Screw The Man

So Haley’s busting my chops about being too glass-half-empty. She made a comment about one of my posts which I won’t re-fight here because she’s wrong 🙂

But Haley was chop busting even before the comments on my blog. She had this to say on her site:


I guess that’s why it frustrating to read stuff like Bill Rini’s recent posts. Now, I know both Bill and Amy Calistri, either in person or through innumerable e-mails, and they are both in the top handful of media types I respect. But as knowledgable as Bill is, as accurate as some of his forecasts have turned out to be, I still can’t join him on this one, and this is why: If his worst-case scenarios are correct, then it doesn’t matter anyway. And if those scenarios are true, then all that extensive hand-wringing… and hand-wringing… and more hand-wringing… is just an unproductive waste of time. If it’s not true, and there are actions that we can take to put up the good fight, then we need to do that stuff now, rather than do these second-tenor auditions for the poker-world performance of “Woe is Me.” That’s my problem with Bill’s approach. As much as I like and respect him, no bonus points this time.

Now, that really is unfair because I’ve been out there offering a game plan. This seems to be a case of not properly distinguishing analysis and action. But it’s not just Haley who makes this mistake. Many people react this way when they hear things they wish were not true. I’m not hand-wringing and saying woe is me. Far from it. I’m saying “Wake the f*ck up, people! This is B-A-D and you need to quit trying to find the bright side.”

Because the truth of the matter is that it’s not people like me who are going to kill online poker. The people who will kill online poker are those who keep trying to see the glass as half full. As my good amigo FhwrdH pointed out, this is like the boiling frog treatment. Okay they closed Neteller, I’ll just go to Click2Pay. Oh Party pulled out of the market, that’s okay ’cause I’ll just play on Stars. No! No! Don’t you get it?!? That glass half full attitude is what is going to guarantee that by the time the DOJ can land the fatal blow that the industry will be so scattered and weak and the players so unorganized that there will be almost no resistance.

moransNow’s not the time to be rejoicing in the streets that there’s still one payment processor left. Now is the time to be out in the streets setting cars on fire, throwing trash cans through windows, and getting angry! You need to get your lawmakers on the phone and tell them “Hey A-hole, you work for me. You got that? Give me a no bullshit answer on your stance on online gaming and if it’s not what I want to hear I’m going to spend every last ounce of energy in me to make sure you can’t even get elected as dog catcher in this district.”

When the Neteller founders had their bail hearing poker players should have been lining up for miles to get into the courthouse. People should have been rioting in the streets and making the DOJ realize that they just stepped on their own dick with a size 12 golf shoe. Instead, we (as in the collective world of poker players) sat back, read about it in the papers and then did a Google search to find a payment processor that would let us open an account. Who’s going to be scared of that? What politician is going to back off when there’s absolutely no resistance?

Haley says:

So Messrs. Shulman and Ivey, Seif and Hellmuth, Brunson and Negreanu, and all you others: It’s time to make a stand.

No Haley, it’s not time for Shulman, Ivey or Brunson to fight your fight. It’s time for you to fight this fight. It’s time for you, and me, and everybody who gives a rat’s ass. As much as I like old Pappa Doyle it’s easy to ignore one man. It’s hard to ignore millions of people. It’s even harder to ignore millions of pissed off people.

Are you a regional or state director for the PPA? Are you even a member? Are you ready to engage in acts of civil disobeadance?

Haley says she gets frustrated reading my posts but I go absolutely mental reading some of these jackholes on the poker site message boards. They’ve popped the champaign because they were able to set up a Click2Pay account before they shut off US customers. They’re shooting off fireworks because they found a way to use pre-paid debit cards to deposit in $100 chunks. They’re sucking each other off every time some little tidbit of news comes out that hints that online gaming isn’t going to end at midnight tonight.

Those are the people who are going to kill online poker because they’re too damn stupid to see the big picture. They lack the character to stand up for what they believe in and fight for their rights. As long as they can still make a $100 deposit on Stars tomorrow they’re more than willing to let Shulman, Ivey or Brunson fight the fight for them.

And until I see people getting really pissed off and standing up for their rights I’m going to keep pushing the message out there making sure they can’t remain blissful in their ignorance.

Bill Rini
Bill Rini is currently the Head of Online Poker for WSOP. He has been working in the online poker industry since 2004 and has held management roles at Full Tilt Poker and PartyPoker.

5 thoughts on “Screw The Man”

  1. GET A BRAIN MORANS!
    Haha – that dude should be the American president. A great mixture of Lenny from Motorhead and that drunken homeless guy I met yesterday night while heading home haha

  2. Pretty typical when it comes to government in the US trying to legislate how people live their lives. See the history of banning alcohol, smoking, guns, and just about everything else in this country that the nanny state doesn’t want you to have.

  3. Patrick…

    I don’t think you get it.
    “YOU” or “I” may go to extreams to get our money in a poker site, but for the majority of the FISH, they won’t…
    I’ve seen several comments when playing low limit ring games on PokerStars saying that as soon as their account is depleated, then they are done.
    I also know several guys that normally play in the ‘pub poker’ leagues that have stopped playing online.

    And as the games get harder, more and more players will leave.
    It’s a cascading effect.

    And this isn’t really a battle/war.
    It’s a slow decline (or starving death) as we sit back and do nothing.
    It’s much more like a siege.
    A battle (or war) would imply that we are fighting back.
    I don’t see any of that.

  4. I don’t disagree with you. Boiling frog indeed.

    But the temperature of the water will go back down on its own too. This is a battle of the global free market vs. the US DOJ, and I don’t think the war has been decided yet.

    There’s just too much money on the table for anyone who can go into business serving US customers. Period. Someone sets up a Eurocard shell company in Venezuela, and US customer will go there in droves. Maybe they get shut down, maybe not. Maybe Stars stops doing business with them eventually, maybe not.

    But then a VISA shell company opens up in Tunisia. The customers move there. Repeat, ad nauseum. Yes, it’s a pain in the ass, and it sucks. But the bottom line is that moving cash electronically is both very easy and very profitable. It’s going to be harder to shut down than illegal meds through the US mail, and perhaps even harder than shutting down file trading on Usenet.

    This is just one battle. It’s hardly the war. (Yet.)

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