3 Minutes Read
Since the first episode of “The PokerGuru Show” that came out three months ago, we have invited a myriad of people from the global and Indian poker industry. For the fourth episode of the show, we have an accomplished group of poker players on the panel. Our guests are PokerStars India Team Pro Muskan Sethi, star commentator Aditya Wadhwani and poker coach Abhishek Goindi.
So what’s common between these three apart from poker? They love creating poker content and have been doing so by hosting their own poker podcasts and shows. Sethi hosts the PokerStars-sponsored podcast “Off the Felt,” and Wadhwani had a good run of candid conversations with poker players on his Facebook-aired show, “It’s Your Turn.” Arguably one of the most articulate poker content creators in the business, Goindi, is all over YouTube, with his own channel.
When host Aastha Sethi got talking to this talented bunch of old-timers, there was an explosion of ideas! Not that there weren’t enough hurdles – from connectivity issues to other technical glitches. Add to that the sheer energy on the set, and so much to discuss, we were forced to extend this episode into a two-part series.
Watch the easy-breezy Part 1 of the episode to hear what Goindi, Sethi, and Wadhwnai have to say about the fast-changing landscape of poker content creation, their motivation to create content and much more!
Watch part 1 of the episode below. Part 2 to follow soon.
Here’s a quick recap & timeline of the episode highlights.
2:22 – Aastha introduces the show’s theme and welcomes Muskan Sethi, Aditya Wadhwani, and Abhishek Goindi.
4:20 – Sethi talks about how life remains the same, but a lot has changed for her, and she’s giving more time to her fitness. Wadhwani says that lockdown hasn’t been a real adjustment for him, but he’s been using the extra time productively.
7:23 – Sethi talks on how the lockdown brought on a crisis in Delhi, and how she tried to pitch in by donating to NGOs and volunteers.
8:55 – Wadhwani talks about his grind, admits that he’s moderate about playing nowadays, and tries to maintain a balance.
9:28 – Sethi agreed that balancing content creation with poker was difficult, and keeps her busy.
10:50 – Goindi says that churning out content isn’t easy; he likes to do “recorded stuff,” which is much easier than live streams.
14:33 – Goindi lauded Sethi’s Women of Poker podcast, and opined that women make better poker players. For Goindi, poker is life, and he feels motivated to promote it.
16:55 – Wadhwani feels compelled to do something for the game he loves and wants to be a part of the sector’s growth in India.
17:54 – Sethi says that upcoming players need to understand the struggle, and she feels motivated to bring inspiring stories in front of them. She remembers meeting Goindi at WSOP and sharing her hand history notes with him. She even discusses how she met Wadhwani in Goa.
20:05 – The trio talks about the basic advice they were given when they were starting out and the mistakes they made.
25:55 – Goindi says he gets help from his young editor in producing his videos. Wadhwani talks about how his production experience led him to produce his show ‘It’s Your Turn.’ Sethi talks about her experience of working with PokerStars India for her podcast.
30:44 – Goindi talks about being approached by brands for churning out content, but how it’s adding an extra dimension to his love for poker.
32:18 – Wadhwani said that sponsorships are cool, but he is happy to keep his show as an independent, unbiased space.
Sethi reveals that while life has remained the same, at the same time, there is so much that has changed, which earlier was taken for granted. Like no travel, and no WSOP. She’s also spending more time on her fitness routine.
Wadhwani pointed out that he’s now making use of the extra time to polish his content creation and production skills, and even started his own show. It’s the gaming that he’s finding difficult to squeeze in, he added, he’s got lots of new toys, but no time to play!
Goindi admitted it’s been difficult for him since he’s not used to staying indoors.
The Pandemic & Helping Out For COVID Relief
Goindi, like many poker players, has donated to charities working for COVID relief. Sethi reminisced how the lockdown unleashed a terrible crisis across Delhi. Her effort was to donate and reach out to her friends and family to do the same as well to groups trying to help out migrant workers, stray dogs, etc.
Juggling Between Playing & Creating Content
“We don’t sleep!” Wadhwani jokingly said, adding on a serious note that to balance things out, “I keep it 2-3 times a week and put in a decent session whenever I can.”
