In recent years, Poker has gone from being primarily a recreational activity, to a widely popular spectator activity with international audiences and multi-million dollar tournament prizes. With such high stakes on the line it’s no surprise that many in the professional poker world turn to music in order to help them stay on top of their game.
Poker players have been long known to use music as a way to help improve their concentration and focus. For instance poker professional Erik Seidel has long been known to listen to a music mix ranging from classical to the Beatles, whilst pro Vanessa Rousso, prefers to listen to more contemporary music in order to pump her up at the table.
Some players will use the music as a way to help them cope with various situations in poker. If they have taken a particularly bad beating, they may listen to some easy listening music to try and keep them calm. Others choose listen to something with a high BPM in order to pump themselves up and keep their focus high.
Other players have been known to use music as a way to bring some balance to their lives or show their artistic side. As mentioned earlier, Vanessa Rousso plays music at the table to pump herself up, but she is also an aspiring DJ and has played numerous gigs where she has demonstrated her technical abilities. Other players have turned to hip-hop or musical parody as forms of self-expression. Examples include Jeff Madsen and Brett Richey who are both known for their freestyle ability and have been featured on various poker shows.
A recently poker “online celebrity” that has gained popularity for his parody songs is Thomas Keeling aka SrslySirius. Keeling made a splash last year in the poker community with his parody of Wiz Khalifa’s “Black and Yellow“. Since then, he has made several additional parody videos that often contain messages about some of the major current issues in poker.
As you can see, many in the poker world have strong relationships with music, and not just their playing careers, but in their everyday lives too. Their musical tastes may vary, but they all have learned how important music can be to improving their lifestyles.