The ‘Hashtag King’ Salomon Ponte is being treated like a leper after his shocking antics on Poker Night in America resulted in a series of brands severing ties with him.
It isn’t coming.
It doesn’t matter how many showers I have the new brand name for my company, created to help people quit alcohol, is still not emerging from the smoky, dark corners of my mind. I have this sneaking feeling all of my inspirational cells are in there playing an intense cash game.
Branding is everything.
My company is called Needy Helper, and I created it when my SEO knowledge consisted of me thinking that people who wanted help with a drinking problem would type the words ‘Need’ and ‘Help’ into the mouth of our great God Google.
Recently, someone told me that the word ‘Needy’ reeks of desperation and helplessness. I don’t want those emotions connected with my brand. I want people to think of strength, connection, and inspiration.
All I need now is a name.
And there lies my problem.
A brand is not a name.
A brand is a way of being.
And it’s not just companies that are brands. People are brands also, particularly if you are a professional poker player. The days of being a walking billboard covered with more patches than a Nascar are in the past, but if you have a unique personal brand that tells a great story, then there are ways to earn a buck.
Top notch brand.
Telling the Wrong Branding Story
Televised poker needs a select group of men and women who are controversial as it creates tension. But there is a fly’s thong between the feeling of tension that keeps you hooked and the sense of awkwardness when someone goes too far.
Using your persona to create a few wrinkles is one thing, using foul and abusive language to create a wave, is another thing entirely.
Salomon Ponte has been creating some waves, and he is beginning to drown.
The self-proclaimed Hashtag King (I don’t even know what that means) embarrassed himself on Poker Night in America (PNIA), insulting Shaun Deeb and his wife and unsuccessfully trying to create a $1m heads-up showdown with Doug Polk.
The fallout of Ponte’s antics has been quite remarkable.
Ponte’s verbals managed to persuade the poker sunglass company Blue Shark Optics to sign him up as a sponsored pro. After the PNIA debacle and subsequent removal from the casino, the sunglasses firm has dropped him like a bag of spuds.
— Blue Shark Optics (@BlueSharkOptics) April 22, 2017
And that’s not all…
I also learned these past few days, that Ponte has been removed from the running order for Live at the Bike cash game, streamed live from the Bicycle Club in Los Angeles.
It seems that despite the adverse reaction to Ponte’s PNIA experience the organisers of Live at The Bike were willing to give him a second shot until Ponte blew it big time.
Statement on our decision to cancel next week’s scheduled guest pic.twitter.com/oasJLVCQFg
— Live at the Bike! (@LIVEattheBike) April 27, 2017
I am not sure how much Shaun Deeb had to do with the decision, but Ponte’s victim during the PNIA massacre told officials at The Bike that if they allowed Ponte to appear, he would boycott their games. He also confirmed on Twitter that he would boycott PNIA if they ever had Ponte back on again.
The outrage felt within the poker community since Ponte’s PNIA experience has been as strong as I have felt it in modern times. But you have to remember; his bad boy brand did lead to Blue Shark Optics signing him, and Live at the Bike were still going to have him on their show if he would have agreed to their stipulations.
Like I said, there is a fly’s thong between having a bad boy brand and a very bad boy brand.
I would love to gauge Ponte’s views on Twitter, but unfortunately, the 140-character giant has also banned the Hashtag King.
I’m off to take a shower, and I suggest Ponte does the same thing.