Brad Owen, Poker Vlog Personality

Brad Owen and His Cat - The Trifecta

Brad Owen is easily one of the most popular poker vloggers on Youtube currently. Since starting his poker vlog a little over a year ago, Owen has gained over 30,000 subscribers due to his engaging content, above average filming and editing, and everyone’s favourite cameo, Cosmo the Poker Cat. The 29-year-old has experienced both highs and lows in his poker career, catapulting from home games with friends all the way to the WSOP Main Event, Vegas cash games, and producing vlog content for thousands of avid followers.

Brad Owen's Early Signs of Success

Brad Owen grew up in Santa Rosa, California, about an hour north of San Francisco. Perhaps destined for stardom, his first spotlight moment came at the age of four when he starred in a Pizza Hut commercial. While Brad jokingly states that he peaked too soon, his success with his poker vlog says otherwise! He was exposed to poker from an early age when at the age of seven he won $5 playing five card draw. From early on it was clear that Brad Owen was a competitor, always trying to best his older brother in everything ranging from sports to video games. While Brad claims to be 0-100+ against his brother in Monopoly, it turns out that he had a knack for a different game. Brad learned to play poker from his older brother and would compete with him and his friends when they came home from college for holidays or summer break. He quickly realised that he had finally found a game in which he could compete on an equal level with his brother, which prompted him to take great interest in the game.

“My older brother is really the one who taught me how to play poker.. I had a knack for it right away!”

Brad’s interest in the game of poker gradually increased throughout high school and into college. He bought a poker book in high school, and started to keep a “Poker Log” to track his buy-ins and results. He taped it to the wall in his bedroom and kept a running balance on how much he had won. It was in his first year of college that Brad started to play poker seriously, playing 3/6 Limit Hold’em and $40 tournaments. He eventually made the switch to 1/3 NL Hold’em, and played competitively during his collegiate career. Fresh out of college in 2010, Brad managed to win a $100 satellite to the World Series of Poker Main Event. After day 1 of the Main, Brad was in the top 50 in chips, but unfortunately busted in the middle of day 2. Rather then being disappointed, Brad said that the experience really gave him confidence that he could play for a living.

Brad Owen Playing Poker with Phil Hellmuth

Learning and Improving from Mistakes

In the fall of 2010, Brad got a job in San Francisco leasing apartments. Finally done with school, he was able to devote the majority of his off-time to reading poker books and improving his game. Brad became a regular at the local 2/5 NL game at Lucky Chances Casino. While playing there, he met a man named Charles Michna (CzechRaiseCharles on Youtube). The two became close, and Charles was able to help Brad take the next step in poker study. Brad went from an admittedly break-even player to producing a steady win rate, and he began to think about poker on a much deeper level.

Playing the Main Event gave me the confidence that I could play for a living.. although I was admittedly still a break-even player at the time.

It was after Brad moved to Los Angeles that he experienced the first real setback of his career. While in LA, Brad decided to take a shot at the local $5/$10 games. Under-rolled and inexperienced, his bankroll could not sustain the shift, and after a downswing, Brad suddenly found himself almost entirely broke. Humbled and disappointed, he moved back in with his parents for a while. Brad testified that this was by far the lowest point in his life. His parents had already questioned his choice become a professional poker player, and Brad had just given their worries merit. However, after a couple of months, he was able to get his feet back under him and begin rebuilding his poker bankroll. Fast forward a few years and Brad is a winning regular at low-mid stakes cash games. Resolving never to make the same mistake twice, Brad is playing the best poker of his life and has also had incredible success with his poker vlog.

Why he moved to las vegas

At the age of 24, Brad Owen decided to leave his job in San Francisco and move to Las Vegas to pursue poker professionally. The move was a massive step for Brad, but without kids or any real responsibilities, he knew that he had to take a shot at his dream. Brad buckled down and started treating poker as a serious career. He would write down all of the key hands he played and would read strategy books and discuss poker hands with his peers at every opportunity. For the first time, Brad was able to devote the entirety of his time to poker, and initially, it went well. Brad found a 2/5 NL game at Red Rock Casino that he could beat consistently, and was well on his way to becoming an exceptional player.

I have always felt the need to prove to people that I’m not some degenerate gambler. I wanted my family to understand what I do on a day to day basis.

When Brad started his vlog over a year ago, he had no idea that it would grow so rapidly. The vlog was initially intended just to be a way for his family to keep in touch with what he was doing on a day to day basis. Brad stated that he’s always felt like he had to prove to people that he wasn’t some degenerate gambler. His vlog was a way to show his family and friends what playing poker for a living entailed. Gradually Brad gained experience with editing and filming and used his new talents to improve his vlog. The channel snowballed due to Brad’s insightful poker hand breakdowns, scenic shots of the Vegas strip, and skilful editing. A popular cameo on Brad’s vlogs is Cosmo the poker cat, who makes appearances throughout the vlogs and adds a touch of humour to the videos. Cosmo is massively popular among Brad’s followers, and Cosmo tee shirts are always a win with the ladies! Brad has also hinted that a rap song featuring Cosmo will be dropping on the vlog soon, complete with a music video and funny cameos from other recognisable faces. Indeed, something to look forward too!

“When you want to do something for a living that others do as a hobby, it takes a substantial amount of extra effort to gain an edge and keep it.”

In 2018, Brad is looking forward to new goals and challenges. From coordinating Meet Up Games with Andrew Neeme to continuing to improve his vlog, Brad will be very busy this year. He plans on playing several events at the WSOP this summer, specifically the Monster Stack Tournament and the Main Event. Through it all, Brad will continue to put his best foot forward and go all in on every new challenge. He noted that doing something for a living that most people do as a hobby requires extra effort and work to gain an edge. Even though becoming a poker pro is a challenging and steep hill to climb, Brad maintains that it is all worth it in the end.

I love the game of poker, and I am willing to go the extra mile because, to me, there is no better feeling than walking out of the casino with more money that I walked in with.

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