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Is Joe Ingram the Most Important Person in Poker?

Joe Ingram is one of the biggest influencers in the modern poker world.

He’s not playing the game quite as much as he used to, but the 33-year-old is one of poker’s most important personalities, creating content, advocating for players and promoting the game like no one else can.

Ingram’s poker content, including the award-winning Poker Life podcast, is essential viewing for any fan of the game. The man known as “papigto” has big aspirations to continue moving the game forward as we roll into 2019 and beyond.

Let’s take a look at Joey Ingram’s accomplishments, on and off the poker table. Be sure to check out our top 10 list of the best of Ingram’s video content at the end of this article!

Table of contents:

(Photo: Drew Amato and Poker Central)

Rising Up the Ranks in Poker

Ingram’s rise to prominence as one of the most popular young players in the game began with his decision to pursue poker full time in 2008, after running up $1,000 from a $50 deposit on PokerStars.

Ingram was obsessed with the game from the start of his poker journey, winning a prop bet in November 2008 by playing a record-breaking 600,000 hands of full-ring No Limit Hold’em in one month!

That was just the beginning for Ingram , who eventually set several records for online poker volume. Those records included 50,000 hands of No Limit 6-max in one day, 33,000 hands of PLO in one day, and 450,000 hands of PLO in a single month. He also cashed in on another prop bet in 2011 by reaching Supernova Elite status on PokerStars in just 2 ½ months, playing nothing but PLO.

Ingram relocated to Vancouver after Black Friday but returned to the US in 2013 and started crushing the mid and high stakes at PLO. In the last five years he’s become poker’s most passionate ambassador for what he calls “the great game of PLO”, dedicating many hours of YouTube content to his favorite game variant.

“Nothing makes me feel the way Pot Limit Omaha makes me feel,” Ingram says in his book Chasing the Poker Dream: The Qualities of a Successful Poker Player. “I love the game.”

In 2014, Ingram began to produce the Poker Life Podcast, which has become essential programming for any fan of the game. Poker Life won the Podcast of the Year award at the 2017 American Poker Awards and has established Ingram as one of the most well-known interviewers in the industry.

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Poker Content

When something significant happens in the world of poker, you can bet that Joey Ingram will give you his take and start a discussion about it.

Ingram frequently uses his social media accounts and YouTube channel as mediums to start conversations about the happenings of the industry. A Twitter post from Ingram will often result in a thread of responses from some of the biggest names in poker.

Take a look at just a small sample of his Twitter account and you’ll see Ingram starting dialogue about topics such as how and when to quit playing poker, the current state of high-stakes NL Hold’em, short-deck PLO, high-stakes PLO on partypoker, and qualities of a successful poker player.

The Poker Life podcast has established Ingram as one of the most important voices in the industry. Since its inception in 2014, the podcast has featured an extraordinary guest list of high-stakes players, legends of the game, and up-and-coming names in poker.

The sheer amount of material on Ingram’s YouTube channel makes it a one-stop shop for poker news, strategy and commentary. In addition to the complete library of Poker Life episodes, Ingram also produces extensive content involving hand analysis of some of the biggest and infamous poker hands from online and live play.

Ingram loves to focus on “the great game of PLO”, but you’ll also find plenty of videos on hold’em, news, and general life strategy.

The Ultimate Christmas Gift

“Chicago Joey” was at the center of the best poker story of the year in 2018, facilitating a Christmas day deal that sent lifelong poker enthusiast Jeremy Hilsercop on a dream trip to play in the $25k PokerStars Players Championship in the Bahamas.

Throughout 2018, PokerStars came up with creative ways to award $30k Platinum Pass packages for the PSPC, which included the $25k buy-in and travel expenses.

Run It Up Ambassador Arlie Shaban found himself with an opportunity to snag a Platinum Pass by completing a list of “12 Labors”. The last of those labors requiring Shaban to convince Ingram to accept his own Platinum Pass and an invitation to play in the PSPC.

An outspoken critic of PokerStars, Ingram was conflicted about accepting the invitation and publicly shared his reluctance on social media in the week leading up to Christmas.

In the midst of making a decision on attending the PSPC, Ingram, and the rest of the poker community, were treated to this Christmas day video of a lifelong poker fan in Tennessee receiving the dream gift of a lifetime from his wife:

This video of Randi Hilsercop gifting her husband Jeremy with a trip to the 2019 World Series of Poker went viral in the poker world, and inspired Ingram to make his decision. He would accept the offer to play in January’s PSPC, on the condition that Jeremy Hilsercop also received a Platinum Pass.

