Meet the YouTuber Who Turned Poker Vlogging into a Million-Subscriber Empire

Meet the YouTuber Who Turned Poker Vlogging into a Million-Subscriber Empire

One poker vlogger has just eclipsed a huge milestone, passing the 1,000,000 subscriber mark on YouTube. No, it wasn't Daniel Negreanu or WPT Global'sBrad Owen. Instead, it was Alexander Wolfgang Seibt, who is better known by his channel's name, Wolfgang Poker.

Wolfgang has become a titan in the poker YouTube space, pumping out over 470 videos and amassing more than half a billion views across his long and short-form content one of his videos has more than 80 million views alone!

PokerNews caught up with the man behind the Wolfgang Poker brand in an exclusive interview, where he detailed his journey to poker stardom and offered advice for the next generation of poker vloggers.

You can also find, listen and watch the full interview at the bottom of the article.

Catching the Poker Bug

Being bitten by the poker bug is something that all of us have in common, and Wolfgang found himself under that same spell from a young age.

"I ran upstairs and told the parents I won 30 bucks."

Many young upstarts recall watching poker for the first time thanks to ESPN broadcasting the World Series of Poker; however, that wasn't the case for Wolfgang as he grew up without any cable TV!

His lifelong passion for the game developed by playing with friends he grew up with in Chicago, where he lived until 18.

"Poker has been kind of a part of my life ever since I was like 12. I used to play in this home game with my buddies Randall and Reese," recalled Wolfgang.

"I won a flip. It was like a $5 flip, like six ways. It wasn't even poker, and I scooped the pot. I ran upstairs and told the parents I won 30 bucks.

"The funny thing that eeryone says is you never want your friend to win their very first blackjack hand or like poker hand or something because they're gonna think it's way too easy and get hooked, and that's kind of what happened to me. I definitely got hooked early on, and then I'd play, like, once a month with friends in the basement."

Despite finding some small success early on at the poker table, a career in poker wasn't quite on Wolfgang's radar just yet. During his formative years, he was a talented soccer player and was in the Chicago Fire Academy and firmly had his sights set on being a professional athlete until it became clear that avenue wasn't on the cards for him.

After graduating high school, he moved to California to attend Pepperdine University, where he continued to play college soccer as well as finding ways to scratch his poker itches.

"I went to school at Pepperdine for four years, and it's a Christian school. So it was hard to find people that wanted to play poker there. But I found, found a crew that would play some, like 25/50 cent games. And then on the weekends, we would drive, like, three hours to an Indian casino because they were 18 and older."

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Early Signs of YouTube Brilliance

Post further education, Wolfgang found himself in the City of Angels and took his first foray into the world of YouTube in hopes of escaping the possibility of having to get a "real job."

His first marquee moment on YouTube came from impersonating Justin Bieber, which proved popular and generated almost two million views. This all combined to make some apt foreshadowing for what was to follow next.

"I never wanted the 9 to 5. So when I graduated, I was posting videos about other things and one of them went pretty viral.

"It was like a prank video I made in Los Angeles and some guy that was from a very, very large channel that goes by Vitali. He's like this Russian prankster. He hit me up, and he's like, oh, we love the way that you edited your prank video."

From that conversation, Wolfgang took an editor's position, which then became a natural transition into doing his own content for poker.

Drawing Inspirations from Pioneers

"No one had permission back then to film. So it was pretty common to get kicked out of places."

Wolfgang drew inspiration from the likes of vlogging trailblazers like Andrew Neeme and Tim "TheTrooper97" Watts and then saw the likes of Mariano gain popularity. This three-element triangle then lit the fire in his stomach.

"I ended up meeting Mariano at the bike before he started his channel. And then once I saw him blow up, I'm like, OK, I already know how to edit from Vitali. And I see the path to me making my own content with poker because I understand how to play it, you know, albeit at a really bad level back then, but I was excited to post content."

"I was like, holy crap. Like 10,000 people wanna watch me play poker at a really poor level."

While nowadays casinos often have open arms for those looking to film their poker sessions, that warm welcome was non-existent for the vlogger as he looked to get his channel off of the ground.

"No one had permission back then to film. So, it was pretty common to get kicked out of places. It was just kind of stressful. You didn't really have the ability to just walk in there and set the camera up and like take out a camera like you can now.

"There were a lot more challenges back then, but that's kind of what made it rewarding when I posted a video, and I would get like 10K views back then. I was like, holy crap. Like 10,000 people wanna watch me play poker at a really poor level."

