A small town, corn fed, old school midwestern grinder, Rayz Rayl is one of the true OG’s of poker vlogs. Relentless in his pursuit of 40k a year at LLSNL, Ray is the epitome of what 9to5poker is all about. Following your dreams and avoiding the 9to5 work grind, all the while doing it in an honest way. #fulltransperancy. From hustling the stock game, owning and managing rental property, to grinding a respectable living on the felt, Ray has found creative ways to provide for his family off of it.
If you are a family man yourself, Ray may resonate with you the most. His vlogs may not be the flashiest(yet), but he does a great job with what he is working with. He has recently added the drone to his arsenal, and is actually very creative in general. Rayz biggest strength is the commentary and dialogue in his vlog. He has a great sense of humor, is a super likable guy, and often self deprecating as he does go by #kingoflame after all. Ray is also a bit of an eccentric cat, which adds to his likability and the entertainment factor. Always up for a challenge and constantly pushing himself in all areas of life, Ray recently attempted what he called “No Talk March.” We won’t provide any spoilers in this article, but head over and check out his vlogs if you wan’t to see how that experiment went.
Other than talking about his wins/losses, and showing some footage around his home casino, Ray has yet to delve into the hand history territory like some of the other vloggers. Rayz vlog may evolve into that eventually, but for now we’d categorize him more in the “Lifestyle of a Grinder” category. Similar to what TheTrooper97’s vlog is. Minus the Starbucks. He does a great job showing the ups and downs of the grind, and the resiliency required to make it as a true professional. Making $40k a year at LLSNL is not for the faint of heart!
One of the unique things about Ray is his thread on 2+2 where he goes by ButterflySymmetry, titled “Started with a $1/2nl Challenge, Now We’re Here.” We recommend following along as it is kind of like being at a baseball game and listening to the radio broadcast at the same time. Speaking of baseball, Rayz got rid of 71 years of runbad when his Cubs won the World Series last year. While Ray has yet to cover hand histories in his actually vlog, he has been posting them in his thread lately, so check it out to see his thought processes, and sweat him on his goal of winning $40k at 1/2 NL this year. He just hit the halfway point and is currently on pace with 6 months to go! Can he get there??
We are excited to announce here at 9to5poker that Ray will be representing us next month in the Vloggers game which will take place on July 26th at Stones Casino in Sacramento, CA! So head over to his channel, be sure to like and subscribe, and get familiar with him before the big game!
Ryan Frechette is one of the newer additions to the vlogging scene, but don’t let this fool you. His editing skills are extremely polished, and he is the closest thing to Andrew Neeme on the market as far as cinematography and editing are concerned. He definitely doesn’t lack in the creativity department. So if you are looking for a combination of creativity and poker content, Ryan is going to be your guy.
This is not the only respect Ryan is unique in. He has created his own category amongst poker vloggers with an added component of spirituality. Something the poker world is often devoid of. If you are an experienced grinder, I’m sure by now you are aware that poker will take its toll on your soul if you don’t manage your emotional health regardless of how big of a crusher you are. It’s just the nature of the game that we all love and hate at the same time. And it is through spirituality, or finding life balance that you can prevent those brutal downswings and bad beats from leaking over into your personal life and affecting your relationships.
Along with the poker content, Ryan also covers some serious topics that are common, yet often swept under the rug, and have seemed to plague many poker players over the years. The likes of Stu Unger, Mike Matusow, and Greg Merson to name a few. He delves into the depths and darkness of depression, anxiety, and addiction, and how he was able to overcome these things through the treatment of Ayahuasca. In fact he also owns an Ayahuasca Retreat down in Peru called aspiritualhand.
You see Ryan used to be a professional poker player in the midst of the boom, but fell on hard times dealing with the brutal 1-2 punch of depression/anxiety/addiction. It was actually Ayahuasca that pulled him out of it and reinvigorated his love for the game of poker. And why he now spends a lot of his time and energy giving back to help other people. So if this sounds interesting to you, give Ryan’s vlog a chance and I think you will be pleasantly surprised! Ryan also interviewed me in his recent vlog and is a great, down to earth guy. He also has some serious talent and chops as an interviewer. Joey Ingram 2.0 maybe? So be sure to check his vlog out and also learn a bit more about 9to5.
Bikeking19 may be new to the vlogging scene, but he isn’t new to poker. We recently checked out Andrew’s most recent vlog where he travels to LA to take a shot at a few tourneys and play some cash, and we were pleasantly surprised. Unfortunately he had a rough trip and didn’t turn a profit. But that is what is so cool about all these vlogs. Theres not a single poker player in this world that wins every session. Nor is immune to the occasional loss/downswing. And it is this relatability that has made poker vlogs so appealing to the poker playing masses. I admittedly enjoy watching when a vlogger has a brutal session, or admits they may have played bad, because I know their pain. Selfishly it makes me feel better about a rough session of my own, because I know I am not in it alone. On the flip side of the coin, it is inspiring to witness their resiliency and ability to stay the course. And get right back on the grind, instead of crawling into a dark corner with their tail between their legs. It is powering through these moments of failure that separates the men from the boys. And the professionals from the recreational players.
