Jonathan “apestyles” Van Fleet battles YouTube in mystery account deletion

Mo Afdhal
Published by:
Posted on: February 10, 2023 3:44 pm EST

Poker pro Jonathan Van Fleet (AKA “apestyles”) has spent two days trying to figure out why years of his YouTube content suddenly and mysteriously disappeared. The thousands of hours of poker gameplay and study content that Van Fleet spent years creating have seemingly been lost to the void.

After going through the normal channels and recovery process, Van Fleet is still stymied and growing increasingly frustrated with the process and lack of explanation.

While Van Fleet is not the only creator to have taken to Twitter in recent days in attempt to get YouTube’s attention, he is the highest-profile poker player dealing with the issue at the time of publishing. His back and forth with YouTube over the past 24 hours has looked like something out of Kafka.

Target or collateral damage?

While it’s unclear exactly what happened to Van Fleet this week, it’s enough to trigger creators at all levels. Unexplained deletions and bans can be crippling to content creators within the gaming industry.

The recent push to ban slots gambling content on Twitch led several creators in the poker space to wonder if their hard work and income streams could be next on the chopping block.

The loss of an account that took years of work to build up can be devastating. The prospect of having to rebuild one’s community from the ground up can be daunting at best. And at worst? Not worth it at all if the creator has to live in constant fear that the account will be deleted without explanation in the future.

The potential loss of valued creators in our community is something we can’t take lightly. These creators provide incalculable entertainment and instructional value while also introducing new players to the game.

If you know of any other poker content creators who have recently suffered the same experience, let us know on Twitter.