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I'm Bill Rini, Head of Online Poker at WSOP.com, Ask Me Anything (starts 12/11)

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WSOPBill    0

What's your reaction to PokerStars' NJ application review being suspended for 2 years?

Geesh, that's a dangerous question. :-)

You can go back to what I was writing in 2006 and 2007 and see that I always felt their decision to continue operating in the US was going to come back and bite them one day. I said the same thing about Full Tilt even though I had worked there and had many friends there. And, yes, when I said those things they were not warmly received by many people but I've always felt that for this industry to move forward, everything has to be aboveboard. You can't disregard laws you don't agree with.

I say that so that my answer doesn't seem to be solely driven by the fact that I work for the WSOP.

I think it's a good decision. I applaud the DGE for considering all of the facts involved in the issue and arriving at a decision that I personally believe, ultimately, will be of the greatest benefit to the poker community.

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GB2005    0

Who makes the tournament schedule and blind structure for WSOP.com NJ? I would be willing to help. The $10K guarantee every night is not making the guarantee and I would think its best for everyone to make some changes. Please consider making it 2K starting stacks instead of $4K and then it might turn into an actual rebuy. As is, right its basically a $50-$75 freezeout. I'd recommend starting it @ 630PM too.

Please add a 715PM $50+5 6 max turbo tournament. I'd love to see a $10K guarantee on it, but $5K would do to start. I really think you will see it breaking its guarantee in under a week. 2000 chips.

The $10r at 9PM is a great idea. Unfortunately people don't want to, and cant realisitcally be expected to stay up till 3AM to play for $1500 first prize and then come back the next day. I'm not sure if its earlier start time, 2K chips instead of 4K, or both of those would do the trick

Some kind of 9PM $30+3 super turbo tournament would be great. 500 Chips starting stack. $3K-$5K guarantee.

I promise you if you build it correctly the players will come.

On Sunday, start the $200+15 at 4 or 430 instead of 6Pm too. Party/Borgata have a $50K guarantee on theres with 256 players. I think if you make it a $50K guarantee players will come. I think its a big mistake for WSOP and Borgata/Party to not have their big weekly tournament pay at least $10K to the winner. It's a nice flashy number.

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Gags30    0

i agree with a lot of what GB2005 said, although i'd prefer to just see a normal $50 freezout, not a turbo. in the early stages of a schedule you don't want to pack it with turbos, build a nice base of regular tourneys before adding in gimmick tourneys.

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Gags30    0

WSOP.com ran some great satellites to wsopc harrahs. are you planning on running more satellites to other wsopc events in other states?

How about some online tournaments that finish the final table out live in atlantic city?

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WSOPBill    0

There's not really a question in there. Thanks for the feedback. We're constantly adjusting the schedule.

Who makes the tournament schedule and blind structure for WSOP.com NJ? I would be willing to help. The $10K guarantee every night is not making the guarantee and I would think its best for everyone to make some changes. Please consider making it 2K starting stacks instead of $4K and then it might turn into an actual rebuy. As is, right its basically a $50-$75 freezeout. I'd recommend starting it @ 630PM too.

Please add a 715PM $50+5 6 max turbo tournament. I'd love to see a $10K guarantee on it, but $5K would do to start. I really think you will see it breaking its guarantee in under a week. 2000 chips.

The $10r at 9PM is a great idea. Unfortunately people don't want to, and cant realisitcally be expected to stay up till 3AM to play for $1500 first prize and then come back the next day. I'm not sure if its earlier start time, 2K chips instead of 4K, or both of those would do the trick

Some kind of 9PM $30+3 super turbo tournament would be great. 500 Chips starting stack. $3K-$5K guarantee.

I promise you if you build it correctly the players will come.

On Sunday, start the $200+15 at 4 or 430 instead of 6Pm too. Party/Borgata have a $50K guarantee on theres with 256 players. I think if you make it a $50K guarantee players will come. I think its a big mistake for WSOP and Borgata/Party to not have their big weekly tournament pay at least $10K to the winner. It's a nice flashy number.

