Last week, the World Series of Poker announced that it has teamed up with poker community icon Kevin “Kevmath” Mathers to extend its social media outreach during this year’s Series.
Read Our Interview with Kevmath: Kevmath Talks Bluff, PocketFives and Favorite Moments
Mathers boasts a Twitter following of nearly 30,000 on his own account, and will be coordinating his updates by manning the WSOP’s accounts this summer. During the 2015 Series, the PocketFives Community Manager was instrumental in his role as an informational link between Series officials and poker players.
People are hating on Zvi Stern for his tanks, but Blumenfield waiting until it's on him, looking at cards, thinking/folding no good as well.— Kevin Mathers (@Kevmath) November 9, 2015
PokerUpdate asked Mathers what his thoughts were on the announcement. He had the following to say.
“I’m looking forward to being a WSOP employee, even if only for a few weeks. It’s a great opportunity for me, and know that expectations are high for me to provide the same rapid response and customer service to questions I answer on the @Kevmath account to the @WSOP account. If people are talking about the @WSOP account in a positive way, then I’ve done my job.”
Hiring Authoritative Personality Makes Sense
To give the recreational poker community member an idea as to the authoritative weight Kevin Mathers brings to the position, head over to his TwoPlusTwo forum account and note the Join Date and Post Count.
He’s been a contributing member of the online poker community for over 13 years and has about 28,000 posts. For more than a decade, Mathers has been a genuine contributor and is highly respected among his peers. Aside from that, he boasts an impressive on-air resume through his past work with Bluff Magazine.
Joining forces with Kevmath grants the WSOP instant distribution of its communication with players and fans starting May 31st. Yet there may be another facet of the hiring that will shine once the lights go on over at the Twittershpere in a couple of months.
Ever since poker players started taking to social media to air their grievances against major brands in the industry, there has been an uncomfortable relationship between the two. This has resulted in some poker operators blocking or restricting certain types of feedback — aside from the occasional spew which is generally acceptable to delete.
The two highest profile instances involve a dispute between Jason Mo and PokerStars, plus an unsettling falling out between WSOP schedule-makers and its 2015 Main Event Champion, Joe McKeehen, but there are quite a few cases of this in just about every industry including poker.
In a social media environment, it can prove impossible to keep updates on topic when there is a a higher profile conversation trending on the account. Make one misclick, and you’re manning a madhouse for days on end.
This is why having a truly authoritative pro take the reigns makes so much sense. In 13 years as an elite 2+2 contributor, Mathers has seen just about everything there is when it comes to dealing with online trolling, ignoring what’s irrelevant, and putting a thread topic back on track.
This fact is not lost on reputable pros. Outright negativity will only get you so far with the authoritative crowd that Mathers forms a part of. Criticism of the WSOP brand during its annual showcase is a guaranteed, so quickly deciphering the Who, What, When, Where & Why of what’s going on carries more weight than insults. And you need someone who has experience doing that to truly “communicate” with fans and critics at the same time.
So while there will certainly be heated conversations right around the corner, the chances of Mathers getting egged on to a point where he pulls a Hollreiser is non-existent. That’s a good thing, too. There are certain “givens” when you’re dealing with a person who’s had a ton of forays into big time issues through forum experience.
In such a fast-paced subjective environment, “eggs get laid” (meaning people submit unimpressive content) all the time. Information gets misquoted, intentions become blurred, and friendships can be formed or broken at the drop of a semi-colon.
This will be the first year in a while that I’ve kept my finger on the pulse of what’s happening at the Series aside from the headline moments, and that’s a direct result of wanting to keep up with what Kevin Mathers is posting from Las Vegas.
It won’t be long now!