Joe Rogan is worth more than a musician – to Spotify, at least.
The largest audio platform in the world has inked an exclusive deal with the podcaster, comedian, and MMA host costing them the princely sum of $100m, according to The Wall Street Journal.
For a musician to extract that kind of money from Spotify, you’re talking 23 billion streams.
Podcasts are big business.
Mikita Badziakouski is one of Rogan’s 8 million listeners who will have to switch his allegiance to Spotify if he wants to continue listening to the big man. Badziakouski believes that the podcast world is saturated with content, making it hard to know what’s worth a listen.
“It’s usually best when people share their favourites,” said Badziakouski.
With that in mind, I reached out to 15 high stakes poker players to ask them to share their favourite podcasts so ‘Badz’ doesn’t have to do the hard work.
The Most Popular
1. Joe Rogan – 4
2. Tim Ferriss – 3
3. Joe Ingram – 3
4. Canadaland – 2
5. Naval Ravikant – 2
6. Hardcore History – 2
The Joe Rogan Experience was the most popular. Tim Ferriss also hit the right notes, with Joe Ingram the most popular poker podcast amongst our players. Canadaland hits the charts courtesy of the Greenwood brothers, and both Naval and Dan Carlin also received multiple votes.
A Top Quality Host
Podcasts come in various forms, from monologues to stories, to reviews, to straight-up interviews, and speaking to our high stakes players, the quality of the host is an essential factor when choosing a podcast.
Igor Kurganov likes to listen to podcasts that make him think and loves hosts that ask the questions he wants answers to such as Rob Wilbin on the 80,000 Hours Podcast, or Sean Carroll at Mindscape.
Triton Champion, Michael Soyza, loves the Tim Ferriss show, and that’s partly because of the way that he waves the baton. Soyza is also a fan of Naval Ravikant.
“I like Naval a lot because he is a wise mofo,” said Soyza. “His view of the world is fascinating, and I have had so many mindblown moments when listening to and reading his stuff. He is a smart dude.”
Two more people who appreciate a good host are Seth Davies and Charlie Carrel. Both of whom love the Joe Rogan Experience.
“Joe is an easy guy to listen to and is great at having interesting talks with interesting people,” said Davies.
“I love Joe Rogan,” said Carrel. “He is non-judgmental, and provides a strong, kind, disciplined masculine figure for a lot of young men/boys.”
Top Quality Guests
Unsurprisingly, another critical success factor is the quality of the guests.
“The Joe Rogan Experience is a great platform with interesting talks with interesting people,” said Davies.
Carrel believes Rogan has the ‘best guests’ on his show, and that creates incredible conversations.
Fellow UK high stakes pro, Ben Heath, is a fan of the Tim Ferriss Podcast and highlights another crucial element of the podcast experience, and that’s education.
“I am not a huge listener, but when I do it’s almost always Tim Ferriss, said, Heath. “It’s interesting to listen to people at the top of their respective fields.”
Dan Smith goes one further.
The high stakes star prefers to search for the most exciting guests rather than become an ardent listener to a particular podcast.
How to Listen
We didn’t delve into this topic, but the Greenwood brothers did have a few things to say on the matter. Luc does listen to podcasts when playing, and it’s important to him that he can dip in and out of the conversation while focusing on the game. The Dan Le Batard Show fits this ideal perfectly for him.
“It’s a comedy show focusing on sports and current events,” Greenwood explained. “It’s effortless to listen to, and I can drift in and out while playing poker.”
Brother Sam had a word of warning for people.
“A quick rant on podcasts,” said Greenwood. “Listen to podcasts however you want, but I’d like to be on the record in saying if you are listening to podcasts at 1.5x or 2x speed you are likely sacrificing the pleasure of listening to the podcast for some misguided attempt at efficiency.”
Types of Podcasts
Our 15 high stakes poker players covered the whole gamut of experiences.
Listening to intelligent conversations on interesting topics seemed to be the most common reason to listen to a podcast. Humour featured as a critical success factor, with a humorous host driving that thinking.
Commonly, people had a balance of podcasts covering a range of topics. It was unusual for a player to listen exclusively to sports podcasts, for example. Instead, a player would have a favourite sports podcast, and a favourite thought podcast.
It’s clear that podcasts entertain, but they also improve our players lives in some way, either through knowledge, or emotional connection. History, politics and culture hit a nerve, as did the need to keep up with the news.
Creative podcasts that covered the arts also popped up on the radar, as did more left-field podcasts covering conspiracy stories, for example. The story element of podcasts was a prominent ideal for many.