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WSOPBill    0

Thanks. We don't have anything on the immediate schedule for live events other than our upcoming WSOP schedule. However, in NV we're running some qualifiers into a signature event over at Planet Hollywood and we're discussing other online to live opportunities with other poker rooms.

Of course, we'll look for similar opportunities in the NJ area as well.

WSOP.com ran some great satellites to wsopc harrahs. are you planning on running more satellites to other wsopc events in other states?

How about some online tournaments that finish the final table out live in atlantic city?

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The most important post in this thread so far is Gags' on page 1. Why haven't you responded to it? If you PM'd him instead, I think for obvious reasons you should also post your response here. I can't even play on your site, but I am a big proponent of online poker regulation building steam. For this to happen, we can't be having things like what happened to Gags happen very often.

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WSOPBill    0

It's not really a question. We are and have been dealing with the issue and communicating via various mediums.

We should have emails with the payout information ready to go in a few hours.

The most important post in this thread so far is Gags' on page 1. Why haven't you responded to it? If you PM'd him instead, I think for obvious reasons you should also post your response here. I can't even play on your site, but I am a big proponent of online poker regulation building steam. For this to happen, we can't be having things like what happened to Gags happen very often.

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It's not really a question. We are and have been dealing with the issue and communicating via various mediums.

We should have emails with the payout information ready to go in a few hours.

He asked you to comment on the situation, and there was plenty to comment on. I think you know full well his post was chalk full of questions, whether or not there were question marks.

Dealing with the issue and communicating via various mediums? I'm sorry, but what kind of response is this? Does this tell us anything?

Your comments on Adelson, geolocation, and whatever are all fine, but what is most pressing right now is showing everyone that you can efficiently operate a poker site. It's concerning to me that the post in this thread that has the most to do with that was completely ignored.

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rebelfd    45

He asked you to comment on the situation, and there was plenty to comment on. I think you know full well his post was chalk full of questions, whether or not there were question marks.

Dealing with the issue and communicating via various mediums? I'm sorry, but what kind of response is this? Does this tell us anything?

Your comments on Adelson, geolocation, and whatever are all fine, but what is most pressing right now is showing everyone that you can efficiently operate a poker site. It's concerning to me that the post in this thread that has the most to do with that was completely ignored.

He said there's emails going out regarding refunds. I believe that was what Gags was looking for. I'm sure Gags will let us know if that doesn't happen. Isn't there a WSOP support thread as well, has this been covered there?

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He said there's emails going out regarding refunds. I believe that was what Gags was looking for. I'm sure Gags will let us know if that doesn't happen. Isn't there a WSOP support thread as well, has this been covered there?

I just don't think at this stage a form email regarding a refund is good enough. You're a young site, when this stuff happens you should be completely ready to give the most thorough explanation possible to anyone who brings it up, and how the site plans to change to prevent these problems going forward. I mean, I would love to know of the people this happened to, what percentage will literally never play there again or never deposit again. I bet it is a non-negligible percentage.

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Gags30    0

The most important post in this thread so far is Gags' on page 1. Why haven't you responded to it? If you PM'd him instead, I think for obvious reasons you should also post your response here. I can't even play on your site, but I am a big proponent of online poker regulation building steam. For this to happen, we can't be having things like what happened to Gags happen very often.

fwiw, he responded on 2p2 to my post there.

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Dan    0

Bill, what do you think about using pros to serve as front men/women of poker sites? I know WSOP.com doesn't embrace that philosophy, but other places you've worked at have. Does hiring pros pay off, or are the contracts too expensive for it to be cost-effective?

