things are changing. So it’s not a surprise to see them want to reach out to me and want me to be a part of things like that. But my first instinct was, I don’t know what I’m going to do right now. I’ve got to ask my friends, let me get their inputs, you know, I talked to a lot of people about it. And yeah, my first instinct was, well, this is interesting. Very interesting spot they put me in here.
That’s fair enough. Alright, well, so, the offer’s on the table, and, naturally, like a good poker player in 2018, you’ve got to go into the tank a little bit, right? So, you’re pretty active on Twitter, you’re active in the 2+2 forums, you’re engaging with the feedback, and the community’s sending you a whole bunch of yes, no, take the pass, reject the offer, it’s kind of like LeBron and The Decision, you know, back in the day; this is poker’s version of it. So, over that period of time, those couple days, how many times did you change your mind back and forth? Or, at some point, were you like, OK, I already know I’m going to say yes, but I’m going to slowroll the whole community?
I was leaning towards no, for most of the time. I never really changed my mind one way or the other, like, I made a 30-minute video, Robbie, OK? I was going to put this video out on the Monday, but it was like, this is just so much, it’s so dramatic, this video, like the way I broke it down, the way I structured the video was kind of in a dramatic tone, whether it was on purpose or not, I’m not sure. But I just didn’t want to put this video out that I made.
And in the video, I said I was leaning towards no, and I had some counteroffers that I wanted to make to Stars, in that I wanted to get some of the executives on the podcast, I wanted to get an extra Platinum Pass, and then I wanted to do some kind of rake-free day. That was sort of the idea, and so that was where I initially sat, it was never necessarily wavering back and forth, it was sort of just on the fence but leaning towards no, but either way, any option I would have been fine with.
OK, interesting. So it’s nice to see how it played out again, like the whole Christmas coming and I think, it’s pretty amazing how things ended up working out.
Robbie, I got a admission I’m gonna do on your show.
There’s been a conspiracy theory started by—
Oh, the conspiracy comes out!
A young Unibet employee, who is named DK Lappin, a Unibet employee—
Oh, David Lappin. We love that guy. Editor’s note: Please check out our interview with David Lappin.
Yes. He, I saw he was on your list. He said that he thinks its a conspiracy that I had just with Stars, and I do have to admit, it was not only a conspiracy between me and Stars, but I’ve also been working together with Randi and with Jeremy and we all had this damn thing figured out months ago. So this was an elaborate scheme.
The crying on camera, and the whole deal?
Yes. Me and this family from Tennessee and PokerStars got together in the Isle of Man, we sat down at the table, Isai Steinberg came in, David Baazov came in, Eric Hollreiser was there, Negreanu was at the table as well. We all sat down, hatched this together, and I mean, I have to admit it because the guy figured it out, but that’s what happened, Robbie.
He’s like Sherlock Holmes.
I couldn’t believe Baazov came to the meeting, though, it was pretty incredible. Baazov was there. He’s, you know, taking time out from winning his trial earlier this year. So yeah, I’ll admit it on your show, Robbie, because I like you.
You are coming to us from an undisclosed location, so we don’t know what’s going on outside this room.
I’m at GTO Headquarters here in Las Vegas, Nevada, home of the World Series.
Truthfully, though, you did discover the video about Jeremy and his wife Randi giving him the World Series of Poker trip on Reddit as the gift. I gotta say, we don’t really seem to hear too much about the Reddit poker forum these days—
Bang bang. Step it up, boys.
—in conventional poker media reporting. How active are you there, and would you recommend that more people in the community check it out?
Yeah, I mean, I think it’s one of the best forums right now that’s happening in poker. It doesn’t have that much traffic compared to other genres out there, but I think they post a nice mixture of memes, some strategy, some fun videos, some fun images—those are kind of the memes. So I think they do some serious posts in there, but it turns out being easy to navigate. I think it’s one of the best forums out there.
