One was by Bill Rini, titled “Who to Blame for Black Friday?” As someone with extensive experience within the online poker industry, Rini routinely provides insightful commentary on it whenever he chooses to address the subject. I sometimes think the fact that Rini now resides in Thailand also perhaps lends him a better perspective on certain aspects of the industry, enabling him to see things that we here in the U.S. aren’t able to grasp quite so easily.
Those who listened to QuadJacks during their marathon broadcasts in the wake of BF might recall Rini occasionally appearing to share his thoughts. He came on the Two Plus Two Pokercast once or twice in there, too.
To me, Rini’s post offered a clear and persuasive account of how the industry as a whole tended to operate over the preceding decade, his primary argument being that pretty much everyone -- those who ran the sites, those who played on them, and those who reported on them as well -- could be said to share in the “blame” for allowing online poker to evolve into such a thoroughly corrupt and poorly-managed industry.
The other post I wanted to recommend was a response to Rini’s, penned yesterday by PokerLawyer. Speaking from the perspective of a player -- or “consumer” -- she offers a countering view to the one suggesting that she was to “blame” for the sites’ owners and others being indicted, for the civil complaint, or for any of the other unfortunate fallout from Black Friday.
If you check out PokerLawyer’s post -- titled “Responsible for Black Friday... who me?!” -- you’ll see in the comments how I responded by explaining how I identified with PokerLawyer’s “who me?” response but I also found Rini’s suggestion that we players became overly complacent with an obviously sketchy industry to ring true. (I might well have saved that comment for a post of my own here, but didn’t.)
Rini also added a thoughtful response, and PokerLawyer followed up as well. There is some interesting back-and-forthing going on in the comments to Rini’s post, too. If you’re interested in exploring this issue of how Black Friday came to be -- and where we as players may or may not have fit in -- both posts and the subsequent discussions are probably worth checking out.
Definitely intriguing to look back and see the past differently like this. And while assigning “blame” for Black Friday might be considered a mostly academic exercise at this point, it’s still worthwhile, I think, as we try to envision the future -- most particularly one that might include a new-from-the-ground-up online poker industry in the U.S.