I won’t lie. Up until recently I thought of Joe Sebok as Barry Greenstein’s son. And I mean, he is. But that’s so not the story here. Joe Sebok, the man, the poker player, is a media mogul empire king. As Liv Boree said, “He’s like the President!” And he has built the biggest empire in poker that isn’t primarily based on poker site sponsorship or affiliate rakeback. All of which means he probably hasn’t made very much money at all.

But it’s also probably the reason people like what he does and what he stands for. He’s not breathing down the neck of a corporate whore, and the quality shows. Sebok has been involved in everything, from the most comprehensive internet poker radio shows to the first real US network poker magazine show to his Roman army of followers on Twitter.

Show 22 (December 9) with Joe Sebok is online now! Click the play button to listen:

[podcast]http://www.thepokershowlive.com/media/mp3/208.mp3[/podcast]

Prefer to download? Right click here and Save As.

I was quite excited to talk to him, and not disappointed. But I wanted to make sure I was prepared. So I went back and watched some of the old episodes of Poker Tonight that I hadn’t seen and that’s why when Joe called I was sitting there and howling along as he and Stapleton (or is it Huff) took turns being both light and serious on all manners of the poker world.

The TV show was really a spinoff of their radio shows, which have been some of the varied regular content on Pokerroad.com for about the last three years. Joe Sebok and Gavin Smith became the Abbot and Costello of the tournament trail, spinning prop bets and stories from the rail on the backdrop of the California and Las Vegas scene. It was fresh, and it was great. People like Joe Stapleton, Scott Huff, Ali Nejad, and Jimmy Fricke are all part of the Pokerroad team and Sebok empire, and the ethos is the same. If we’re having fun, then the battle is won.

Sebok also became the voice of Ultimate Bet, a cause that led him to take on the UB Superuser scandal head on in an effort to remake the company into one that met his ethical standards. And you don’t have to talk to Sebok for long to realize that his ethical standards are quite high.

When he talks about his success, he’s all about “keeping it honest”, “getting that sense of community”, and “having fun”. And he’s not talking corporate shtick. Sebok genuinely loves poker in the way that we need poker to be loved by those who are going to shape the game over the next few years. As in, it ain’t all grinding and bad beat stories. And even though he says Gavin Smith’s recent baby means the Apocalypse is near, when I hear him talk about what poker needs and what he wants to do next, I hung up the phone thinking this could just be a new dawn for our game.

Show 22 (December 9) with Joe Sebok is online now! Click the play button to listen:

[podcast]http://www.thepokershowlive.com/media/mp3/208.mp3[/podcast]

Prefer to download? Right click here and Save As.

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