I bought my husband a trip to the WSOP in Vegas for Christmas this year. We’ve never been able to afford to go til this year. He was very surprised! @WSOP @RealKidPoker @phil_hellmuth @MagicAntonio @PhilLaak @PokerGO #poker #wsop pic.twitter.com/QTRHY4zNST
— Randi Hilsercop (@Randi_heatlifer) December 25, 2018
Obviously you’ve got my guys at 2+2, there’s a lot there to navigate so it can be a little intimidating to newer users, but I do think there are still some really good discussions going on at 2+2. But yeah, I think Reddit Poker is something that, you know, I’m trying to create a little bit more discussion there because I feel like the activity can kind of come from the top in a lot of ways, so if I can help to create activity, people are going to answer just because they see I posted it, whereas if someone else asked it, they might not answer because they don’t know who asked the question. So kind of my goal is to start creating more discussion on Reddit, maybe build that up as a place where more things get discussed, and then we’ll see what develops from there. But they often post some pretty good content on Reddit, and I mean, they could post more theory, but I think it’s getting a little more active this year than it has been in recent years.
It’s interesting what you say about the top down, because I mean, as far as I always remember approaching Reddit poker forum, it was always very grassroots, like if you’re saying top down, let’s have an influencer start the discussion, let’s go ahead and as you said it’s going to generate more activity. Again, thinking outside the box, that’s really interesting. How long have you been a Reddit user, or is there a name for it or something? Just a member?
I mean, I’m addicted; I love the conspiracy forum on Reddit. I’m on NBA all the time, and I go on MMA all the time. I go on conspiracy almost every single day, so yeah, I really enjoy Reddit. I spend too much time on there. I would never suggest anyone go there, and if you don’t know what Reddit is, do not look it up. Just fast-forward through this. I’m not even 100%, it’s not even funny—it can fuck with your entire ability to focus because it’s just never-ending solid content to good content that it just really hurts your ability to focus on a solo thing because you’re just always looking for the next thing and the next thing, and it really warps your ability to enjoy what you do find and what you look at because you know something else is right around the corner.
Interesting. Well, you mentioned the content, that sort of leads into the next question here. People who are digging a little bit deeper into the tweets and all the hoopla, you’re hoping to bring the grand wizard, Jonah Vella, to do some video editing—
Yeah, Big J. From Hungary.
—in the Bahamas. So fingers crossed. I hope that happens, he does some excellent work. What sort of content are you thinking of putting together while you’re at the PSPC?
I have not necessarily brainstormed that far ahead. I’ve got to see if Stars has it in the budget, Robbie, out there, always gotta check the budget out there, guys, that would be my tip if you ever work with a company, always ask them what the budget is, and their budget’s always going to be higher than what they tell you. I had to learn some of this the hard way, I’ll be honest with you guys out there. Shoutout to some companies I’ve worked with.
But, what kind of content we’re going to create down there? I’m not sure, maybe some vlog kinda stuff. I feel like people love the vlogs on YouTube, and I’ve never really created many vlogs. Maybe some kind of vlog out there, maybe some kind of on-location documentary-style podcast, with, you know, I know a lot of people down there, have a lot of friends down there, so good opportunity to do get together.
Would love a life optimization discussion….it’s time.
— Bill Perkins (Guy) (@bp22) December 31, 2018
Maybe some out of line content, Robbie, I know you love that out of line content, married man like yourself.
We do touch upon that a little, believe it or not.
In terms of what the specifics are for the content. Just take some photos, Big J loves taking photos, and tries to take a million of me and eventually I gotta tell him “Please stop” and “You’re like the paparazzi,” but he does great work, so I hope he can join me down there.
@PokerStars I won’t send you the 6 figure invoice for the marketing, promotion & good will I helped create for your brand/event if you increase my travel budget so my wizard @JonahVella can come to create some content with me again.
