When I came to Thailand a little over two years ago one of the biggest motivating factors in that decision was that I really didn’t see much going on in the industry that seemed especially meaningful or challenging that I hadn’t done before.

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arrow 3 A Couple of Big Announcements

So I decided to take some time off and take a step back and observe how the industry was evolving while I worked on some personal projects and continued to write on my blog. It was the right move at the time for me and I haven’t regretted the decision a single bit. Over the last two years I’ve launched a lot of cool and exciting projects, seen Thailand and other parts of SEA the way no tourist can, and I’ve met some really amazing people from all over the world.

But barring winning the lottery (which isn’t likely since I don’t buy lottery tickets) the plan has always been to return at some point. I wanted to come back when there really was something that would get me excited about the business again.

And I simply can’t ignore how different the online poker landscape looks today than it did even a couple of months ago. Most people (players and the media) are focusing on the cash out issues but this is really an exciting time for online poker in the longterm. I’ve been really encouraged by the way companies are starting to approach online poker again and finally see an environment where eventually legal, regulated online poker will be available in the US.

That’s a long lead-up to say that I’m leaving Thailand and ready to get back into pushing online poker to the next level. I’m rejoining Party Gaming, I mean Pwin, I mean BwinParty, I mean the World Poker Tour. I’ll be back working with my old boss at Party, Steve Heller, who is now CEO of bwin.party USA and World Poker Tour. I’ve really enjoyed working with Steve in the past and I think he’s putting together a solid team.

I’ll post more details about what I’m working on and such but I should be back in the US in early July ready to hit the ground running.

In terms of this blog I plan on continuing to blog about the industry just as I have before. I’ve never stopped blogging working for either Full Tilt or Party in the past.

That sort of leads to a second big announcement (that’s completely poker unrelated). I got engaged back in Feb of this year and we had plans to get married in November. Well, this has sort of pushed up the schedule a bit so last Friday Ked and I went to the Bang Rak amphur office in Bangkok and legally tied the knot.

In Thailand there are two forms of marriage. There’s a Buddhist ceremony where vows and such are exchanged and is similar in nature to a western marriage. The only exception is that it’s not legally binding. Many Thais marry in a Buddhist ceremony and don’t bother filing for a legal marriage unless they’re about to purchase a home or car or something else that is to be joint property.

The legal marriage mostly involves getting a lot of documents translated, certified, and then sitting around a government office where they review that the documents are complete and they hand you a marriage certificate. No vows, no ceremony, nothing. Just paperwork.

So, we’re sort of doing it in reverse. We got legally married yesterday and I’ll be coming back out to Thailand in November to do the Buddhist ceremony up in her hometown of Phetchabun (with a reception in Bangkok).

We pushed up the legal side so we could get the spousal visa paperwork started. Depending on which office accepts your application it could be up to 10 months before they’re allowed to board a plane to the US. Hopefully the Bangkok USCIS office will take our application and the turnaround will be 8 – 10 weeks.

Lots of changes ahead. Should be an exciting time.

 A Couple of Big Announcements

About

Bill Rini has been working in the online poker industry since 2004. He was a product manager for poker at Full Tilt and was the poker room manager at PartyPoker. Currently, Bill is the Head of Online Poker for WSOP.

 

Bill has been blogging about online poker since 2003 and is considered one of the leading authorities on the online poker industry.

 

“I like What Bill Rini said in his blog” – Doyle Brunson

 

“In other news, we had Bill Rini write an absolutely home run blog.” Daniel Negreanu

 

“Industry insider Bill Rini has one of the most popular blogs in poker, with thousands of subscribers and fans regularly coming back for his universally respected insight into the industry” – Barry Carter (News editor for PokerStrategy, Co-Author: The Mental Game of Poker)

Ship It Holla Ballas!

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About Author

Bill Rini has been working in the online poker industry since 2004. He was a product manager for poker at Full Tilt and was the poker room manager at PartyPoker. Currently, Bill is the Head of Online Poker for WSOP.

