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Thread: Bill Rini out as head of WSOP.com

  1. #1
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Bill Rini out as head of WSOP.com

    John Mehaffey got word that Bill Rini is no longer "Head of Poker" at WSOP.com, and indeed his Linkedin confirms it:

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/billrini

    Bill Rini
    Former Head of Online Poker at the WSOP

    Head of Online Poker WSOP.com
    Caesars Interactive Entertainment Inc.
    Sep 2013 – Sep 2019 6 years 1 month


    Rini was mostly despised by WSOP.com players, for his passive-aggressive, customer-unfriendly attitude, and his tendency to avoid customers and hide from problems.

    He seems like a smart guy, but just wasn't the right fit for the job. He was horrible at customer service, horrible at dealing with the public, horrible at managing crises and issues, and extremely out of touch with the wants and needs of online poker players, both grinders and recs alike.

    I don't know a single poker player who believes Rini was doing a good job.

    Here's some various PFA threads highlighting various failures on Rini's part over the years:

    2013: https://pokerfraudalert.com/forum/sh...ns-at-WSOP-com

    2014: https://pokerfraudalert.com/forum/sh...forum-about-it

    2018: https://pokerfraudalert.com/forum/sh...-to-the-status

    Bill Rini also had thin skin, and apparently got easily insulted when people criticized the site or his decisions.

    Laughably, Rini eventually protected his Twitter account, so non-followers couldn't see it. So the manager of WSOP.com wasn't accessible at all on Twitter. Terrible.

    A successor has not yet been named, and in fact Caesars has not even announced Rini's departure yet.

    It's also not clear if Rini was fired, or if he quit. He is listed on Linkedin as the owner of "Libdek Holdings", a real estate company, but that dates back to early 2017, so it's probably something he was doing on the side. Libdek Holdings' website describes the company as follows:

    Libdek Holdings is real estate investment company that focuses primarily in distressed properties and debt.

    We purchase homes in need of repair, rehabilitate them, and sell them, much like what you might see on the popular fix-and-flip television shows.

    Libdek also purchases defaulted mortgages (also known as Non-Performing Notes or NPNs). Our goal is to work with borrowers to keep them in their homes and get them back on track. Our size allows us to develop creative solutions for borrowers that might not be possible working with banks.

    Our portfolio consists of our own holdings as well as interests in joint-ventures that we engage in with other real estate investors.

    It is possible that Rini will devote himself to real estate full time, or perhaps he's just retiring from full time work. It's also very possible he was fired, given the numerous customer complaints and the overall poor performance of WSOP.com.

    In 2018, the site's management also had a bizarre battle with Mehaffey, a Vegas-area gaming journalist.

    In addition to his well-documented customer service and management missteps, the site also wasn't run well. They never attempted to engage in innovative promotions to build traffic on the site, even when it was clear that it was struggling from the start. Instead, they simply stayed the course with boring "deposit bonus" type promos. Their VIP program was pretty much a ripoff of Pokerstars' original creation circa 2004, which didn't work well for a site where people from out of the area go months at a time without playing (because they can only play within Nevada / New Jersey / Delaware).

    His departure is hopefully excellent news for the future of legalized online poker, though his replacement will need to be someone who will do a substantially better job.

  2. #2
    Druff, I recall you saying you thought you'd make a good online poker room manager.

    I say take your shot and go for it.

  3. #3
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeD View Post
    Druff, I recall you saying you thought you'd make a good online poker room manager.

    I say take your shot and go for it.
    Can't do it. Can't move to Vegas full time these days. Otherwise I would put out feelers and see if they were interested.

  4. #4
    Seems in this day and age this job could be handled remotely with the occassional visit to Vegas when required (which you already do). Go for it

  5. #5
    Maybe I am being naive, but Caesars sports betting operation used to be stale. The company cleaned house, brought in the old Cantor guys, and it is now a top book with some of the industry's best talent. It is a great success story in the industry.

    It's not too late for the same to happen here. I feel the first step is moving the operations to Nevada, or at least New Jersey. Keeping support in Antigua won't cut it, assuming it's still there, and I have no reason to believe otherwise.

    Like I said on Twitter, the company can take an approach where it owns its past and promises a better future in terms of communication and feedback and act on it. That would go a long way to fixing its image. Unhappy players will quickly forget the past if the future looks bright.
    Last edited by John Mehaffey; 09-16-2019 at 11:56 AM.

  6. #6
    Seriously, in the State of NV there's only 2 or 3 legal online sites. They also have the strong brand name of the WSOP in their favor.

    So much potential to set a high standard for other states to look at and consider (like California), yet still so much utter failure

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeD View Post
    Seriously, in the State of NV there's only 2 or 3 legal online sites. They also have the strong brand name of the WSOP in their favor.

    So much potential to set a high standard for other states to look at and consider (like California), yet still so much utter failure
    There were three at one point. The other two went out of business and WSOP.com has a monopoly. I firmly believe the poor performance of these companies in Nevada has held back expansion in other states. Delaware, with its $25k/month or so in rake, doesn't help.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeD View Post
    Druff, I recall you saying you thought you'd make a good online poker room manager.

    I say take your shot and go for it.
    100%...+if you need dealers ..holler...lol.

  9. #9
    Gold sah_24's Avatar
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    WSOP.com will continue to be a failure no matter who is running it ... why would anyone play there when Bovada/Ignition are a 100x better option. Regulated online poker is a complete fucking joke and will continue to be this way for a long long time no matter who is in charge

  10. #10
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sah_24 View Post
    WSOP.com will continue to be a failure no matter who is running it ... why would anyone play there when Bovada/Ignition are a 100x better option. Regulated online poker is a complete fucking joke and will continue to be this way for a long long time no matter who is in charge
    I half agree.

