Kevin Mathers, known to the poker world as Kevmath, is the go-to person for poker information. He is a walking Wikipedia of poker information and serves as the game’s public broadcasting service.
Coconut Creek or Isle Pompano Park. https://t.co/RfaH3PlDqK— Kevin Mathers (@Kevmath) September 24, 2015
Until recently, Kevmath served at the Manager of Poker Information for Bluff Magazine but cutbacks forced him into a new position. He is presently the Community Manager for PocketFives and continues to share his poker knowledge with the world.
I recently caught up with Kevmath online (shocking I know) to speak about his departure from Bluff, his new position with PocketFives and his favorite memories since stepping out from behind the computer five years ago.
Back in 2010, you joined Bluff Magazine and were with them until the announcement they were closing up shop back in July. Did you have any idea at the time that changes were on the horizon? Share a bit about your time with Bluff and your favorite memories working with the company.
Among the remaining employees at BLUFF, the sentiment was that we’d still have jobs until the end of the year. The timing of the announcement – the day after the November Nine was established – was shocking. Combined with the fact that it was a former employee who put out the word publicly, as we’re boarding the plane back to Atlanta, making things much worse.
There was a period where I wasn’t with BLUFF, thanks to Black Friday. The second time I was at BLUFF from 2012 to July 2015, was a much better experience.
My role with the company went more towards my strengths and definitely flourished as the Manager of Poker Information. My favorite memories were when the four of us (Lance Bradley, Tim Fiorvanti, Paul Oresteen and myself) were together in the office in Atlanta or in Vegas during the WSOP. To me it was the four of us against the world as we were working on creating that month’s issue of the magazine or creating content for the BLUFF.com website.
Earlier this month, you began a position with PocketFives as their “Community Manager.” Tell us a bit about how you became connected with PocketFives and what your job as Community Manager entails.
My role as Community Manager at PocketFives involves several duties within the forum along with promoting via Twitter/social media stories of interest to help drive interest to the site. There’s other stuff I’ll do with PocketFives that will be revealed at the appropriate time.
There were a few job offers in the days after the end of BLUFF, and there was one I considered that would have involved me moving to Vegas, but it also would have involved dealing with accusations of “selling out”. After giving it much thought, the offer at Pocket Fives was more appealing for a variety of reasons.
The obvious question from those of us that watched Twitter this summer is “What about the WSOP?” Did the WSOP contact you about a position? You would have seemed an obvious choice for their social media department considering all the free press you’ve provided this summer and in years past.
On my second visit to Vegas for the WSOP, I had a conversation with a high-ranking WSOP employee about maybe doing something with them during the 2016 WSOP. We’ll have to see if anything truly comes of that. It’s hard for me to stay off of Twitter and not respond to people’s requests, but the thought is there unless my time and effort is compensated.
After the WSOP and the news of BLUFF shutting down, I had a conversation with Bill Rini at WSOP.com and another employee at Caesars Interactive. While it seems a lock that I’d work for the WSOP, it’s not really that simple. What I do is something that is not in easily slotted into one of their job titles. For now, it’s basically a wait-and-see approach to see if anything actually happens.
You’ve been asked this a couple hundred times during the last couple of months, but what motivates you to spend the amount of time that you do tweeting and promoting the world of poker. And don’t just give us a standard “for the fans” answer because most of us love the game too but don’t dedicate huge portions of our lives to promote the game. Even Phil Hellmuth stops promoting at some point.
The simple answer is that I enjoy helping people. What good is having information if you don’t share it with others who need and want it?
How’s your poker game coming along? With your popularity, we’re surprised you haven’t had a couple of pros try and take you under their wing. Do you have any goals in terms of your game or are you happy with your current role in the poker community?
My poker game is much better than it was a few years ago, but not sure if it’s because I’m playing better or getting luckier. In the two biggest tournaments I played this year (Bay 101 and WSOP Main Event), I made it to Day 2. With the amount of poker I play each year, it’s not really worth the time and effort to get coaching. Maybe if online poker was readily available, it would be more valuable to me.
Five years ago, you officially stepped out from behind the virtual curtain and started your journey in the “real world” of poker. You’ve been to numerous poker events and experienced history being made. What has been your top three favorite moments you’ve experienced in the poker world in the past five years?
- My first trip to Australia in January 2012. I was hired by Crown Melbourne to do social media, etc for Aussie Millions. For my efforts, they bought me into one of their prelim events and I earned my first Hendon Mob result. Making the final table and cashing for over 6,000 AUD was icing in the cake.
- Performing the “Shuffle Up and Deal” on Day 2B of this year’s WSOP Main Event. Doing that was slightly better than actually playing on Day 2 for the first time, especially as it involved me being in front of hundreds of people, something that seemed impossible five years ago.
- Attending my first WSOP November Nine in 2010. Being that close to a major tournament for the first time was an experience I’ll never forget. Also being at the after-party for Duhamel’s win in the Polazzo Suites at the Rio was pretty cool too.
So what is next for the Kevmath brand? Yes, we are calling it a brand because that’s really what you’ve become. THE brand for poker information.
You’ll just have to follow @Kevmath to find out!
Maybe he should trade in the Pope Hat for a Pope visor. https://t.co/RHxmWAaCCH— Kevin Mathers (@Kevmath) September 23, 2015