Poker, Travel, & Content Creation: A Conversation With PokerStars Ambassador Parker Talbot 

PokerStars streamer and ambassador Parker Talbot spoke with PokerScout at the PCA about being poker nomad, new projects, content creation, and more.

PokerStars streamer ambassador Parker “Tonkaaap” Talbot has hit the poker road for the long haul. The Canadian has $1.1 million in live tournament winnings and hopes to boost that with some time away from home.

Talbot has been a bit of a poker nomad lately. More travel is in the works for the coming months, he told PokerScout while at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.

“It’ll be fun,” he said of the continued travel. “I’m still young and hip with it enough that I can get away with that. I feel like I’m getting a bit old for living out of a suitcase, but it’ll be alright. I’ll enjoy it for sure.”

Recently Talbot visited the Bahamas, Croatia, and other parts of Europe. More live poker and more travel certainly seem on his menu. He spoke with PokerScout about poker in Canada, travel, streaming, new projects, and more.

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Poker changes in Ontario, hitting the road

Originally from Toronto, Ontario, Talbot (pictured in lead image courtesy PokerStars/Eloy Cabacas) witnessed the online poker changes in his home province last year. Ontario went from a wide-open market to a ringed-in environment.

Some skilled players, like fellow Stars ambassador Arlie Shaban, have found success in smaller fields. Others would rather be part of the larger international online poker landscape.

So far, Talbot hasn’t played in the Ontario market after hitting the road for more live action. 

“I was only really home for a couple of weeks over the holidays,” he said. “I basically bounced from Ontario when it happened.

“I stayed at Spraggy’s (Ben Spragg) house for a couple months, just bopping around and playing on the .com client. So I’ve just stayed out of the Ontario player pool and stayed in the main player pool outside of Ontario. I’ve just been traveling around and that’s going to be the plan for the next few months.”

The road trip paid off in December with a fifth-place finish in the European Poker Tour Prague Main Event for $293,352.

More travel on the horizon

Croatia has been a particular favorite. Talbot visited a friend in the country for a couple weeks and is eager for a return trip.

“I might end up there for a couple months this year at some point just to chill and whatever,” he says. “It’s just a really nice place. Everybody’s really friendly, everything’s cheap.”

Some other potential trips include South America, notably Brazil, as well as Asia. Also next up for Talbot is a poker trip to the EPT stop in Paris, France. Life as a full-time poker player has gone hand in hand with traveling for those who enjoy life on the road exploring. That seems to describe the Canadian poker pro.

“I really need to do some traveling abroad,” he says. “I’ve literally just spent my life in North America and in Europe more or less … but not really outside of those. I could just bounce around. I like to plan to go to places where I have friends or know people already.”

Moving beyond streaming

Many poker fans know Talbot from his Twitch channel, which has 125,000 followers. He’s also active on social media and has a YouTube channel with 69,000 subscribers.

Talbot has streamed less lately, but still plans on some upcoming month-long stints of major online series. Some new media projects are also ahead including teaming up with Spragg

“I’ll be doing a lot of YouTube this year, playing and doing some live poker vlogs,`” he says. “Spraggy and I have got a bunch of YouTube cooked up for the pipeline this year. So you’re going to do a bunch of YouTube content this year in a couple of months.”

Returning to YouTube brings Talbot back to a place earlier in his career. He regularly dropped stream highlights on the site and had one of the biggest poker YouTube channels at one point. The new effort will offer more unique content.

Viewers may not realize just how much work goes into creating video content, Talbot notes. Seeing return on investment requires plenty of effort and content creators do much more than turn on the cameras.

“I’m not editing videos myself or doing anything like that, I’ve got a team for that,” he says. “But even on the content side, obviously it’s a grind. During the whole back end of uploading and editing and all that, the people who do YouTube and do all that stuff on their own, I have mad respect because it’s serious. It’s a lot of work.”

Bringing something new

Finding an audience among a packed Twitch, YourTube, and podcast environment isn’t easy. A quick search for “poker” among any of these platforms yields dozens and dozens of options. Finding a niche can be challenging. Talbot sees YouTube as quite different however

“With YouTube, I find that there’s really no reason to separate each other,” he says. “YouTube is really a different beast than Twitch. On Twitch, you have a listing and you’re competing with everyone in the listing for viewers. The top dog is always going to get the most viewership.

“Whereas on YouTube, if you have similar content you can just push people toward each other. Because you don’t watch a video at the same time – you watch a video and then another video and then another video. So if you have a whole bunch of similar content like me, Fintan Hand, Lex Veldhuis, and Spragg all in the Twitch poker listing, obviously we’re going to be cutting each other’s throats battling for viewership.”

However on YouTube, Talbot sees more of a team approach with his fellow PokerStars ambassadors and streamers.

“I think we can push viewers to each other’s channels and kind of grow together,” he says. “So I don’t think it’s necessarily that important to differentiate each other – just make good content.”


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Advice for others & fun times in the Bahamas

As poker streaming and vlogging continue to grow in popularity, more players seem ready to fire up the microphone and camera. With hundreds of hours on stream, Talbot offered some advice for those looking to dive. Making sure there is some consistency is a major part of that.

“If you want to do it, just do it,” he says. “It’s not that hard. We’ve all got iPhones these days with good cameras. You can vlog if you want to.

“Once you make a go of something, be it streaming, YouTube, whatever, you have to make a schedule and stick to it. It’s the most important thing with any kind of social media, influencing, Twitch, YouTube, anything like that. Hopefully have a personality for it and be a little bit entertaining.”

Talbot was pleased to see the PCA return this year. He thinks the series served as a great way to bring players of all levels together, especially for the PokerStars Players Championship.