 

Bill has been blogging about online poker since 2003 and is considered one of the leading authorities on the online poker industry.

 

“I like What Bill Rini said in his blog” – Doyle Brunson

 

“In other news, we had Bill Rini write an absolutely home run blog.” Daniel Negreanu

 

“Industry insider Bill Rini has one of the most popular blogs in poker, with thousands of subscribers and fans regularly coming back for his universally respected insight into the industry” – Barry Carter (News editor for PokerStrategy, Co-Author: The Mental Game of Poker)

(27) Readers Comments

  1. Welcome Back!!

  2. Bill:

    Congratulations on getting married, but keep in mind that there’s a downside to marital bliss. Now you will know what it’s like to have your better half nagging you to quit playing poker because she’s worried that you will lose “her” money. Ha! Ha!

    Good luck on getting re-situated wherever you and ked wind up.

    Alan

  3. @Seth: LOL Maybe.

    @casinocentral: Samui is great but I highly recommend the Andaman side.

  4. Congrats all around. Last time I was in Thailand I enjoyed a very relaxing stay on Koh Samui. Exciting times ahead!

  5. Congrats, sir. Maybe you can get that bewinners affiliate account re-activated now. :)

  6. Thanks Rob!

  7. Congratulations on your marriage, return to Party and eventual return to the USA. Your blog is insightful and I should have been reading it more over the years.
    Good luck and here is hoping for an 8 week wait.
    Rob C
    Kentucky Gaming and Poker

  8. @Everyone: Wow, thanks for all the well wishes. Really, thanks.

    @Steve: Yes, I will be working on ClubWPT.

    @Kim: Most definitely. Already received an email from someone still at bwin.party who suggested the next time I’m in Stockholm that you, me, and him go have a drink :-)

    @Barry: I’ve always enjoyed the people at Party as well. Actually, I also had a great time at FTP too. Seems there are good people all around.

    @Ken: I think she’s the one making an honest man out of me :-)

    @Mike: I’m back in LA. Well, Orange County to be more exact. Irvine.

    @Change100: Probably won’t make the WSOP. I’ll be too busy finding an apartment and getting settled in for this year but I’m hoping for a big WPBT event this winter. Ked is already begging me to teach her to play poker so she doesn’t seem like a n00b :-)

  9. Congrats on everything and best wishes for your future!

  10. Mazel tov! Hope to see you at the WSOP.

  11. Congratulations x 2 !

  12. Wow, that’s great news all around! Congrats and congrats!

  13. Congrats, all the best!

  14. Congratulations Bill.

  15. Congrats on both.

  16. Congrats Bill, on both accounts. What part of the US are you going to land in?

    -Oz-

  17. Exciting, great news! I am very happy for you. Congrats!

  18. As to the marriage, WPOM. A wish for a long and happy time!

    The typical snide remark is “making an honest women of her.” But, in this case, I am going with the other side of that coin. And, it is likely she has her work cut out for her. :)

  19. First of all, big congrats.

    Second, big work congrats. Good to see you at PartyGaming. I’ve worked very closely with the folks at Party over the last 18 months and they are such a great bunch to work for, hopefully our paths will cross in a non bloggy capacity very soon.

  20. CONGRATS!

  21. Congratulations and thanks for the blog

  22. Congrats Bill and congrats bwinParty!

    Looking forward to some interesting conversations :-)

  23. Congratulation to you and Ked. Best wishes for both your personal and business plans. Does your WPT involvement include ClubWPT?

  24. Congrats on the marriage Bill! Agree that we are facing some interesting / exciting times ahead for the industry.

    Mark

  25. Congrats, Bill! On all fronts!

  26. Thanks, Paul

  27. Congrats with the marriage and the new job!

    As a minority shareholder of Party this is good news for me as well :)

    Keep up the blogging, for me it’s the number 1 blog about developments in the poker industry so do hope you can combine it. I know you said you can and will so that’s great.

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