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WSOPBill    0

Although Full Tilt and Stars have made the pro model work for them on a certain level. I tend to believe that it's -EV in most cases. Even in the case of Stars, I think they spend more than the value they get back from the majority of pros. And at Tilt, once nearly anybody who cashed in a $5000+ buy-in event could get a pro deal (I'm exaggerating a bit), I think the value declined rapidly.

There are a lot of pros who provide value to the operator. There's no doubt that whatever Stars pays Daniel is money well spent. Ferguson, Ivey, etc were great value for Tilt (at the time).

But does any serious player play on XYZ Poker because some pro plays there? Probably not. And unless the pro is a super-star poker celeb, most recreational player don't even know who they are.

That's my personal view.

At WSOP it's not a matter of whether we embrace the philosophy as much as it's about a lot of the issues it raises for us as a brand. It's sort of like the PGA tour sponsoring players in a PGA golf tournament.

We do use players in our television ads though. We pay them as actors and, at the moment, that's the kind of relationship we're the most comfortable with. We're also exploring other ways we can work with pros and pros come to us with ideas as well.

I think there are ways to have mutually beneficial relationships that don't risk the integrity of the WSOP brand.

Bill, what do you think about using pros to serve as front men/women of poker sites? I know WSOP.com doesn't embrace that philosophy, but other places you've worked at have. Does hiring pros pay off, or are the contracts too expensive for it to be cost-effective?

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GameGenie    0

Pokerstars and Fulltilt had 50 & 100 seat guarantee satellites into the WSOP Main Event in 2010...

What kind of similar events can we expect from WSOP.com this year in both the NV and NJ markets?

Will satties for WSOPc events be made available?

Are there ads running in neighboring states to promote WSOP.com, or is marketing largely restricted to NJ and NV?

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WSOPBill    0

Pokerstars and Fulltilt had 50 & 100 seat guarantee satellites into the WSOP Main Event in 2010...

What kind of similar events can we expect from WSOP.com this year in both the NV and NJ markets?

As you may know WSOP.com will be the only site where players can earn WSOP seats. We're still working on out 2014 WSOP qualifier schedule but I think you can expect similar sorts of guarantees based on the size of the market.

We're also looking at alternate ways of earning a seat into everything from the $10K Main Event down to the smaller buy-in events. We're aiming to have ways to earn seats other than just winning a satellite.

Will satties for WSOPc events be made available?

We've already done WSOPC and WSOPE satellites in the NV and NJ markets so there's no reason to not continue doing them as we go forward.

Are there ads running in neighboring states to promote WSOP.com, or is marketing largely restricted to NJ and NV?

It depends on the market. It's something that makes more sense for NJ than NV. NJ has more people who would drive across the border to play. The population density around NV's neighboring states just doesn't have the same potential.

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WSOPBill    0

Hey Guys,

This has been so much fun and I want to thank PocketFives and everyone who has asked questions. Today is a very meeting heavy day for me today so I'll have less time but if anybody wants to get off a few more questions, I'll try to get to anything that comes in before 3pm (PT) today. Answers may be later on this evening but I promise I'll get everything prior to 3pm before I go to bed.

Bill

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kylelizard    3

Gags, I love your post. Over the years this has happened to me and it really is infuriating. Nobody ever give you a response. Looks like you have done well for yourself cashing over 2 million. Back in the old days the only site that would give your money back in this situation was Pokerroom a small site that closed in 2006 after the port act was signed. I was really hoping he would of responded to this message, if you get any responses from someone, I would sure like to read what they say! Just another bad beat gags haha.

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rebelfd    45

Gags, I love your post. Over the years this has happened to me and it really is infuriating. Nobody ever give you a response. Looks like you have done well for yourself cashing over 2 million. Back in the old days the only site that would give your money back in this situation was Pokerroom a small site that closed in 2006 after the port act was signed. I was really hoping he would of responded to this message, if you get any responses from someone, I would sure like to read what they say! Just another bad beat gags haha.

fwiw, he responded on 2p2 to my post there.

fyi

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