    Yes, it lacks the potential traffic in order to be really active. There aren't enough people in Nevada, NJ, and Delaware to fill up an online poker site. Simply not enough people want to play online poker anymore, so you need a massive population, it won't ever have a big player pool.

    However, WSOP.com and Rini did about the worst job possible with promotions to get players over there and incentivized to pay. Hence, it was a ghost town.

  11. #11
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Well, I just noticed something on the Linkedin.

    His city is listed as "Mueang Nonthaburi, Nonthaburi, Thailand".

    Provided that's truthful, which it probably is, it's looking more to me like Bill was just sick of everything and wanted to move off to Thailand to retire.

    The rest of what I said is still what I believe. He wasn't right for the job, he couldn't handle the public scrutiny and being a public figure in poker, and he probably took it personally when people criticized the site and its management.

    So if he's really relocated to Thailand, it really appears that he quit. If he were fired, it would have taken him by surprise, and he wouldn't have been able to relocate so quickly.

    I wonder if we will see a successor announced soon, or if they're just going to sit in a holding pattern, and let El Dorado deal with it once the sale goes through. Mind you, I always wondered what Bill did for 40 hours every week. Once you get everything established, there's really not much to do as manager of WSOP.com, especially if you seem to leave everything stagnant and avoid interaction with players (which Bill did). So they can probably do without a manager for awhile, and not much will change.

    Looking at Bill's resume, he was a manager at a bunch of online poker companies, including Full Tilt and Party. But it looks like he may have been more of a software manager, hence his inability to actually manage WSOP.com from the top. I can tell you from my years in software that some software managers are awful at managing businesses and people. But they probably hired him because he had that resume, when in reality, they should have hired someone who actually managed online card rooms from the non-software standpoint. The software was already taken care of by 888.

  12. #12
    what do you think his yearly salary was for his wsop position?

  13. #13
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    I've wondered that, too, but it was probably a lot more than you'd think. This was technically a management position.

    Caesars probably thought that his position was important at the time they hired him, as they had high hopes of becoming the next Pokerstars, except also being legal.

    So they probably hired him for a lot of $, and thought he was the right man for the job, given his decade or so holding management positions with Party, Full Tilt, and others.



    I don't blame Caesars for this. On the surface, it looked like a good hire. But they should've canned him within months when it was clear he was the absolute wrong man for the job. Dude went into his shell like a turtle whenever the slightest problem would come up.

  14. #14
    Platinum ftpjesus's Avatar
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    Maybe Bill just decided he had to move to Thailand to be closer to his favorite past time playthings.. Chicks with dicks.. (ok so Im being sarcastic) if it had shown hed moved to Sri Lanka that would've been intriguing as there was a poker operation trying to find somebody like Bill for their new operation of a B&M (and I believe potentially online) over there in Sri Lanka within the last few months.. (I cant remember which group I saw it in.. and since apparently Im no longer welcome in Krash Poker and got unfriended by that dingleberry Plastic I cant go check there). Funny because nobody said shit to me being in both groups on FB and I was respectful never bringing up cross group shit and then suddenly I find out I got banhammered roflmao.. Oh well. No big loss in the end..

  15. #15
    The guy basically went into hiding the past 4 years and had no interaction with the players

  16. #16
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erin Micunt View Post
    The guy basically went into hiding the past 4 years and had no interaction with the players
    That's a good description of him in one sentence. However, it was more like the past 6 years, the entirety of his career at wsop.com, though. He did try a very minimal interaction with players at the beginning, but would run and hide when the slightest criticism, controversy, or difficult question would arise.

    As I said, they hired a software manager to manage people and customer service, which is often a disaster. Two totally different skill sets, and Bill clearly did not have any kind of people or management skills beyond software.

  17. #17
    how a "regulated" site owned by a multi-billion dollar company can't operate functionally baffles my fucking mind

    simple operations too.....including the marketing/player experience piece. just a complete fail
    http://www.miraclecovers.com

    "Donk down, thatís what you say to someone after they have lost 28K straight?" - Phil Hellmuth, online

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Shizzmoney View Post
    how a "regulated" site owned by a multi-billion dollar company can't operate functionally baffles my fucking mind

    simple operations too.....including the marketing/player experience piece. just a complete fail
    it's the evil empire...it's shocking that you can actually log on and play...

    seriously this isn't too far fetched that shit is FUBR there...

     
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      Shizzmoney: lol
    Last edited by GambleBotsChafedPenis; 09-22-2019 at 03:26 PM.

  19. #19
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Bill Rini posted a blog "explaining" the reason he quit, though I don't believe much of it.

    https://www.billrini.com/2019/09/25/new-beginnings/

    First off, LOL at the insincere "fist bumps" he gave to all those people, including his competitors and the people who "yelled at him in tweets".

    Yeah right. He hated his critics on the internet with a passion.

    Anyway, he claims that he quit because his father died of cancer, which by itself makes little sense because his father is already gone. It would make a lot of sense to quit so you can spend more time with your dying dad, but not after your dad has already passed. So right there, I don't buy it.

    Even stranger, he claims he also quit (and will be moving to Thailand) because his wife's grandmother is getting old. Very unlikely, in my opinion. No way he uproots his whole life and career just so his wife can spend time with her grandma. The whole thing is absurd.

    I think he really just couldn't take the heat anymore, as I said before. The fact that he unprotected his tweets as soon as he quit speaks volumes. That was him breathing a big sigh of relief, thinking, "The weight of my critics is finally off my shoulders!"

    To me, it seems very likely he quit both due to the stagnation of WSOP.com (and dim long-term prospects), as well as being too stressed out by the constant social media criticism he received. I don't know why he even bothered to write a blog like that, since I doubt many people will believe it.

  20. #20
    Do we know who his replacement is yet?

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