— Joey “Clause” Ingram (@Joeingram1) December 25, 2018
Nice. So, fingers crossed, I hope that happens. And let’s not forget, you’re going to be playing in a $25,000 buy-in event, my friend, I mean, I imagine you’re at least hoping to final table. So how are you going to be balancing the playing and being able to focus on the felt? I mean, it’s not a $70 daily tournament at the Rio, I mean, you want to be able to try and do your best. And also, there’s this, you want to go ahead and create content and do like the whole media influencer thing. So how do you find the balance?
Never thought about it until right now, Robbie. That’s a great point.
I gotta ask the tough questions, Joey.
Usually when I’m playing, I’m much more focused on playing. But yeah, much more focused on playing than content when I play throughout any time during the World Series, stuff like that. So I feel like for me, the plan will be to focus when I’m at the event, and then just kind of put that first, worry about that first, and then Jonah will do his thing, and I’ll try to update on social media and stuff like that. But when I’m playing, I’m there to win, Robbie. I’m calling my shot, me versus Jeremy, heads-up for the title, and I’m going to win. So, that is what it is. I’m going to win the event.
OK, well, I don’t know what the prize pool’s going to be, but I know it’s $1 million extra on top for first, at least 320 Platinum Pass winners, probably at least another good couple hundred people buying in directly or satelliting or one way or another, I mean, you’re talking massive money up on top for those who make it deep. Let’s say you get somewhere close, amazing things happen, you get a million-dollar score. Or better. Does that change your life in any way?
Yes. No, I mean, not really. But, I don’t know, I don’t think so, no. What would I do? I would just travel more, or anything. I feel like would it change my life, I think the fun answer is yes, it would, I’d buy a Ferrari, I’d buy—
We don’t want the fun answer!
I’d buy my mom a condo, I’d buy my dad a life, you know, you say those things like that. But in terms of, my life’s pretty set in order, I think the only thing I would do is I’d travel more, probably. I’d get myself out of the house more and not be at home more, which I should probably do already, because I kind of stay a little locked in my GTO Headquarters here in Vegas. But yeah, in terms of would it change my life? Not really. I’d just gamble for a little bit more money with poker, and yeah, I probably wouldn’t spend too much for right now.
I’ve already bought everything, Robbie, I’ve already done everything I ever dreamed of my entire life, I’ve done already, from buying something, from poker, from traveling the world, from living in different places. So right now, I’m just trying to figure out what exactly success means to me, and what money, what all these things mean to me. So, yeah, I don’t think my life would change too much, because if I really wanted to make a lot of money, I would be able to make a lot of money somehow, so it’s not really how I’m thinking right now. But, hmm.
I mean, look, if you do get the million-dollar score and you really have no use for it, you know…
You want some?
I’m not going to complain.
You’re a simple man. OK, I like that. Are you playing the event too, Robbie?
I am not playing in the event.
They didn’t put you in too?
We’re $24,998 short of the buy-in, unfortunately.
You only have $2, is what you’re saying.
Well, I had backers, and only two of them… but I see what you did, though! You turned the tables. But we’re not doing that; I’m interviewing YOU.
Go ahead, I got you.
Good, OK. So, you have told me, privately actually, that you have not felt so focused in 2018, and just now you’re sort of getting back more into the content producing. What can the poker world expect from Joey Ingram in 2019? Maybe let us in on a little bit of your plans after you scoop the PSPC.
I’m hitting it hard, Robbie. Hitting hard on marketing, hitting hard on content. I really want to help connect more media and players in 2019, in order to give exposure to different players out there who I feel want and could use some more exposure. And also, to get content to the media companies out there. I do plan to try to do a little bit more collaborations with bigger companies and bigger content creators, whether in poker or outside of poker, and really start to establish relationships between myself and between more of the mid-mainstream sports kind of blog sites and really try to help get the moments that happen in poker out there on a bigger scale through myself and through my relationships with other companies out there, and sort of say hey, this is a story, can you promote it and put it out there, can you talk with this player, can you do those sorts of things like that. So my plan for 2019 is to really help increase the exposure of poker players and of the moments that happen in the poker world on a much bigger scale through my own platform, through other platforms.
