Online Poker Exec, WSOP Bracelet Winner Rich Korbin Dies Unexpectedly at 73

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Rich Korbin, a former PokerStars executive and a World Series of Poker bracelet winner, passed away at the age of 73.

Rich Korbin
Rich Korbin, long-time PokerStars marketing guru, 1949 – 2022. (Image: Facebook)

Korbin worked for PokerStars as the Marketing Director and Director of Events and Sponsorships for 17 years. His behind-the-scenes role helped build the PokerStars brand and turn it into a global online giant that was sold for more than $4 billion in 2018.

Korbin died on Saturday, June 25. He was getting ready to catch a flight for Las Vegas when he fell in his house and broke his femur, according to friends. After going into surgery, he had trouble coming out of the anesthesia and passed away from a heart attack.

Poker industry mover and shaker

Steven McLoughlin, Director of Gaming Security for DraftKings and a former online poker consultant with expertise in peer-to-peer networking, likened Korbin to a force of nature.


As a poker player, Korbin won a 2001 WSOP $2,500 Stud 8-or-Better event, beating 164 players for $159K. He played at the WSOP since at least 1984.

In 1991, he won the $500 Seven-Card Stud event at the last iteration of Amarillo Slim’s Super Bowl of Poker. 

Stream of kind words for beloved poker veteran

Many former colleagues and friends expressed their shock and sadness on former WSOP Media Director and PokerStars Director of Communications Nolan Dalla’s Facebook page. Dalla, a good friend of Korbin, called him an “exceptionally kind and generous man.”

The comments under Dalla’s announcement about Korbin’s death show how well-liked Korbin was by professional players, dealers, and industry members.

In praise of Rich Korbin

Chau Giang: “Very sad. He’s my good friend for 30 years. Very nice guy.”

Diane Erickson Lable: “So sad. He was a nice guy and fun to deal to. He always made me laugh. Rest In Peace Rich.”

Blair Rodman: “Devastating.”

Jeff Goodman: “Oh no! He was one of my favorite people in the poker world. I’m heartbroken.”

Shawn Rice: “A real legend in the poker community and a good friend!! Will miss you Rich.”

Phyllis Meyers: “I’m sad to hear this! He was a really nice man.”

Nick Christenson: “What a shock. My world is a sadder place for his passing.”

Judd Greenagel: “Worst news ever. Fabulous human being and great friend.”

David Plastik: “Horrible news.”

David Kopp: “Universally liked and respected. Rich was one of the good guys.”

Joe Giron: “That is sad and unexpected news. He was a nice guy and respected poker colleague. RIP Rich.”

Ashley Adams: “Awful news. Great man.”

Adam Green: “Dammit! He was truly exceptional. Really sad news.”

Richard Tennenbaum: “Rich use to love dealing to you always put a smile on my face Rest in peace!”

Players and friends also took to Twitter to express their condolences about Korbin.

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