“Four years later, finally,” he says. “It’s incredible. I haven’t heard any bad things yet. Everybody that I’ve talked to just had a good time.”

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BRANCHING OUT: YouTube Star ‘True Geordie’ Brings His Game to PokerStars in Ambassador Role

PokerStars ambassador True Geordie at the poker table..

PokerStars continues adding to its ambassador lineup with some players appealing to wider audiences. After recently announcing a deal with soccer star Neymar, the site has also added English YouTuber Brian “True Geordie” Davis.

True Geordie is no stranger to poker and the game has been a regular focus of his channel. The new deal follows a trend of adding ambassadors not seen as traditional poker pros.

Davis has almost 2 million subscribers on YouTube and 113,000 on Twitch. Those platforms are a major part of his role with the company as he charts his progress improving his skills.

“I’m delighted to bring a massive passion of mine to my audience,” he said in a news release. “People who know me well know that I give 100% to anything I enjoy and poker is no different. I’ve even drafted in some experts to train me up with the hope that one day I might be able to face the best in the game.”

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Growing his presence with PokerStars

Adding True Geordie gives PokerStars a social media star who has a deep connection with his audience. Along with poker, Davis also streams about his love of soccer, mixed martial arts, and other topics.

That mix has the potential to bring new players into the PokerStars universe. Playing at the site won’t be a new experience for Davis and he’s partnered with PokerStars in the past. That included playing in the Stadium Series over the summer.

As part of that promotion, True Geordie played against other well-known YouTubers. He also participated in the Stars Call for Action COVID relief event.

Reaching a wide audience

Davis now joins the PokerStars fold with content geared toward poker fans and his regular viewers alike. Fans can follow his journey to improve his poker skills.

The ultimate goal is to transition from a recreational player to a professional with viewers along for the ride.

“PokerStars are the best at what they do and becoming a member of the team really is a proud moment for me,” Davis said. “I have to say a big thank you to PokerStars, who are ahead of the game in supporting digital creators and their content.”

As part of his new ambassador announcement, Geordie released a short film last week. The Showdown documents a cash game between Davis and some friends.

Fans can look forward to live streams of True Geordie playing home games and freerolls. They’ll have a shot to even get in on the action and play along with him.

“Over the next twelve months,” he said, “I hope to improve my game, play with my audience and against some of the best players in the world to show just how entertaining, fun and mentally challenging poker can be.”

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BIG DEAL: Partypoker Brings Together Poker, Esports for Major Streaming Event

Partypoker's Big Deal brings together players from the world of poker and esports.

It’s no secret that Twitch has become a major part of the online poker world. Poker operators have also made efforts at reaching the growing number of esports players.

On Saturday, partypoker offers a unique event featuring both. Famous faces from the worlds of poker and gaming square off in The Big Deal. The 48-player invitational freeroll features a $50,000 prize pool.

During the event players will be streaming the action to their own unique audiences. The goal is to reach more Twitch viewers and esports players who might be interested in poker. Party officials hope to continue the effort with other events, including the upcoming Caribbean Poker Party. 

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“This is an experiment for us, and we are essentially exposing our brand to a wider audience, while also bringing an exciting new concept for our current players to watch and enjoy,” partypoker marketing director Vadim Soloveychik told PokerScout.

“Additionally, we want to showcase our streaming capabilities, as we have done with previous well-developed series on partypokertv; most notably the WPT World Online Championships earlier this year.”

Massive online poker streaming experience

Twitch allows operators to spotlight events during major tournament series. Along with some big poker and streaming fun, partypoker has more plans.

The company is hoping to break the record for the number of concurrent viewers for a poker stream. Some of the players involved include:

  • Jeff Gross – partypoker Twitch team
  • Matt Staples – partypoker Twitch team
  • Benjamin Rolle – RaiseYourEdge poker trainer
  • Jaime Staples – poker pro
  • Troels “SyndereN” Nielsen and Ted J. Forsyth (aka “Pyrion Flax“) – Dota 2 players
  • Jeffrey “SjoW” Brusi – a former professional poker player who later became known for his StarCraft II skills
  • Quill18” – a strategy game streamer

Big Deal shows how important Twitch can be to bring more players into the game. Educating others via the platform is a major aspect of the event.

Twitch is the leading gaming content platform, so it’s very important for us,” Soloveychik said. “It’s a platform that has been used by us for many tournaments in the past and several Team partypoker pros use Twitch to stream their content.

“We expect to continue to use Twitch so long as we feel it is a great platform for our content.”

Showing off the partypoker platform, adding some new wrinkles

During the freeroll action, streamers will discuss their play with viewers on their own channels. Players will have an added incentive to eliminate opponents, with a unique twist to a traditional tournament.

All players must be knocked out three times before they exit the tournament. The player making the elimination then “raids” the other player’s viewers. Raids help streamers send viewers to another channel at the end of their stream. 

Poker streamer Jeff Gross will be among those participating in partypoker’s “Big Deal.” (photo courtesy WPT/Joe Giron)

This is a unique feature for this event to allow the poker action to continue longer,” Soloveychik said. “We have experimented with the format to tailor our content specifically to the Twitch audience.

“Things like three knockouts and raiding audiences as a bounty are among a number of things we would like to test out with Twitch. This is a show for Twitch viewers first and foremost, so we hope they will like it.”

Esports production company Beyond the Summit will provide hero content for partypokerTV throughout the tournament. This includes feature tables with notable players as well as highlights from others.

The company has gone the extra mile to make it a special event. Viewers will see cards-up coverage and the final table will be streamed live.

Poker pro and commentator Maria Ho, along with poker streamer Joey Ingram, will provide commentary. 

“We are excited to host The Big Deal,” Soloveychik added. “I’m sure it will be fun to watch.”

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