And in terms of my playing goals, it’s to still continue playing on a pretty decent frequency. But I think right now, my biggest impact was going to come from the marketing side of things in poker, and from helping out the companies inside of poker do things a little bit better and help get their events out there in a better way. So, that’s really where all my study’s been most of this year, is really in marketing and in the lab and in sort of just content, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube. So I really would like to showcase what I’ve been learning a little bit more, and I think the big key is consistency, is I gotta put out my content on a consistent basis if I want it to grow, and the only way that’s going to happen is I just have to do it every week, every day, no weeks off, can’t take time off, I just gotta keep after it. So that’s it.
Well, that sounds like an absolutely amazing plan. I’m not being facetious either, I mean, like, everyone’s dream, always, I mean even the biggest operators are like, “oh, if this could only go mainstream, if only the New York Times would report on this stuff, if only ESPN would capture not just the one hand in the Main Event where the guy wins.” And there’s certainly a lot of room for growth, and if you can be instrumental in helping grow the game, to that extent, that’s just unbelievable.
So definitely best of luck, I mean. You also mentioned though, the whole playing aspect, but that obviously seems to be taking a little more of a backseat. Is this because you just find it more fulfilling individually to do this more media, this influencer type stuff? I mean, let’s say for example, you win the PSPC. How does that sort of rank versus “because of me, I got something published on ESPN; they did a 30 for 30 about the PSPC winner,” whoever that might be?
Yeah, I mean, if I win this tournament, that won’t be that something, I’m not a tournament player to begin with, so I would never, I probably wouldn’t prioritize a tournament score over some of the things I did in poker, or even some of the things I did with content or actually some of my prop bets, for the most part. I mean the money aspect obviously is cool, but you know, it’d just be like an epic story altogether. With poker, I’ve done everything I want to do. I set out my goals, I set out my dreams, when I started playing poker, and I’ve achieved those.
With the landscape and the ecosystem of online poker right now, it’s just not the same thing as it once was. In terms of live poker, you can play any stakes you want, if you can find staking. So I can play any game I want to play, probably, almost any PLO cash game that I can find I could play in. I would just sell action if I played higher stakes. So in terms of the goals you set playing live poker, I mean, it’s really hard to set goals, because it’s like, it’s just not how it works online. You don’t need to battle against good players or play against tough players if you want to better your skill level like I would do online.
So for me, live poker, I don’t necessarily have any poker-specific goals. Online poker, I’ve achieved all those I ever had. Right now, it’s just not—I mean, you can make it at high stakes, but a lot of it is avoiding being cheated, avoiding bots, and avoiding the tough regulars and some of the high-rake sites. Does that sound like fun? I mean, how long is that sustainable for?
So you’re saying, you’re finding more fulfillment in the transition into more of a fully fledged media role?
I mean, I love playing poker more than I almost love anything else, I just love the great game of pot-limit, I love grinding, I love putting in hours, I love the ups and the downs and the swings and the stress and the questioning you do of yourself. So in terms of fulfilling, I don’t know, not really, I guess. I find, I think fulfilling’s a matter of perspective in a lot of ways. So, obviously, playing poker, how fulfilling can that truly be? But you have to realize that, in the short term it might not be fulfilling, but the things you learn long-term can benefit you in unimaginable ways.
And reach more people, you know, if you push outwards like that.
Exactly. Like, there’s a short-term sacrifice in terms of fulfillment in that situation, but you gain so much knowledge and ability and skill and persistence and work ethic and consistency, that when you want to leverage that knowledge and information to do other things, like make a difference, you’re able to do that.