Andrew incorporates something really cool into his vlogs which we hadn’t seen done yet here at 9to5, sprinkling some infamous Rounder’s audio/quotes throughout his vlogs direct from the movie. It provides a really cool dynamic as he takes you along his journey. And gives his vlogs an authentic, old school poker feel. I was planning on taking the day off the grind, but found myself inspired after watching Andrew’s vlog for the first time, and next thing I knew I found myself driving down to the Las Vegas strip to hop in a poker game.
Andrew has a bit of a Rudi feel to his vlogs. An underdog so to speak. And this is no slight to Andrew. He is already a proven winner, and a likable, genuine guy, who is easy to root for. He’s an underdog in the sense that he is taking his shot at poker with the “You Only Live Once,” mentality. Having recently made a decent tourney score and losing a job, Andrew decided to drop everything and move to Vegas. He is currently all in on the dream. As someone who is dedicated to the game, extremely passionate about both poker, and the growth of poker, the Bikeking19 is a great example of what we embody here at 9to5poker.
Andrew was kind enough to send us a little background on himself and how he got into poker. So without further ado lets here from the man himself..
If you haven’t checked out the Pokerkraut yet, you need to ASAP! He is another middle aged, family man/grinder. His kids are out of the house, but he’s still wifed up with “The Boss,” his usual partner in crime as he likes to call her. He’s a hilarious German, always laughing and having a good time. Which is a hard thing to remain consistent at when you play poker for a living. The Kraut hasn’t always played poker for a living though. He trained police dogs, and ran/owned a bar for 3 1/2 years back in Germany before he cashed out and decided to travel the world playing poker in most of his stops, before settling down in Las Vegas. Kevin has worked as a poker dealer on and off, supporting himself with poker in between jobs. He spent time dealing at the Linq before they shut their doors, and most recently the Luxor. Fortunately he seems to be running better at the tables than he has at dealing, as both rooms have shut their doors.
The PokerKraut is a master game selector, always looking for the best game with the biggest fish. He is an admitted bum hunter, and constant prankster. The Kraut has started to incorporate a bit of hand history into his vlogs, but his strength is his positive energy and frequent moments of comedic gold. He also has the best Mailtime around!
A few of our all time favorite vlogs here at 9to5 took place during his weight loss challenge with TheTrooper97, titled “Meet the new Rocky Balboa,“ and “Time to get dirty.” You can find these vlogs on page 3 of his channel here on our site. For those of you unfamiliar with the weight loss challenge, it was a bet between the Pokerkraut and TheTrooper97 on who could lose the most weight by a certain date, with the loser having to do something extremely embarrassing. We aren’t TMZ here at 9to5, so we won’t bore you with the drama and fallout between the two that ensued, but if that is your thing you can find all the juicy details over at 2+2 poker by scanning the thread Las Vegas Poker Player Vlogs(NO 2017 REG ACCOUNTS). The cliff notes are basically that the TheTrooper97 lost the challenge, and failed to honor his bet. The Kraut was a master troll throughout and after the challenge, all in good fun we might add, which provided for some great entertainment and good laughs. If you aren’t familiar with the Kraut, these two vlogs would be a great starting point and introduction to find out what he is about.
Kevin will also be a part of the vloggers game. So be sure to check out his channel so that you are familiar with him come July 26th!
PokerPriest – Hailing from the East Coast and Foxwoods reg, formerly known as Priestly Poker, the PokerPriest has recently rebranded himself and is back vlogging stronger than ever. He took a brief break from the editing grind, but recently dropped a bunch of money on equipment and software to improve the quality of his vlogs, including a drone. So look out and stay tuned for some exciting things to come!
Matt Vaughan – Matt is another likable young kid, dedicated to the grind, whom recently made a deep run in the WSOP Marathon Event which provided for some entertaining footage to follow along his 4 day roller coaster of a journey that is tournament poker. He has an upbeat, entertaining personality, gives great hand histories and insight, and is going to be someone to keep an eye on and a vlogger to reckon with amongst the current top guys.
There are many other vloggers that deserve a shoutout and more extensive write ups for their efforts, and we plan to cover them in our next installment of up and coming poker vlogs. Be sure to also check out thepokermonk, Zac Rockwell, PondBoy, and Hello7027 in the meantime as they are all putting out great content!