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Christopher Womack Interview (Page 2)
Poker Player, Podcaster, Businessman
Full audio of this interview HERE
Q: Alright, the poker media? You keep tabs on the poker media, you’re a fan, but you feel the poker media of today is too soft? That it’s too biased? You really became involved in the Hashtag King saga with Salomon Ponte. What's your take on the media, the 'Hashtag King' and poker twitter?
CW: I get it with him. He’s an asshole who does this stuff but, from what I got from my interview with him, the majority of it is an act. When the camera is on it means his personality is on and he’s going to do outrageous stuff. There are a lot of people who have done this,
whether it’s in sports, music or entertainment, we’re seeing it in poker now. We’re seeing someone take the idea of social media, the idea of media, and push it to the extremes. He's talking the most crap and I kind of like it. I’m not that guy. I’m a nice guy. I would never do this stuff at a poker table. I am the most boring poker player there is at the table. I’m quiet. I might have a few comments but that’s just not me but nobody wants to watch that on TV. Nobody! I feel 95% of the people who watch poker on television, not these live streams, not the internet, but to mainstream America? They want to see some kind of action. These head-butting hands, these bad beat hands, aren’t going to happen all the time on live TV to get the ratings up. It reminds me of Havad Kahn of many world series’ ago. He was dancing around and being an ass. Everybody hated him. Ya, he’s not as present now as he was in poker back then but it made the game exciting. It made poker television exciting. For some of these pros, I mean high roller pros, who’d rather just shake hands and nod heads, it’s like, ‘You might win the $8 million but you’re not going to have any TV ratings.’ As far as Salomon Ponte goes? I think a good majority of it’s real, obviously because it’s on social media, but it’s there on social media to boost his profile. He boost himself to the most popular poker player in the world the past two weeks now. The elite poker media, or the snotty poker media? I have nothing but respect for Joey Ingram but some of the things he’s said to me threw me off. Basically, with poker these days, it’s become elitist. With the lingo, with the friendships and the hanging out together, I feel poker media needs to more unbiased. You need to stick to your shoes. In a tweet he sent back to me he said, ‘I aim a majority of my content to poker pros and to players like myself.’ I took that as a snide remark. You don’t care about the other 95%? Joey Ingram put himself in the elitist group of being a poker pro. I never really looked up Joey’s stats before but my stats are pretty close to his and I’ve never claimed to be a poker pro. I’ve claimed to be a professional shark killer but that’s some different terms. It’s gotten too friendly. These guys have known each other the past ten years. They want to interview each other and talk about having drinks. They’ve become too friendly. Then you throw a guy like 'Hashtag King' in there, Salomon Ponte, and he’s ruffling feathers. He’s like, ‘I don’t care about you guys. I’m going to use you. I’m going to use that microphone. I’m going to use this camera and I’m going to say the most extreme things I possibly can.’ You know what? Everybody is reacting. Hate it or love it, everybody is reacting. People watch Daniel Negreanu for certain reasons. People watch Doug Polk for certain reasons. People even watch Shaun Deeb for reasons, because he slow rolls. They watch Negreanu because he’s the smart-aleck who’s somehow nice. Polk is the genius of communication and poker theory communication. Certain people have these niches. Who cares if Salomon Ponte is mean and degrading? It’s not you and you’re still watching it. I loved it.
Q: I had him on three times and I’ve taken some heat. He was good to me, took time to of his schedule and gave me some great audio. It’s compelling stuff, watching a train wreck. I was a fan. I was watching Poker Night in America. I’m a fan of the characters of the game. They make it interesting. What is the end result for the Hashtag King? I mean can he find any more poker games to play in? He’s been banned from just about everywhere now?
CW: These properties are owned by umbrella companies. Caesars owns a lot. MGM owns a lot. He’s says he’s taking a ten month break to go to Israel? I don’t don’t know if he’s going to write apology letters while he’s in Israel or somehow get back onto these properties but I don’t know his overall plan, or even if he plans to play poker anymore? I mean if he wants to do a reality show we should produce it. He has to make the decision whether or not he wants to play poker or be on a reality show. I think both are there for him. I have watched a lot of his poker playing and I don’t agree with it but, like I said, different strokes for different folks. Somebody else’s poker theory might not work for you but it does for them. He gets a lot of action because he throws a lot of money around. He’s either going to lose or double up. I’m more of a grinder. I’m not a cash player. I’m a solid tournament player.