Three poker podcasts received a mention, all of which have been recipients of the Global Poker Award (GPA) for ‘Podcast of the Year.’ Joe Ingram’s Podcast received the most votes, with Jennifer Shahade’s ‘The Grid’ in the mix, as well as Dave Lappin & Dara O’Kearney, getting a hat tip for ‘The Chip Race.’
The High Stakes Players’ Podcast List
Sean Carroll’s Mindscape Podcast
Sean Carroll hosts conversations with the world’s most exciting thinkers. Science, society, philosophy, culture, arts, and ideas.
The 80,000 Hours Podcast With Rob Wiblin
A show about the world’s most pressing problems and how you can use your career to solve them.
Conversations With Tyler With Tyler Cowen
On the Conversations with Tyler podcast, esteemed economist Tyler Cowen engages with today’s most underrated thinkers in wide-ranging explorations of their work, the world, and everything in between.
The Tim Ferriss Show
The Observer and other media have called Tim “the Oprah of audio” due to the influence of The Tim Ferriss Show podcast, which is the first business/interview podcast to exceed 100 million downloads. It has now exceeded 400 million downloads.
Naval Ravikant is regarded globally as one of the greatest thinkers and entrepreneurs of this generation. He often shares his insightful views on Mindfulness, Startups, Crypto/Blockchain and more on Twitter. His thoughts have reached massive audiences around the world in the past.
Comedy Bang! Bang!
Join host Scott Aukerman for a weekly podcast that blends conversation and character work from today’s funniest comedians. While Scott begins by traditionally interviewing the celebrities, the open-door policy means an assortment of eccentric oddballs can pop by at any moment to chat, compete in games, and engage in comic revelry.
Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend
After 25 years at the Late Night desk, Conan realized that the only people at his holiday party are the men and women who work for him.
Over the years and despite thousands of interviews, Conan has never made a real and lasting friendship with any of his celebrity guests. So, he started a podcast to do just that.
Deeper, unboundedly playful, and free from FCC regulations, Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend is a weekly opportunity for Conan to hang out with the people he enjoys most and perhaps find some real friendship along the way.
The Lowe Post Show
ESPN’s Zach Lowe talks to various basketball people about various basketball things.
We’re Greg Wyshynski of ESPN, Sean “Down Goes Brown” McIndoe of The Athletic and Ryan Lambert of Yahoo Sports and this is a hockey podcast, in the sense that we talk about hockey, both on the ice and about fan culture. That’s the “puck.” This is also a podcast about movies, TV, fast food, life lessons and general idiocy. That’s the “soup.” Unless you ordered the minestrone.
The Gist With Mike Pesca
A daily afternoon show about news, culture, and whatever else you’ll be discussing with friends and family tonight.
The Press Box
News, news and more news.
Media criticism. Self-abuse. If someone else were doing this, I wouldn’t have to. New CANADALAND episode every Monday. By Jesse Brown.https://www.canadalandshow.com/
The Next Picture Show
The Next Picture Show is a biweekly roundtable examining how classic films inspire and inform modern movies. Hosted and produced by the former editorial team of The Dissolve – Genevieve Koski, Keith Phipps, Tasha Robinson and Scott Tobias – episodes take a deep dive into a classic film and its legacy in part one, then compare and contrast it with a modern successor in part two.
The Dan Le Batard Show
The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz is a sports talk radio show hosted by Dan Le Batard and Jon “Stugotz” Weiner.
The Fifth Column
From their enclave in midtown Manhattan, Michael Moynihan (Vice), Matt Welch (Reason), and Kmele Foster (Freethink) dissect the news, interrogate guests, and question just about everything. The topics are broad, the insights are deep, and the jokes are off color. Reform the system, or burn it to the ground? They discuss…
The Joe Rogan Experience
The Joe Rogan Experience is a free audio and video podcast hosted by American comedian, actor, sports commentator, martial artist, and television host, Joe Rogan.
Believe You Me by Michael Bisping & Luis J Gomez
For the past two years, UFC middleweight Champion, Michael Bisping, and stand up comedian, Luis J. Gomez, have hosted a show together on satellite radio. Now they bring their brand of brash, comedic MMA commentary to the podcast world! Believe You Me is a weekly show that gives you a behind the scenes look at the career and life of a UFC champion. Bisping along with his co-host, Gomez, break down MMA news, pop culture stories, and talk parenting, philosophy, and life in general.
Pardon My Take
Pardon My Take is a comedic sports thrice-weekly podcast created by Barstool Sports. It is hosted by Dan Katz, known as “Big Cat”, and PFT Commenter.
Hardcore History by Dan Carlin
How did a multi-hour long show that consists of nothing more than a host talking about history ever become wildly popular? It’s got something to do with Dan Carlin.
