We are poker? We are poker!
PokerStars uses the tagline 'We Are Poker'. What does that even mean?
It causes me to reflect on community interactions I have had, from as recently as yesterday when I was in the bank preparing my WSOP wire. I could see the young teller was intrigued by the transaction; however, because she has to follow the 'We Are Bank' policies, she quietly prepared the paperwork. She got some assistance with the transaction from a more senior employee, who sheepishly mentioned that her husband loves to play on PokerStars. So I smiled, told them about my plans for the next few weeks and reminded the more senior employee to tell her husband about the 100BN hand promotions. The young teller asked questions and was genuinely interested in what playing poker brought to my life.
I love surprizing people, showing them that poker is much more than they have assumed, or seen on TV. The most common question I get is, "Aren't you scared?", at which point I get to reflect on just how scared I once was, but how now my feeling is one of optimism and excitement.
Customer service has been a part of each of my chosen occupations, from working as an occupational therapist, waitressing or being a grocery store cashier. In each, there has always been clear working instructions and codes of conduct when dealing with consumers, along with clear consequences if they weren't followed. The repercussions of poor customer service aren't quite as evident in the poker community.
Who are the clientele in the poker world? Whom do we have a responsibility to?
My suggestion is that we are our own customers. Each of us in the poker world, from the casino cashiers to the highest-regarded players, have an obligation to be accountable for our behaviors. It should be understood that if we want the business of poker to grow and remain successful, that our customers must be kept happy.
Next time you are talking or playing poker, lose the thought of being nice to keep the recreational players coming back and embrace the concept of being respectful to each other. It is this unconditional positive regard that will ensure the success and longevity of this game, which at its heart is a social game.
Part of what makes the poker community exceptional, is that it isn't pros vs amateurs, it is that everyone, no matter their physique, age, gender, bank statements or educational backgrounds, should be made to feel welcome at the table. That is part of the allure of being a part of the poker culture, one that I am proud to say I am a part of.
We are lucky. We are individuals. Let's be accountable...
We are poker.
Adrienne 'talonchick' Rowsome is a member of Team PokerStars Online. Read her bio here.