Today I cancelled my PokerGo subscription and below I’ll list 5 reasons why as well as 5 ways I think they could improve it to bring in more viewers and make it more of a compelling subscription service.
5 Reasons I Cancelled my PokerGo Subscription
1. Not Enough Live Events
No coverage of the Bellagio High Rollers the other week? Mainly only final tables of major main events from the World Poker Tour (WPT) and World Series of Poker (WSOP). Most of these tournaments have dozens of tournaments going on over a few days to multiple weeks so there’s plenty of action going on, but PokerGo barely covers any of them outside of the main events.
2. Not Enough Original Programming
While they have a limited list of on-demand original programming one can get through those in a fairly short period of time and really only make up a handful of shows. Poker After Dark is ok, but that’s pretty much 90% of the new content and the current lineups lack players with personalities if people even show up at all which apparently has been a major problem as of late.
3. Streaming on new Apple TV 4th generation App would quite often buffer.
While watching PokerGo on my 4th gen Apple TV via the tvOS App I would get a spinning wheel quite often and occasional buffering. Oddly I never got this on my 3rd gen Apple TV using AirPlay from my iPhone.
After taking a quick look at reviews of the App on other devices I see they have problems ranging from audio issues to streams freezing or buffering as well.
4. Constantly had to Logout
For some weird reason if I watched on my iPhone and then later went to my computer or living room Apple TV, the App would tell me I was already watching and had to logout of one. In 2017 there shouldn’t be a need to to only allow one device at a time to be logged in. We all have phones, tablets and set top devices so this was a pain for sure.
5. User Interface is a Mess.
This one really got annoying. Whoever designed the user interface/experience did a terrible job. Just look at reviews on the iOS and Android app stores and you’ll quickly see this as one of the biggest complaints. The UI makes no sense and it’s easy to get lost, find your way back or to a specific show. I’d say the layout is probably ok, but the organization of the menus is simply awful and makes for a pretty poor experience.
5 Ways PokerGo Could Improve
1. Add more Live Tournaments
There’s tons of tournaments including large WSOP & WPT ones going on around the world weekly, but none of that is covered. Just occasional final tables of major main events.
2. Add a Poker News Show
Another suggestion is to have a nightly or at least weekly Poker News show similar to ESPN’s SportsCenter, but all about poker. Get Doug Polk or a few other guys to do it. ESPN briefly tried this online years ago, but didn’t follow through with it and didn’t find good hosts. This is something that would be huge in the world of poker if done well with the right people. 30 minutes, at least once a week and not only do recent news, but also stories on players, exclusive interviews etc…
3. Bring Characters Back to the Game
Poker isn’t pushing or building its characters anymore. It needs heroes and villains. Back in 2003 and through the poker boom, TV focused on building characters from the poker world. Some had been around for a long time and others were made in front of our eyes. Moneymaker, Antonio, Phil Laak, Ivey, Hellmuth, Farha, Sam Grizzle, Annie Duke and a long list of others. They even had great nicknames like Jesus, DevilFish, Amarillo Slim, The Magician, KidPoker, Texas Dolly, The Master, Poker Brat, The Unibomer. You get the picture. And while many of them still play today, it’s not nearly as often. They’ve been replaced by online players. Today, we get players with the personality of a cardboard box and even worse no table talk and of course the routine tanking every time regardless if they’re 100% folding with 7-2 off in first position. I guess everyone’s just making so much in Bitcoin they don’t even care about growing their brand. Well if PokerGo wants to succeed they should really look at ways to incorporate character building. In the end, poker is entertainment and characters provide more entertainment to the casual fan.
There’s a time and place for hand analysis, learning and wanting to just watch hours of hands, but adding in characters would make it so much more fun again.
I know PokerGo is geared towards hardcore players who just want to watch a ton of hands, and that sometimes includes me, but there’s just simply not enough people in the world interested in that to make this work unless you tap into the casual fan and to do that you need characters in the world of poker. You need something besides just more poker hands to lure them in. You need stories.
4. Add a curated list of the Top Poker Vloggers & Stream their Vlogs
PokerGo should pickup rights to stream & curate the top poker Vlogs. While all of these guys like Andrew Neeme, Brad Owen, Matt Berkey, Daniel Negreanu, Doug Polk, Fernando Habegger & others currently use YouTube, adding their Vlogs in a curated list could help grow the game more, provide them with more exposure and provide PokerGo with tons of new content.
5. Create a Poker Experience
PokerGo needs to find ways to grow their reach, not just appeal to poker degenerates and find ways to offer an experience, not just show thousands of hands.
Overall I think the price is fine and the quality is pretty good. I just wish there was more fresh new content. I know they like to hype the hundreds of hours of old Poker After Dark episodes, but most of us have seen all of those already on YouTube etc. Add some more fresh content, fix a handful of issues and I’d love to come back and give it another try.
What do you think? Do you enjoy PokerGo and what would you do to make it better? Let me know in the comments below.