Sethi acknowledged that finding a balance was hard, but, “Creating content becomes your second nature. I was very uncomfortable earlier making all these videos,” she said, adding how much time and effort it can take, especially since she does her podcasts live.
Goindi elaborated how difficult it is to churn out content, and why he partially likes to do recorded stuff that gives some breathing space. “I have a newfound respect for content creators. What is exciting to me is that I am learning so much.”
Sethi, Wadhwani, and Goindi all agreed that it was refreshing to see more Indian players creating content, even if it’s on a modest scale. For them, the objective has been primarily to offer something to the up and coming players.
You also learn so much from each guest. “There were very few people earlier who created content, and you could go and actually see a champion’s mindset…I would like to give that to upcoming players…In our Indian community, it’s just very fresh, but these guys are amazing…” Sethi said, adding that it was a learning process for her as well.
On Sethi’s Women of Poker Podcast
Goindi lauded Sethi for doing the ‘Women of Poker’ episode and called it a great watch. Sethi remembered how challenging it was to have so many guests on one screen amid connectivity issues, but also a lot of fun.
Women Are Great in Poker!
Women make great poker players! Goindi points out that now that he’s coaching Radhika (Shankar) and Ashwini, he realizes that women take a lot of time to learn, but eventually, they know how to follow the process. “If more women start playing poker, this game is going to explode,” he exclaimed.
What’s the Ultimate Objective of Creating Poker Content?
For Goindi, poker is a form of religion. “I create it because I want people to see this game for what it is, and how beautiful it is, and how it can teach you stuff in life, along with making you financially stable…”
Wadhwani added, “The game is so complex, you can apply it almost everywhere. There’s nothing cooler that you get to create. It’s still a small, growing community, we get to be part of that, and that growth, I like to think that when people look back, they say, we did our bit.”
As for Sethi, her motive is to bring out inspiring stories in front of upcoming players. Remembering how she’d walked up to Goindi at the WSOP and shared her hand history notes, Sethi said there was very little to learn from in the pre-online poker days. Nothing was really structured. At the time, there were only 2-3 podcasts that one could look up to, like Joey Ingram and Doug Polk. Now there’s so much free content available for upcoming players.
Managing the Production Set-up, & Edits on the Videos
Goindi talks about how he does most things on his own but has help from a talented young editor, Ishan, who he calls ‘David Blaine’. The two ideate together and bring the concepts alive in the videos.
Sethi underlined that the PokerStars India team help us through each step. “Aniket and Jay (Mavani) – these are the two people who have been really helping me, and one of these days, Adi (Aditya Wadhwani) helped me out.”
Aditya Wadhwani – Years of Production Experience Helped Create ‘It’s Your Turn”
According to Wadhwani, his decision to start ‘It’s Your Turn’ had less to do with commentating and more to do with the years he has spent in production. Creating the show was for him an extension of his love for poker. “Production was just that I had, that I found a use to cross over and use over here…The part that makes it fun for me, I know poker well enough, and I love poker a lot, it’s never work when you’re doing it.”
Muskan Sethi – On Working With PokerStars India
Sethi delved over how the PokerStars India team has been tremendously supportive in helping her through her podcast’s different stages. “In fact, it was they who encouraged me. I wanted to do a podcast, but I was always indecisive. It was Ankur (Dewani), my CEO who persuaded me, saying trust me, this will become your second nature, and you will enjoy this more than anything. Now I do, I look forward to it, it’s something that keeps me extra busy.”
Does she call the shots as far as selecting the guests are concerned? “I get to choose my own guests because I have met these people I know that their journey has been very inspiring, so I wanna (want to) bring them on. They get to decide who will not be on the podcast! (laughs)
Wadhwani & Goindi on Being Approached by Brands For Promotional Plugins
Goindi and Wadhwani emphasized how creating content was fun and something they like doing!
Goindi remarked, “Brands are coming on, yes, but my drive is not really to tie up with one particular brand and monetize it, but to help people, and make sure that they don’t make as many mistakes as I did… I’m pretty sure that if I keep doing good work, brands will automatically come to me, so my goal is to do good work.”
Wadhwani agreed. “Sponsorship is definitely cool but I am quite happy to keep the show I have created as an independent space, free of any sponsorship just so that the space remains an unbiased place for people to talk about poker…”
Part 2 of the episode comes up next…stay tuned!
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