Your Reputation In the Poker World
This is a short and brief article about your reputation in the poker world and how it affects your future. There is a quote that says “Honor among thieves”. In the criminal underworld, your word is your bond and there are repercussions if you conduct yourself improperly and unprofessionally. The same can be said in the poker world, which is a (fairly) lawless industry. You may be thinking: “I am just a 25NL grinder who plays online and has zero poker friends and am self taught. Who cares?” Your poker reputation will matter and it may be something that you need in the future. This is not an article about your reputation in terms of being better than the competition or how people think of you on a technical level, but as someone who does business honorably and professionally.
Do Business Honorably and Make Contacts
This title is self explanatory- whenever you are doing business, be sure to be professional about it. Business in the poker world can be a myriad of things: selling action, money transfers, staking, buying action, escrowing money, and many more. Be prompt with your obligations and transparent with your dealings.
Being late with your transaction responsibilities or doing obligations in a sketchy or unprofessional manner creates distrust and shows an example of how you do business. Like other industries, the poker market can provide many contacts and opportunities for networking. Associates you talk to in previous years may have a role to play in future relationships, deals, or business opportunities. I still have situations to this day where I make deals with players and associates that I have talked to nearly 8+ years ago. You never know when you might need to do business with someone or need a favor. Players advance and move throughout different industries and can be helpful resources in different situations.
The Poker World Remembers
Unlike other industries where there are huge amounts of people and deals done every day, the poker community is a smaller one where many players know one another (and their associates). The poker world is full of scammers and people who thrive off of taking advantage of other people and poker players get scammed on a daily basis in many different ways. Because the poker community is smaller, players will remember negative feedback situations much more clearly and vividly than other industries.
You generally only have get one chance in the poker industry and if you mishandle or screw up a deal in any way, shape, or form, your reputation can be greatly damaged (sometimes to the point of no return). Damaging your reputation can be caused by a number of things:
1) Scamming or stealing money from poker players in deals gone bad.
2) Cheating (in live games with dealers or online using 3rd party software/trojans/etc).
3) Not staying true to your word or not upholding your end of the deal. This may mean buying action or paying a bet that you lost or paying back a debt. There are hundreds of situations that classify under #3.
4) Being slow with your transactions. Poker has many sketchy individuals and scammers. Being slow with paying people or flaky with verbal agreements can cause distrust and apprehension for future deals. Pay promptly when making deals.
5) Having poor communication. If you make a deal with someone (staking/buying or selling action/rakeback deal), you should have good communication. Respond to questions and comments as fast as you can and be easily reachable via social media, skype, or email.
Bad experiences generally come in the form of Negative feedback, as seen on 2+2 here: https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/232/transaction-feedback-amp-disputes/negative-feedback-thread-marketplace-all-subforums-549322/
If you do happen to screw up and do one of the above things, you will not will have a reputation that is tarnished forever. While you can sometimes redeem yourself and repair your reputation over time, this takes a long time and many good acts in order to show the poker community that you have changed.
In summation, be courteous and professional in how you carry yourself in every situation. Never burn a bridge, even if you do not necessarily agree with how a situation was handled (though there is a difference between disagreement and a straight up scam). Be transparent and prompt with all money transactions and be someone that is reliable.
Photo Credit: Steve Troughton/Flickr