Caitlin Comeskey Has Earned Her Big Break

Poker pro and content creator Caitlin Comeskey’s success on-and-off the felt has brought her to a crossroads.

Jeff Walsh
Nov 29, 2022

Caitlin Comeskey is in the midst of taking some alone time. Both literally and figuratively.

The burgeoning poker pro and viral content creator – who made a splash during the recent Hustler Casino Live scandal – is stashed away in her home in Austin, Texas taking a break from the grind of livestreamed cash games and podcast appearances by binge-watching the reality show hit Alone on Netflix.

“I’m kind of an obsessive personality. I don’t really do things halfway, which is why I need times like now where I just take a week off and watch 17 hours of Alone and, like, figure it out.”

And with all that she’s got going on in her life, there’s a lot to “figure out,” making it completely reasonable for Comeskey to want a little solitude, like the reality show contestants living in the wilderness.

As she puts it, she can be “pretty intense” when she has her sights set on something, and for the past two years, she’s had her eyes on carving out her own unique place in the poker world. One of a successful livestream cash game pro who also excels in creating content from an entertainment-above-all ethos, backed by a lifetime of training and experience in the arts.

“It’s a huge time commitment to be a poker grinder. And, it’s a huge time commitment to be a poker content creator, period. So I’ve been trying to find that balance,” Comeskey said. “This is my second year as a full-time poker player where I get my main income from poker. As a poker player, your financials come and go.

“So, if you see me out on the felt and grinding more, it’s probably because I need money. And when I get a tournament score, or a big cash win, then I have the time to create content for that ‘Five Year Plan’, you know? The goals of ‘Where is my career going?’”

Luckily for Comeskey, right now is one of those times. While her poker notoriety may come from her appearances on a number of Texas-based cash game livestreams, it’s her recent runner-up finish in Austin card room The Lodge’s Monthly Monster for a score of more than $55,000 that is allowing her a day to do a little laundry and figure out what’s next.

“I was getting a little burnt out,” she said. “That’s why I’m home creating content because I’m honestly, straightforward not fit for life at the moment. We definitely get to those spots where we work ourselves a little too hard and you need to take some time for rest and recovery.”

Like poker, the content game can be all-consuming. But Comeskey’s here for it. With her Texas charm and “theater kid” enthusiasm, she’s consistently posting snapshots of her poker journey to her TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram feeds. But unlike some others in the poker space, her content is not limited to poker. She’s online pitching jokes, performing lip-synching videos, and even roasting followers for their Halloween costume of choice. She found enjoyment by bringing people into her life both as a poker player and a performer while also taking a different approach from the current content meta in poker.

“So, I was never super interested in just hand histories. All respect to everyone that came before me – they built a new thing that didn’t exist before them…the Andrew Neeme’s and Brad Owen’s. The algorithm is rewarding a lot of hand histories and, all due respect, I’m just not interested in filming my hands, the felt, my hole cards, and taking notes while I’m playing.”

This is where Comeskey looks to separate herself. And, it’s one of the reasons why her recent viral videos caught fire in the poker world. In the fervor of the Hustler Casino Live controversy, when the poker world was debating the merits of Robbie Jade Lew playing jack-four offsuit against Garrett Adelstein for six-figures (and whether something nefarious had taken place), Comeskey’s instinct kicked in. When Joey Ingram was locking it in for his nightly podcasts to get to the bottom of it all, Comeskey was speeding to a Spirit Halloween costume emporium draining part of her bankroll on her next big idea.

“I just had this idea to make a sketch, right? I was like, I’m going to be skewering a ton of people,” she said. “I trusted my gut, I trusted that it was a funny idea.”

Comeskey got the costumes, filmed the bits, and produced a rough edit. She showed it to her friend Jaman Burton, who is also in the poker content game. After a little reassurance, Comeskey smashed the send button, letting her latest video see the light of day.

“Caitlin is a breath of fresh air in a pretty saturated space,” said Burton. “[She’s] doing it her own way and still staying very true to who she is as a person.”

