The rhythm of the cards: How music flows through the entire poker world Whether on the tables or off, music is playing a large part in the high-stakes world of professional poker
DJ Vekked is a man in complete command of the turntables. He has demonstrated this numerous times over the years: he has held the Canadian national DMC title three years in a row and managed to bag both the DMC World Supremacy title and the IDA World title in 2012.
Before he set out on the road to turntable supremacy, he had a regular nine-to-five job. As he relates it to TheSputnik.ca, that job was “so draining and monotonous” that he couldn’t wait to quit and start DJing full time. He didn’t have the equipment then, however, so he turned momentarily to his plan B: online poker.
From poker player to professional musician
Vekked, who played poker semi-professionally and achieved a world ranking, treated poker as a way to bankroll his dreams of being a DJ. “I figured if I could make enough playing poker I could make my own hours and do music,” he says, “and somehow it actually worked out.”
In Vekked’s case, poker served as the unbreakable red string of fate that connected and led him to his dreams. It may seem like a strange jump – poker player to DJ – but it has in fact become much more common these days.
Consider Vanessa Rousso, widely considered to be one of the best female poker players in the world today. An aspiring DJ, Rousso continues to hone her DJ skills in between tournaments. Producer Evian Christ was also a hardcore online poker player in college (he played multi-table games for six to seven hours a day) before cementing his name by landing a spot on Kanye West’s Yeezus album.
Importance of music in poker
DJing is the most obviously common thread here so far, but in fact music as a whole has become a defining force in the world of poker. This is perhaps made most evident by the preponderance of music paraphernalia in almost all live poker tournaments held in recent years.
Online gaming giant Partypoker notes on its official blog that those white earbuds packaged with Apple devices are the most ubiquitous along with Beats headphones, but that may soon change thanks to the recent partnership between Beats rival Monster and the World Poker Tour.
There remains a lot of debate about the presence of music on the poker tables. Some say keep it outside the tournaments, as the people mentioned above have so far done. Others, meanwhile, contend that it helps players concentrate and keep their focus. Whichever side is right is a moot point, however. Music is a force of nature, and whether you keep it on or off the table it’s always going to have a lasting effect.