You’re definitely resonating, speaking my language. That’s some beautifully worded sentiments, and it’s obviously very genuine, you know. You’ve been to the top of the mountain and as far as the playing is concerned and now it’s time to start climbing new mountains. That’s amazing, man, and really, best of luck.
So, to go back to sort of the original question we started out with, you know, how did you feel with the whole Platinum Pass thing. You’re super involved in the poker community 24/7, you’re a star. But you’ve also got a family life that kind of flies under the radar a little bit. You’re very close with your sibling, your mom. I imagine by now you’ve told them the story of what you did over Christmas. How did they react when you shared it with them?
I’m almost positive—I’m not quite sure they gave a fuck, Robbie, I’ll be honest with you, because I didn’t come home for Christmas, because I felt like I’d finally been in the groove for the first time this year. This is the point I’ve been trying to get to. And I know when I go back there, you know, without getting to into specifics, it’s kind of a taxing environment. It’s something that always really throws off my focus in a lot of ways. And while I love certain people in my family and I enjoy my family, I felt right now was not a good time for my life, and I don’t know, I felt almost weird, like something was going to come up on Christmas that I needed to be here for and really take advantage of.
I just felt like there was something coming in a lot of ways, and when it sort of happened, I was like, this is maybe a silly statement, but it feels like any time I’ve gone out of my way to not do something with sort of the thinking that, OK, I feel like, the UFC, for example. I made these UFC videos, they got a million views, the only reason I did that was because I went over to my buddy Brandon Shack-Harris’ house. And I was kind of like trying to think about where we were going to watch the fight. I put up something on Twitter, and I never do that. I never was like, “I’m going to go watch the fight.” I don’t know, I put up something to watch the fight, a bunch of people messaged me, and Brandon messaged me. And you know, I’m very friendly with Brandon, he’s certainly one of my favorite people to talk with in poker because we always talk about weird stuff together, and I mean, we talk about fun stuff to. It’s all kind of a mixture of stuff. I love chatting with him. And he was like, “you want to come over?” And I was like yeah, “fuck yeah, let’s go.” So that was sort of happening.
And it just so happened, when I watched the fight in that setting, and I don’t know, something, I just sort of felt some sort of weird energy and weird something would happen, and then it happened and it just resonated with me so hard I watched it, I was like holy– this is the most captivating thing I’ve seen this year. And then boom, I just took advantage of it, and I feel like that’s sort of what’s at place here.
Back to your question. I mean, I told them, but they didn’t seem very happy with me that I decided to stay home. So, you know, they were probably like, maybe mad. And my stepdad, he’ll be proud of anything I do, and my mom’s probably like “Why didn’t he fucking, he didn’t give me thirty,” you know, something like that. It is what it is, man, so whatever. I don’t know.
There’s always love, though. There’s always love. Alright, so, last question, then. So I imagine the Joey Ingram of 10 years ago, five years ago, maybe never imagined he could get to a point where you’re such a big star and a big-time influencer.
Am I a big star? Is that what I’m called?
Dude, you are, you are! It’s undeniable. The Oprah of poker. I mean, you stole— everybody knows who you are. Everybody. You cannot walk into a poker room in the United States of America, probably in Europe, and be like “Who are you?” EVERYBODY knows you. You are a genuine superstar. I’m not building you up; you don’t need someone like me to tell you. It’s obvious to me.
So, again, getting back to it, Joey of beforehand, a few years back. You didn’t necessarily know that this would happen. And I know usually you’re all about GTO and taking things one day at a time and seeing what happens tomorrow and the next day. But if you had to dream about where you’re going to be a year from now, maybe a few years from now, how do you envision yourself climbing that next mountain and reaching the top?
I don’t know, great question, Robbie.
That’s why I saved it for last, buddy.
Like you said, I usually take things one day at a time, and I’m big on the idea of having a dream or a long-term destination, but you know, I don’t know, I am going to put this answer out there publicly. But I would like to be in charge of the World Series of Poker in 10+ years. And that’s my long-term goal, is be an integral part of making the World Series.
