Poker Phantom Nick Rainey: The WSOP Player Who Never WasSeptember 21, 2011 10:49 am
Nick “rainmanusc” Rainey is a professional poker player from Ojai, California, with $834,469 in online tournament earnings, as well as a further $118,557 playing live.
If the stories are to be believed, however, he would also make Chino Rheems look like a saint, considering a story which broke about him recently in connection with a poker backing scam.
On September 15th, a website called NickRaineyisathief.com appeared on the net, in which it is claimed that the poker pro sold a “ton” of shares of his action in advance of this year’s $10,000 WSOP Main Event. Apparently, Rainey then explained to his investors that he had busted out of the tournament after a “brutal day,” even though it later transpired his name wasn’t even on the registration records.
Despite reassuring his hapless investors that he would soon return their money, he instead started selling off his possessions before then absconding to Canada. As the NickRaineyisathief.com website goes on to explain:
“When confronted, Nick lied, saying that the checks he sent must have gotten lost in the mail. After repeated inquiries, he disappeared and deleted his Facebook, Twitter and blog. Nick ignores all email, text and Skype messages, and has de-friended anyone from Facebook he ripped off.”
The website also cites other further potential scams involving Nick Rainey, one of which was apparently to raise over $100,000 a year for the ‘Children’s Hospital and Research Center in Oakland.’
All in all, this cautionary tale involving investing in fellow poker players goes to highlight the pitfalls facing potential backers. Whereas investing and selling shares is a valuable way of affording good players with limited bankrolls a shot at bigger tournaments, a certain amount of trust and risk is involved.
In the meantime, players such as Nick Rainey may be able to get away with such a scam once, but the damage done to their reputation and credibility is permanent.