Do Pro Players Realize What It Means to Be Professional?
WPT Host and Hall of Famer Mike Sexton recently posted a blog entitled Poker Pros - Wake Up and Smell the Coffee!
If you haven't read it yet, quit reading this blog, read his, and come back and finish this one.
I've been fortunate enough to play with Mike on a couple of occasions in Vegas and he quickly earned my respect for his professionalism.
Mike's sentiments almost echo mine in regards to how poker players should act when they are playing the game and how they should act as professionals.
Some of you are going to read his blog, and this one, and still say to yourself that "poker players are not that bad."
The reality is that not only are they "that bad," they're actually worse.
Where do I start? Do I start with players like Allen Bari who act like such assholes that they get removed by security?
Should I start with players like Jason Mercier who show up like they just rolled out of bed?Â How about Antonio Esfandiari who wore shorts and sandals to commentate on the biggest poker event in the world?
Should I start with poker pros who want to hit other pros in the nuts with a baseball bat? How about one that decides to wait for someone outside a bar to suckerpunch him?
Poker players are also not the only people who are at fault here. As a whole, the poker media goes out of its way to hype and promote the "bad seeds," the "criminals," the "ballers" and more.
The more over-the-top a player acts, the closer to the front page it seems to show up.Â Of course, sites only care about page hits and conversions and that's the material that gets eyeballs.
Why does poker not have more mainstream sponsors?Â Simple. As a whole, we're not wholesome enough for most sponsors. We smoke, we drink, we gamble, some do drugs, and many of us can't even spell the word respect.
The WSOP tried to enforce rules of conduct at its events and players practically revolted. Many said the WSOP is trying to take the fun out of the game.
Some of these people are the same people that don't understand why poker has so much trouble getting sponsors. If you want respect, you have to give respect and have respect for yourself.
Many of us have forgotten what it means to be a "pro" and until we wake up, as Sexton suggests, poker will always have a virtual glass ceiling.