He’s been called the king of long-form podcasting and “one of the greatest storytellers in the world”. His distinctive voice and style is one of the most instantly recognizable in the medium and with hundreds of millions of downloads, his shows are some of the most listened to podcasts of all time.
Carlin’s work weaves historical information with deep questions and Twilight Zone-style twists to help illustrate the power and continuing relevance of the past. Drama, extremes, empathy and vivid examples of both the highs and lows of humanity dominate the narrative. It’s a trademark mix of elements that has been entertaining listeners since 2005.
The Poker Life Podcast With Joe Ingram
Here you can find all my Poker Life, High Stakes PLO, and Power Poker Podcasts with WCGRIDER/Doug Polk, My PLO episodes I will talk to some of the best players in the PLO world while we break down hand histories. On the Power Poker podcast, WCGRIDER and me team-up. In Poker Life, I talk to different people involved in the poker world and learn more about them!
Chapo Trap House
Chapo Trap House is an American political podcast founded in March 2016 and hosted by Will Menaker, Matt Christman, Felix Biederman, Amber A’Lee Frost, and Virgil Texas.
Uncovering the Ep-Files with a weekly podcast @Liz_Franczak
Brace Belden & @YungChomsky
The QAnon Anonymous Podcast chops & screws the best conspiracy theories of the post-truth era. Your hosts Jake, Julian, and Travis dredge up wild beliefs from online fever swamps, engage QAnon followers in irregular warfare, and trip over deranged historical facts that make conspiracy theories sound sane.
Listen to Jeremy Scahill and his colleagues talk straight, loose, and fearlessly about the issues of our time.
Yeah, But Still
A grab-bag of a podcast, Yeah, But Still does everything from investigative deep-dives into Internet meme culture to off-the-cuff interviews with guests like Chapo Traphouse’s Felix Biederman and Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig.
Your Kickstarter Sucks. A podcast about terrible ideas. Useless robots, minimalist shoes, and “offensive” card games up to the friggin’ Pope’s stinky eyeballs!
Twitter Genius/Idiot Stefan Heck and comedian John Cullen invite guests on the program to talk about the who and the how of getting blocked on social media. From celebrities to jilted ex-lovers, every block has a story, and we’re here to get to the bottom of it.
Twice a week, Ken Jennings and John Roderick add a new entry to the OMNIBUS, a comprehensive reference work of strange-but-true stories that they are compiling as a time capsule for future generations.
History buff and comedian Dave Anthony was considering starting a new podcast in 2014. His idea was to write up an unknown story from American history and read it to a different comedian each week. Having not heard of the story before, Dave hoped the comedian’s reaction would be hilarious. He gave it a go, and his first guest was comedian Gareth Reynolds. They immediately clicked, and fans flooded social media telling Dave never to change the co-host. And he didn’t.
The Chip Race
The GPI Global Poker Award Winning Poker Podcast hosted by David Lappin and Dara O’Kearney, with Ian Simpson and Daragh Davey.
The Poker Grid
The Grid is a 169-episode poker hand scavenger hunt hosted by Jennifer Shahade. Je interviews poker players about dramatic hands they’ve played, aiming to fill out all 169 possible starting poker hands. The Gird won the Global Poker Award for Best Podcast in 2019.
On Purpose With Jay Shetty
My name is Jay Shetty, and my purpose is to make wisdom go viral. I’m fortunate to have fascinating conversations with the most insightful people in the world, and on my podcast, I’m sharing those conversations with you.
Former NHL vets Ryan Whitney, Paul Bissonnette and Barstool Sports’ Rear Admiral, bring their outspoken and irreverent opinions to the masses. Focusing on the NHL but also touching on pop culture and everything else under the sun.
No Laying Up Podcast
No Laying Up’s core philosophy is to engage in smart, nuanced discussion around all things golf. In doing so, we feel it our responsibility to be open and honest when called for, but also to inject humour and levity wherever and whenever possible.
Dissect is a serialized music podcast that examines a single album per season, one song per episode. In a world creating and accessing more content than ever before, we’ve quickly become a scrolling culture, hurriedly swiping through this infinite swath of content that seems to replenish without end.
The Paul Phua Poker Podcast, available on Spotify, Anchor and YouTube.
With Thanks To
I would like to thank the following people for participating in this article.
Igor Kurganov, Michael Soyza, Sam and Luc Greenwood, Danny Tang, Seth Davies, Charlie Carrel, Dan Smith, Michael Addamo, Ben Heath, Steve O’Dwyer, Mikita Badziakouski, Benjamin Pollak, Sosia Jiang and Nick Petrangelo.