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Laying the Foundations

During the infancy of his channel, Wolfgang became friends with fellow popular vlogger Ethan "Rampage" Yau, who was just starting to carve out his own path on YouTube. The duo would forge a close relationship that proved beneficial to both parties.

"We would share some secrets and, you know, kind of what we found, like what time of day to post and what thumbnails were working like back then. We didn't think thumbnails were so important. We're like, oh, I just posted a picture of my chip stack; there really is no time that needs to be put into it.

"Now you can kind of see when you type in poker on YouTube. Everyone has these professionally done thumbnails. And the vloggers have kind of seen the importance of doing that. The click-through-rate is very important when it [YouTube] comes to recommending your videos."

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Finding Success in Short Form Content

After those first bricks were laid, Wolfgang continued to see his channel grow over the coming years but still lagged behind some of his peers.

"We're over a million and growing at like 4,000 subs a day."

His leap to the front of the packcame after catching lightning in a bottle in the form of short-form poker content and quickly built up a six-figure following on TikTok in no time at all, pioneering the next stage of poker vlogging.

"I kind of fell in love with making shorts, and I saw the amount of views you could get because it [TikTok] was based on view duration."

He was then contacted by his current editor Lucas, who felt he could vastly improve the content that was being produced. Wolfgang took him on, and the pair have not looked back since.

"Once he [Lucas] started editing them [shorts], and spending hours on each short, then it just went ballistic [on YouTube].

"I think earlier this year I was under 100,000 subs, and now, we're over a million and growing at like 4,000 subs a day. So it's just pretty absurd, like 100,000 a month."

"If I can get them to enjoy poker and get them into the poker ecosystem, I mean, that helps everyone."

The above short alone netted Wolfgang more than 150,000 subscribers, and his top five shorts have recorded almost a quarter of a billion views. Those numbers would potentially put anyone else's head in the clouds, but he has managed to stay grounded in spite of his meteoric rise and is all about being the best poker ambassador he can be.

"I'm the most appreciative person. I never take anything for granted. That's why I feel like my goal right now as a poker ambassador is just to keep posting videos.

"I'm getting recognized everywhere you can imagine, from like young people still in high school. So, that's the future of poker, right? If I can get them to enjoy poker and get them into the poker ecosystem, I mean, that helps everyone."

Advice for Tomorrow's Vloggers

The newly crowned king of poker vlogging also has a giving attitude when it comes to other channels that are looking to rise through the ranks.

"A rising tide lifts all ships, you know. If you're not selfish, you're gonna get rewarded if not in the short term, in the long run. You can never be greedy and try to like gate keep stuff from other people because, eventually, everyone's gonna figure it out.

"And I've kind of had to take that mentality recently with the shorts as they've blown up because people have kind of copied and pasted things that they've seen that we've done really well.

"Everyone is on the same path here...So if it helps get more people into poker and more people are using it to post, that's just gonna be good for the games. The games are gonna be softer. The tournaments are gonna get more entries, and so that's the way I look at it."

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"Love what you do, be consistent and always be genuine."

Wolgang then provided some further wisdom for those looking to help grow the poker community through vlogging and content.

"Looking back, I would tell myself to make sure that I'm making content in a space that I enjoy. So originally, I was making content in college of like kind of prank videos, and I liked it, but I didn't love it. Every day that I had to post something, I was like crap.

"With poker, I just love it. I would go in and play regardless if I film or not. And I don't really care about the stakes just because I still get the tingles every time I'm in the car driving to the casino.

"The second thing is consistency; you gotta keep posting. I don't think I missed posting a vlog in the four years that I started this channel. I would post at least once a week, and now I'm doing it two to three times a week. The algorithm will get used to when you post, and they'll keep recommending it out to more people.

"In terms of [building] relationships [with vloggers/casinos/card rooms], I would say always be genuine. Nothing really good comes out of being fake or kissing ass with people that you think could have a benefit towards you. If you're just a genuine person and you connect well with someone who's more famous than you, then that's great.

"But if, if you're really just trying to network and kind of being a little bit slimy, that will eventually come out, and it's just gonna hurt you more than it'll help you.

"So, those are my three pieces of advice. Love what you do; that's the most important. Be consistent with it and always be genuine, and I think anyone will have success with anything."

Watch the Full Interview

Along with the above, Wolfgang spoke about numerous other topics relating to his vlogging experience and also touched on accusations of him buying subscribers and followers.


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