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Rant: If You Don't Like the Spotlight, Don't Be a Tournament Poker Pro
If you call yourself a professional poker player and you play live tournaments for a living, you need to understand something.
Your roles and responsibilities go above and beyond the core of your work - which is, of course, to play poker.
If you are ever fortunate enough to reach the final table of a European Poker Tour (EPT), World Poker Tour (WPT) or World Series of Poker (WSOP) event, then it is more than likely your mug is going to be shown across the world through the medium of the live stream, television screen, photographs or video.
Not only will the world see how pretty, skillful or lucky you are, but they will also get to hear all about whom you are.
If You Want Anonymity, Don't Play
There are some of you who find this makes you uneasy, and while I'd like to say I understand that, I really don’t.
If you want a life of anonymity then don’t choose to play poker underneath the glare of a media spotlight. Otherwise it will burn your conscious and fry your soul. You deserve to melt …you really do.
A member of the church once approached me to ask for all traces of his being to be removed from the live blog. Well, what exactly are you going to do when you reach the final table and it’s shown around the world?
Are you going to turn up dressed as Rey Mysterio or Spiderman?
Let Me Tell You a Secret
It’s a hard slog to reach a big final table like those on the EPT or WPT. I get it.
You've worked tirelessly and just want to get home and rest and make sure that you wake up refreshed the following day.
Perhaps this is why when you're asked to fill in a player profile for the media you can only be bothered to write your name, where you came from and what your favorite color is.
But let me tell you a secret. Once you've made the final table and run off to your bed the videographers have to stay behind and cut the video that you may proudly show your friends and family.
The photographer stays behind to edit your photo to make sure you look better than you really do. And the writer has to sift through your barren player profile and try to create an interesting picture of who you really are.
Let Me Tell You Another Little Secret
Without a live stream, television coverage, the videos, the photos and hacks like me who write about how wonderful your triple-barrel bluff was, there is no poker as we know it today.
There's no six- and seven-figure prize money, and you can take your sorry arse back to your government and sign on for benefits.
If you don’t like the spotlight, then find another profession.
If you don’t like the spotlight, and don’t want to choose another profession, then have some respect for the other people who work in this business. Because I can tell you they have the utmost respect for you.
It may seem tiresome, boring and maybe, to some, ‘beneath you’ to fill in a player profile, but think of others before you think of yourself.
Take just 10 minutes to complete the work so the rest of YOUR team has an easier task and can also get to bed nice and early.
Just like you, when the final table arrives, they get excited. And have a lot of hard work to do.