Q: I have to ask you about the Bering Sea. You actually worked in Alaska for a little while, in the Bering Sea. What’s that like? Is it as dangerous as they say?
CW: That question is asked of me a lot. It depends on who I’m talking too. If I’m talking to my mom, ‘Oh, it’s easy. So safe. It’s nice.’ If I was talking to the general public? I almost died every day. It’s a sick job. You make good money but there comes a point where you laugh at death so much that you look back on it like, ‘Wow, I almost died here today. I almost here today. I almost died here.’ It’s war. It’s war with nature out there. Shout out to our military here in America. They do great things. I always try to let them know that we lose anywhere from five to ten percent of our fleet some years. We don’t lose five or ten percent of our military a year. It’s a closed knit group in the Bering Sea and many people do die. It’s one of those things I did as a young man to make some money. Get in and get out. When I got back from Alaska that’s when I started my marijuana edible company and really got involved in the marijuana industry. I strongly advise it. The best thing I got from the Bering Sea was not the money I brought home. It was the work ethic that I brought back with me and the appreciation for life. There’s nothing like seeing a smiling face sometimes when you're on a boat in the Bering Sea. You’re about to die everyday and you look around the boat and say to yourself, ‘I don't want to die today with these crappy dudes.’ You love them like your brothers but it's a very alpha male situation. Everybody is cussing and very to the point. I’ll never forget that time in my life and I appreciated every moment of it.
Q: You’re donating 5% of all your winnings in 2017 to charity? That’s great man!
CW: I went through something that probably a good 30% of America will go through. Somebody close in your life will get cancer. It’s a serious subject, it’s a sad subject, but it can be beaten these days. It can be beaten through donations. It can be beaten through information. It can be beaten through regular check-ups to your doctors. You have to catch it in the beginning. My brother, earlier this year, had a lump on his left testical, got it checked out, and found out it was cancer. This is my little brother. I’m 35 years old, my brother’s 30, so it’s a major blow to think that your little brother has cancer. You have to understand the stages and that’s why information is important. He had Stage 2 cancer, so it spread, and he went through three sections of chemotherapy and I’m proud to say that he’s cancer free. I’m so proud of him because he handled chemotherapy like a champ. That’s the hardest part about it. Cancer does’t hurt. It’s the chemo that hurts. This is what drove me this year to donate 5% of all my winnings at the World Series of Poker, and other events, to charity. I’ve already made $800 for the cause. Poker players find a good cause. You’re going to win all that money and you’re going to find out that you’re still living the same life. Donate a portion of that money and you’ll get a tax write off, the financial good part about it, but the internal part of it is amazing. You’ll be helping somebody. You’ll be helping an organization. I’m telling you if you haven’t been affected by cancer yet, you will. A family member, a friend, somebody close will be affected. This is why my brother is alive. Since 1970, there was only a 68% survival rate of testicular cancer. That’s you guys. That’s you poker players. That’s a lot. Now? It is a 98% survival rate. It’s from donations, research and information. Cancer just didn’t lie down. No. Our medicines have gotten better. It’s all about the chemotherapy. So, people donate please. You’ll feel good. Have a cause. Have a why? Find a good cause guys. Donate. Be involved in your community. Be involved in the greater poker community. This is just a game guys, just a game. You know what I’m saying? Cancer is real life!
Christopher Womack Thank-you!
Death at the Table?
What happens when someone dies at the poker table while holding the winning hand? Susie Isaacs, ladies legend, who won the women's world championship at the WSOP in back-to-back years, (1996 & 1997).
Who is the 'Hashtag King' Salomon Ponte?
(Above) hashtagking.ca, the website of controversial poker player Salomon Ponte, who has talked and beraded his way to the top of poker's notoriety list.
(Below) The 'Hashtag King,' waiting on a wire, after being busted on Poker Night in America by Shaun Deeb. The two rivals had a vicious verbal jousting match. Ponte has been kicked out and barred from many casinos and has made quite a splash on poker twitter.
We spoke to himHERE
Christopher Womack Interview (Page 2)
High Roller Radio has interviewed some of the greatest gamblers, casino insiders, sports bettors, authors and poker players. Here is our interview with Christopher Womack, poker player & rep for Real Grinders, podcaster for Drunken Donk Radio, and someone who believes the poker media is too soft, too biased and too friendly. Womack, after 'Black Friday,' became an entrepreneur, opening a bar/restaurant and getting into the cannabis wholesale industry.