The result, actually, became a series of videos that dished out some good-natured needles to some of poker’s most outspoken personalities and had a laugh at the expense of the intensity of the situation. In short, it was just plain much-needed fun. But it also served Comeskey as an introduction to a new audience.

“And yeah, that video has almost 300,000 views on Twitter. So that was definitely an unexpected fun surprise,” she said. “I’ve been making comedic content of all different lengths and varieties…so it’s been a long time coming. To finally have something breakthrough and get a truly viral response of original content was a real milestone I’ve been chasing.”

That chase began long before poker though. Comeskey’s whole background story and upbringing were centered around performing. From her mom enrolling her in children’s theater classes as a preschooler to her acceptance at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts undergrad department (Stella Adler Studio of Acting), Comeskey was focused on living the life of a creative.

“I was definitely a hard worker. I didn’t party or drink or have a social life at all,” she said.

And when it came to the serious dedication of studying acting, she was all in. “I drank the Kool-Aid. I was dancing and going to the gym and seeing Broadway shows on the weekend. I very much made the most of my time at NYU.”

But as her time at NYU came to a close, she found her trusted circle pushing her away from the serious roles she was playing in the classics like Chekhov or Shakespeare and encouraging her to embrace her comedic side, make her own content, and star in her own projects. Next, a move to Los Angeles and a subsequent seven years of the Hollywood grind: writing screenplays, pilots, joke packets, and performing stand-up. She took meetings around town about her work and leaned into her obsessive personality to continue her pursuit.

By 2017 she was making headway with a career in comedy, booking festival slots and performing on shows with the likes of Sasheer Zamata (SNL), Nicole Byer (Girl Code, Nailed It!), and Eliza Skinner. But, according to Comeskey, some health and personal issues derailed that momentum and, as she put it – “spit me out on the other side in Texas.”

It was then, Comeskey says, that “poker kind of brought me back to myself after a long stint of depression.”

From Hollywood to the Hyatt, Comeskey found herself working in hotel hospitality during the day and making time to play poker at night.

“I was waking up at 7 a.m. for my morning shift, getting done at 3, and going straight to the poker club,” she recalled. “I would just drive in rush hour straight to the clubs, spend all night there, wake up, and do it again. I realized I was getting burnt out from the hours I was pulling and I was making more money playing poker than I was in the hotel job.

“So I just closed the hospitality chapter and took a risk on poker. That was January of 2021 when I went full-time playing poker,” she said. “I was a profitable player but I definitely didn’t make anything I was super excited about. I covered my bills but I didn’t have a lot of extra income to do much of anything with. I really struggled my first year.”

After one particular “really rough” livestreamed cash game, Comeskey got focused and got relentless about getting better. She paid for a one-on-one coach, poured over hand histories, and played thousands upon thousands of online hands at the micro-stakes. She stayed dedicated to her Texas roots and put her hours in the local card clubs playing on camera. She also spent time growing her podcast – the Texas Poker Experience – a show helping bring exposure to the scene and the personalities that play in it.

All of that work is paying off. Her elevated profile in the poker landscape has amplified her voice on industry topics she cares about from what it’s like to be a woman in poker to how players on streaming games deserve more appreciation from the card rooms for the entertainment and marketing value they provide.

Between creating content, playing poker, and sharpening her skills in both, Comeskey is at a crossroads. One where every path has the potential to lead to something exciting and new. She’s debating staying close to home in Texas versus heading back to Hollywood because she still “has a hard drive full of scripts and stuff that I would love to sell to Netflix” and getting involved in a West Coast stream house is an exciting prospect for her.

But in her mind, one thing is certain:

“I definitely think poker has been really good to me and I’m not stopping anytime soon. Poker is going to continue to springboard me and it’s very exciting to get to open the horizon of possibilities and figure it out,” she said. “It’s a very exciting time in my life where I just have to decide what I want and where I think my life would be most effective.

(photos courtesy Caitlin Comeskey)