Meat And Greet: EatAHoagie, AKA Twitch Streamer Anthony Cicali

Posted on April 5, 2018

Anthony Cicali wears many hats during the day, but his most important role is that of single father to two young boys. Besides holding down a full-time job, he considers himself a semi-professional poker player and is a producer for independent films. One of his movies, Deadly Gamble, even received a full distribution contract.

Recently, he added another hat to the mix – PlayUSA Twitch streamer extraordinaire (that just may be his official title).

What makes him extraordinary? He thinks it is his people skills.

“I think one of my best qualities is I’ve always been able to talk to anyone. I’m able to connect with people and talk to them in chat. I’m really good at getting a conversation going.”

Anthony and his relationship to XXX

If you look at his Twitter bio, it reads:

“CEO of BuyBackKing.com, a single dad, XXX, poker, actor, gym rat, crypto, slots.”

When asked which of those, besides being a single dad, describes him the most, he responded, “XXX. But it’s not what you think.”

Get your minds out of the gutter, people, because it isn’t what you think.

XXX is a philosophy Anthony lives by. He explains, “XXX relates to a theme of straight-edge philosophy. I don’t drink. I don’t do drugs. I live a very disciplined lifestyle. I’m very focused on my things and goals in life.”

This philosophy helps him remain dedicated to the things he is passionate about. It allows him to wear the many hats he enjoys wearing and stay present and attentive to his kids.

XXX on the surface seems at odds with his roles of semi-professional poker player and PlayUSA Twitch star. Anthony disagrees.

“Some people think that online gambling is just throwing your money away. If you’re very disciplined with your actions, and you play within your limits, you can have a lot of fun and even make some money.”

To help people understand, Anthony uses golf as an example. “How many times do people get paid back for playing golf? Zero, right? They just enjoy doing it. It’s all about bankroll management – whether online gambling or playing golf. You play when you can afford it.”

PLayUSA Twitch stream

The challenges of livestreaming

With the rise in popularity of livestreaming content, it seems as if everybody believes they can stream their way to fame.

It takes more than showing up and playing a few slots to turn fame into a fortune – or at least enough to keep your lights on. It takes some skill, a little bit of luck and an off-the-charts personality.

Just like any job, there are challenges and a learning curve. And while Anthony has the personality part down, the technical skills part of the job he’s still trying to figure out.

“I’m not super technical, and I’m still learning – a lot. When I first started streaming, I paid someone to do my full setup. I knew I wanted to stream, but I didn’t really know what that meant. It’s coming together pretty good, though.”

PlayUSA pays Anthony to play various online slots and live dealer casino games on its Twitch channel. As part of his job, not only does he manage the technical stuff, but he is encouraged to create unique ways to engage the audience.

The key to success, Anthony says, is “multitasking.” Apparently, a great set up doesn’t hurt either.

“I have three large screens that I run off,” Anthony elaborates. “I call it my command center. My monitor has two additional monitors connected to it. It helps me separate everything so I can monitor the chat, run the games, and award the prizes to the audience. Oh, and play the games, too.”

The job is pretty much what Anthony expected. However, there is one thing that still surprises him.

“I’ve actually had a lot more fun with the slots than I thought. And I’m doing better on them, too. I’m still trying to figure out what three stars equals,” Anthony said laughing. “There’s a lot more to figure out when your jackpot actually hit. I’m not sure I realized how much fun playing the slots would be.”

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Favorite online casino games

Anthony has been streaming online slots and live dealer games for over month. During that time, he has developed a liking to live-dealer Roulette because he feels it is his strongest game outside of poker.

“I know Roulette frontwards and backward,” Anthony explains. “Long-term, the game is random. But with the human element of a real dealer, there is an actual edge if the dealer is someone that’s done it over and over again.”

“A Roulette dealer can spin the ball so many times a day, and he’s doing it at the same speed. You can watch and see where they’re putting the ball down and make some educated guesses based on past patterns where the ball will land.”

Advice for someone new to online casino games

Anthony may not be new to online gambling because he has been playing online poker for a while now. He is new, however to online casino games.

Anthony remembers what it is like to be new and feeling hesitant to start because you don’t want to mess up. He shared some advice with us.

“Online casinos have demos of everything. Start by practicing with play money. And of course, come hang out with me, or any of the guys on Twitch and watch us play. Ask us questions, that’s what we’re there for.”

“Then when you feel comfortable, play at the lower stakes. Going back to bankroll management, set a limit and play because you want to have fun.”

How Anthony keeps all the balls in the air

There is another side to Anthony that we haven’t mentioned yet. We were saving the best for last. Anthony puts a lot of importance on giving back.

It started after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast back in 2005. He went down and worked with Habitat for Humanity to help rebuild homes. Since then, he tries to plan a volunteer trip every year. Last year, he went and helped out in Houston after the floods and this year is looking forward to working with Habit for Humanity.

Whether he’s a dad, livestreamer, or philanthropist, Anthony has a lot of balls in the air. Keeping them from falling has to be a big challenge. So, what’s his secret?

“A lot of caffeine. Again, going back to my lifestyle, I try to eat pretty well. I work out almost every day. I keep my energy levels pretty high. And I’m very good at power napping, squeezing in 15-, 20-minute naps when I can. But seriously, it’s the caffeine.”

Bottom line, Anthony boils his success down to proper time management and keeping everything scheduled. Making time is easy when you do the things you love and are passionate about.

Hang out and win with Anthony

Besides his great personality, you can expect a lot of trivia games on Anthony’s livestreams.

“I love trivia. I’m like a Jeopardy! nerd. I’m sort of known as the trivia guy. Playing trivia seems to have connected with people and keeps them active in the chat. A great chat makes the stream more fun and interactive. It’s almost like they’re playing a game, too.”

Want to play some trivia with Anthony? Here is his upcoming PlayUSA Twitch schedule:

April 5 at 9:00 p.m. (ET)
April 11 at 9:30 p.m. (ET)
April 15 at 9:00 p.m. (ET)
April 26 at 9:00 p.m. (ET)
April 29 at 9:00 p.m. (ET)

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Written by
Kim Yuhl

Kim Yuhl is a freelance writer and blogger who writes about poker culture and the online gambling industry. A part-time member of the poker media since 2013, Kim recently sold her marketing business to write full-time while traveling around the world. You can learn more about her work and travels at kimyuhl.com.

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