ESPN Proves That Even Poker Videos Can Go Viral

This card game just got real

ESPN is known for keeping sports fans on the edge of their seats with football, basketball and hockey coverage. But what about poker? This week’s top spot in the Adweek/VidIQ top ten branded video chart comes from a dramatic YouTube clip that the sports broadcaster uploaded from the World Series of Poker.

The three-minute video follows players Connor Drinan and Cary Katz (who each paid $1 million to participate) during the final minutes of last week’s tournament. The video catches the competitors trash talking while the announcer tries to jump into the conversation by saying things like, "This is getting serious for Drinan" in the background. Spoiler alert: It does not, in fact, end well for Drinan.

ESPN’s "Poker Player Loses $1 Million After Incredible Bad Beat" spot has been viewed 5.4 million times since being uploaded on July 29. The video has also been shared 819 times on Facebook with 3,830 tweets.

ESPN is one of the eight new clips to this week’s chart, partly due to the launch of several video-heavy campaigns from big brands the past few weeks. Under Armour’s "I Will What I Want," Johnnie Walker Blue’s ad with Jude Law and Old Navy’s back-to-school spot all make this week’s chart.

Other new spots this week are from BMW, GoPro, Playstation and Nissan. Interestingly, the only video that included paid media this week was a 30-second spot from Aeropostale.

Check out this week’s top 10 videos in the VidIQ-powered chart below.


NOTE: Adweek's VideoWatch Chart, powered by VidIQ, reveals the Top 10 Branded Web Videos on YouTube every week. The chart tracks more than just pure views, as VidIQ incorporates sharing data from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, among other data sources, in an effort to measure true engagement. Every video is also ranked with VidIQ’s proprietary Score, which helps judge the likelihood of a video being promoted in YouTube Related Videos, Search and Recommended Videos.