Bashing Former Sponsors or Clients Does Not Help Professional Integrity
Former Ultimate Poker pro William Reynolds has been bashing his former sponsor. He's made several statements about the company that paint the company in a bad light, but also do little to help his personal reputation.
I'm not going to debate the accuracy or inaccuracy of his statements because I have no internal knowledge of the company. Even if I did, I would not comment unless given the green light by the company.
Whether you're a poker pro, a media member or a cog in the corporate casino wheel, personal integrity and image should be something strived for. Bashing your former employer or sponsor is not a way to do this.
Keeping Up a Professional Image
I've worked for several key players in the poker media and even a couple of major online sites. During that time, I have never felt the need to publicly bash my clients for things that went on behind the scenes.
Things that go on behind the scenes are part of a company's personal and intellectual property, whether or not it is specified. That would be the equivalent of a child going out and telling the personal financial history of their family. It is information that is nobody's business.
Also, when you bash your client in the way that Reynold's bashed Ultimate Gaming, you are showing any potential clients a side of your personality they don't want to see. How do they know you won't become a turncoat on them and share private company details or make outrageous accusations about them?
Keeping Your Doors Open
Some will argue that Reynolds and other players don't need to worry about keeping up appearances because they are successful poker players. While that sounds good in theory, the reality is that most poker pros will not be able to consistently perform like Negreanu, Ivey and others.
At some point, you may need to do something else other than play. You may need a side gig to help pay bills or rebuild your bankroll. When I started playing semi-pro in 2006, I never envisioned writing about the game for a living. I had another successful business going on at the time.
Two years later, the housing bubble burst, my business dried up and I was looking for work. I wasn't at the level to make a full living playing professionally, so I started looking for work in the media. Six years later, I'm still going strong. I doubt I'd still be working in the industry if I bashed every client I ever worked for.
Has every gig been smooth sailing? Absolutely not. However, I'm not going to write a public blog and bash my former clients on what went on behind the scenes. That's unprofessional and will shut doors on other opportunities in the future.
It's fine to have an opinion, but there is a point we have to choose between burning bridges and exacting revenge. Sometimes going forward and doing well is the best revenge.