It’s special now, Robbie, but I think it can be so much better, such a better experience. A bigger event, a more beautiful event, something players can be truly truly proud of, and I would like to have an impact on taking this magical event we have as the World Series of Poker, nothing else exists like it really in the world, in a lot of ways. A month and a half, an entire industry, a billion-dollar industry and community, come together every summer from all over the world, six months, or six weeks rather, Las Vegas, there’s nothing like it, in the entire world for the most part that I have found yet.
So, I would really like to have an important part of that, and I feel like that comes with just building up my own brand, being consistent with content, getting better at my content, getting better at editing videos, getting better at marketing, getting better at taking moments and making them bigger moments. And you know, that just comes with time and practice and learning and consistency in the lab and studying and doing it, repetitive, over and over and over again.
So, I feel like in terms of a few years from now, where I could be, hopefully I won’t get too out of line, you never know, I’m an out of line person for sure, and you never know, I could slip up any day. But honestly, I’ll be happy wherever, Robbie. If I’m in poker, I’ll be happy. If I’m not in poker, I’ll be happy. I’ll always make the best of it no matter what. You know, which is kind of a generic answer, you want to say something exciting, like I’m going to be fucking king of the world and stuff like that, but you know, where my desire and success, where do I want to be successful, what do I want to be, do I want that to be money or fame or status, or just behind the scenes business or making an impact, one at a time.
Like, it depends on where I want to be, and that’s evolving every single day. And right now, I’m more leaning towards leveraging the ability and knowledge I have now in poker, and then working behind the scenes in some capacity, but that could change if I, I don’t think I want to be on camera for much longer, but it’s just a matter of finding out a way not to do that.
Well, I do want to say that, shoutout to my buddy Justin, he said something to me a while ago, which I think that you are proof positive of. You know, talking about your dreams and where you want to be and as far as influencing the World Series of Poker and doing bigger and better things. He said, “Robbie, try to be so good that they can’t ignore you.” And that’s what you’ve done, my buddy. It’s almost like unbelievable, what you’ve done. And, yeah. I just want to say, Joey, you do a lot of conversations, I’ve been lucky enough to have a few with you over the years, but you don’t really do interviews. So I’m genuinely touched, I’m honored, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity.
And ladies and gentlemen, you know, that’s it, the great Papito, Joey Ingram, he’s doing amazing—
El Grande, what did you say earlier?
El Grande Papito.
El Grande Papito (laughs).
It works, no?
Hilarious, buddy. I really appreciate you having me on, man, always nice to talk with you.
You got it.
You keep up the good work too, buddy, come on man! You’re doing some great work as well. Keep up the good work.
I appreciate it.
I’m going to be promoting your stuff more in 2019. I decided that the people who actually—
You’re going off-script!
No, the people that bring a positive environment to poker, because it’s not many. It’s not many that actually love poker and bring an actual positive happiness, whatever, attitude. Those people gotta be promoted, man. So that psychotic guy, Nick, who, pro poker Nick Jones, I think is his name?
Oh, Nick Jones.
That dude is insane. That guy’s fucking crazy and I want to promote him, post any chance I get. Robbie, you as well too, and you know, I really want to show some more love to people who are doing some good stuff for the media because it’s good for the whole entire industry, I feel like, to promote everyone.
Thank you. Well, and it’s good to hear all the love coming from you right now. Good things happening to a good guy. And, as everyone knows, Joey will be in the Bahamas, playing GTO at the felt, and likely getting a little O-O-L off the felt. If you won’t be there to catch him in person, look for Joey on Twitter @joeingram1, and of course, subscribe to his YouTube channel; we’ll put that in the links below.
Once again, this is Robbie Strazynski for Cardplayer Lifestyle. Follow me on Twitter @cardplayerlife and hey, maybe subscribe to this YouTube channel as well. Thank you everybody so much for watching.
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