Whether it’s playing cards or gigs, it’s all about making the winning moves
The biggest problem any local band faces when getting their name out is finding the right method to do it. Many suffer because of a lack of diversification, relying strictly on one or two avenues to get their names out with minimal thought to tapping other markets. While playing gigs and distributing music online are all perfectly viable, musicians need to take more risks in order to really make waves. To the surprise of many, a number of musicians have earned boosts in airplay thanks to one sport: poker.
During the 2012 Holy Ship! event, the German bred EDM DJ Zedd entertained a boatload of poker buffs and house music aficionados, helping cement his status as a renowned electronic artist. Hosting the poker tournament showcased his ability to entertain outside of music and drastically diversified his appeal to participants of the event.
Because of the success of his initial foray into hosting, Zedd reprised his role as poker host and featured DJ for the 2013 Holy Ship event. This has given the EDM wunderkind a steady and constant platform to bring in even more fans, all while doing something that he’s passionate about.
Musicians taking to the poker scene isn’t a new scenario at all, with rock icons Sully Erna of Godsmack being visible components of the World Series of Poker. Erna was the final celebrity player remaining during the 2006 and 2007 tournament, earning $17,730 and $45,422 respectively, along with the respect of many within the poker community. Since the tournaments were televised on ESPN, Erna, and by extension Godsmack, were given a healthy dose of publicity without having to release new material.
On the other side, the fast rising poker superstar Marvin Rettenmaier is known not only as a dangerous opponent at the felt, but also as a talented musician unafraid to show off his chops during downtime. Rettenmaier plays on behalf of Team partypoker and should he choose to retire from the gaming scene, it’d come as no surprise to anyone if he switched to doing music professionally.
Poker lends itself well to people looking to hit the big leagues, as it fits the image of the high rolling rock star to a T. But like the entertainment industry, it can be a scene that chews and spits out people who fail to understand it as a sport. Practice, dedication, and nonstop persistence are all crucial to making the best of both worlds.