Editor’s note: Below, you’ll find an article written by our blogger Paul Gearan, based on an interview he did with PokerfaceAsh, a popular YouTube vlogger and APT partner (I’m her biggest fan). In her most recent video, she flops a set of Jacks on her very first hand! After watching that video, if you wouldn’t mind clicking the “Like” button on YouTube, that will help out her channel greatly. Thanks! – Steve
Poker vlogs, in which you can follow a player’s live session, have become increasingly popular. Part education and part entertainment, many of the top vloggers have gathered legions of followers. There are also many up-and-coming vloggers who are quickly gaining wide attention. The AdvancedPokerTraining.com team has been following a number of new vloggers. We were fortunate enough to talk with one of our favorites, PokerfaceAsh, about her experiences and journey into poker and vlogging.
Path to Poker
PokerfaceAsh was born and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona. Growing up she was steeped in creativity and competition. Her dad owned a music store and she played piano in bands. She played point guard on her high school and college basketball teams. She thinks this background of creativity and competition inspired her eventual love of poker.
Her first exposure to poker came harmlessly enough in college, playing in non-monetary game nights with her basketball team. Then someone told Ash about online poker (this was well before Black Friday). PokerfaceAsh recounts her initial session “didn’t go well. I lost $50 in a few minutes. Deposited another $50, lost that. And went for another $50 to try to win the $100 back. And, so I was out $150 by the end of the session, which back then was a lot of money.”
Starting Her Poker Life
After college, PokerfaceAsh perfected her live game at Talking Stick. She recalled that even after playing online, there was an initial learning curve for live poker. “I had to be reminded to post blinds. When I was a big blind someone offered to chop and I had no idea what he meant.” But she learned quickly and enjoyed the social aspects of live play, as well as the competition.
Like many young poker players, Ash made a pilgrimage to Las Vegas about five hours away. She sat down at the Bellagio with $300 at a $1/$2 table and began grinding away. She noticed Bobby’s Room where a high-stakes game was happening and saw such notables as Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth, and Greg Mueller playing.
As luck would have it, Mueller emerged from the room, and struck up a conversation with her. Seeing she was a relative novice, he offered to allow her to sweat him at the $1/$2 table. Mueller explained to her his thinking in a number of key hands. This became PokerfaceAsh’s first Master Class in poker. The friendship that started that day with Mueller has endured for eight years now.
Evolving as a Player
PokerfaceAsh traveled the path from a recreational player to pro over the past eight years. Alternating between cash and tournaments, she also spent time working as a poker dealer.
But she says, “I only really turned a corner a couple of years ago”. She credits a renewed focus on poker training as she began to immerse herself in study: reading every poker book she could, taking online training courses, and discussing the game with experienced pros. She also hired a 1-on-1 coach who she still uses today.
PokerfaceAsh’s Vlogging Life
PokerfaceAsh first discovered the world of poker vlogging by watching Andrew Neeme. “It felt like I was playing with him. I binge-watched every episode.” She later became friends with Neeme and other vloggers like Jaman Burton. When she showed some interest, they encouraged her to give vlogging a try.
When COVID quarantining ended in 2021, Ash started a vlog. Although she found it “nerve-wracking” at first, she was determined to stick with it. Vlogging filled several needs for her: being creative, sharing content, and feeling like she is giving something to others. Her home vlogging base is Gila River Casino – Lone Butte in Arizona. But she has begun to travel more widely to film at other cardrooms as well.
Ash’s audience is mostly recreational players who just love playing and thinking about the game. She has been impressed by all the support she has gotten as a vlogger. However, as with all social media experiences, she has had to learn to block out the occasional critical comment. “I had to realize that what I do is not going to be for everyone,” she reflected.
Ash has found the supportive community of poker vloggers to be particularly uplifting. She recently had a chance to meet and play with Brad Owen, poker’s most-watched vlogger. She found him to be friendly and supportive. Rather than being competitive, Ash believes poker vloggers understand that their content is elevating everyone and growing interest in poker vlogging for all creators.
The Future of PokerfaceAsh
PokerfaceAsh embraces the multitude of opportunities ahead for her. As a poker player, she just wants to continue to train, absorb coaching, and get better. Like many serious players, she dreams of moving up in stakes and winning a WSOP ring or bracelet. She also looks forward to traveling to interesting locations in the Caribbean and Europe to play.
In terms of poker interests beyond playing, she views her future as a “content creator”. She would like to continue to become a better teacher on her vlog, discussing concepts and strategies in even greater depth. Growing her channel is a priority of hers, of course. But so is finding other ways to share her experiences and insights with the poker community. She has also started a second channel to be able to share her other interests such as food, drink, music, and health and fitness.
PokerfaceAsh also takes seriously her role as one of the few female voices in the poker vlogging world. Ash reflects that she has been treated well by the vast majority of male players through the years. However, there have been some unsettling incidents that went unchecked by dealers, floors, and other players. She believes “we can hold each other to a better standard” in terms of how players treat each other regardless of gender, age, race, or other characteristics that make us a diverse community.
We encourage you to follow PokerfaceAsh on what she describes as her poker “journey”. You’ll enjoy this recent video in which she plays a $2/$3 cash game and her opponent keeps overbetting the pot. When you subscribe to her channel, you’ll be able to see some great poker action and insightful analysis. You’ll also discover someone who is proving to be a great ambassador for the game.
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