Salomon Ponte

Salomon Ponte – A. K. A. the self-titled 'Hashtag King' – is lesser known for his poker ability and more for his controversies both on and off the table.

Salomon Ponte – A. K. A. the self-titled 'Hashtag King' – is lesser known for his poker ability and more for his controversies both on and off the table. He does have one significant tournament result to his name, winning the 2016 WPT $1,100 No Limit Hold 'em DeepStacks Main Event in Hollywood for $344,420. Aside from winning this major title, he only has nine other recorded tournament cashes to his name between 2014 and 2017 with no online tournament results on show.

In a world where being controversial gets you more attention and ultimately more views on social media, Ponte's nickname shows just how much he likes causing a stir to boost his profile. As he admitted on Joey Ingram's podcast back in early 2017, 'I like being followed [on social media] . . . the more followers the better'. However, if likes and dislikes on YouTube are a fair barometer of popularity, the ratio on this video suggests that Ponte is one of the most disliked figures in the poker world.

Ponte has been involved in a number of controversial televised poker incidents that have contributed to his widespread unpopularity amongst the community. The most notorious of these was on an episode of Poker Night in America (aired 21st April 2017) where Ponte fired shots at more or less every player at the table. Live pro Shaun Deeb took the heaviest fire, with Toronto-born Ponte telling him that his wife is 'fucking ugly' and that he'd 'rather be dead' than be with her. Incidentally, Deeb was just caught in the crossfire between the Hashtag King and Doug Polk, as the former challenged the heads-up specialist to a battle and claimed he was willing to put $1,000,000 on the line. However, it soon became apparent that Ponte didn't have the cash to put his money where his mouth was, as he couldn't afford to re-buy at the $25/$50 table after losing his stack to Deeb. In a surreal moment, he started trying to pawn his possessions – including his phone, watch and even his passport – and asking the players that he had brutally insulted for loans to play with.

Since this incident, Ponte appears to have been ostracised from the poker community. The producers at Live at the Bike knocked him off his scheduled appearance on the show, with his Twitter and Instagram accounts being suspended shortly after. He has no documented live tournament cashes since the PNIA episode and has been keeping an uncharacteristically low profile as of late. Perhaps he's gone back to working as a chartered accountant.

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