The PSPC turned out to be the biggest $25k buy-in tournament of all time, drawing 1,039 players, including more than 300 Platinum Pass winners, and a $26,455,500 prize pool. It’s safe to say that when Jeremy Hilsercop woke up on Christmas morning, he had no idea just how great his day was going to be.

The first-time event was an undeniable success, and the series of events that brought together the Hilsercops, Ingram and Shaban in the Bahamas will forever live in poker lore.

What Does the Future Hold for Joey Ingram?

Ingram doesn’t consider himself a full-time poker player anymore, as his duties with the podcast, and as a content creator on YouTube and social media have brought on entrepreneurial duties that limit his ability to put in the playing hours that he used to.

“I love the game, I like the poker world, and it is what I know best,” Ingram says in his book. “I love being able to put out high-quality content about the game I’ve dedicated my life to playing.”

In this interview with Robbie Strazynski from the Cardplayer Lifestyle Blog, Ingram expresses that his long-term goals include a continued pursuit of content creation and marketing, and that within the next 10 years he’d like to be in charge of the World Series of Poker (watch at 26:26):

In recent months Ingram has taken a step back from playing poker and creating content solely related to the game. While he’s still giving us lots of poker stuff to digest, Ingram has branched out into subject matter like sports and MMA.

One of Ingram’s first forays into MMA was a video investigating the post-fight brawl after the UFC 229 Main Event between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov:

This video surpassed the 10-million reviews mark within three months of its release, and earned Ingram high praise from many sources outside the poker industry. Not bad for Ingram’s first shot at commentary outside of poker

Let’s take a look at Ingram’s Khabib-McGregor video, as well as a collection of his greatest hits of poker and MMA content:

Joey Ingram’s Top 10 Videos

Khabib-Mcgregor Investigation (Parts One and Two)

Ingram forayed into the realm of MMA video content after the Khabib-McGregor fight and enjoyed tremendous success. The first of these investigative videos is over the 12-million views mark, by far the most watched video on Ingram’s YouTube channel:

Christmas Day Miracle (Jeremy Hilsercop and the PSPC)

Ingram recaps the incredible series of events that led to attending and playing in the 2019 PokerStars Players Championship. His decision was made on the condition that Jeremy Hilsercop would get to play in the tournament as well:

Is Tom Dwan a Texas Hold’em Poker God? Investigation!!

The most watched poker-related video on Ingram’s channel dives into Tom Dwan’s return to Poker after Dark in 2017. This video is up to nearly 2 million views at the time of this writing:

Poker Life Podcast with Phil Nagy (America’s Cardroom CEO)

Ingram, a longtime critic of America’s Cardroom and ACR CEO Phil Nagy, gets Nagy on the Poker Life Podcast for an intense, brutally honest Q & A session. This episode is one of the most compelling of the series.

Doug Polk is Back, Firing Shots All Around

There’s never a dull moment when Ingram and Doug Polk get together, and Polk’s most recent appearance on Poker Life is no exception:

Biggest Poker Cash Game Pot of All Time?

Ingram breaks down a €2 million pot at the Triton High Roller cash game, which produced some of the biggest televised pots in the history of poker throughout its 2018 run:

(Investigating) How Does She Fold?

Ingram investigates a video of an insane fold that went viral in the poker community in January 2019. Thi Nguyen manages to correctly fold a full house on the river at the PokerStars Players Championship, in a hand that has to be seen to be believed.

Is This the Biggest Angle in Poker History?

An investigation into an infamous incident on Live at the Bike, in which Bicycle Casino regular Aremenian Mike puts his entire rack of chips into pot, get snap called by Ryan Feldman, and then tries to explain that he was just joking and attempts to pull back his all-in bet.

Can I Win $500,000 at Pot Limit Omaha on Bovada?

Ingram takes us through a 12-month journey in which he tries to win $500,000 at the high stakes Pot-Limit Omaha tables on Bovada/Ignition. This video offers plenty of insight on Ingram’s strategy and approach to PLO.

What’s next for Joe Ingram?

Poker fans can only hope we’ve only seen the beginning of a long run, in poker and beyond, for “papigto”.

(NOTE: Want to improve your poker skills FAST without spending a dime? Get our FREE preflop guide with 8 easy-to-read charts and start playing like a pro before the flop. Download now!)

About the Author

Geoffrey Fisk

Freelance writer and poker player based in San Diego, California.

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